Debra Clopton interview

» Posted on Sep 26, 2007 in Blog | Comments Off on Debra Clopton interview

Don’t forget to send me an email at if you want to be entered in Debra’s drawing.

1. What made you start writing?
I loved to read romances and I kept thinking I could write one. My high school English teacher always told me I should be a writer and I finally believed her and gave it a shot. Once I started I knew writing was what I was meant to do.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I started writing in 1991 and wrote for 10 years. In 2000 I paused to concentrate on my family and after my wonderful husband died in 2003 I started writing again as a way to help me through my grief. I sold seven months later in April of 2004.

3. How do you handle rejections?
I use them as learning experiences. Take what I can and apply it to my writing and then write a new book. I would only let myself be down about it for a day at the most-the closer I got to publication the harder that was to do. This was one reason I decided to take a break, I needed to get my perspective back on the blessings that I had in my life. I always thank God for pressing upon me the need to do that.

4. Why do you write?
I write because I love it and I just know I’m supposed to. God gave me this extremely creative mind that has story ideas overflowing out of it. I feel like He wants me to use that for Him.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing? I love to take road trips. I love to read. I think it would be neat to learn to weld and make iron gates like my hero in OPERATION:MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS. I’m also an artist who hasn’t painted anything since the first day I chose to start writing. I’m Texas through and through so I say this like a true Texan, I’m fixin’ to go to the Grand Canyon in October and looking forward to the road trip!

6. What are you working on right now? I’ve just finished my ninth book in my MULE HOLLOW series published through Steeple Hill Love Inspired! God has really blessed me with this series. This latest book is THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE and it is a cute story about a character you meet in OPERATION: MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS Sugar Rae Lenox knows she is destined to have her name in lights on a marquee and the only place cowboy, Ross Denton wants to see his name in on a wedding certificate! It is a really cute story with a very feisty heroine.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
I don’t put myself in the book but my personality and experiences naturally flow into the book.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
OPERATION: MARRIED by CHRISTMAS is about runaway bride, Haley Bell Thornton. She has run away from her third wedding and comes home to help her granddad, Applegate. She has no idea that Will Sutton, her first fiancé, is living back in town. Her granddad and the town matchmakers set out to have a wedding by Christmas and all kinds of fun mishaps take place in this book.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers? I always say trust God, hand in there for His timing and learn from each book you write. Don’t just write one book and revise it to death. Keep writing new ones because the process teaches you good things ☺.

10. How important is faith in your books?
My faith element is vital in the books I write for Love Inspired. My heroes and heroines are driven by the faith element and are looking for some kind of resolution. But it always fits naturally into the plot.

11. What themes do you like to write about? This is where my own life shows clearly in my writing. I’ve seen God’s hand on my life as I look back on it and to me it is amazing to see how He was always in control even when I couldn’t see. That is my favorite theme to write about. Also, trust, giving God control, which actually fit under the first theme.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why? They are all my favorite when I’m writing them. Of course I always, always hit a wall and drive my family and friends crazy moaning over how horrible the book is and what was I thinking? But they all know to ignore me because the next day I will have made a breakthrough and love the book.

13. Your books are known for their humor. I’ve often thought it was harder to write comedy than something serious. How do you feel about that?
YES!!! If you were writing drama and your life fell apart you could put all that into your books. But, when you are writing humor it doesn’t matter if horrible things are going on you still have to deliver the funny book. Although, my books deal with real life and issues I just want the overall experience for the reader to be a lighthearted escape.

14. What is your writing schedule like?
I’m usually up by 6:30 and at my desk by 7:00 and I write most of the day. I take a break in the afternoon to do errands then I every day at 5:00 I watch Nascar Now as I’m running on my treadmill (can you tell I’m a fan), and then I get back to my work. Since I’m pretty much home alone most of the time I write in the evenings too, though when I say I’m writing I’m talking about research and anything that has to do with the business of writing.

15. You have written quite a few books set in Mule Hollow. How many do you have planned? How hard is it to write that many books in one town with interconnected characters? I’m going to write as many as my publishers want to buy…I’d thought book 3 NO PLACE LIKE HOME was the last book because I literally had to pray that book into existence, every page after the first 100 pages was a struggle because I didn’t know where it was going and my returning characters seemed to have stopped talking to me. I prayed about it and God gave me fresh wind beneath my wings when it came to keeping my characters fresh. That book has won many awards and was a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers book of the year contest. I truly learned on that book that to push hard and trust God when you’ve hit a wall. Writers remember that your best work is right over the hump so don’t give up! But, staying fresh is one of the hardest thing about writing an ongoing series as is keeping your plots innovative. A long series limits me some creatively but also challenges me at the same time to come up with ideas that work within the boundaries of that series idea. Because readers love Mule Hollow so much I want to keep the town alive and in future books we will step out of the boundaries a little and let the town actually evolve more. I’m excited about what the future holds for Mule Hollow and think readers will really like what’s coming! I’m also looking forward to stretching my horizons and look forward to creating something new for my readers…so stay tuned!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog Margaret. And thank all of you for taking the time to read this. I hope you’ll come hang out with all the gang in Mule Hollow and I pray you’ll live, laugh and seek God with all your hearts!
Debra Clopton