Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Central Arkansas Author Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Welcome to the loft, Shannon! Congratulations on your new release.
Is there a story behind your book Rodeo Regrets?

Natalie has been in three previous books as the rodeo slut. When I got the chance to continue the series, I thought of her and decided it would be fun to explore what made her that way and see if I could redeem her.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

Family members in the hospital. I’m pretty focused on writing because I love it. But I’ve had two family members in the hospital in the last few months. They’re both fine now, but it threw me for a loop and took me a while to get back into the swing of writing.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Contemporary romance and women’s fiction – inspirational only. I started reading clean romances as a teenager, so I’ve always loved romance. Clean is harder to find these days, but thankfully inspirational isn’t. Every once in a while, I’ll read a supsense, but I have to be in the mood. My husband hates when I read because he knows I’ll be gone for a while.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?

Natalie. Because she was so injured and so unlikeable. It was a challenge to make readers hurt for her enough to like her.

Just for fun, if you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?

I don’t know my artists or sculptors, but I’d want my art to make sense and my subject recognizable. I don’t get abstract.

What is your strangest habit?

I want everything to match. From clothing to rooms in my house. I have 60 pair of high heels so I can have a pair to match every outfit. And if a room doesn’t match, it bugs me. 

Once we had two silk trees at the front of our church on each side of the pulpit. One was about a foot taller with yellow streaks in the leaves. The shorter one had white streaks in the leaves.

Every week, instead of listening to my husband preach, I’d focus on those trees and how I could trim the one and buy some white and yellow paint to even out those streaks. I finally had to move one tree to the back of the church so I could focus. Okay, this might be a sickness – obsessive compulsive disorder.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

My husband. He gets me with his zingy one-liners.

What is your favorite season of the year? 

Spring and fall. I hate being too hot and I hate being too cold. But I’d rather be cold than hot. You can always put more layers on. When it’s hot, I don’t want to move. Especially outside.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?

I live in rural Arkansas. I love the peacefulness and not having neighbors mere feet away. I love having access to acres and acres of family land to walk, hike, and ride four-wheelers.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?

My swimming pool and playhouse. I spent hours in both with friends. I still love to swim. Though I live ten miles from a very popular lake, I never go there. I like chlorine and privacy, so I have a blue Walmart pool in my yard. Someday, when my book comes in, maybe I’ll get a built-in with a pool guy. He doesn’t have to be cute, just a clean pool is all I want, without me having to do the cleaning.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Housework. I’d rather write.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

Texas. We have family there. It really is like a whole other country.

Texas is big enough to be a whole other country. Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?

Researching my first rodeo title took me to the Fort Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo. Six books later. . .

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes. Dressing is my all time favorite food. I’m not big on turkey, but we always have ham too. And I hate to cook, so I can get by with bringing my broccoli cheese casserole and enjoy the bounty.

Recipe:

2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli
2 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower
1 cup rice (uncooked)
10 oz Cream of Mushroom soup
16 oz Velveeta
1 roll Ritz Crackers
1 package shredded cheese

Boil broccoli and cauliflower. Cook rice according to package directions. Drain water from broccoli and cauliflower, mash with potato masher. Add cooked rice. Pour soup over mixture. Cut up Velveeta and layer over top. Microwave until cheese melts – stirring often. Stir well, pour into 9 x 13 glass pan. Sprinkle crushed Ritz crackers and shredded cheese over top. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

Forgiveness and trust. So many people have issues with both and they make for lots of story possibilities while hopefully touching a reader’s heart.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?

Though we live on a two lane highway, you have to turn down a gravel road to get to our house. The gravel road goes up a hill to where my grandmother used to live. I love walking the gravel road. It’s peaceful and no one lives on it but us and my cousing. It’s lined by woods on each side. I lots of praying and plotting on that road. For reading, there’s no place like my recliner.

Would you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you? 
Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These verses mean I’m okay – no matter what. As a Christian, I can’t lose God’s love. What else matters in light of that?

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

Rodeo Queen releases in November. It continues the series. It’s based on the very first book I ever wrote, so I’m really looking forward to it. I had no idea how to write back then. Though I still had the original version, I ignored it and rewrote the entire book. Here's a teaser:

Caitlyn Wentworth and Mitch Warren were high school sweethearts, but his dangerous occupation scared her away. Caitlyn owns the western store contracted to supply staff clothing at Cowtown Coliseum, where she serves as rodeo queen.


Mitch loved Caitlin in high school, but was driven to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps as a Texas Ranger. When Caitlin’s life is in danger, Mitch swoops in to save her and realizes his feelings for her have only grown stronger over the years. Can he protect her and win her heart?

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Learn more about Shannon and her books at her website and check out her real life romance blog at The Inkslinger blog. Connect with her on Facebook  and Twitter.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter is giving away a copy of Rodeo Regrets. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


23 comments:

Cindi A said...

The recipe sounds delicious. I do have a question about it. How much shredded cheese do you put on top? (our packages come in different sizes)

cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Cindi,
I just cover it good with the shredded cheese. No specific measurement.

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY
angelachesnut246@gmail.com

shirley Blanchard said...

i love this style books please enter me to win lol i would sure love to be the winner
Shirley from FL jcisforme@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me for this book. Thanks and I enjoyed the interview.
Brittany McEuen
kbmceuen@yahoo.com

Teela said...

