Debra Clayton

Debra Clayton

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
January 12, 2004

Q. Who is Debra Clayton?

A. Debra Clayton was born and partially raised in Drakes Branch, VA. However she currently lives with her three children in Winston-Salem, NC. Although she began writing at age thirteen, she did not pursue a career as a writer until after the 9/11 tragedy. Her ultimate goal is to move into filmmaking.

Q. What inspired you to write RAP SUPERSTAR?

A. RAP SUPERSTAR was inspired by the sudden surge of rap songs about love. From P. Diddy's "I Need A Girl" to Fabolous's "Trade It All" to LL's "Love You Better". I wanted to see what it was like for a rap star to fall in love with an ordinary girl. Three months later RAP SUPERSTAR was born.

Q. How did you come about the title?

A. Although RAP SUPERSTAR is an urban contemporary romance novel, it is also about a rap star that evolves from a woman chasing, bed hopping womanizer into a respectable young man. Anthony had the goodness in him all along because his parents had instilled that in him, however he was never held accountable for his actions and the women never required him to respect them until he met Randi. Anthony's transformation was so important to the story that I name it after him.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for the storyline?

A. From my experience, most women like bad boys. They fantasize about turning a bad boy into a good man. Because of this, I thought a story about a bad boy turning good would be a good idea. Now it has been done many times before but this time the bad boy was a rapper. Rappers are probably as bad as you can get and still be legal. I felt that my female readers would enjoy the fantasy while my male readers could identify with Anthony and his weakness for the women.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A. I started writing at thirteen for fun. I started writing seriously when I was about sixteen but I left it alone when I started having kids and didn't try writing again until after 9/11/2002.

Q. How did you come about Anthony (Animalistic) and Randi's characters?

A. I knew that for my story I needed a bad boy and a good girl. When I started writing, they just came to me. As I wrote Anthony, I thought about all the bad boy rappers we see on t.v. and all the bad boys that I know. I put them all together and created Anthony. As far as Randi, I put a little of me in her. She got a lot of her morals, opinions and attitude from me. Traditionally writers put a little of themselves in their books so I put a little of myself in Randi.

Q. Will there be a sequel?

A. I would rather not do a sequel but there have been requests. People are not through with Randi and Anthony. They want to know what happened to them next. I personally would love to leave Anthony and Randi alone because I think that they had the perfect ending. I have so many other stories inside of me waiting to be set free. I'd hate to keep them bottled up because I keep running back to Anthony and Randi.

Q. Are you currently working on another novel?

A. I have another novel completed in its first draft. The title of that is Two Weeks, Three Days, Four Hours... and it is also a urban contemporary romance. It will be released May 2004 and I also have two more novels already started to be released in October 2004 and May 2005.

Q. Is romance the only genre you write in?

A. No. Out of the four novels I have, three are romance but the fourth is a drama. I also want to write comedy. I do not want to be stuck in one genre. There are so many sides of me and I have so many different interests. Romance only, would not keep me satisfied.

Q. What message would you like readers to receive from reading RAP SUPERSTAR?

A. I would like the readers to understand that we all make mistakes and we should forgive people for their mistakes but more important than that is that although we should forgive people for their mistakes, they must earn their way back into our lives. Anybody can say that they are sorry for what they did, but are they willing to work to earn your trust back?