Sunday, April 6, 2014

Interview With Christian Author Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft Shannon.
Is there a story behind your book Rodeo Song?

It’s the only book I’ve ever written that was based on a dream. Long ago, I went to a Michael Bolton concert. I always loved the power and raspiness in his voice. I was sitting with my friend in the nosebleed seats during intermission. We heard a bunch of commotion in the lobby. It was an octagonal shaped arena with stadium seating and the lobby at the top with a dozen doors into the sunken arena.

We watched the doors and could see Michael Bolton running through the lobby with a trail of screaming women chasing him. He came into the arena and sang on a small stage at the opposite end from the main stage.
That night, I dreamed I was in the lobby and he grabbed my hand, pulled me onstage and sang a love song to me.

I knew there was a book in that as soon as I woke up.

Question: What distracts you from writing the easiest?
My son and husband. When my son was little, I wrote while they were home with the TV on and general chaos. But since my son started school, I write during the day when no one is home. I’ve gotten so used to writing in a quiet house that now when they’re home, I don’t even try. In the summer, I stay up and write after they’ve gone to bed.

Question: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction. I only read inspirational. I get enough of the trashy world closing in on me—I don’t want it trashing up my reading enjoyment. Denise Hunter, Lenora Worth, and Linda Nichols are my standby favorites. I’ve recently discovered Melissa Tagg, Marybeth Whalen, and Becky Wade also.

Question: Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Garrett Steele. It was interesting to write a Christian character whose life had gone off the rails with women and alcohol. By the beginning of the book, he’d straightened up his life, but felt unworthy and that God had given up on him. I had to find something that would break him to the point of finding fellowship with God again. It was also a challenge to write him as a Country singer since I don’t like that style of music.

Question: If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Contemporary Christian – I love Third Day and Todd Agnew.
But for church services, I’m very traditional. I like the old hymnbooks and actually holding the book in my hands. Kind of like holding a book instead of a Kindle.

Question: What is your strangest habit?
I live on chocolate covered coffee beans. I’ve gotten immune to plain coffee, so it takes the beans to perk me up.

Question: Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
My husband’s dad lived in the San Antonio area until he passed away a few years ago. My rodeo series was inspired by our Texas visits. The books are mostly set in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Aubrey because most of the characters work at the Fort Worth Stockyards and the possibilities are endless there. But my characters in Rodeo Queen visits Medina where my father-in-law lived and the ranch in the book is based on his ranch.

Question: 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.

It says to me that no matter what this world throws at me, I’ll be okay.

Question: When is your next book due out and what can you tell us about it?
I’ve had at least two books release since 2010. But in 2014, I only have Rodeo Song releasing. The next book, Rodeo Break is book 7 in the series and releases in January 2015.

Here’s the blurb:
After her mom’s suicide, interior decorator tori Eaton learned about love on the road with her womanizing, abusive Country music star dad. Looking for love in all the wrong places landed her in a violent relationship. Determined not to be a victim anymore, she accepts a friend’s help to turn her life around and realize her dreams as a clothing designer.

Brant McConnell chased his Christian music dream to Nashville, but gave up after a year and embraced his calling as a song director. When offered the chance to headline at the Fort Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo, and a song director position at a small church in Aubrey, he’s sure his break is just around the arena for a chance at a mega-church.

Their lives collide when Brant shows up at the guest-house where Tori is in hiding from her ex-boyfriend. Sporting a black eye and weilding a fire poker, Tori makes quite an impression on him. They end up in the same church, where Tori accepts Christ and a position as piano player. The two make beautiful music for the Lord together, but will their chance at a future come to a screeching halt when Tori learns she’s pregnant by her ex-boyfriend?

Thank you so much for joining us today, Shannon.

You can purchase the book at:
Or have your local library order it in for you!

Shannon Taylor Vannatter is giving away a copy of Rodeo Song. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)


Patricia Bradley said...

Great interview. Totally understand why you read Inspirational. And I'm a fan of Melissa Tagg! I'm a fan of Michael Bolton, too. Rodeo Song sounds like a book I'd like to read. pat at ptbradley dot com

cjajsmommy said...

Thanks for the great interview. Were you ever part of email list of pastors' wives? Your name rings a bell.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I'd love to win and review it. jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

sm said...

Rodeo Song sounds great. It sounds country and I love country music. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Patricia,
Sounds like we have a lot in common. I love the Michael Bolton car commercial. He still gives everything he sings his all. And he's aged really well.

The only e-mail list I'm on for pastor's wives would be in AR. I've been all over the net with interviews about books and I had a short story published in Mature Living once. My last name is pretty unique.

I'm glad Rodeo Song sounds interesting to you. It was fun to write.

Hey Sharon,
I like ballads in country music. I loved Gary Morris and Kenny Rogers - that was a few years ago.

Merry said...

I loved getting to know Shannon better and some of the background for her rodeo series.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

KayM said...

I enjoyed the interview so much. I also only read inspirational fiction. I like to feel uplifted and encouraged as a Christian. I can't expect that from worldly fiction. Not that all the stories have to be sweet. I just like to know that no matter what happens, there is true hope.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Glad you enjoyed the interview. I did too. I tell the people second to writing, the thing I most like to to do is talk about writing.

Me too on the inspy fiction. I like to take real problems from real life and hopefully show people that if you're a Christian, you can deal with anything life throws at you.

Amanda Stephan said...

Loved the interview! Makes me laugh how the idea for the book came along ~ you know you're an author when you dream something and weave a story around it. :)

Thanks for hosting Ms. Vannatter here today. It's nice to get to know her and her books!

kjv1611as at gmail dot com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Amanda,
Good to see you here. I don't dream that vividly anymore and I can't remember most of my dreams. But I do keep a notebook just in case.

Unknown said...

I would love to read this book.
Rita Navarre

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Thanks Rita. I hope you get the chance.

Anonymous said...

Hello Shannon,
I must say I did enjoy reading your book Rodeo Song. I would like to say what drew me to the book was I am also a Vannatter by birth...was wondering if any relation as I am also living in Arkansas. Would be nice to know that a nice wonderful lady was a relative that I may or may not have found. God Bless....

Kimberly Vannatter

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