Monday, January 14, 2008

Meet Debra Clopton! Interview & Book Giveaway

Meet Debra Clopton!

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What a joy to present author Debra Clopton. Her new book, Next Door Daddy (Mule Hollow Matchmakers #7) (Love Inspired #428) is a fun and heartfelt tale of the power of love, both past and present.

The Bio

Debra Clopton is an award winning author of the Love Inspired ongoing MULE HOLLOW SERIES about a small Texas town. She loves everything about small town life and believes that is why her readers are connecting with her books so well. She is currently working on book 10 in the series set to come out sometime in 2009. There are 3 books in the series coming out in 2008, Next Door Daddy, Her Baby Dreams and The Cowboy Takes a Bride. Debra writes full time. She has two sons and is grateful that they too love small town life and have chosen to make their homes in Madison County--although she is extremely fond of road trips traveling to see her sons was not something she wanted to have to do! Visit Debra on the web at debraclopton.com.

The Interview

JA: Your latest book is Next Door Daddy, part of the popular Mule Hollow series. Tell us a little bit about it.
DC: This is a special book to me personally. I believe it has a little bit of everything for my readers! It is about two people who have loved and lost their soul mates. My hero, widower Nate Talbert, prays God will send him a miracle that will help him find a way to start living again…he doesn’t expect it to come in the form of a widow, her daredevil son, his Chinese Shar Pei who’s had cosmetic surgery and a talking Cockatiel! I love writing books with lively characters and this one has them in abundance. It is funny and sad but the message comes straight from my heart.

JA: Mule Hollow is a small rural community with an abundance of bachelors, so they advertised for brides in hopes of revitalizing the town. How did you come up with such a fun and unique idea?
DC: I actually came up with the idea in about an hour. I’d always wanted to write about a hairstylist and when I decided to try my hand at writing humor the hook line “Love is in the air and the hair!” came to me in a flash and I was off and running. I don’t know about you, but that’s how I work. Something inspires me and I pound out a blurb really fast that excites me. I live in a small town of about 4000 people but there are towns all around me of less than 400. I also had a large cowboy clientele in my salon and I had plenty of older women who said the funniest things. From that, Mule Hollow just came naturally!

PhotobucketJA: There are some pretty quirky characters in Mule Hollow. Are any of them based on people you know?
DC: LOL! Like I said I had plenty of people to pull from but no one is actually a whole character. I don’t develop my characters based on people. I take traits from people but my characters ultimately come from the story’s needs. My heroes are always a composite of strength, stubbornness and humor, and my late husband is my role model for them. Although, he was not a cowboy so I combine him with different cowboys I know and go with it. In my book Meeting Her Match the hero, Pace Gentry, was inspired by an actual friend of the family—a cowboy who would just as soon walk back in time and stay there. He is truly a man who was born in the wrong era. My favorite part of writing is creating characters!

JA: What do you hope people take away when they finish reading your books?
DC: Foremost I hope they close the book with a smile on their lips and hope in their hearts. I want to transport people away from the strain of stressful life to a place they can relax. God’s given me the talent to entertain and that’s what I focus on as I write.

JA: Next Door Daddy is dedicated to your late husband, Wayne. What would you like people to know about him?
DC: Wayne was a great guy who loved the Lord, me and his two sons. There is so much I could say here, but so little space… I do believe in love at first sight. I was a gonner the minute he smiled at me as I was handing him the Dr Pepper he’d ordered for his date. (I was seventeen and working at a local Dairy Palace) Soon after he told his brother as they were driving up to the drive-thru to order another Dr Pepper that he was going to marry me--we hadn’t even begun to discuss dating at that time, but we both just knew :) Much of our personal courtship and lives are in Pollyanna’s backstory in Next Door Daddy. This was the most personal book I’ve ever written and it was in honor of Wayne’s life, his strength, his humor and what I know are his wishes for me and our sons as we go on with him in our hearts.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
DC: I’m about to start book 10 in the Mule Hollow series and am excited about the book. Also, others are coming. I find keeping the series alive and changing is a challenge that I really enjoy. Readers are really coming on board with such enthusiasm that I want to keep the books going as long as they are wanted. God’s been so good to give me this opportunity. I also have other ideas that I’m working on too, but they are in the early stages.

