Linda Shenton Matchett, author of the new release Under Fire, spent some time sitting on the porch with me for an author interview. Come and join us!
Linda: Thanks for joining me today. Your latest book, Fool’s Notion is a story of a woman on the Oregon/California Trail with a pack string of mules. What made you decide to write this story?
Lisa: When I was eight years old, my family went on vacation to California and visited Knott’s Berry Farm. I remember vividly a miniature display of covered wagons on the Oregon Trail. At that moment I fell in love with the idea of pioneering.
LM: How did you decide which time period to set Fool’s Notion in?
Lisa: I use Borax detergent for “keeping my whites white” and there is a picture of a mule team on the box. When I researched the Borax “rush” I discovered it began in 1882. I picked 1883 as the year for my heroine, Alda, to have a reason to cross the country with her mules.
LM: Fascinating! I love hearing about those kinds of serendipitous inspirations. What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? For example do you listen to music or set up in a specific place?
Lisa: I don’t do anything special to prepare, I generally only write at my desk, in my office. Sounds of any kind disturb my creative process ;)
LM: Writers are often people who grew up as voracious readers. Who was your favorite author when you were a child?
Lisa: I’m definitely a voracious reader and I’m pretty sure I read through all the chapter books for kids in our local library. My aunt started me on Nancy Drew mysteries, by author Carolyn Keene, from there I moved onto the Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden …
LM: Yep - those were some of my favorites too! So, you live in a gorgeous area of the world, one many people would visit on holiday. If money were no object, what is your idea of the ultimate vacation?
Lisa: I have traveled to quite a few beautiful places in the world like Thailand, Philippines, Italy, and Switzerland, but my current wish list is to visit Ireland and Scotland. I would love to take a car tour and stay at B&B’s so we could stop and take in any sight we wished to.
LM: What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
Lisa: Hmmm, quirky. Perhaps think I could write a novel. Seriously though, I once washed the feet of street people in the Philippines on a downtown boulevard with a mission team. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
LM: What is your next project?
Lisa: I’m writing a story of a young woman with a secret child in the late 1800’s who’s living in a rough and tumble logging town along the Rockies. She meets a new pastor with his own secrets and the two of them attempt to form a relationship under difficult circumstances.
LM: Thanks so much for stopping by!
Lisa: Thanks for letting me join you!