Monday, June 24, 2013

Debra Clopton: An Ever After Summer

by Debra Clopton

I’m so glad to be here on Inkwell Inspirations today! Thank you ladies for having me here to talk a little about my June 18 release from Thomas Nelson Publishers A BRIDE FOR ALL SEASONS with the wonderful Margaret Brownley, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher. What a fun and wonderful experience it was to work with these authors and Thomas Nelson.  

Anita Mae invited me here to share an inspiration about my story in the book AN EVER AFTER SUMMER (my first historical). So, here goes...

One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie You’ve Got Mail with Meg Ryan. I loved the role of Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) because she lived the quote. Kathleen was facing a life changing moment, the closing of the bookstore that had been her life and that of her mother's. Her longtime friend, Birdie, played by the fantastic Jean Stapleton, told her not to be afraid. “You are daring to imagine that you can have a different life…you are stepping out into the unknown.” (I’m not certain if that’s completely quoted correctly but its close) I LOVED that!

I’ve been in Kathleen’s shoes and stepped out with God at my side and dared to dream that I could become a writer. Life can be scary sometimes—much of the time actually—but I think that’s how we grow in our faith and in our personal lives by stretching ourselves. I’ve never been one who was afraid to fail, as the Bible says: If God is with us who can be against us! But still there is that worry: am I doing the right thing?

Ellie, my character, lived a life without love. Her story : A born killer, Melvina Eldora Smith killed 3 people by the age of one: her mother at birth, her father of a broken heart and poor uncle Mutt outside a bar with a runaway buggy! When this hook came to me I knew a cute story would follow. Melvina—Ellie for short—is sooo lacking in love that when she sees an ad from a widower looking for someone to love and raise his baby girl—whose mother died in childbirth like her own did, Ellie knows she’s stepping out and changing her life. Good, bad or ugly she’s hitting the road, stagecoach bound for Honey Springs Texas. Little does she know that she is not exactly what Mathew McConnell had in mind when he placed his ad!  

As you see Ellie is drawn to step out on faith and yes—to dare to imagine that she can have a different life…to step out into the unknown seeking that new life. And Ellie does it because if all else fails, there is an innocent baby girl on which she can lavish all the pent up love she has inside of her to give. Like Ellie, I believed in possibilities and years ago took that step and wrote my first book. Of course it took 13 years to finally sell my first story but God had put that desire in my heart and through rejection after rejection I pushed forward. One, for the joy writing brought me and two, I believed that God had a plan. And He did and it came in His timing…not mine. It taught me patience (Lots of patience!) and God’s wonderful, amazing faithfulness.

So, is there a character from a movie or a novel that inspires you or you would like to be? 

I’d love to hear about it. If you leave a comment with your email address I'll enter you in a drawing for a copy of Her Rodeo Cowboy, Book 1 of my Mule Hollow Homecoming series. The drawing will be held Wed, June 26th, at 11:59 pm.

Join me for a blog tour and Facebook week of fun with prizes July 12-23rd, then FB party on the evening of the 23rd.

Also, check out my contest page at and FB

Thanks so much for having me here on the blog for Inkwell Inspirations. I hope you’ll check out A BRIDE FOR ALL SEASONS. 


  1. Welcome to the Inkwell, Debra. I admit I didn't realize this was your first historical. I've heard a lot about this book. Talk about four amazing authors! Wow!

    Now you have me wanting to see You've Got Mail again. It's been too long. Your teaser is great. Sold the editors of course, and it sold me. I expect you are going to have a lot of fun with this book and its success!

    I love Muriel in the Accidental Tourist. First Ann Tyler knows how to draw quirky characters that go right to your gut, and Geena Davis was perfect in the role. Together, Muriel is one of my favorite characters of all time.

    Thanks for visiting and giving away that good looking cowboy!

  2. Welcome to the Inkwell, Debra C. Hope You have a safe flight today and I'll hold down the fort until you're able to pop in.

    I have a question for you too...

    Will you be at ACFW this year, and will you be in costume on Friday night?

  3. Morning, Deb. With your Netflix you should be able to see You've Got Mail any time your want, right? Such convenience. :)

    I vaguely remember The Accidental Tourist... I guess that's one I'll have to see again. :)

    I'm still thinking about my favorite and will let you know later.

