WEST JEFFERSON — West Jefferson means many different things to many different people, some see it as home while others see it as a vacation spot. For author, pastor and speaker Andy Clapp, West Jefferson is the place his great-grandparents always vacationed, and is now the setting for his new book.

“It’s a modern retelling of the Book of Isaiah, basically,” Clapp said. “It’s kind of a love story with a hook at the end. Boy who falls endlessly in love with a girl, who chooses everything over him until she realizes he was the one she always really wanted.”

After realizing what his story would be, Clapp needed to find a setting for it. After spending weeks looking for a setting, Clapp said West Jefferson just popped into his mind, remembering stories of family members going there on vacations in the 1960’s.

“If the setting isn’t perfect, the story won’t work,” Clapp said. “I had never been here, but I had heard (Clapp’s great-grandparents) talk about West Jefferson. I got up one morning, left at 5:30 a.m. and drove up here. The minute I got into downtown, I said, ‘This is the place.’”

Taking place at Christmas time, Clapp incorporated local businesses and landmarks into the story, including Bohemia and the bench in front of the Old Hotel building.

Clapp signed the contract officially with Iron Stream Media while in West Jefferson Tuesday, May 26. The book’s story has already been picked up by the Hallmark Channel, which has plans to adapt it into a movie in the future.

As a writer, speaker and pastor, Clapp said he allows all of his passions to intertwine and bleed into his work. He said that as a man of God, he wants those messages to be in everything he publishes, allowing himself to be free as he writes.

Clapp was born and raised in Liberty, N.C., where he still lives and preaches weekly. He attended the University of Mount Olive and he is currently pursuing his master’s degree at Liberty University.

Aside from his upcoming book, Clapp has written a number of devotionals, appeared at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference and is already in the planning stages for his next book.

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