Monday, May 30, 2011

Pella Tulip Festival--Inspiring Characters

Debra Clopton here, on Main Character Monday. In the picture Chuck and I are in Pella Iowa. Last month on business we visited the state of Illinois, Wisconsin and ended the trip in Pella Iowa. Chuck had to see clients there in Pella and wanted me to see the neat little town and it just happened that they were having their annual Tulip festival. Behind us is one of many displays of tulips and the house behind us is the historic home of the founders of the town. As you can guess they were Dutch.

The entire time we were there I kept getting ideas for books. I'm a huge road trip gal because it inspires my mind. I see ideas everywhere as I go and you never know where something I've seen is going to show up. Main Characters are born from many things. For me they are born from even walking around a garden of tulips. From where we sat on this bench we saw many people from all walks of life. Before us there had been an older couple and as I watched them enjoying the flowers and getting their picture taken my mind took flight on possibilities of who they were, how they met, what is their story.

People ask me all the time where I get my ideas and I tell them from everywhere. I never know who or what is going to spark my imagination. Pella was a great place to do that. On this same trip we visited Chicago, Milwaukee, Sheboygan and saw the beautiful Lake Michigan. I was in the car alot as Chuck met with different clients but I saw many neat places, that will make it into books at some point. They may make it into the book under the cover of a fictional town but they will make it. When you create main characters they get part of their character from the way they view places. Do you agree with this?

If you would like to see other tulip pictures from Pella and the old hotel and huge windmill that are the center of the town come by my blog where I've posted several

Until next time live, laugh and seek God with all your hearts.

Debra Clopton


  1. What a beautiful photo!! Thanks for sharing, Debbie. I get story ideas from all over the place as well. My current book was inspired by a dad on an airplane. :)

  2. We were in Iowa last Tuesday, traveling from Nebraska (where I'm from) to Missouri to visit Worlds of Fun. I got all kinds of ideas.

  3. Hi Debra:

    I’ll be looking for the ‘Pella’ book in the future. My wife and her father took a bus tour from Tulsa to Holland, Michigan to attend a Tulip Festival. Absolutely beautiful.

    I like to have the main character reflect the nature of the landscape and what is happening in the background. Elizabeth Lowe does this with deserts, volcanoes, and mountains. Myra Johnson did it in ‘Autumn Rains’.

    Having the character climax while the nature element is also climaxing gives the story a literary reverberation that’s like the difference between hearing a string quartet and a full orchestra. I try to do this myself in my own writing.


  4. Hi Debra:

    That should be Elizabeth Lowell. I remember her books much better than her name!

    BTW: will your double book releases be available in eBook format? I hope so.


  5. Oh Missy I do that too. I see people all the time and create a past for them.

    That sounds fun Pamela!

  6. Vince,
    I like that too. It makes the setting a major player in the story.

    And yes my re-release will be available in ebook form. Which is great since I believe my first five weren't on ebook form last time I checked. (except for And Baby Makes Five which they used to test the waters of ebook sales back in 2009 I believe.)

  7. Oh I love tulips. Thanks for sharing just went to your blog. I would love to go to a tulip festival or where they grow wild. I do grow them here but haven't bought any new bulbs this year yet.

  8. I love them too Jenny! They are just so perfect they don't even look real. I wanted to buy some bulbs and they would ship them too me straight from Holland from the Pella Festival but I was afraid I wouldn't get them planted right or something. Thanks for visiting my blog too. :)

  9. Tulips are easy plant and leave.