Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am excited to have Linda Shenton Matchett as my guest. Ya’ll know how much I love WWII stories – Linda has combined inspiration from the Biblical story of Rahab with WWII spies! Gasp! I love this so much! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of this fascinating story!
Tell us a bit about yourself: Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.
About my book – Love’s Harvest:
A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.
Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?
Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?
Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.
What’s the first major news headline you can remember and what do you remember? I remember the moon walk. My family and I were in Ocean City, Maryland on vacation. My grandparents were in one condo, and we were across the pool in another condo. My grandparents brought their tiny black and white television from home and set it up on a metal tray table. We all crowded around the TV in their living room to watch. I remember that it was an incredibly hot day and how warm it was inside the condo. There was a huge box fan in the window, but all it did was blow hot air.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write, write, and write some more. As with any skill, a person only gets better through practice. Read everything you can get your hands on about craft. Also read lots of fiction, and not just in your genre, so you can see what other authors do. It is a great time to be an author. The options are more extensive than ever before. There is no one right way to have a writing career. If someone tells you there is, they are selling something. You have it in you to be successful.
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I loved Curious George and Babar books as a child. I read every single one of them multiple times. As a pre-teen I discovered Madeline L’Engle and Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), and those two books are what created the desire to be an author. Both those books made deep impressions on me, and I wanted to write stories that had that kind of impact on others.
Do you keep a story journal with lots of ideas for future books? I have a file folder stuffed with ideas. The ideas are on napkins, sticky notes, and scrap-paper of all sizes, shapes, and colors. I also have copies of magazine and newspaper articles, and photographs. Ideas come to me at all kinds of crazy (inopportune) times, so I write them down on whatever is handy. As organized as I am with all my other writing associated tasks, I’ve never created a journal.
I’ve often wondered…when you sit down to write that first line/paragraph in a new book/novella, is it difficult to get that started or do the words flow easily? I outline all my stories, so all of the scenes are mapped out extensively. I generally know how I want to start the book, but the first sentence doesn’t always come easy. I write and rewrite it until it feels as perfect as it can be, then I move on to the rest of the first chapter. I revisit the sentence as I progress through the book and continue to tweak it if needed. Often it doesn’t resemble the original.
At what age did you know you wanted to write? I’ve been writing since I was a very young child. My parents must have seen some spark of imagination, because they gave me a writing tablet and suggested I fill it. I still have that pad full of stories. When I was around eight years old I created a family newspaper called “The Good Times.” I was reporter, editor, and weather girl. Writing during my teen years mostly consisted of angst-filled diary entries, but I also wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook.
How hard is it to come up with names for your characters? What are some of the sources you use? I love coming up with character names. It’s one of the first things I do with a new project. The bulk of my writing is set during WWII, and I have several high school yearbooks from that time period. My maternal grandparents had lots of siblings with unusual names, and I have used some of those. There are also websites that indicate popular names during certain eras and countries.
Here is where you can find Linda online:
Linda is giving away an ebook copy of her new book, Love’s Rescue to a reader! See below how you can enter to win: