Spotlight on Debra Clopton and Next Door Daddy
Today, you'll meet an author who is writing a much-heralded series about small-town life in Texas with books 7, 8 and 9 releasing this year. You're going to love Debbie and her books as much as I do.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Debra Clopton is an award winning author of the Love Inspired ongoing MULE HOLLOW MATCHMAKERS 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.
NEXT DOOR DADDY
by Debra Clopton
Published by Steeple Hill/Love Inspired
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ABOUT THE BOOK
Was There Room In Mule Hollow
For A Pollyanna?
When rancher Nate Talbert asked for a miracle to change his reclusive life, he wasn't sure he meant Pollyanna McDonald. The city woman, her eight-year-old daredevil and menagerie of unruly pets had moved next door, driving him crazy. But he was surprised to learn how much he and the widow had in common…and how much they were drawn to each other. Then, too, Pollyanna's son was sorely in need of a father figure. But Nate a dad? Pollyanna gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up, but proving it to Nate would take a real miracle!
1. You've got a widower looking for a way to change his reclusive life and in walks Pollyanna. But it's not the solution he thought he'd find. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
Sadly, my own life gave me inspiration for this story. I've been a widow for 5 years and decided that I was ready to write a book and tell some of my own story. I'd read many romances about widows and widowers but so many times the books always had some bad vibe between the main character and his/her dead spouse. This seemed to be the way to make it okay for the main character to fall in love and truly find his/her soul-mate in the book. I wanted to write a book about a widow and a widower who had both loved and lost their soul-mates and yet through God's wonderful grace found love again. It was very cathartic for me writing this story.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Pollyanna and Nate? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
This interview on the surface may seem a little depressing but really the book is a beautiful story of hope and humor and love. On that note here goes. Much of me is in Pollyanna. I loved my husband with all my heart and the worries she has over her son are my very valid reasons for not dating since my husbands death. Also I was always a worrier and I found out when Wayne died that none of my worrying could have stopped it from happening. It doesn't stop there--this is the most personal book I've ever written I am in every aspect of both Nate and Pollyanna. I literally suffered as I wrote this book because I was so open and honest about my grief and thoughts. I felt God leading me to be this way in the hope that it would help other Christians who were grieving and struggling at the same time to be happy for their loved ones passage into Heaven. I have heard from so many widows and widowers who've read the book already and I praise the Lord for using me.
As far as what traits are truly the characters own in the book--honestly in this book truth and fiction are so merged that it's hard to differentiate.
3. What themes exist in Next Door Daddy that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
Most of my books have the overriding theme that God is in control. He has been so in control of my life that it is a theme that is just always there. Also, that it is okay for Christian's to grieve in their own way, their own timetable. Pollyanna was so afraid that if she didn't grieve just the right way that she would be dishonoring God and all the blessings He'd given her in her life. I pretty much knew what all the themes were going to be going into this book. That doesn't always happen though.
4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
The scenes of Pollyanna and Nate letting go of their dead spouses were horribly difficult for me. I know in my heart that moving on is what I must do--what they had to do--but it is so much easier to say than to actually do.
My favorite scenes were all the scenes with the animals. Bogie the Chinese Shar Pei in the book is actually my dog...my husbands actually. Wayne had a wonderful way of talking with animals so I used the animals to speak for Marc, Pollyanna's deceased husband. It was just so fun creating all the animals. As always my books are meant to make readers smile and end feeling happy I truly believe that this book, though sadder than my other books, will leave readers with a smile on their face and in their hearts.
5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
This book NEXT DOOR DADDY hit shelves this month (Jan 2008) and is the 7th book in my Mule Hollow series in the Love Inspired line. I love writing these books and am thrilled that readers have fallen in love with the series. I have two more books set to come out in 2008, HER BABY DREAMS (March) and THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE (July). I'm currently working on book 10 in the series and having a blast! I hope that if you haven't been to MULE HOLLOW yet you will grab one of the books and come visit the wacky gang. You can find out what's happening with me and with MULE HOLLOW at my website debraclopton.com and my blog debraclopton.blogspot.com.
Thanks for having me, Tiff. I enjoyed it!
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Thanks, Debbie, for being in the spotlight with us.
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