Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Getting Personal with Debra St. John

Today we have the talented Debra St. John on the blog. I want to thank her for stopping by and sharing her time with us.

Hi Debra,

Are your characters based on real people?

My main characters never are, but in Wild Wedding Weekend, the hero's brothers and sisters are all based on my friends and their families. Which was really, really fun to do. And they all got a kick out of seeing themselves in print.

I love the title Wild Wedding Weekend . sounds like my kind of story.
Do you have trouble saying goodbye to characters?

Absolutely. Which is why This Feels Like Home is the third in a series.  In each of the three books in The Corral Series, the secondary characters interact and are involved in the main characters' lives. In each subsequent book, we get a little peek into what happens after the HEA for the previous heroes and heroines. And even thought Home is the last full-length in the series, I know in my heart I'm not ready to let it totally end, so I'm planning some spin-off shorts for the future.

Do you research your action/fight scenes?

I don't know if technically they are action scenes, but I spent a lot of time researching the bull riding scenes for This Feels Like Home. My hero Jake is a bull rider, and his profession is a huge part of the story/conflict. I wanted to make sure I got everything exactly right to be as accurate and authentic as possible, so I attended rodeos, took pictures, perused the PBR site over and over, and spent hours watching bull riding on tv: all the while taking copious notes.

Does working to deadline inspire or annoy you?

I love working on a deadline. I am much more deadline oriented than day-to-day goal oriented. If I set a deadline for myself, though, I have to have a logical reason for choosing it. Just picking a random date and aiming for it doesn't work for me.

What did you edit out of this book?

My heroine originally started off being a big city divorce lawyer. That particular occupation wasn't really working for my editor. She said it didn't fit the personality of the character I'd created, so anything referencing her job had to be edited and rewritten to fit her new occupation: an accessibility consultant.

Now for some personal questions. 

Are you fun to go on vacation with?

I like to think yes, but I guess you'd have to ask those traveling with me to know for sure! Most times I'm the vacation planner, so I try to find fun and historical places to explore and visit. Vacations with me aren't always relaxing, but they are guaranteed to have new things to experience and learn about along the way.

Do you have any hobbies?

In the summer I like to play in my garden. Taking annual trips with family and friends is a big part of my life. After we return, I make scrapbooks to highlight all of the fun things we did. 

I used to love to scrapbook. I still can't help picking up great paper or pens even though I don't spend much time doing it any more.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Chocolate, what else? Dark chocolate is my favorite. I keep an emergency stash in my desk at work, in the pantry, and in the fridge ('cause some kinds just need to be chilled).

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

What was it like to meet Prince William and Duchess Catherine?

Me: It was such an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They were so gracious and kind and really friendly and down to earth. I was thrilled when I found out how much Kate enjoys reading my books.

Who's more fun, bad boys or perfect gentlemen?

Definitely, definitely the bad boys. Because when they're bad, they are oh so good.

You can learn more about Debra and her books at

And read her latest This Feels Like Home


Debra St. John said...

Hi KyAnn,

Thanks for having me here today. The post looks great! I loved the mix of book-related and personal questions. :)

Paula Martin said...

Debra, I'm writing (or trying to write) a spin-off from my latest story, so I know what you mean about having a peek at what happens after the HEA ending for the main characters, and looking at one of the secondary characters.
And I laughed out loud at your interview response about William and Kate! You go, girl!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Hi Debra. That's interesting that your editor didn't like the original profession of your heroine. What made you choose accessibility consultant?

Debra St. John said...

I'm totally a royal watcher from this side of the pond! I just adore them, and was a huge Diana fan before that.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Jen,

I'm not sure why the career popped into my head, but since she works with people who have been disabled from extreme sports, pairing her with a bull rider really ampped up the conflict.

Paula Martin said...

Debra, I've met and talked to Prince Charles, been to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party (lots of royals there), and sat about 9 seats away from the Queen and Prince Philip in St Paul's Cathedral. Oh, and once stood about 3 feet away from Princess Margaret. Are you jealous?
I never saw Diana, though, and I've not seen William or Kate yet though.

Ashantay said...

I enjoyed your post and loved your book - lots of great conflict. Best wishes!

Ana Morgan said...

Changing the heroine's occupation seems like an effort, but if it strengthened the story, it was a good call.
I'd let you plan my vacations. I am a great follower.

Debra St. John said...

Paula, I am extremely jealous! The closest I've been is I stood in the back of St. Paul's Cathedral and imagined what it would have been like to stand in Diana's shoes and begin her trek down the long aisle.

Debra St. John said...

Ana, It was definitely a lot of work, but worth it in the end. The story turned out great and was much stronger.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Ashantay...So glad you enjoyed the story...and I'll thank you again for the great review!

KyAnn said...

thank you to everyone for stopping by and a special thank you to Debra for spending time on the blog


Debra St. John said...

Thanks again for having me, KyAnn!