JA: What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
DC: Oh boy, let’s see….I write under the name Debra instead of Debbie because it is my way of honoring my husband. Wayne is the only one who ever called me Debra.

JA: Almost every author I know has a stack of to-be-read books a mile high. What’s in your stack?
DC: I’m studying Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel, I have several of my fellow Love Inspired authors on my stack. I’m also a big fan of the NASCAR series that Harlequin has started up so I have several of those waiting on me to read. I’m also reading John Grisham’s Pelican Brief again.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with the latest Debra Clopton publishing news?
DC: Please visit me at my website debraclopton.com and I also have a new blog just for news debraclopton.blogspot.com. I’m not much of a blogger but I will put up latest news here. I hope everyone will drop by and say hi! And if you haven’t been to Mule Hollow I hope you will grab a book and come on inside for a visit!

Thanks for the interview Jennifer! I really enjoyed it.

Thank you, Debra, and continued blessings on your writing journey!

Win the Book
Next Door Daddy is in stores now, but you can win a copy here. Just leave a reply to this blog. The winner will be picked at random on January 21st. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot[ com--or something similar.) Good luck!

13 comments:

Julie Lessman said...

Great interview, Jennifer and Deb -- it's so cool getting to know more about Debbie. Deb, your wonderful personality comes through in this interview AND in your books. I would absolutely LOVE to win a copy of Next Door Daddy, but will definitely buy it if I don't!

Hugs,
Julie

Janna said...

Please enter me in the contest - the interview was great! I love all the little ways Debra is honoring her husband in her writing...

Janna
ryanx6 at msn dot com

Hannah said...

I love Debra's books and haven't read her latest yet! I would love to win a copy! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com
great interview! thanks!

ladystorm said...

Pick me! Pick me! I love the mule hollow series, I haven't had a chance to read them all, but boy can they make you laugh, you just never want them to end. Please enter me in the drawing.

Stormi
ladystorm282001@yahoo.com

Donna Moore said...

I loved your interview. I have read all of the Mule hollow series. This series reminds me of my small town of Joshua, Tx. However we do have more women than Mule Hollow. I can relate to Debra. I also love the Nascar series. Please pick me!!

Crystal Laine Miller said...

Don't pick me, but I just wanted to tell Debbie that her series on Mule Hollow (I just finished Next Door Daddy) is one of my favorites--and I'm a reader for Harlequin/Steeple Hill! I remember sitting next to you and Joan Golan when they first signed you (at a conference) and I thought you were a good choice as an author. Keep writing! I love the voice/humor and the tenderness you tuck into each book.

stampedwithgrace said...

sounds like a great book! I enjoyed reading the interview. please enter me, thanks!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hey Ladies,

Thanks to all who've visited and commented so far. Debra's books really are wonderful. Talk her up to everyone you know!

Pamela J said...

I can identify with small towns, ours is usually between 100 and 123 population. When Debra said she was in a 'small town' of 4000 I about fell over! I also believe in love at first sight. I just knew I would marry my husband: a whole year and a half before he did! We've been married now for 32 and 1/2 years. I'd love to get an opportunity to read a book from an author whose books I have never read. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.
Pam
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Stacey said...

Enjoyable interview. Next Door Daddy sounds like a really sweet book. Please put me in the drawing.

stacey_dale[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cherie J said...

Great interview! Would love to win copy of this book so please enter me in the drawing.

cherierjatyahoo.com

Debra Clopton said...

Hi Everyone! Thank you all for your sweet words! I too, loved Jennifer's questions and thought this was one of the most personal interviews I've ever done...which was perfect since this is the most personal book I've ever written! Hi Crystal, I always remember you :) I also remember that I was supposed to do an interview for you last year and I never got to it!!! It got soooo crazy with all the deadlines I was suddenly hit that I was buried--please forgive me. Y'all come over to my site and join my email group and get your name in the quarterly drawing. Hey, Julie can't wait to read your book too! Waving at everyone else hope you all have a great day...and goodluck.
Debra Clopton

Missy Tippens said...

Great interview, ladies! I ordered the book and it finally arrived yesterday. I really look forward to it!

(so you don't need to enter me in the drawing.)

Missy