YA Feature: Debra Chapoton

The Author:

My biggest accomplishment has been to teach hundreds of high school students (sometimes English, but mostly all levels of Spanish). I have taught at four different, but very large, suburban high schools from which I get my ideas for characters, plots, and settings.


About ten years ago a fellow teacher assigned his students to write a book over the course of a school year. Most of them accomplished the feat. I thought if kids can do it then so can I, but I only had the time to write during summer vacation. I got caught up in the process, loved it, and have been writing ever since.

The books:

Edge of EscapeEdge of Escape, my first YA novel, delves into obsession and fear. Emotionally impaired yet clever, Eddie obsesses over the most popular girl. He drugs her, abducts her and locks her away. My inspiration was a student I had who was tall, dark, and handsome yet shunned by the others. He sat with the special education students at lunch yet achieved good grades in my class. He was terribly shy and I wondered how things would work out for him if he ever fell in love. Edge of Escape is a psychological thriller with a sympathetic twist.
The inspiration behind Sheltered came from reading the Bible and observing that everywhere Jesus taught and preached he cast out demons. It must have been a pretty big problem back then, but why don’t we hear about it now? The demon-possessed people of Bible times manifested the symptoms of epilepsy, dementia, super strength, schizophrenia, self-mutilation and so on. Aha, science and medicine have new names for what they used to call demon possession. But what if sometimes they’re wrong?

Author's Book Habits:

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
Favourite book genre and why?

Action/adventure because this genre encompasses a wide variety of other genres and books like The Hunger Games, Jurassic Park, even Harry Potter.

Favourite book series and why?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
There are so many great series and I change my mind weekly as to my favorite. Right at this moment I’ll say the Harry Potter series because I was so captivated from the first book and subsequent books did not lose their appeal.
Favourite author and why?

Again I have so many favorites (Sparks, Grisham, Cussler, Evanovich, Koontz, Meyer) that it’s difficult to pick one, but if I have to choose I’ll say Michael Crichton.
An Author you would recommend we check out and why?

Cindy Bennett. She’s a self-published YA author whose books inspire me.

Author's Book News:

The Guardian’s Diary will probably be out in January. It’s about a teen boy who was born with a gruesome deformity that causes him to drag his foot. He faces some tough challenges and dangerous decisions. The story is told through the eyes of his guardian angel.

Right now I am working on a young adult novel in which the teen characters maneuver through a supernatural world, yet there are neither angels nor demons in this story.
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