I had the honor of meeting Linda when she interviewed me for her blog last November, and I’m so glad for this opportunity to get to know her a little more. Let me introduce you to her officially:
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 historic places all her life. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII and a former trustee for her local public library. She now lives in central New Hampshire, where she explores the history of this great state and immerses herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Linda with rapid-fire.
CC: Sweet or Salty?
CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?
LSM: Ebook and print
CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?
Morning Person or Night Owl?
LSM: Morning Person
CC: Favorite Holiday?
I’m right there with you on the tea, Linda! In fact, I’ve got a cup of Earl Grey in front of me right now.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
LSM: I’ve been writing stories since I was in elementary school after my parents gave me a package of pens and a notebook that featured a bouquet of pencils on the front! I loved creating characters, and for some reason, most of them when I first started out were animals who talked! I also published a family newspaper for a year when I was about 12.
CC: Oh that is fun! My friends and I created a school newspaper for the last two years of elementary school. In fact, I think I still have a few hanging around. I was in charge of the joke section. Imagine that. LOL I haven’t thought of that in YEARS.
What does your writing process look like from beginning to end?
LSM: My writing process is very regimented. Probably because of my career as a Human Resources professional, I come up with my protagonists’ jobs/avocations first, then I name and describe them. I have a spreadsheet that includes everything from their physical attributes to what irritates them or makes them especially happy. Then I come up with the premise of the story, and using another spreadsheet, I outline the story from start to finish. The other columns are texture (weather and location), date and time of day of the scene, the end of chapter hook, and any anticipated research necessary. That takes a couple of weeks. After that, I conduct the research, which is dangerous because I can do that forever! I love research. The final step is to begin writing. I have a full-time job but have a short commute, so I write for about an hour before work, then until lunchtime on Saturdays. It takes about 60 days to finish the first draft.
CC: Wow! That is incredible. I usually takes me about 6 months to complete my first draft.
What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?
LSM: Balancing my full-time job and other responsibilities with my writing career is definitely my biggest challenge. Writing “feeds me,” so I sometimes resent the interruptions that pull me away. A close second is juggling the non-writing tasks with writing.
CC: It is such a struggle not to get upset when interrupted. There really just is so much to balance in life, isn’t there?
Now I’m excited to talk about your newest release, Maeve’s Pledge (Suffrage Spinsters, Book 11).
Finally, out from under her father’s tyrannical thumb, Maeve Wycliffe can live life on her terms. So what if everyone sees her as a spinster to be pitied. She’ll funnel her energies into what matters most: helping the less fortunate and getting women the right to vote. When she’s forced to team up with the local newspaper editor to further the cause, will her pledge to remain single get cropped?
Widower Gus Deighton sees no reason to tempt fate that he can find happiness a second time around. Well past his prime, who would want him anyway? He’ll continue to run his newspaper and cover Philadelphia’s upcoming centennial celebration. But when the local women’s suffrage group agrees that the wealthy, attractive, and very single Maeve Wycliffe acts as their liaison, he finds it difficult to remain objective.
Purchase your copy at Amazon
CC: Where did you get the idea for Maeve’s Pledge?
LSM: As someone whose career started in the 1980s and who struggled to be taken seriously as a professional businesswoman, I could relate to these women’s desire to be taken as intellectual equals, to be able to hold office, and to vote in their representatives. Throughout a large portion of my career, women with identical experience and knowledge were paid a fraction of a man’s salary for the same job. I was hired into a large aerospace company with an undergraduate degree and was put into a non-exempt clerical position. A man my same age with the same degree was hired into a management position. No one seemed to think this was odd or out of line. I didn’t agree with the illegal activities the suffragists resorted to, but I could understand their feelings of desperation and willingness to do whatever it took to get the attention of legislators.