Wednesday’s Writer with Linda Shenton Matchett

Linda Shenton Matchett

Today I have an interview with Linda Shenton Matchett. Welcome, Linda!

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

I have been blessed to have offices in my current (we recently downsized and moved) and last house. The furniture is the same, but my view now is into the woods behind our house. The trees are beautiful no matter what the season (I live in northern New England so we get all four seasons, including a winter that lasts from November to April.) There are lots of birds from hawks and falcons to woodpeckers, blue jays and cardinals. A peaceful setting that I find inspirational. In fact the room and its view is what sold us on the house when we were looking for our new home.

Have you ever received a rejection?

I’ve received many rejections over the years. Under Fire (book one in the Ruth Brown Mystery series) was rejected seven times before being accepted for publication. But my favorite rejection was from a well-known acquisitions editor at one of the larger Christian publishers in response to my very first manuscript that I sent to her in 2007. The editor wrote me a graciously-worded, lengthy response indicating that she saw potential in my writing, but that I was not ready for publication. She suggested that I read books and magazines on craft, attend conferences if possible, find a critique group, but most importantly to keep writing.

Do you take time to plot and outline your books? Or do you like to write by the seat of your pants?

I am definitely an extensive plotter. For a 40-60K book, my outline is ten or twelve pages. I create a chart that includes a column for date, weather, character POV, goal of the scene, scene, hook, and any notes such as research needs. Before I start the outline, I write a full character history for the main characters, and a partial history for my secondary characters. I do follow the characters “off the page” sometimes, but for the most part I follow the outline.

Do you ever talk about your next project or do you like to keep it a secret?

I tend to keep information about my works-in-progress close to the vest other than perhaps a comment about what the main character does for a living (e.g. USO singer, journalist) and where the book takes place. That works best for me.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Initially, a full book would take me nine to twelve months. As I have matured as a writer, I can finish a solid first draft for a 45-60K book in 60-90 days. During holidays and busy family times, I’m not able to get as much time in front of the computer, so sometimes a book can take as much as four months, but that’s unusual. I love writing novellas, because I can usually finish one in four or five weeks.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will related to?

One message in nearly all my books is that of second chances. No mistake or sin is so bad that God won’t forgive it and take us into His family. I was a long time taking that concept to heart, so I feel strongly about sharing the message regularly.

What kinds of research do you do for your books?

I LOVE to research, always have. As a school kid, whether it was book reports or projects, I’ve always gone crazy digging up facts. I think first-person information is vital, so for my books, I read lots of memoirs and autobiographies, but my favorite way to research is to watch interviews on YouTube conducted by museums and universities as part of oral history projects.

Do you have a full-time day job? If so, how do you find time to write?

I am a dining services and catering manager for a boarding high school. It might be a fine line, but I make time rather than find time. I’m a morning person, so I’m at my desk by 6:00 and write until leaving for work around 7:45. I work a late shift on Wednesdays, so I have six whole hours to write on that day! Saturdays are for a variety of writing tasks such as marketing, research, and the like, and Sundays (outside of church) are for handling social media (blog posts-my own and guest posts, creating pins and tweets, etc.). All-in-all, I spend about twenty hours per week on my writing career.


Under Cover

(Ruth Brown Mystery series, book 3)

In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn’t proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case.

Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia’s death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty.

Get your copy here:     Amazon

Friday’s Feature with Jodie Wolfe

A gun-toting, breeches-wearing wife wasn’t what the minister ordered.

In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.

Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.


Today I have Jodie Wolfe talking about her new book, Taming Julia. Welcome, Jodie.

Tell us about your favorite character in your new book.

My heroine, Jules Montgomery is my absolute favorite. She is such a fun, quirky character who has had limited experience living among people. Because of her naivety, it creates a host of fun circumstances throughout the book for her to interact and learn about.

Do you read the reviews and comments of your readers? How important are reviews to authors?

I’ve read all my reviews on all my books, even the ones the occasional ones that aren’t as positive. Reviews are so important to authors because it helps to get the word out about a book.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

There’s always a little bit of me in each of my characters, although I won’t tell you what parts. 🙂

Some people believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

Chuckle, no definitely not true, at least for the majority of writers. Most of us earn very little. We don’t do it for the money, but for the love of writing a story world for someone else to step into and enjoy.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Have you met any of them and found yourself having a fan-girl moment?

Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Mary Connealy, and Jen Turano. I’ve seen a couple of them at writing conferences but haven’t personally met them. I’m not typically a fan-girl type of person. 🙂


Read an expert of Taming Julia

Matrimony News, February 6, 1875 edition

Minister bachelor aged 27, height 5 feet 10 inches seeks genteel, honest and first-rate homemaker with a desire to serve God. Must be willing to marry by proxy and arrive in Burrton Springs, Kansas by May 1.

*

Burrton Springs, Kansas, Saturday, May 1, 1875

Dear Lord, please don’t let that creature be my new wife. Drew Montgomery swiped the sweat trickling a path down his neck and shoved the new hat back on his head. He squinted, taking in the lone passenger stepping from the stagecoach. At least, he thought it was a woman. He shielded his eyes from the sun, taking in the britches.

