Author Interview — Linda Shenton Matchett

19 May

About The Book

Book: Gold Rush Bride Tegan

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 25, 2022

Tegan Llewellyn has always been different than her adopted family, except Grandmother Hannah, a prospector during the 1829 Georgia gold rush. Now, seventy years later there are reports of gold in Nome, and the opportunity is too good to pass up. But Tegan doesn’t count on the dangers that strike from the moment she steps off the steamer, including the threat of losing her heart.

Elijah Hunter has prospected for gold all over the US and Canada and likes being on the move. The last thing he expects to find on his latest search is a lady miner who proves to be nothing but trouble. Can he convince her that leaving is for her own good before it’s too late…for both of them?

Click HERE to get your copy.

About The Author

Linda 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. Linda is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of World War II and a former trustee for her local public library. She now resides in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities are exploring the state’s historical sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

I am constantly amazed at the extraordinary things women did over the course of history (mostly done in dresses and skirts until about eighty years ago!). When I stumbled on the fact that women were involved during the gold and silver rushes that occurred in the US and its territories, I knew I had to tell their story.

A significant number of women followed husbands, brothers, or fathers, but an intrepid few set out on their own to find their fortune for as many reasons as there were women. Some went to escape difficult (or abusive) situations at home and others because they felt they had no choice. But there was a small percentage who made their way across thousands of miles for the sheer adventure.

The Nome Gold Rush started 175 years ago in 1898, and was different than previous rushes in that much of the gold was on the beach and could be plucked from the sand without any need for a claim. Later, claims were required to mine gold from the Snake River, and this is when things got dirty.

Initially, the courts upheld original claims, but after some of the “claim jumpers” offered to share proceeds from their invalid claims, a few crooked judges and politicians decided this was a great opportunity to line their pockets. Already guilty of stealing votes and voter intimidation, Alexander McKenzie, National Committeeman for North Dakota headed the pack and created an elaborate scheme with the help of Judge Arthur Noyes. It would take nearly two years for the men to be arrested and brought to trial. I included a fictionalized version of this situation in Gold Rush Bride Tegan.

I visited Alaska before writing Tegan and was overwhelmed by its majestic beauty. The photos I’d seen before the trip didn’t do justice to the reality of the state’s glaciers, mountains, rivers, and forests. Wildlife is so abundant that it literally walked or flew through town giving us “up close and personal” experiences with moose, wild sheep, eagles, and more.

Because of the inaccessibility of much of the state, one in fifty Alaskans hold a pilot’s license as compared to the national average which is one in seven hundred. However, in 1898, prospectors didn’t have that luxury, instead making their way to San Francisco by rail and then either going overland with wagons and mules or up the coast on schooners, either choice a difficult and arduous journey.

It is my hope that Gold Rush Bride Tegan honors the stalwart women who left all they knew for the chance of a lifetime.

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

Q & A with Linda Shenton Matchett

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My parents are voracious readers, and I don’t know if they intentionally pushed me into writing, but when I was about seven or eight, they gave me a package of pens and a 100-page notepad (complete with bouquet of pencils illustrated on the cover) and told me to fill it. They might have just been trying to keep me out of trouble, but the result was that I fell in love with crafting stories. Whenever I filled a notebook, I could count on my folks to give me another one. After my first book was published in 2016, they were huge cheerleaders and told everyone they knew. As each subsequent book came out, they were just as excited as if it was my first. When my mom passed away last year, I found multiple copies of all of my books on her shelves.

What types of research do you pursue?

Books, on-site visits, etc. Research is my favorite part of the writing process. I try to use primary sources as much as possible. I outline all my books which means I know what topics need to be researched, and I do that before starting the manuscript. I happily chase rabbit trails which are sometimes useless, but many time give me ideas for other stories. I am blessed to have a WWII museum in my town and am able to access their archives for my WWII stories. I also watch oral history interviews of people who lived during that time. For books set earlier, I try to find journals, diaries, or autobiographies, and for my books in the Gold Rush series, I unearthed two fabulous books that included diary excerpts from women who were prospectors. I also found several articles and pamphlets written by gold rushers. I try to visit the places I write about, but that’s not always possible. Fortunately, for Tegan I had already been to Alaska. My husband and I had visited there about five years prior to writing the story. I didn’t know I’d write a book set there, but I always troll for history and information of anyplace I visit, so I had plenty of notes!

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I have a full-time job and by nature am an organized person, so I create a schedule for all of my author activities to ensure everything gets done. I’m an “early-bird” and typically am at my desk ready to write by about 5:30 AM on weekdays. I use weekends to create blog posts, write my YouTube scripts, and plan social media engagement.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

The Gold Rush Brides series is a multi-author series that I started after stumbling on two little known facts: there was a major gold rush in northern Georgia almost twenty years before the California rush and there were female prospectors. Some women followed husbands or fathers to the gold fields, but others went to escape a bad situation at home, to make a fresh start, or for the sheer adventure of trying it. I knew I had to tell their story. Book 1 (Hannah)is set during the Georgia gold rush in 1829, and Book 2 is about Hannah’s daughter (set in 1859) at the Pike’s Peak gold rush. To write Tegan (Hannah’s granddaughter), I needed to find a gold rush that occurred at least fifty years later. The Nome gold rush began in 1898. Perfect!

    Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any
    works in progress you can share about?

    I always have a book in process, whether I’m outlining, writing, or editing. I just started Beryl’s Bounty Hunter, a mail-order bride story set in Wyoming during 1875. Beryl comes to America in response to an ad, but soon discovers that the agency is fraudulent and a front for kidnapping women. The book will release in August of this year. Then I have a WWII Thanksgiving story on the docket called Francine’s Foibles.

    Giveaway

    To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Visa Gift Card and signed copy of the book!!

    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    https://promosimple.com/ps/25f59/gold-rush-bride-tegan-celebration-tour-giveaway

    Blog Stops

    Sylvan Musings, May 10 (Author Interview)

    Lily’s Book Reviews, May 11

    Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

    Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 13 (Author Interview)

    Texas Book-aholic, May 14

    Locks, Hooks and Books, May 15

    Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 16 (Author Interview)

    Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

    Connie’s History Classroom, May 17

    Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 18

    By The Book, May 19 (Author Interview)

    Mary Hake, May 19

    Books Less Travelled, May 20

    For Him and My Family, May 21

    For the Love of Literature, May 22 (Author Interview)

    Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23

    5 Responses to “Author Interview — Linda Shenton Matchett”

    1. lindasmatchett May 19, 2023 at 7:00 am #

      Thank you being part of my blog tour!

    2. Sandy Avery May 19, 2023 at 11:32 am #

      Sounds like an interesting and unique story!

    3. Rita Wray May 19, 2023 at 11:36 am #

      I liked the Q & A.

    4. Debbie P May 19, 2023 at 11:32 pm #

      This sounds like a really great read.

    5. Beatrice LaRocca May 20, 2023 at 5:19 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your Q&A, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading Gold Rush Bride Tegan

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