Linda Shenton Matchett

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historical places all her life. She now lives in central New Hampshire where she is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII.

Tell us about your newest book.

Beryl’s Bounty Hunter is part of the Westward Home & Hearts Mail-Order Bride series and is set during 1875. Orphaned as a child, Beryl Atherton has lived on the streets of London for as long as she can remember. Reduced to stealing for survival, she is arrested. During her incarceration, one of her cellmates shows her a newspaper ad for an American mail-order bride agency. But all is not as it seems, and moments after landing in Boston, she must run for her life. Will things be no different for her in the New World?

Working as a bounty hunter since The War Between the States, Lucas Wolf just needs a few more cases before he can hang up his gun, purchase a ranch out West, and apply for a mail-order bride from the Westward Home & Hearts Mail-Order Bride Agency. While staking out the docks in Boston, he sees a woman fleeing from the man he’s been tailing. Saving her risks his job. Not saving her risks his heart.

What inspired you to write Beryl’s Bounty Hunter?

Second-chance stories are some of my favorite stories to write. I also wanted to explore the “fish out of water” scenario. Beryl is from Liverpool, England, and as a last-ditch effort to survive, she agrees to be a mail-order bride in Wyoming in America. She goes from the streets of a city with a population of more than a half-million people to the wide-open spaces of a territory that has barely ten thousand people.

What genre do you focus on?

I write historical romance fiction because there’s nothing better than happily-ever-after, and I’m a history nerd. My two favorite eras to write about are the late 1800s and World War II, time periods during which a lot of change was happening in the country.

Why do you write?

I’ve been writing stories since I was about eight or nine years old when my parents gifted me a notepad and package of pens. I can’t not write. Maybe it’s how I process life. Whatever the reason, I’m happiest when I’m sitting at my desk looking into the beautiful woods that surround our house, and pound out stories on the keyboard. I would write even if I didn’t publish stories, however, my books are a ministry of sorts. They are an escape, but they all contain messages of redemption and God’s grace.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I work a full-time job, so I’m very regimented with my writing schedule. I’m an early bird, so am usually at my desk by 5:30 in the morning. I write for about an hour and half, then get ready for work. Saturday mornings I write until lunch time. Evenings are for writing blog posts, guest posts, planning social media, and marketing. If I’m not writing a story, my morning hours are used for outlining the next manuscript.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The best part is meeting readers. Social media has been a wonderful way to get to know others who love Christian fiction. I love hearing what others are reading and why they liked or didn’t like a particular story. Facebook parties are one of my favorite things to do.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I’m much more focused in my writing and have honed my process which makes me very efficient. I determine the general story idea, then develop my characters (vocation, appearance, where they’re from, etc.), then I take about two weeks to outline the book, so that I know exactly what each scene will be about, including the weather, time of day, date, etc. I conduct my research so that when it’s time to start all I have to do is write. Then I use the writing schedule mentioned above.

What is your favorite pastime?

I have two favorite pastimes because they are driven by the weather. I love to kayak in the summer and fall and snowshoe during the winter. We have hundreds of miles of trails to explore here in New Hampshire.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I’ve written thirty-four books thus far with more on the way! Here is the link to my book page:

What are you working on now?

I’m halfway through a to-be-title novella for A Merry Heart Christmas Anthology. The story takes place in the months leading up to and including the Battle of the Bulge and features nurse Gwen Milford who is a secondary character in my novelette A Doctor in the House. Gwen is part of an evacuation hospital that is sent to Belgium then moves into Germany as the Allies advance. The anthology will be sold for a limited time between November and January, and all proceeds will go to charity.


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