Clayton has published numerous articles and short stories in various print and online magazines. In addition to writing, Dr. Clayton has an Ed.D. in Special Education Administration and is a licensed psychotherapist in the states of Florida and Colorado.
When did you first start writing?
My first "book" was a fifth grade school project, complete with cardboard cover. I think the end result was about twenty pages long, and within those twenty pages there were dozens of marriages, births, and deaths. The characters didn't do much else.
What is your writing process?
I'm a very slow writer. I tend to spend weeks, if not months, thinking about a story before I ever begin writing it; it's only when the story is fully formed that I sit down to start typing. Once I've begun, I find I write best early in the morning; if for some reason I'm unable to get started in the morning, my writing is pretty much shot for the day. I also do something we're cautioned not to do: I edit as I go. I'm constantly re-reading and changing things as I go along. Half of my writing time is spent re-writing what I wrote the day before. It may not be the proper procedure, but it works for me.
On a beautiful fall evening, in the middle of a game of hide-and-seek, five-year-old Bobby Clark is kidnapped by his estranged father, a shiftless man with a history of domestic violence and drug abuse.
Struggling to make peace with the death of a husband who’d been lost to mental illness, Emily Holt vows to drive to the end of the road, which, she’s surprised to find, is just outside the tiny mining town of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia.
Beth Sloan has spent the majority of her life trying to escape the memories of a difficult childhood. Born into the infamous Pritchett family of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia, she grew up surrounded by homemade stills, corn liquor, and an impoverished family that more often than not preferred life on the wrong side of the law. Just when she thought she'd finally escaped, she's been called home.
As recounted in Appalachian Justice, Jessie is an adult survivor of horrendous childhood abuse. At the age of thirteen, she was rescued by reclusive mountain woman Billy May Platte.
Now forty-seven, Jessie is outwardly successful but inwardly struggles to reconcile the broken pieces of her past.
In 1945, three local boys witnessed an incident that called fourteen-year-old Billy May Platte’s sexuality into question. Determined to teach her a lesson she'd never forget, they orchestrated a brutal attack that changed the village of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia forever.