Welcome to the Story Sparks Multi-author Blog Tour. May 21-26, 2018 readers get a chance to enter and win ebooks from six different authors. Linda Shenton Matchett is today’s featured author. One lucky winner will receive a copy Love’s Harvest. Today, Linda will be talking about History, Mystery, and Faith. Read on to discover what sparks Linda’s creativity and to enter the rafflecopter to win her heartwarming retelling of the biblical book of Ruth.
I’ve been making up stories since I was young. In fact, I recently found my notebooks from back then and had quite a laugh reading my childish scrawl and teenaged angst. Even then, my fertile imagination was apparent.
During interviews and speaking engagements I’m often asked where I get my ideas. The short answer is: I find them everywhere. But that’s not very informative, so I’ll let you in on my secret. I’m constantly on the lookout for “what-if” kernels-sparks, if you will.
For example, if I’m in a public location I people-watch. Not in a creepy, stalker kind of way, but rather “I wonder what those two people are talking about because one of them looks happy-sad-stressed-angry-insert-other-emotion.” In fact, I can usually lasso my husband into the game when he’s with me.
Other things that spark my imagination are newspaper or magazine articles, books or movies I think should have ended or been written differently, historical events, and incidents that happen to me, my family, or friends.
Here are the sparks for each of my books:
Love’s Harvest: I got the idea to write a modern retelling of Ruth from Francine Rivers’ book Redeeming Love which is based on the book of Hosea.
Love Found in Sherwood Forest: The Love Inspired line was open for submissions. They provided myriad locations and trios of objects from which authors could select. (e.g., England, arrows, flowers, and a secret passage or Virginia, a winery, an antique car, and a stolen painting). LI didn’t pick up my story, but another publisher did.
On the Rails: We visited the Grand Canyon about ten years ago where I learned about the Harvey Girls-young women who traveled from the East to be waitresses for the Fred Harvey Restaurant Company during the late 1800s and early 1900s. I was intrigued and did a bunch of research which led me to some of the women’s memoirs.
A Love Not Forgotten: I was asked by a publisher to write a story that culminated with a Spring wedding. While brainstorming, I saw a sitcom on which one of the characters was hit on the head resulting in amnesia.
A Doctor in the House: I read a book about the English country homes that were requisitioned by the government for use as barracks, hospitals, evacuee centers, etc. Combined with learning about Dr. Margaret Craighill, the first female Army doctor during WWII and reading accounts where the Americans were criticized for “being late to the last war, and late to this one,” I knew I had my story.
Under Fire: This is one of the first manuscripts I wrote, and it came about as a result of my coursework with Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers’ Guild and attendance at the Crimebake Mystery Writers’ Conference. Classes about brainstorming and panel discussions ignited several ideas that culminated in the eventual plot.
See how easy it is? Take a look around today, and make a list of how many sparks you find.
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 all her life. She is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. Linda is also a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.
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.
Purchase Link: www.amazon.com/dp/B01DMB3ZX2