Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Linda Shenton Matchett as she reminds us that writers are readers — and so perhaps if you are a reader, you might also be a writer. Just saying… I tell readers that I think everybody has at least one book in them. And Linda is generously offering a free book — so read all the way through to find out how to enter!
In addition to being an author, I’m also a voracious reader-always have been. I come by it honestly. Both my parents are avid readers, and my grandmother belonged to a book-of-the-month club which included authors such as Grace Livingston Hill and Elswyth Thane.
Part of being a reader for me is wondering where the author came up with the idea for the story, so I thought I’d share a bit about my own inspiration. My first novella, Love’s Harvest, is a modernization of the biblical book of Ruth. Love Found in Sherwood Forest, my second novella, came about because of a call for submissions by a publisher who issued locations coupled with writing prompts. Coming out in the Spring my third novella, On The Rails, is the result of a visit to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. My upcoming novelette features a secondary character from Love’s Harvest, and I have a novel under consideration at a publisher whose idea sprouted from a newspaper article.
I have a folder filled with scraps of paper, napkins, and post-its covered with what-if scenarios and characters sketches. I’ve overheard bits of conversation in a restaurant or shop that intrigued me, or watched films that I think should have had a different ending. I’ve considered modernizing other biblical stories such as the book of Esther or exploring the untold lives of biblical characters such as Priscilla and Aquila.
Accuracy is paramount to any historical novel, so research is an integral part of the process. Fortunately, as much as I love to write, I also enjoy the research aspect of creating stories. An added benefit from research is that it can produce fodder for additional books. Sometimes I learn fascinating tidbits that may or may not end up in a story, such as the fact that Federal laws are enacted by Congress, and if a state law contradicts a federal law, the federal statute pre-empts it. Or that in ancient Babylon fingerprints were used on clay tablets for business transactions.
As you can see, the concept for a story can come from just about anywhere. What stories have you read that led you to wonder how the author dreamed up the idea?
Giveaway: Please comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Love Found in Sherwood Forest.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life-from Edison, New Jersey and Washington, DC to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire A varied career included stints as a crisis counselor, HR professional, B&B owner, and dining services manager. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum and Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Active in her church, she serves as treasurer, choir member, and Bible study leader.