Debra Clopton’s interview

» Posted on Apr 7, 2009 in Blog | Comments Off on Debra Clopton’s interview

This week I am hosting three Love Inspired authors: Debra Clopton with Texas Ranger Dad, Merrillee Whren with Homecoming Blessings and Cheryl Wyatt with Ready-Made Family. If you are interested in entering the drawings for any of these books, please leave a post with your email address. You won’t be entered if you don’t leave your email address or you can email me at The drawings will end Sunday evening, April 12th.

Debra Clopton’s interview:

1. What made you start writing?

I had a high school English teacher who first put the idea into my head. But I didn’t actually start writing my first book until over 10 years later.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I wrote for 10 years, took 3 years off then revised a book and sold it. So it took 13 years. The call came in the first week of April 2003

3. How do you handle rejections?

I learned from each one and refused to let myself be discouraged by it. It is part of this business so you just have to accept and keep producing new things.

4. Why do you write?

I write because I’m driven too. I believe God gave me something to say in a way that brings glory to Him—but, also in a way that brings laughter and entertainment to those reading my books. When someone tells me I made them have a good day it makes my day!

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

I want to be writing…I’ve worked too hard to get here to think about what I’d do if I weren’t. BUT in my spare time when I’m taking a break from writing, I love to read and take road trips. I also love spending time with my friends and family.

6. What are you working on right now?
I’m working on HER FOREVER COWBOY it is scheduled to come out in January of 2010. It is a Mule Hollow book but one of three that will be called The Men of Mule Hollow. I’m in the throws of tearing my hair out over the book right now…it happens in all of my books so I’m praying the Lord leads me to the other side soon.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

A part of me is in all of my books. It just happens.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
TEXAS RANGER DAD is about former Texas Ranger Zane Cantrell and prickly pear jelly maker, Rose Vincent–the woman he was assigned to protect almost fourteen years ago. He arrives in Mule Hollow to try and make amends for walking away from her all those years ago only to discover he has a son. Thirteen year old Max becomes the matchmaker. It is a fun, touching story about forgiveness and that good can come from really bad situations. I really enjoyed writing this story and tried really hard to give the readers something fresh.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Keep learning. Finish the book.

10. How important is faith in your books?

Very important. I write about regular Christian people and the struggles they go through good and bad. I write about how, in the end they rely on God to help them understand and cope with the things that happen. It’s just as I live my life…sometimes in the midst of the trials I’m living I don’t understand but, God always brings me through and I’m stronger for trusting Him.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
I think my overriding theme is trusting God even when you don’t understand. I think for all of us this is something we have to work through over and over again in so many different situations. I also write about forgiveness…this can be applied so many ways. There are usually several themes running through my books and I most often don’t fully understand what the main (problem to work through or learn from) theme is until God leads me there.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

This is always a hard question and most people say they love them all ☺ I do too. All the Mule Hollow books have been an adventure, a struggle and a great joy for me to write. My April release TEXAS RANGER DAD was great fun to write. It’s book 10 of the series (all the books are stand alone so you don’t have to read them all to jump into the series—I just use the town as a backdrop and the returning characters to enhance each story. Of course you can read them all if you’d like and I’m pleased to say most people enjoy doing that) However this April book I really wanted to try and do something different so I came up with ex Texas Ranger Zane Cantrell coming to Mule Hollow and bringing someone’s secret past with them. Everyone had met Rose Vincent and her son Max already in the stories (she was introduced in book 3 NO PLACE LIKE HOME) but no one knew she had a secret. Soooo I had a blast coming up with this story. So far the letters from the people who are members of the book club and get the books early, has been wonderful. I really am happy when I’ve done something that makes the readers happy.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I start writing at about 6:30 am. Someone once said, “You do that on purpose!” Yes, sort of…that’s just when my brain gets me up and says its time to write–so I do it. I write hard during the day and sometimes the evenings depending on how tight my deadlines are.

14. How do you write a long running series set in the same town?

I use the town and the returning characters to ground my stories. Like I said earlier each book has to be stand alone also for those who don’t want to read the entire series. I love small town life and have just created a world in Mule Hollow. Some people think it makes things easier but actually it makes things harder. I have to creatively come up with fresh ideas that fit within the parameters of the world. This forces me to throw out tons of great story ideas and dig deep for what fits—while still being fresh.

I have 7 characters besides the new hero and heroine of each book that must show up in each book. Working around this has been a great learning experience for me. But I chose early on to make my three matchmaking ladies, my two grumpy-old-men-checker board-players, the local diner owner and Lacy Brown,( my original heroine of the series) integral in all the books. They are what bring readers back. People enjoy seeing what everyone is up to. I also have a much loved donkey from book 2 AND BABY MAKES FIVE that I bring back occasionally just because readers love seeing Samantha again…to date, Samantha the matchmaking donkey is the favorite character of all. (It sounds silly but she’s a great character)

When I came up with the town of Mule Hollow I knew I wanted it to be a series…I had no idea that as of right now I’d have contracted to write book 16 in the series. I have 4 books coming out this year starting with TEXAS RANGER DAD in April, a novella A MULE HOLLOW MATCH in a 2-n-1 book with Janet Tronstad called Small Town Brides in June, LONESTAR CINDERELLA in July and in November HIS COWGIRL BRIDE then in 2010 I’ll have 3 more. God is awesome! And the readers too for loving these characters, buying the books and making my little town a success. Thank you all so much.

I think if you are a writer thinking about creating a series you just have to love each character you introduce and be ready to live with them for as long as the series goes. Then put your heart and soul into the books and if you do this hopefully your readers will love them too.