Thursday, November 18, 2010

Friday's Friend Debra St. John

Today, I'm happy to welcome Debra St John.

Debra St. John has been reading and writing romance since high school. She always dreamed about publishing a romance novel some day. She lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband, who is her real life hero. Her debut release, This Time for Always is a Champagne Rose and Rosebud bestseller at The Wild Rose Press. She followed her debut with Wild Wedding Weekend. This Can't Be Love is her third release from TWRP.

1) You recently had a new release. Could you tell us a little about it?THIS CAN’T BE LOVE is my third release from The Wild Rose Press. Zach, my hero, was a secondary character in my first book, but I always knew he deserved a
story of his own. Finding Zach at her grandfather’s mountain retreat is quite a surprise for Jessica, who’s running away from a really disastrous relationship. Of course, Zach turns out to be everything Jessica has ever wanted/needed, even if she doesn’t realize it at first.

2) Did you have to do any special research for the novel?The setting for THIS CAN’T BE LOVE is actually based on a real place we vacation each summer. After our very first visit I knew it would be the ideal setting for a book. Everything fell into place when it came time to write LOVE, and it turned out to be the perfect place for Zach and Jessica to fall in love. It was a lot of fun having Zach and Jess explore and visit many of our favorite places. We always take tons of pictures while we’re there, but there were several trips where I took even more than usual. I also took copious notes about everything: sounds, sights, smells, so I’d be able to bring it to life for my readers.

3) Why do you write in the genre you do?I love the Happily Every After. With a real world that doesn’t always guarantee that, it’s quite nice to be able to give that to my characters each and every time.

4) What was your favorite scene to write?At one point Zach and Jessica have some, um, fun, with a jar of hot chocolate sauce. That was really fun to write!

5) What is the best writing advice you’ve received?To join my local RWA chapter. Without the fabulous ladies of Chicago-North RWA I never would have published my first book. Over the years they have offered invaluable advice and support. We have a fantastic critique program, and I don’t even think about submitting, or writing any further, until I’ve gotten their advice on my first chapter.

6) How can readers find you?I can be found at I also am the Sunday blogger at the Acme Authors Link and the Thursday blogger at Heroines with Hearts. I love it when readers pop in to say hello! My books are available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and Barnes and

7) Do you have a writer’s cave or are you able to write anywhere anytime?When the muse is strong, I can write anywhere. A few years back I finally invested in a lap top so I actually could write anywhere. I don’t work in the summer, so I tend to get most of my writing done then, but it was hard to be sitting inside at the computer when the weather outside was so beautiful. Now I literally write anywhere: front porch, back porch, patio, out by the pond, living room couch, bed, etc. I do have a ‘home base’ of sorts in my den, but I tend to be more productive on my laptop. I also made sure I didn’t install the Internet on my laptop, which helps immensely to eliminate various computer distractions.


  1. Hi Autumn,

    Thanks for having me today!

  2. Debra,
    Nice interview. I don't have a lap top and one of the down sides is having to sit inside all summer. Love your cover!

  3. Hi Kathy,

    The lap top was one of the best investments I've made for my writing!

  4. I agree a laptop is invaluable. I also have a notebook I carry around with me everywhere for times when I get "inspired" and I don't want to forget my thoughts before I have the chance to type them.

  5. Hello Debra. Your book looks fantastic and the cover is beautiful. I got a laptop and I am so happy I did. I'm no longer a prisoner to my desk. Lovely interview.
    Wishing you all the best.

  6. Hi Debra! Great interview. I am totally jealous that you can write outside. I always get distracted or the glare of the sun makes it hard to work. How do you manage to write if it is sunny? I want to know so I can be like you!!

  7. Good morning, Debra. Sorry I'm late. We had a grandson last night. All is well.

    So glad to have you here today and to see so many new faces.

    I love your cover. Did you want to share a short excerpt?

  8. Hi Delaney - A notebook is a great idea. I usually wind up jotting notes on scraps of paper1

    Sarah - TWRP does fabulous covers. I haven't been disappointed yet!

    Joelle - You are funny! Glare is a problem, but I turn the brightness up all the way, and if I'm the porch or under the patio umbrella, I can usually manage!

    Autumn - Congrats! That is fabulous news! I'll post a short excerpt when I get home.

  9. It's good to be so adaptable where you write. I have a hard time writing in some places. I prefer the commuter train ride because I can concentrate and type away on my laptop on the way to my day job.

    Morgan Mandel

  10. Hi Morgan,

    Your commute is the perfect opportunity to make good use of time for writing. It's like guaranteed writing time every day. I wish I had that.

    See you Sunday!

  11. Okay, here's a mini teaser excerpt:

    Zach stood in the doorway, buttoning the cuffs of
    a long-sleeved shirt. Well-worn boots made him look
    even taller, while tight jeans encased his legs,
    hugging and outlining all the right masculine places.
    She swallowed and shifted her gaze to his face.
    A straw cowboy hat sat on his head, shadowing his
    eyes as he stared back.
    He looked as if he’d just stepped out of the
    screen from an old-fashioned western movie.
    Rugged. Handsome. Like he was ready to ride off to
    rescue the damsel in distress. He’d come to her
    rescue earlier down at the garden. But she had no
    interest in playing Miss Kitty to his Marshall Dillon.
    Finally he cleared his throat. “I have to work
    tonight, but there are plenty of leftovers in the fridge
    for dinner. Help yourself to whatever you want.”
    His take-charge attitude normally would have
    grated on her nerves, but tonight she was too tired
    to care. “Okay, thanks.”
    He turned to go, but then stopped. “You okay?”
    She nodded. “Just tired.”
    “Well, like I said. I’ll be gone all night, so you’ll
    have the place to yourself.”
    “Great,” she said without much enthusiasm.
    Odd. All she’d wanted to do since finding him at the
    cabin was get rid of him. Now, for some reason the
    prospect of not having anyone around made her feel
    lonely. She wrapped her arms around her waist.
    She must be more tired than she thought.

  12. You are so clever to leave the internet off of your laptop. I get bogged down checking just one more you can see. LOL