  4. Welcome. Good to have you.

    Oh, what a sad little girl. I'm glad you made a story about it. :)

  5. Glad to hear you say that, DeAnna - or should that be glad to read you write that - heh... considering Debra didn't mention a cat.

    But I agree about the little girl. And because I've read so many of Debra's books, even though I haven't read this one yet, I can tell you her story will be very entertaining and satisfying.

    Which reminds me... I should go down and collect my US mail as there's a possibility A Bride for All Seasons is waiting for me. :D

  6. Hi, Debra! I'm so glad you're visiting with us today. I totally love the blurb for your book and I'll be sure to read it.

    You've Got Mail is one of my all time favorite movies. The only two movies I've seen more: The Wizard of Oz and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

    My favorite line: "I wanted it to be you." Sigh....

  7. HI Everyone! Our flight landed in Chicago and now as my husband drives I'm able to check the blog out!
    Thanks for holding down the fort Anita Mae!

    Debra M yes I saw The Accidental Tourist once and while lol I was not a fan of the guy I was intrigued by Gena's character. Obviously others were too since it got such great Oscar buzz that year!

    DeAnna! YOu are so right, Ellie was a sad little girl but of course she is soooo determined and I absolutely loved telling her story. It is packed full of funny and touching scenes that just came naturally from her character.

    YES! Suzie, that line "I wanted it to be you" gets me every time. :) What great writing. Of course I'm also a huge fan of Sleepless in Seattle have them recorded along with others and when needing inspiration will watch them as I write.

    Thank you all for commenting! I love interaction. :)

  8. Hello Debra, I want to read this book about the brides, love to read all the authors in it.
    A character in a movie that I adored recently was Diane Keeton where she falls for guy who dated her daughter, (Nickleson)this woman looks great for her age and plays both funny and dramatic parts equally well.
    Meg Ryan is a great one too -always enjoy her movies.
    Paula O(

  9. Welcome to the Inkwell, Deb! Very cool initial concept. I have lots of "favorites." Harry Potter is one of them--the boy who lived. JK Rowling can make characters breathe. OF course there are plenty of others. The characters from The Help. Wow.

  10. Suzie, yeah, I like the "I wanted it to be you." line, too.

  11. DebraC - Glad your flight was good. You and Chuck are adorable together. :D

    Didn't I hear about one of your Mule Hollow books being made into a Christmas movie? Is it coming true or only optioned?

  12. Welcome to the Inkwell, Debra C! So nice to have you here.

    Your hook reeled me in! Poor little girl... I look forward to reading about her HEA.

    Don't anyone get after me, but I've never seen You've Got Mail...

  13. William Hurt played the male lead in Accidental Tourist. And he did it exceptionally well though he wasn't 'hero' material, I agree!

    Susie, that's okay. You will.
    And I think it's free on Amazon Prime (Anita I dropped Netflix when I went with Prime -- can't beat the free two day shipping and free movies)

    I'm going to pop over to Debra's website and see just how many books are in that list!

  14. Hi Paula! I LOVE Somethings Got to Give (I believe that's the Diane Keeton movie you're talking to. LOL she's a writer it is too funny!

    Anita YES, OPERATION:MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS a Mule HOllow book is in development stage of a movie for ABC Family staring Leann Rimes. Its very exciting and extremely slow lol. I'll keep everyone posted but have no idea when it is coming out. Christmas but which one :) I'm along for the ride and feel blessed that someone read it and wanted it :) it is about a Klutzy, runaway bride :)

  15. OH Suzeanne! I can't believe you've not seen You've Got Mail!

  16. Susie, I can't believe you haven't watched You've Got Mail either! I've watched it at least 6 times and cry every time. And I've watched An Affair to Remember several times too, since that's the original version.

    What I remember most about the Meg Ryan version is the tapping of the keys - especially when Tom Hanks hits the backspace button. I can so relate. LOL

    And what I remember most about An Affair to Remember is when Cary Grant realizes that her whole demeanor is a façade and that the real reason she didn't meet him at the top of the Empire State Building is because she... well, that would be giving it away to those who having seen it. Let's just say I bawl every time. :(

  17. That may be one of the best hooks I've ever read, Debra!

  18. Hey Debbie... what about my original question in my first comment... are you going to ACFW this year... and are you going to dress up in historical gear or Mule Hollow style? :D

  19. OH I missed that! No, I had planned to go to ACFW but my son is graduating from tech school that same weekend so I'll be with him. What is the dressing up all about? I've missed something.

