When did you know you wanted to be an author? I’ve been writing since I was very young. My parents must have seen something or maybe they just wanted to keep me busy (HA!) but they gave me a huge writing tablet and a package of pens when I was about seven or eight years old. I started writing stories and was hooked. When I was twelve I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and it really affected me. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an author and publish stories that would affect people like that book had done to me.
You have written a lot of books. Where do you get your ideas? Everywhere. Newspaper articles, books I’ve read or movies I’ve seen that I think should have been done differently, seeing an incident in public, the places are endless. I have a folder where I stash ideas as they come to me, because I sure won’t remember them when I need them! My first book, Love’s Harvest, is a retelling of the book of Ruth set during WWII which is my favorite era of history. Around the time I was looking for a new project, I had read about the British Women’s Land Army and also saw an episode of Foyle’s War about them. I was intrigued about the organization and did quite a bit of research about them. The more I read about these women, many of whom left families behind to live on the farms in order to work them, I knew I had the basis of my story.
What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? My husband created a beautiful writing room for me, so I hole myself up in there. I’m a morning person so I’m typically at my desk by about 6:00. Then I pull out the folder for my current project that holds the outline (yep, I’m an outliner), read through the previous day’s words, and get to work. I write best in the quiet, so I make sure the window blinds are pulled and the door is closed.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? I love coming up with the “what if” scenario and outlining the story, deciding what sort of things I’m going to do to my protagonist to make her squirm. Research is my second favorite part. I find out so many interesting things and learn about intriguing people during the research phase. I definitely chase a lot of rabbits while I’m researching, but I often come up with story ideas that I set aside for later.
You write historical books. What sort of research do you do to ensure accuracy? I read a lot of first person accounts, autobiographies, and memoirs. I’ve also watched a ton of YouTube interviews with folks who were alive during WWII. The Wright Museum of WWII is in the town where I live, and they have been a huge help in answering questions and giving me access to resources. I also managed to get my hands on maps, bus and Tube schedules from the war years. I had to do my initial research about England from my chair via the Internet, but was blessed to be able to travel to London and Hastings in 2015. It was an incredible experience to stand and walk where my characters had been.
What is your next project? I’m writing the first book in a series of historical romantic mysteries about five friends who each serve in a different organization during WWII (USO, Red Cross, WASPs, etc.) It’s tentatively called Murder of Convenience, and is about Geneva Alexander whose fiancé is killed, and the police think she did it, so she has to prove her innocence.
Where can folks find me online:
About Love’s Harvest
Noreen Hirsch loses everything including her husband and two sons. Then her adopted country goes to war with her homeland. Has God abandoned her? Rosa Hirsch barely adjusts to being a bride before she is widowed. She gives up her citizenship to accompany her mother-in-law to her home country. Can Rosa find acceptance among strangers who hate her belligerent nation? Basil Quincey is rich beyond his wildest dreams, but loneliness stalks him. Can he find a woman who loves him and not his money? Three people. One God who can raise hope from the ashes of despair.
Linda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, and author. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Active in her church Linda serves as treasurer, usher, choir member, and Bible study leader.