Here goes again, somehow I deleted my comment instead of posting it! I would love to win your book Shannon! Love good clean romances. Thanks for the giveaway. teelayoung at hotmail dot com

Patricia Bradley said...

Great interview. Rode Regrets sounds very intriguing. pat at ptbradley dot com

sm said...

RODEO REGRETS is looking very good to me. I like Western themes. I notice author lives in Mojave, CA- a real desert environment, for sure. sharon, CA

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Angela,
Good luck.

Shirley,
What's not to love about a cowboy :)

Brittany,
I enjoyed the interview too. Sharon asked some interesting questions.

Teela,
I'm extremely computer challenged.

Patricia,
I really enjoyed writing this story.

sm,
I actually live in Arkansas. But there are rodeos here and we have family in TX, so we visit there often. To research this series, I hung out at the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Anonymous said...

Hello Shannon. I loved your answers to the interview. I loved the small town living and out in the country, except when I need something from the store. I could sure do without the scoppians tho. When I was growing up in a small town about 3 hrs. away from Houston, they were there. And, we still had an outhouse. I hated going in there because they might be in there. LOL
60 pairs of shoes? Really? One of my granddaughters could probably tie you with that if not more. I ask her do you ever know which box is which shoes. The complete op of her closet was full from one side to the other and stacked as high as they could be. And, she has still bought more. LOL Texas is for sure large enough to be it's own country. Was at one time. And, about time to be again with the way things are going.
I would love to win your book. Thanks and thanks to you Karen for having her here,
MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Hello Shannon. I loved your answers to the interview. I loved the small town living and out in the country, except when I need something from the store. I could sure do without the scoppians tho. When I was growing up in a small town about 3 hrs. away from Houston, they were there. And, we still had an outhouse. I hated going in there because they might be in there. LOL
60 pairs of shoes? Really? One of my granddaughters could probably tie you with that if not more. I ask her do you ever know which box is which shoes. The complete op of her closet was full from one side to the other and stacked as high as they could be. And, she has still bought more. LOL Texas is for sure large enough to be it's own country. Was at one time. And, about time to be again with the way things are going.
I would love to win your book. Thanks and thanks to you Karen for having her here,
MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Hello Shannon. I loved your answers to the interview. I loved the small town living and out in the country, except when I need something from the store. I could sure do without the scoppians tho. When I was growing up in a small town about 3 hrs. away from Houston, they were there. And, we still had an outhouse. I hated going in there because they might be in there. LOL
60 pairs of shoes? Really? One of my granddaughters could probably tie you with that if not more. I ask her do you ever know which box is which shoes. The complete op of her closet was full from one side to the other and stacked as high as they could be. And, she has still bought more. LOL Texas is for sure large enough to be it's own country. Was at one time. And, about time to be again with the way things are going.
I would love to win your book. Thanks and thanks to you Karen for having her here,
MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a wonderful story. I look forward to reading it.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Maxie,
The good thing is I don't buy expensive shoes. They're all $7 to $20. Mostly in the $7 range since I buy them on sale a lot. Tennis shoes just two pair. Pretty sandals several. I have the heels in cloth cubbies I bought from Walmart. I have three and they stack on top of each other. So I can walk in and they're all lined up. Used to do the box thing. It was annoying.
Things are just different in Texas. In a good way.

eliza elliott said...

Hi Shannon, it is always good to meet a fellow shoe lover...I was shocked after having my children because my feet grew and I had to buy all new shoes in a bigger size. I had to say goodbye to some really fun shoes that are hard to replace when you find them on sale for a steal. =) Would love to win your book..I, to, am "gone" when I'm reading! thanks for the chance. truckredford(at)Gmail(Dot)Com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Linda,
Thanks. I think Natalie was one of my favorite characters to write.

Eliza,
I hate when I have to retire shoes because they're scuffed, come unstitched, or are just worn out. I have three pair right now that need to go. They're in too bad a shape to wear, but I just can't part with them.

jojo said...

It was so interesting to read your interview. We have the same "disease" I have to match and so does my home! I remember it started as a little girl when my mom wanted me to wear red shoes with a purple and white outfit, I ran into my room and put my black patent baby dolls on! Thanks for the chance to win your book.

Joy Hannabass said...

Thanks for the interesting interview. And the recipe sounds wonderful, as does the book!
Would love to win a copy.
Blessings....Joy
ibjoy1953{at}yahoo.com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

JoJo,
My disease started as a child too. NOTHING ever matched in my parents' house.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Joy,
This is actually my very own recipe. Someone gave me a different version with broccoli only. It just tasted too green to me, so I added cauliflower.

Merry said...

Fun interview. I'm a bit nutty over things matching too but I don't have 60 pairs of shoes... I think I'm jealous. :) Thanks for the giveaway!
Worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Sylvia said...

I love Shannon's books! It's always interesting to read about a heroine in one book who was the antagonist in another book. I love the cover too.

nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Merry,
I buy most of them on clearance. I have several pair I paid $7 for. You should try it. Just don't tell your husband where you got the idea.

Hey Sylvia,
Thanks for the compliment. I love rehabilitating the bad girls.

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