Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom and pastor’s wife. Her debut novel won the 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. When not writing, she runs circles in the care and feeding of her husband, their son, and church congregation. Home is a central Arkansas zoo with two charcoal gray cats, a chocolate lab, and three dachshunds in weenie dog heaven. If given the chance to clean house or write, she’d rather write. Her goal is to hire Alice from the Brady Bunch.
How to connect with Shannon...
Purchase her book: http://www.christianbook.com/rodeo-regrets-shannon-vannatter/9780373486663/pd/486662
Author Interview | Shannon Taylor Vannatter
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing?
...I went to the library looking for clean romance and couldn’t find any. It hit me that the story I’d had in my head since I was a teenager could be a book. I decided if I couldn’t find any clean romance, I’d write one. But my characters kept talking to God and I realized I couldn’t write a romance without God being in it. So I changed my focus to inspirational romance.
What has kept you writing?
...I can’t stop. During the years of rejection and frustration, I tried. But that’s when the stories in my head really started spinning and wouldn’t leave them alone until I got them in my computer.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written?
If so, why?
...It was my first published book. I wrote it about the time after sixteen and a half years my husband answered the call to preach. Even though I’d been a Christian since my teens and was very involved in church, I didn’t think I was preacher’s wife material. In White Roses, the heroine dates a widowed pastor and doesn’t think she measures up to his dead wife.
What was the hardest thing about publishing?
...I stopped counting at two hundred rejections. It was very frustrating working so hard for something and not knowing what you’re doing wrong. It took nine and a half years of learning the craft before everything finally clicked in place for me.
...My fifth contracted book. That’s when writing under deadline became easy for me and I finally realized I can do this without pulling my hair out.
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently?
...Rodeo Regrets is the fourth title in my Texas rodeo series. Each book stands alone, but continues where the last one left off. I thought I was finished with the series, but after Harlequin bought Heartsong Presents, my agent contacted the editor there to tell her about me. My agent learned the editor had just read book two in the series and wanted to know if I had anything similar.
...I had one dangling character. She was the rodeo slut who’d hit on every hero I created, got pregnant two books ago, and skipped town. I decided it was time to find out why she was like that and what it would take to change her into a heroine.
Here’s the back cover copy:
NATALIE WENTWORTH'S PAST IS ABOUT TO CATCH UP WITH HER
Natalie once dreamed of finding true love. Then Lane Gray broke her heart. After running wild to fill the emptiness inside her, she heads back to her hometown to heal. But when she sees the cowboy she once loved so much, she finds him hard to resist.
Lane Gray is a changed man. The handsome cowboy wants Natalie's forgiveness-and more. Natalie has made plenty of mistakes in her life, but so has Lane. Could falling for each other again be the worst one yet? Or the path to redemption?
Why are did you write it?
...The heroine, Natalie has lived a promiscuous lifestyle and regrets her past. I’m hoping it will be a cautionary tale to young girls who think everyone’s doing it and it’s no big deal.
Do you have a favorite character in this work?
If so, why?
...She’s very wounded. I actually began to feel sorry for her. But then, she’s very tough too. She won’t stay down long.
How do you like to celebrate the 4th of July?
...We usually do fireworks at our house. This year, my son is eleven. We let him and his friend shoot them off. They had a blast. Literally.
How are you making the most of your time this summer for writing and relaxing?
...I’ve stayed up until 2:00 in the morning and slept until 10:00 to complete book 6 in this series. I try really hard not to work when my son is home and awake. So, I keep odd hours or work on the book when he has a friend over or goes home with a friend. When he’s home, we both love to swim and we have an above ground pool, so we swim a lot.
Thank you so much for sharing with my readers and I! I love how you said you went looking for something good to read and, when you couldn't find it you decided to write it! I love that :) I'm happy to know that it got a little easier working under a dead line at book 5 for you...I'm looking forward to that day *fingers crossed*. I think that's great that you keep odd hours to get things done! I can only imagine how difficult it is to get writing done when you have a family to take care of. Props to all mothers who write!!!
Well, I'm finally going to be posting some waaaay over-due RE:View posts soon! Be on the lookout, I've read some good books recently!