Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Today, I'm very happy to introduce to you a wonderful friend and and great romance author, Debra St. John. To celebrate the release of her debut Western-style romance, This Time For Always, I'm holding a contest in which you might win an autographed copy of her book for yourself. But first, check out Debra's blog. After that, I'll tell you how you can enter.

For more about Debra, hop over to her website at www.debrastjohnromance.com

My Music Muse

A huge thanks to Morgan for having me here today. In fact, if it weren’t for Morgan, I wouldn’t be where I am career-wise at all. So I owe her thanks in many areas.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I have always loved music. All kinds of music. I don’t do much without music in the background: write, garden, scrapbook, exercise, etc. When I was little, my sister and I would crank up our Tony Orlando and Dawn LP and dance in our living room until Mom yelled that we were shaking the whole house. Later we moved on to more hip things. Believe me, in our house, Grease WAS the word.

In high school I went the pom girl route instead of the cheerleader route. I was a huge Rick Springfield fan. In fact, one of my earliest works features a rock star hero that is suspiciously like the dark-haired Aussie. (Too bad I wrote it before I knew what writing was really all about. One of these days I’m going to have to bring that one out of the closet and see what I can do with it.)

After that I moved on to the hair-bands of the eighties. Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Poison, and Motley Crue were among my favorites. I even had a life sized poster of Jon Bon Jovi on my closet door in college. (My roommate was NOT amused.)

On a post-college trip to Texas to visit an old high school friend, I fell in love with country music. It was really this music that started my journey toward publication. After returning home, I found a local bar where I could enjoy my country music and line dance to boot, or boot scoot as it were. Basically from there everything fell into place and brought me to where I am now. There I met the guy who would eventually become my husband. I also met a ton of other great friends. These friends inspired me to write a story set at the bar. That story eventually became “This Time for Always”.

In the course of conversation one day, a friend from the bar mentioned that she belonged to a local writers’ group. When I mentioned that I had always wanted to be a romance writer, she invited me to come along to a meeting. After one meeting, I decided this was the group for me, and I joined the Chicago-North chapter of The Romance Writers of America. Morgan joined the group not long after I did and we became friends.

I dabbled with my writing for years, submitting a couple times to Harlequin and getting rejections. It was a little over a year ago, that I e-mailed Morgan and said that I had decided it was time to get serious about my writing. She suggested submitting to The Wild Rose Press, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, here I am today with my first romance out in print, another under consideration, and a free read coming out in December. I’m also working on the next book in the series that features the bar where it all started. (And these days I count Toby, Kenny, Carrie, and Brad among my favorites.)

The music still brings me inspiration. There’s a story in every song.

So, yes, my music muse has been good to me. In more ways than one. Feel free to visit me at http://www.debrastjohnromance.com/ to find out more about where my muse has taken me.

How to enter the contest: Leave a comment at the end of this post, then send an email to blogcontests@morganmandel.com , leaving your name and saying you commented. One winner will be drawn from the entries and an e-mail will be sent to you requesting your snail mail address. Good luck!


  1. Welcome, Debra.
    Have a good time! You deserve it.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Anonymous10:35 PM

    Wow, interesting story, Debra. I guess you're right...there IS a story in every song. ;o)

  3. I am another lover of music. Not only have I written a paranormal romance centered around music and I have started a promo writing business to help musicians. (and myself of course!)

  4. Congrats on the release of your novel!

  5. Hi All! Thanks to Morgan for having me today. Good luck to everyone who enters the contest!

  6. Oh, Bon Jovi!! AND Rich Springfield! I believe we have similar musical histories and tastes. (I still remember "Knock 3 Times on the Ceiling" from when I was a kid... :) Great post!

  7. Hi Debra,
    Interesting post. Good luck with your new releases.

  8. Congrats on the publication, Debra. Lovely cover!!

    Nice story about how the book came to be. I enjoyed the post.

  9. Anonymous3:07 PM

    A western romance - cool setting and idea. Loved the book cover too - the chick is HOT! (smile) I went to her blog as you asked, would've left a comment there, but didn't see a button for comments. Hey, good ideas for extended stays on your blog, Morgan, and the contest and all. Nice job!

    Marvin blogs at Free Spirit: http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com/
    Eye Twitter 2 - http://twitter.com/Paize_Fiddler

  10. Hi Deb! *waves*

    Great blog-


  11. Anonymous5:36 PM

    In my opinion the country music writers and singers are the troubadors of this age.

    Elaine Cantrell

  12. Great interview, Debra! I'm also inspired by music, in my case Meat Loaf!!

    Gorgeous cover! Congrats on your debut release!

  13. Great post. Can't wait to read the book.

    highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com


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