By Deena Adams
I’m pleased to introduce Historical Romance author Linda Shenton Matchett, who responded to my call out on Facebook for author interviews. She has graciously offered any one of her published novels as a giveaway to this week’s winner. You’ll find her website link at the end of this post so be sure to check them out.
Comment on the interview by Tuesday, November 16, to enter the drawing.
Welcome, Linda! Let’s kick off with you telling us a little about yourself and your family.
My husband Wes and I were high school sweethearts and are coming up on our 28th wedding anniversary. For most of our marriage we lived in the Washington, DC area, but tired of the rat race, and in 2002 moved to central New Hampshire to purchase and operate a bed and breakfast. We did that until 2013. We both now work for a boarding school here in town where I’m the Front of House and Catering Manager.
My husband and I were also high school sweethearts. Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! How and when did you start writing?
When I was about seven or eight years old, my parents gave me a notepad and package of pens and told me to “go to town.” I filled the pages with stories, travelogues, and articles. I even published a family newspaper for a while.
How cool is that?! So, what does a typical day in your writing life look like now?
Because I work a full-time job, I have more of a typical week than day in my writing life. With the exception of Thursday, I’m at my desk by 5:30 or 6:00 AM. On Thursdays I work the dinner shift so I can write until after lunch, which is wonderful! Saturdays are reserved for social media, guest posts, and marketing tasks.
You have a busy life, which leads right into my next question. How do you balance writing with your other life and family obligations?
I’m a very scheduled individual, so I manage my time closely. With just being the two of us, our time is what we make it, and we rarely end up with surprises. Although, my husband loves to tease me with a line from one of our favorite movies: “We’ll be spontaneous when we have time.” Sometimes, I wish I were a little more flexible.
I can relate. My husband would be thrilled if I were a bit more spontaneous. But as a writer, there’s so much to do right? Including research. How long do you spend on research before you begin writing a book?
I am a research geek, so I probably spend way too much time! I can chase more than my fair share of rabbit trails. LOL. Having said that, historical accuracy is very important to me, so I will check and double check facts to ensure they are correct. I outline my stories before I write, so I am able to do most of the research before I begin. I use mostly primary sources such as diaries, journals, and memoirs, but I also read newspapers from the time period. For my WWII books, I watch a lot of oral history interviews on YouTube.
YouTube is a gold mine, isn’t it? Especially for those who are visual learners like me. Are any of your stories inspired by true events or personal history?
I love incorporating true events into my stories. A Doctor in the House was inspired by Dr. Margaret Craighill, the first female commissioned officer in the United States Army Medical Corps. Love at First Flight is about the Women’s Air Service Pilots, and includes many real events. Spies & Sweethearts is about the Office of Strategic Services (pre-cursor to the CIA during WWII) and also includes several real events. My Wartime Brides series is a quartet of Biblical retellings set during WWII.
Those all sound wonderful! How did you select the names for your characters?
For my WWII stories, I have several high school and college yearbooks from the time period that I use. For my 1800s stories I use a variety of websites. For example, two of my Westward Home and Hearts Mail-Order Bride books feature Norwegian characters, so I found a couple of Norwegian-American sites that were helpful in providing names. I’ve also been known to prowl around cemeteries writing down names.
Great use of resources. How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?
At least one of my characters in each book is either struggling with their faith or not a believer, so I use them to present the message of Christ and the hope with have in Him through conversations with other characters and prayer. I also use internal dialogue while the character is processing the information.
Excellent! Has a reader ever blessed your socks off? How?
Twice I’ve received notes from readers thanking me for writing a particular book and telling me how it ministered to them. I don’t write for recognition, but it was a blessing to know that my books touched these women.
That’s got to be an amazing feeling. Makes all the hard work worth it. What’s next from you?
I’ve got two more mail-order bride books coming out in the spring, then I’ll be working on a five-book series set in the early 1900s, a fascinating time period during which so much was happening in America.
A lot for readers to look forward to! Thanks so much for a great interview, Linda. It’s been fun learning about you and your books! May God continue to bless you as you write for His glory.
Join the conversation. Have you ever written a note to an author thanking them for one of their books that blessed you? Do you enjoy stories based on true events? What about WWII novels or mail-order bride books? Any questions for Linda?
Be sure to comment by November 16 for a chance to win one of Linda’s books!
A Family for Hazel by Linda Shenton Matchett
Click the book cover for purchase link
Can a widowed preacher who must marry to keep his job and an alleged thief find true love?
After the Civil War takes Hazel Markham’s father, and her mother dies of a broken heart, a friend of her parents hires Hazel as a companion. All is well until the woman’s lecherous son takes an interest in his mother’s assistant. When Hazel spurns his advances one too many times, the man frames her for theft, and she is fired. As a last resort she applies to be a mail-order bride, and to her dismay, her groom-to-be is a preacher. Will he believe her claims of innocence or reject her as unacceptable?
Olav Kristensen has no plans to remarry after being widowed five years ago, but when the church elders give him an ultimatum to find a wife or lose his job, he advertises for a mail-order bride. The woman who arrives attests she was unjustly accused of robbery at her last job, but when his daughter’s heirloom locket goes missing, he is hesitant to believe his bride-to-be. Will he lose his church and a second chance at love?
Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry.
Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
Please share Linda’s interview on social media to help spread the word about her books.
If you missed last week’s interview with Elizabeth Michel, find it here.