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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

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.


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

by Debra Clopton
Published by Steeple Hill/Love Inspired



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 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 and my blog

Thanks for having me, Tiff. I enjoyed it!

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Thanks, Debbie, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE copy of Next Door Daddy. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname or that it's available for viewing in your blogger profile. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, subscribe to the posts on this blog. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

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Cherie J said...

I love Debra's Mule Hollow series. Don't have this one so would love to be entered in the drawing.

Maureen said...

I have not read Debra's books but this sounds like a great story.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a wonderful story. I would love to be entered.

Thank you!

windycindy said...

Hi, What a fabulous sounding story line! Please enter me in your book drawing. I appreciate it. Thanks,Cindi

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included!

Pamela J said...

Please enter me in a chance to win this book. I have never read anything by this author and would like to 'taste' it for myself. Thank you.
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

It's great to see some of you regular visitors to the blog along with some new or infrequent visitors. Of course, it's always difficult to put names in a box and have my husband draw just one, but that's all I can do. At least you know you can come back each week for another chance!

This week's winner is:


Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing address so I can have Debra send out your autographed book.

Everyone else check back next week for another spotlight and giveaway! And coming up soon are a LOT of chances to win--sometimes 4 in one week! You won't want to miss them.