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Interview with Linda Shenton Matchett and a Giveaway!


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:

http://www.LindaShentonMatchett.com

http://www.facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor

http://www.twitter.com/lindasmatchett

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:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Interview with Author Gail Kittleson and a Giveaway

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! I LOVE WWII. LOVE it. I love studying it, I love reading about it. So, it’s a pleasure for me to have author Gail Kittleson as my guest today. Gail is giving away her WWII era Kiss Me Once to one of you, so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: My husband and I live in northern Iowa, where I used to teach for a community college. Before that, I taught in Oregon, and love cheering people on in their writing and language learning. My degree in ESL is a perfect fit, because I enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

Tell us about your current release: Kiss Me Once Again, my current release, is named by a phrase in a World War II love song my mom used to sing around the house. Glenora, a self-sacrificing young woman, has already given up a lot when she took over the household after her mother died. Then she lost her beau at Pearl Harbor…and her younger brother went to war. Glenora gave up her scholarship to Iowa State University to help her father in the family garage.
She sees Old Maid written all over her life, but the tension of wondering whether her brother survived when a typhoon hit his ship in the Pacific overwhelms every other consideration. This contributes to her father suffering health problems, and the cycle seems unending.
When a returned wounded veteran comes to town and offers to help out at the garage, relief fills her. This man has a way with ornery old trucks and tractors…and also with her father.
With her heart sealed up against romance, Glenora has no idea second chances might await her.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher? I think age helps with this. I always say I would have started this career much younger if I had believed in myself. But self-confidence grows slowly…for me it took decades. But then came a time when I felt a compulsion to get a story out there, and that got me over the finish line.

Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? (ie. Moon Walk, Watergate, Pope being shot) Ah, I may be older than you think. It was the assassination of JFK when I was in high school. My parents voted Republican, but still, that event affected me…especially when all of the parallels to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln were publicized.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? Always wanted to, but had no idea WHAT to write. The lack of confidence I referred to above made it seem that none of my ideas were worth pursuing.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Not at all. A character comes to me and whispers her story in my ear, little by little. As I do historical research, the plot develops around what was going on in the world (the war) at the time. I have no predetermined length in mind, but my novels usually come in at around 100,000 words.

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? People with an interest in history are drawn to my novels, especially those with family connections to World War II. Some of them have their parents’ stories tucked away in their memories, or in their attics…and I learn so much from them when they attend a book talk.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started. Did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? These characters have not been with me always. One day, one of them appeared when I was working in a B&B near where I live. I thought, “In WWII, this would have been a boarding house, and somebody would have cooked and cleaned for the residents.” Voila, one of my characters!

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? More research. The more I learn about the war, the more plot possibilities arise. Perhaps I learn of one more that one of my characters might follow.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? This is not true for me. Because I have no plot laid out, but just keep writing as I research and develop secondary characters, the changes I make come later on, in one of the final edits.

Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? Sometimes I call an old friend who has much more skill at plotting than I do, to ask if she thinks a certain action or connection is too far-fetched. What often happens, though, is that what really occurred during the war far exceeds anything I could imagine.

I 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? Usually, they flow. But the manuscript before me right now is about a REAL LIFE WWII nurse, and her exploits so blow me away that I had a hard time getting started. How could I possibly honor her enough for all she risked? Once I began writing, things got better, but I still have that paying enough tribute to her is virtually impossible.

What is the farthest location you traveled to in order to research a book? My husband and I studied French in the early eighties in an isolated French mountain village. At the time, I had no idea I would be writing about WWII some day, but what we saw and experienced there instructed me while writing A Purpose True about the French Resistance.

If only I had known what a significant role that town played in the war, I would have interviewed everything that moved!

Last spring, we celebrated our 40th anniversary in England. Wow…so much came alive for me that I had already written about. Maybe one future novel will take place totally in Great Britain.

How old were you when you wrote your first book? Too old to mention…haha! About fifty-five.

Here is where you can find Gail online: https://www.facebook.com/gail.kittleson https://twitter.com/GailGkittleson

Find Gail’s recent release online:

Gail is giving away readers choice a paperback (US only) or an e-book (anyone) of Kiss Me Once Again to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 1/14/19 – The Virtues and Valor Series

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m answering the question, answering the question, “I love love the Virtues and Valor Series! Do you plan to write more in that series?”

I hope you learn more about me through my response:

halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Monday Morning Chat 2/12/18 – Writing the Virtues and Valor Series – and a GIVEAWAY!!

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m talking about the challenges I faced while writing the Virtues and Valor Series.

I hope you learn more about me as a writer through my response:

And, as promised in the video, you can enter to win this travel mug and the entire VIRTUES AND VALOR SERIES in ebook form! You have four ways to enter — and you can do them all!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Chat: My Favorite Time Period

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

Today I’m answering the question:

You wrote a series set in World War II. Is that your favorite time period?

Love the question! I hope you learn more about me as a writer through my response:

 

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