Linda Shenton Matchett on Historical Accuracy

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, 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 volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII.

How do you pick the location/setting of your romantic suspense novels?
Linda: I’m an anglophile – lover of all things British, so I initially set my books in England, mostly London. In fact, I had three manuscripts completed before I actually managed to set foot on British soil. I had the best time on that trip visiting places and standing where my characters had been. Now, I select settings based on a combination of factors, not the least of which includes places I’d like to visit!

How do you ensure your books are accurate?
Linda: I’m a major research nerd. Really. One of the things I love best about my smartphone is the ability to look up information on the fly. But in order to ensure accuracy, most of my research encompasses primary sources such as memoirs, autobiographies, and interviews. There are hundreds if not thousands of oral history interviews on YouTube, and they have been a tremendous help. I also read newspaper and magazine articles from the era and location. Sometimes I get so caught up in research I have to remind myself to write the story.

Which of your books is your favorite and why?
Linda: Great question, and I’d love to know what other authors say. For me, my favorite is typically the book I’ve just finished writing. I’m so immersed in my characters’ lives they feel like family, and I enjoy spending time with them. Sometimes they slip over into my “real” life. J

Current book: Under Fire
Ruth Brown searches for her sister’s killer, uncovering smugglers, resistance fighters, and black marketers, all of whom may want her dead.

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