Britches? A gun belt strapped to a slim waist. He gulped. A rifle rested on her shoulder, and she wore a Stetson situated low on her brow. The figure shifted sideways, and Drew groaned, fearing his proxy mail-order bride had arrived by the look of all the curves. He squared his shoulders and crossed the street.

“Are you Montgomery?” Her coffee-brown gaze seared through him.

He snapped his gaping mouth shut and nodded. “Y-yes.”

“Name’s Jules Walker.” She shoved her hand into his and shook it so hard his teeth clattered. “I reckon, Jules Montgomery since we’re hitched.” She waved a slip of paper in his face. “Got the paper here to prove it. So are you my husband or not?”

Drew caught a whiff of dirt. He coughed and cleared his throat.

She peered at him as if he were a chicken with one leg.

“I’m Drew.” He managed to choke the words out. “Isn’t your name Julia?”

She scrunched her face, pushed her Stetson from her head, and allowed it to dangle from the string around her neck. Her brown hair scattered in disarray, slipping from a shoulder-length braid. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve been called Julia. Like I said, name’s Jules.”

“But…” Drew let the word hang between them. No matter. “Where’re your things?”

“Got my knapsack and that there.” She pointed to the top of the stagecoach. He expected to see a trunk, but a saddle rested there instead. What kind of woman brought a saddle into a marriage? What kind of woman showed up dressed like a man? No. No. Something was terribly wrong.


Get your copy of Taming Julia here:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Pelican Book Group

Google Play


About Jodie

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and COMPEL Training. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. She’s a contributor and co-founder of Stitches Thru Time blog. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

Tuesday’s Teaser with Donna Schlachter

Double Jeopardy

 

Today I have Donna Schlachter talking about her new book, Double Jeopardy Welcome, Donna.

How would you describe your main character(s)?

Becky is naïve about a lot of things, but she loves her daddy. Despite her mother’s warnings, she heads off to Colorado certain she’s going to find what she’s looking for.

Zeke lives, eats, and breathes cattle ranching. He won’t fail his parents, and he won’t lose his legacy. And nobody better get in his way. Not even that pretty girl from New York City.

What is the problem your character(s) face in your book?

Becky wants to keep her father’s dream alive, but she doesn’t have a clue how to go about doing that. She also vows to find her father’s killer, something else she’s ill-equipped for.

Zeke wants to save his ranch, but for that, he needs money. He’s not afraid of hard work, but falling for his friend’s daughter—well, that’s something else. And to make matters worse, she’d make a poor rancher’s wife.

What would you like your readers to know about your character(s)?

They are just like us, full of dreams and ideas about how life should be. And when the truth hits them square in the face, they don’t know where to turn. But God doesn’t let them wallow in their despair. He is ever present, leading them to a good outcome in Him.


Read a free chapter excerpt from Double Jeopardy.

Dead. Dead as her dreams and her hopes.

Dead as a doornail, as her mother would say.

Just thinking about the woman drove a steel rod through Becky Campbell’s slumping back.

Perched on a chair in the sheriff’s office, she drew a deep breath, lifted her shoulders, and raised her chin a notch. She would not be like the woman who birthed her. Pretty and pampered. A silly socialite finding nothing better to do with her days than tea with the mayor’s spinster daughter or bridge with the banker’s wife.

No, she’d much rather be like her father. Adventuresome. Charismatic. Always on the lookout for the next big thing.

Now her breath came in a shudder, and down went her shoulders again. She tied her fingers into knots before looking up at the grizzled lawman across the desk from her. “There’s no chance there’s been a mistake in identification, is there?”

He slid open the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a pocket watch, a lapel pin, and a fountain pen, which he pushed across the desk to her. “He was pretty well-known around here. I’m really sorry, miss.”

Becky picked up the timepiece and flicked open the cover. Inside was a photograph of her family, taken about ten years earlier when she was a mere child of eight and Father stayed around long enough to sit still for the portrait. Her mother, petite and somber, and she, all ringlets and ribbons. She rubbed a finger across the engraving. To R. Love M. Always.

Yes, this was his.

And the lapel pin, a tiny silver basket designed to hold a sprig of baby’s breath or a miniature rosebud—a wedding gift from her mother twenty years before.

She looked up at the sheriff, tears blurring her vision. “And his ring?”

The lawman shook his head. “No ring. Not on his body or in his shack.”

“But he always wore it. Never took it off.”

He shrugged. “Maybe he lost it. Or sold it.”

“I doubt he’d do either. My mother gave it to him when I was born.”

She peered at him. Had he stolen her father’s ring?

Or maybe Sheriff Freemont was correct. Maybe something as important as her birth hadn’t meant much to her father. Maybe she didn’t either. Was that why he left?


Get your copy here:

https://shoplpc.com/double-jeopardy/

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Jeopardy-Donna-Schlachter/dp/1645260836