Thursday, March 5, 2015

1) How long were you writing before your first publication? How many manuscripts had you written

by that time? Have you published any of your early works since? Do you plan to?

It took me 13 years to get published. But for 3 of those years, I wasn’t writing, instead I took a break to enjoy time with my 2 sons and my first husband. So technically it was 10 years of writing and submitting. During that time I finished 7 novels and have never gone back and revised them to sell—I thought about it but then realized I had too many new stories waiting to write to go back.

Tweet: Betting on Hope with author, Debra Clopton.

2) Are you a morning person? A night owl? How do you arrange your schedule to allow the most efficient, productive time for writing?

I’m BOTH! I love early morning and am almost always up and working by 6:30. But I love nighttime, too, and usually work past midnight. The truth is, I don’t actually sleep a lot and not by choice always. Five hours is a lot for me—I’ve always had a mind that just doesn’t like to shut down and so I have trouble sleeping. When I’m really hard on a deadline, it’s even harder for me to sleep so you never know what hours I’ll be sitting in my laptop working. 

3) What aspect of being a writer is the most challenging for you? Why is this difficult, and what steps have you taken to overcome this hurdle?

Most challenging is when your heart is heavy with sorrow for something in my own life or my family’s or friends’ I still have to get up and write. That is really hard to do.

4) Do you read your reviews? Have you ever replied to one? Do you find they influence your writing when you work on subsequent books?

Yes, I do read them! I hear a lot of authors talk about not reading them but I can’t seem to help myself J. But I don’t let them get me down if they aren’t what I hoped for—I know everyone has their own opinion. I try really hard to write the best book that I can and I pray as I’m working on the story that God will lead me to write the words that someone needs. If I feel like I’ve done the best of my ability then I’m satisfied that is all I could have done. I can truly say that I’ve been blessed with far more happy reader reviews than unhappy. 

5) If you’re a plotter, have you ever tried pantsing it? If you’re a pantser, have you ever given plotting a try? Can you swing both ways, or are you a confirmed devotee of one of these methods?

I’m a combination of both though I’m heavier on the pantser side. I create a very loose synopsis but never hold myself tightly to the proposed book. I have found that the best most creative aspects of my stories happen as my fingers are on the keys. I see true plotters doing these intricate synopsis and I think that is so cool and their work is amazing, but it would drive me crazy and my books would be far less interesting because it just doesn’t work that way. It is so wonderful how God created each of us uniquely; I find it fascinating. 

6) Does your best writing flow? Or are you most satisfied with the work that you’ve labored over, sweating and groaning?

My writing NEVER flows… is there such a thing? I always, always suffer through a book and always about two thirds of the way through, I am convinced that it is the worst book ever and what was I thinking! My husband ignores me now but I truly believe it when I’m in that spot. It makes me cling to God more and really seek His guidance. I’ve come to accept it as part of my process. In the end if the book makes someone smile then I’m happy. When it truly helps someone in a deeper way, I feel completely humbled and blessed that God led me and was able to use me through my words. And that is why I do what I do.

Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Learn more about Debra on her blog, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase her latest release, Betting on Hope, on Amazon.



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