By Linda Shenton Matchett
My birthday falls in the month of May, and each year I become more nostalgic on that day, remembering previous celebrations and other heartwarming memories. This year my husband and I went away for the weekend to a cozy cabin in the White Mountains. Every morning was spent writing my latest work-in-progress. It is nearly complete, and I got to thinking about the fact that the manuscript is the ninth one I’ve written, six of which have been published.
I began to reminisce about my writing odyssey. It has been two years since my first book, Love’s Harvest, was published, but putting pen to paper started long before that. I made up stories in elementary school and a little bit in junior high, but I put writing in high school. I didn’t return to it until we moved to New Hampshire fifteen years ago to operate a B&B. As we pulled out of the driveway in Virginia, I wrote my first journal entry. Capturing our experience reignited my love of the craft, and I’ve been writing ever since.
Twists and turns littered my path: some freelance writing in travel and lifestyle magazines, a few guest blog posts, and an opportunity to write a monthly devotion for my church’s regional association. I enjoyed the non-fiction work, but telling stories is my first love, so I set out to write “The Great American Novel.” I wrote it, but great it was not! However, I didn’t know that and submitted it to several publishers, one of whom took the time to tell me she saw great potential but that I needed to improve my writing.
To make a long story short (which as a novelist is tough for me!), I took classes, attended conferences, and joined ACFW, which connected me with a group of authors who decided to create a collaborative blog:
www.stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com. Three years ago, one of the authors suggested we band together and publish a collection of romance novellas. I was alternately excited and terrified of the opportunity. I had never written a romance before. Could I do it? Would anyone read it? If so, would they like it?
The questions continued, including the most important: what in the world could I write about? When the answer came to me, I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough. The biblical book of Ruth is one of my favorites. While I was growing up, my family moved quite often, so I appreciate that Ruth chose to leave her family and all that she knew to follow Naomi to a land where she may not have even spoken the language. Having read Francine River’s book Redeeming Love which is a retelling of the book of Hosea set in the American Old West, I decided to set Ruth during the WWII era. Research helped me find a famine (like the one in Ruth’s story) and the British Women’s Land Army, and a story was born!
It was a long trek to publication, but as I look back I see God’s perfect timing. I wish I had paid attention more during the journey. I think I may have missed some blessings. Are you waiting on God? Instead of chafing at the bit to reach the destination, ask Him what He would have you learn along the way.
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.
About Linda: Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places most of her life. A member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters In Crime, Linda is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of World War II, and a trustee for her local public library.
Social Media links:
Sign up for Linda’s newsletter ( to be entered in a raffle to win a paperback (US, or eBook international winner) copy of Love's Harvest. Everyone who signs up will receive her free eBook Devotions from a Writer. Once you've signed up, post "done" in the comments. The winner will be selected on May 31st. )Linda