Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstance? A clear call? A chosen career?
- I’ve been writing stories since I was in elementary school. I was fortunate that my parents were willing to keep me supplied with lots of notebooks and pencils!
- When I entered the workforce after college, I stopped writing.
- In March 2002, my husband and I left the Washington, DC area to move to NH to operate a bed and breakfast, and I decided to capture the experience in my journal. It made me realize how much I missed writing, so I began to dabble with jotting down some stories.
- I stumbled into an opportunity to do some freelance work for several magazines which honed my skills as a writer.
- To further learn the craft, I decided to attend some sort of writing conference, but because of the seasonal nature of the B&B, I needed one that was offered between November and April. Crimebake (a mystery writers’ conference run by MWA and SinC NE) fit the bill – it was affordable, located less than two hours from my home, and held during November. It was an exhilarating, jam-packed weekend, and by Sunday morning I knew I wanted to publish Christian stories that would entertain and edify readers.
That is so interesting! What fun to run a B & B! What is the message(s) in the book you’re promoting today? Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write? Can you give us a very brief scene (paragraph) as an example?
Love’s Harvest is a modern fictionalization of the book of Ruth. The main theme is God’s provisions for his children. A secondary theme is forgiveness, a concept found in many of my stories. I tend to underlie the themes, make them less obvious.
Here is a paragraph near the end of the story:
“None of us deserve what we have, Basil. God gives to whom he wishes. It is our job to accept it with joy and thankfulness and to share it with others.” A shadow crossed her face. “I was bitter over the loss of my husband and my two sons. I turned my back on God, yet he blessed me with a second family. I, too, have done nothing to deserve it.”
What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it? J
I love the part when Basil (the Boaz character) talks to the man who has been dating Rosa (the Ruth character) about the man’s responsibilities to take in Noreen (the Naomi character) if he marries Rosa. When the man refuses and tells Basil he can have them both, Basil grins. Not wanting to compromise Rosa, Basil has been somewhat staid and proper throughout the story. Now he can release his emotions and it’s plain to see how much he loves Rosa. It’s definitely a happily ever after ending.
Happily ever after is always good! Give us three items about yourself: hobbies, loves, fun or weird habits, food/snack kicks you like, what would you be if not a writer–that sort of thing.
- I’m a history junkie so I’m constantly reading or watching historical non-fiction and biographies, or visiting a museum or historic site.
- I am a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum and on the archive committee at work (a boarding school that will celebrate its bi-centennial in 2020). The committee is unearthing, inventorying, and cataloging artifacts from all over campus. If not a writer, I would love to be a professional archivist or similar position at a museum.
- Lastly, share an incident when you’ve been very happy/excited or very disappointed/depressed during and because of your writing career? How were you able to get past the bad and move on to the good?
A writing career is a bit like riding a roller coaster. I was ecstatic when I received my first request for a full manuscript. I counted the days as I awaited the publisher’s response. When I received their rejection I was devastated and wallowed in misery for several days. I had almost convinced myself I would never be any good, and should quit while I had the chance. Then I shared with my critique group that I had received the rejection, and the publisher had sent back a bunch of suggested changes. (I took that to mean the publisher thought the book was no good). Two of the five group members were published authors and informed me the suggestions meant the publisher felt the manuscript had promise. The entire group suggested that I revise the story and resubmit, but more importantly, they each prayed for me and my writing career. They also encouraged me to continue writing, putting pen to paper no matter what. Without my writing group I would have thrown in the towel and missed the blessings God has given me through my writing.
Thank you so much for joining us, Linda!
Linda Shenton Matchett was Human Resources professional in the Washington, DC area for twenty-five years before moving to NH to operate a Bed and Breakfast. That chapter of her life has closed, and she is now the Dining Hall and Catering Manager for a boarding school. In her off hours she serves as a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII. Linda has been a freelance writer for over twelve years, but also writes historical fiction. A member of ACFW and Sisters in Crime, she was a semi-finalist in the 2013 and 2015 ACFW Genesis contest.
A fictionalization of the biblical book of Ruth, Love?s Harvest released on April 4, 2016.
Available from Amazon:
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.