Friday, June 12, 2015

Interview with Shannon Vannatter and GIVEAWAY

 Where do you like to write?

In my home office. It’s decorated in a beachy theme with seafoam walls, white desk and bookcases, and white wicker. I have lots of knickknacks that inspire me.

How do you handle distractions?

I try to ignore them. But if they won’t go away, I take care of it, then get back to work.

If someone else were sitting at your desk right now, what would they see?

Clutter. But I know where everything is, so don’t touch it. To my left, a pile including a print out of my blog tour dates and interviews I need to put together, a notepad, the timeline print out on my current project, an envelope that came back from the post office undeliverable. To my right, some receipts that need to be filed. Behind my monitor, a hutch with six cubbies with timelines and research materials on various books.

On top of the hutch, seashells, a bottle filled with sand and seashells my son made in the 1st grade, my eleven published titles held in place with seashell bookends, a silver sea turtle tea light candle, and the keepsake box commemorating when I won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

When you’re working on a project, how do you keep the immensity of it from getting you down?

I take it a day at a time and write every day. I don’t have a certain word count I enforce. I just write and when it stops flowing, I stop. If the words aren’t coming, sometimes getting away from it helps. I’ll take a break, go for a walk, or plan an outing with a friend. Sometimes getting out of my house, away from my computer gets the story moving again. I stay well ahead of deadlines, so I don’t fell overwhelmed.

How do you choose between ideas you’d like to write about?

Most of the time, a deadline dictates what I write. But when I’m not on deadline, I flip through my idea book—where I write every idea or thought that comes to me. As I flip through the book and read, I pick whichever one gets me excited. The one where I can’t stop thinking about the characters.

Both of your lead characters have “baggage” that keeps them from wanting to pursue a new relationship. Do you think sometimes we let our past get in the way of what God has planned for our futures?

Yes. Some people tend to dwell on the past and let it hold them back. It’s hard to let go and let God, but we have to if we want to fulfill his plans for us.

Do you think there’s any reason in particular some people have one reaction versus the other when something bad happens in their life?

I think people’s reactions are based on what shaped them into who they are. Their upbringing, the people who raised them. The people surrounding them when they grew up. The things that happened—good and bad—in their lives. The place they grew up. Life altering events—it all makes people who they are. And based on who they are, they react.

That said, I don’t know how nonbelievers handle all that life throws at them. I wouldn’t want to do this life without Jesus.

 Has there been a time in your own life where you could really sense God was putting you in a situation for a reason?

I didn’t see it then. But several years ago, my husband served as a youth pastor. I can see now that God was grooming me to be a pastor’s wife.

 Rodeo Reunion is set in Aubrey, Texas. What’s so special about Aubrey?

When I started my Texas rodeo series, I needed a year round indoor rodeo to fit my story. I googled and found Cowtown Coliseum at the Fort Worth Stockyards. With the history, it was perfect. My family visited and I realized there was much more story than only the three books I’d originally planned. The series morphed into eight books.

But I needed a small town for the bulk of my characters to live in. I googled again and found Aubrey. It’s about an north of Fort Worth and is known as Horse Country USA because there are lots of horse ranches. They also have several festivals I worked into the series, The Peanut Festival and Christmas on Main. It was the perfect place for all my cowboys to live.

My family and I have visited several times and eaten at Moms on Main where all my characters eat and the owners have hosted me for booksignings also. It’s a great, very close knit, homey, small town.

What’s on the horizon for you?  What will you be writing next? 

This is my last Heartsong Presents book since the line is ending. I’m honored to be one of the last titles, but it’s a bittersweet honor. I’m currently in talks for my next project, but since nothing is finalized, I can’t talk about it yet.

 Where can readers find you online?

Learn more about Shannon and her books at and check out her real life romance blog at

Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows and once climbed a mountain wearing gold wedge-heeled sandals which became known as her hiking boots. Vannatter won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award.

She has eleven published titles and is contracted for four more. Her books are available at,,,, and

Giveaway details: Here’s something special to commemorate the Heartsong Presents line since it’s ending this month. Comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Rodeo Reunion. Ten copies will be split among names drawn during the blog tour from June 1st – July 1st. One winner will receive a baseball themed memory board personally crafted by the author. Winners will be revealed on the author’s blog on July 22nd.


And Slade Walker's not a likely candidate. Even if the former major league pitcher just agreed to coach her son's little league team. The single mom can't risk everything on a bronc-riding chaplain who's only passing through Raquel's small Texas town.

Slade is taking a hiatus from the rodeo circuit to meet the sister he never knew he had. But the pretty widowed nurse next door is making him think twice about hitting the road again. He can't turn his back on the cowboys who need him, but Raquel and her boy need him, too. Can Slade fulfill his calling and finally find a place to hang his hat?

Purchase Links:


Jennifer Hibdon said...

Shannon, I can't wait to read this book!!!!! I am so sad to see Heartsong Presents close. I have enjoyed them emensely over the years.Thank for the giveaway!!!

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

I'm glad you're excited about the book, Jennifer. The Heartsong thing makes me sad too. But I guess all good things come to an end.

Deana said...

It is with great sadness that I must accept the closing of Heartsong Presents. 😢. But I am excited that I have a chance to win an awesome book from a very talented author . Thank you Shannon for the opportunity.


Marilynn Walton said...

I have not read any of the series, but this interview peaked my curosity! I will have to seek them out and get in on the story. Thanks for a chance in the giveaway.

Abby B said...

Oh this sounds so good!! I can't wait to read it!!

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Deana,
It's with great sadness for me too. I'll really miss the line. A Heartsong was the first inspirational romance book I ever read.

Hey Marilynn,
I'm glad the to hear about your curiousity. All of the titles are available in e-book format on Amazon. The later titles are still available in paper there.

Trixi said...

I was sorry to hear about the Heartsong Presents line of books ending! I've read a number of them along with the Love Inspired line. They have been enjoyable reads and it's hard to imagine that there won't be anymore books put out by HP! I pray that the Lord will open other avenues for each author's writing!

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Thank you, Trixi. An author's life is like a roller coaster. I really hate to see HP go.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Abby, thank you. I hope you get the chance to read it and enjoy it.

Unknown said...

I love the idea of keeping the memories around your desk. I also love to look up from the computer to see things I treasure. I would love to win this book. Great interview. Thanks.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Janet, my office is filled with momentos and things that inspire me. My husband calls it clutter :)

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