  20. Oh, Debra, I loved Sleepless in Seattle, too. I haven't seen it as many times as You've Got Mail, though. Probably because it's not on as often. In fact, I think I've only seen it on tv a few times. Silly as it was, I also really liked that other movie Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starred in together, but have only seen it twice.

    I adore Cary Grant movies. Sigh...

  21. Lisa, If we've learned anything its that JK Rowling knows how to write characters. She is amazing!

  22. "You've Got Mail" is one of my favorite movies! I could see it tweaked (as in T-W-E-A-K-I-N-G!!!) a bit for the Christian audience, although it isn't bad as it stands, other than the boyfriend and girlfriend of the main characters. Love that movie! Now I want to watch, checking shelves for the "Y" DVDs...

    I just started one of your older Mule Hollow books today-- #7 Next Door Daddy. Picked it up this past Friday at a Goodwill thrift shop (one of my favorite places to find LIs AND toys for the grandkids!). Having hubby on unemployment tends to cut the book budget, so of course would love to be entered in the drawing for your book! Always :)

    Other than Kathleen Kelly and her positive attitude about succeeding--and going on to write children's books--the characters (yes, plural) I find inspirational are the storm chasers in "Twister". They have such a passion about what they're doing--and, of course, Helen Hunt's character has a deep-rooted reason for why she storm-chases. Every time I watch the movie, I get caught up in their passion. I know it's "just a movie", but it's inspirational anyway.

    Thank you for your post! And for the opportunity to win a new book :D


  23. Melanie--you know I get what you are saying Twister and Helen Hunt. Great Character and after the Moore OK tornado her passion is sooo understandable.

    Good luck!

  24. I don't watch many movies, but I love "Sister Act 2". I like "Sister Act 1", but the music is better in 2 and I enjoy the young people in the movie. I believe it shows that young people can make a difference in their life and in others. Thank you for entering me in your giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson

  25. LOL - The joke's on me! Why didn't someone say something!

    I was getting Sleepless in Seattle mixed up with You've Got Mail. sheesh.

    Can we erase yesterday and start over? mumble mumble mumble

  26. Debbie, about the dressing up... they're trying to dissuade people from dressing in costume for the Gala Awards by giving them Friday night Dinner as Dress-up Night.

    I was going to go Old West, but since my first published work is set in 1911, I'm leaning toward the Titanic look.

  27. Barbara I'm a fan of Sister Act 1 and 2 I love the music and the nuns!!!

    Anita, a lot of people do that. Both those movies are romantic and in both the character steps out and reaches for something they want :)

    Anita, that's sounds like fun! I know you'll have a great time. You will have to post pictures!!!!

    Thank you all so much for chatting it was a fun day and helped pass the day of traveling I had. For Chucks work we landed in Chicago then drove to Pella Iowa it was a long drive as he had stops to make along the way. So I was working on my next historical novella due Friday and chatting with y'all :) Thanks bunches!!!

  28. Oops...I was reminded that I didn't leave my e-mail address to be in the drawing for the book, so here 'tis:

    Thank you again! :)

  29. Debbie, I really like the way you and Chuck go everywhere together, especially at ACFW where he hangs out with the other hubbies. That makes a memorable time for sure.

    Thank you for sharing your day with us. Another novella? Oh, goodie. :) I'll be praying for you hitting the deadline.

    And a special thank you for your giveaway. I'll draw a name from all entries received by tomorrow (Wed) midnight. And considering your deadline, I'll let the winner know you're on a deadline and will contact them soonest.

  30. Good morning. I've made the draw using for a copy of Debra Clopton's Her Rodeo Cowboy based on all eligible entries, and the winner is...


    Whoo hoo! Congratulations, Melanie. Phew, I'm glad you came back with your email address. Debra will be in contact with you soon to get your mailing info, but please remember that she's on a deadline this week so it may be a few days.

    Thank you Debbie, for your time and your giveaway.

    And thank you everyone for the great discussion.



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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.