Welcome to Writing for Christ Shannon Vannatter, it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?
I had a creative writing class in the 3rd grade and loved it. My teacher was very complimentary and encouraging about a few short stories I wrote. But I never had any other classes like that. As a preteen, we moved away from all my friends and it took me a while to acclimate. With lots of alone time, I created a story in my head. Sometimes, I’d act it out in my locked bedroom with lots of drama.
Since I watched a lot of hunky detective shows, my story was a damsel in distress and cute detective to the rescue. I’d add scenes, more drama, and change the end. I thought it was a movie, but I didn’t want to go to
Hollywood, so I didn’t
know what to do with it.
When I was fifteen, I met my future husband and started living my own romance. I forgot aboutthe story. Until fifteen years later when my husband started working evenings. We didn’t have our son yet and I needed something to occupy my evenings. I went to the library to find clean romance books like I’d read as a teen, but I couldn’t find any.
That’s when I remembered my long ago story and thought—Hey, that could be a book. Once I started writing it, my characters kept talking to God. Even though I was unaware of the Christian fiction market, I let them. I didn’t know about Christian books because the library didn’t really carry them back then. Fourteen years later, that story became my 8th published title, Rodeo Queen. I had to go back and completely rewrite it because when I originally wrote it, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?
The standard response for a Christian is the Bible, I’m sure. It’s truly a life changing book. Other than that, I can’t remember the story, title, or author, but it was a Heartsong Presents book. It was the first inspirational romance I’d ever read. I’d completed my book, learned there was a Christian market and a writing friend loaned me a Heartsong. It was an awesome experience to read a clean romance with a gospel message like I’d written and know it had gotten published. I had a lot to learn though. I stopped counting rejections at 200 and spent the next 9 1/2 years attending conferences and workshops before I finally got published.
If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?
This is a book, you dork. If I’d realized that story in my head was a book, I’d have started writing sooner.
5 preference questions:
Homemade or take-out? Homemade, if I don’t have to make it. I sincerely hate cooking. I do it anyway, but it frustrates the life out of me.
Email or snailmail? Email. I never was much of a letter writer even before email.
Online shopping or Black Friday deals? Online. I hide under the covers on Black Friday. Besides I’m not a morning person. Even though I’m an avid bargain shopper, no bargain is worth that.
Books or movies? Books definitely. And I like paper. I only read digital if it’s a title by one of my favorite authors and it doesn’t come in paper. I like seeing my books lined up on the shelf. When they’re in my tablet, I don’t feel like I really own the book.
Note-taker or memorization? Note-taker definitely. Ever since my son was born, my memory is gone.
Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?
Rodeo Queen will probably always be my favorite since it lived in my head for so long. But I love all of them and I miss the characters after I complete their books. Especially when I end a series. Maybe that’s why my rodeo series has gone on for so long—I’m attached to the characters.
Places for readers to learn more about you?
Learn more about
Shannon and her books at check
out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/.
Connect with her on Facebook: http://facebook.com/shannontaylorvannatter,
and Twitter: @stvauthor.
Thank you for being with us today!
Thanks Casey :)
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