Monday, April 19, 2010

Interview with author Shannon Vannatter on the Craft of Writing- Part 1

Shannon Taylor Vannatter received over 200 rejections before hitting publication, proving that anyone can do it, if they have the willingness to learn and the ability to write. Her writing has received several awards, including 2nd place in the RWA’s 2007 Touched by Love contest. Her first book, White Roses releases in May, 2010 and will be followed by White Doves and White Pearls in October, 2010 and January, 2011 respectively. I am pleased to present an interview I had with Shannon recently on the writing craft. Thank you for being with us today, Shannon!

1: How long did you work on your writing before you were published?
It took me nine years from the time I began writing until I got the first offer.

2 What are two mistakes you wish you had never made?
I wish I had joined a writer’s group and attended conferences sooner than I did. I shot myself in the foot by trying to go it alone for the first couple of years. I kept hearing about learning to write, but I thought, why waste time learning, when I can just write. It doesn’t work that way if you want to get published.

3: What resources did you find the most helpful for learning the craft?
Two local writers’ groups where I learned the basics, my critique group, American Christian Fiction Writers conferences, and craft books, where I got past the basics.

4: How does an author "find their voice"?
I’m not sure we find it, as much as it’s just something we naturally have. Each writer strings words together in a unique way. It comes from personality, background, and where we were raised. To me, that is voice.

5: How do you protect your writing time?
I write during the day, while my son is in school. I don’t take on any appointments, projects, or even go shopping during that time, unless I need a break. I’ve stopped doing a lot of things I used to do, like cleaning the church. I felt bad at first, but I view my writing as a full time job and make sure other people realize that too. During the summer, I write when my son isn’t home or at night after everyone is in bed. I try not to miss quality time with my family.

6: What are the most common mistakes beginning writers make?
Return tomorrow for Shannon's answer and the rest of the interview. Did any of this help you? Leave a comment and tell me about it! : )


  1. Oooo, Casey, great hook!

    I love hearing about other writer's journeys. I've been reminded lately that most journeys are long ones, full of learning the craft and plugging away at the keyboard. Since I'm just starting this journey, I know I have a long road ahead of me, but it's encouraging to read that others have traveled the road ahead of me. Thanks for a great interview!

  2. I am glad it was helpful, Sherrinda, thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Hi Casey, I just started following you and I saw that you had made a button for your site, how do you to that? I would love to make one for mine.


  4. It's great to see Shannon here and learn more about her. I enjoy her blog so very much and stop there nearly every day. Bless you, Casey and Shannon! May there be many wonderful books to read and write in your future:)

  5. @Elizabeth, I love my button, but it was a trial to put together for this limited computer knowledge person!

    @Laura, GREAT to see you here!! Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  6. Great interview. With my first book coming out this fall, I have to admit I wish I had also gotten involved in conferences sooner.

    Looking forward to reading part 2.



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