Interview with Shannon Vannatter

» Posted on Jun 15, 2010 in Blog | 22 comments

This week I’m hosting Shannon Vannatter with White Roses, Linda Windsor with The Healers and Cara Lynn James with Love on a Dime. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (June 20th) evening.

Shannon Vannatter’s interview:

1. What made you start writing? I had a story in my head at the age of 15. It wouldn’t go away and played over and over like a movie. I even acted it out sometimes. For years, I didn’t know what to do with it. By about 30, I’d figured out it was a book. At 33, I got a hand me down computer and started writing it that very day. My first very badly written, never attended a conference book.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book? I started writing in the Fall of 1999. In 2001, I got a very badly written book Print on Demand published. In early 2009, I got my first contract from a traditional publisher. Thanks to American Christian Fiction Writers, I learned to write in the intervening years and my books are no longer badly written. By the last draft anyway.

3. How do you handle rejections? I allow myself to mope for a day and eat chocolate, then get over it the next day and begin revising the project or start something new.

4. Why do you write? I can’t not write. I’ve tried. Whenever I try to take a break, that’s when the most ideas start flowing.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing? Cleaning the house. Ugh! I’d probably sew more. I don’t do clothes, too complicated. But I love sewing bedspreads, comforters, curtains and toppers. I have patriotic fabric waiting for me to redecorate my son’s room.

6. What are you working on right now? I just turned in my third book in my series with Heartsong Presents. I’ve recently launched a romance blog and it’s consuming a lot of my time, but it’s fun. The first book in my as yet unsold next series is finished and I’ll begin revisions soon. I’m also teaching writing workshops and speaking at a couple of conferences. I love sharing what I’ve learned with hopeful writers.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters? I put a bit of me in each character. The heroine in White Roses struggles with biting her nails. I used to as a kid. The heroine in White Doves isn’t very outdoorsy and is allergic to poison ivy. I love the outdoors, but they don’t love me. I’m very extremely allergic to poison ivy. In White Pearls, the heroine has low self-esteem. Something I struggled with as a teen.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now. White Roses is about a widowed pastor and the florist who did his wife’s flowers. Since her death, he takes them to the cemetery. The heroine’s brother is hired as an associate pastor at the hero’s church, which keeps them in close contact. As an attraction develops, they learn they were connected by tragedy before they ever met.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers? Persistence, learn your craft, and join a large national organization that focuses on your genre. I learned everything that got me past the basics and to a publishable level through ACFW.

10. How important is faith in your books? Very. Each book has a spiritual thread. Even my saved characters are struggling and draw closer to God by the end of the book. I especially love walking characters through the salvation experience. I tend to delve deeper with each book in the series. Book 1, hero and heroine are both saved, but struggling. Book 2, heroine isn’t saved at the beginning. Book 3, neither main character is saved at the beginning.

11. What themes do you like to write about? Forgiveness, letting go and letting God, trust, and casting your burdens at the feet of Jesus.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why? White Roses. Because I got the idea from my dad always sending me flowers or balloons on Valentine’s Day.

13. What is your writing schedule like? During the school year, I write from about 9:00 – 2:30 on weekdays. In the summer, I write two days a week and from 10:00 – midnight every night.


  1. nice interview thanks
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  2. Hi Apple Blossom,

    I'm honored to be on Margaret's blog. Even though she doesn't remember it, Margaret was the first person I met at my first ACFW conference in Nashville.

  3. enjoyed this posting…would love to read shannon's latest…thanks for the chance 🙂

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. Great post.

  5. Hi Karen & Runner10. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. It's strange how a story can 'plague' to us until we give life to it. Thanks for this great interview!

  7. It's strange sometimes how stories 'plague' to us until we give them a 'life of its own' so to speak… Thanks for this great interview!

  8. Hi Annie,
    I definitely have to get the stories out or they won't leave me alone.

  9. I really enjoyed reading the interview

  10. Thanks Christi,
    I enjoyed it too.

  11. Enjoyed the interview….thanks for the chance to win a book!

  12. Enjoyed the interview. You inspired me. I've always been a reader and have given thought to writing but never thought I could but after reading your interview I feel I should give myself the benefit of trying! I'm disabled with RSD and would love to see a book about a woman of faith living with this horrible disability.

  13. Enjoyed the interview. You inspired me. I've always been a reader and have given thought to writing but never thought I could but after reading your interview I feel I should give myself the benefit of trying! I'm disabled with RSD and would love to see a book about a woman of faith living with this horrible disability.

  14. Hi Sherry,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I enjoyed doing it. It's still surreal to me that I'm doing interviews.

    Hi Taliasba,

    Glad I inspired. Just know there's nothing easy about getting published. It took me a little over nine years of constant striving. My best advice: join a writer's group, attend conferences, and join a national organization geared toward your genre. I didn't do any of this until about two years in. If I'd sought help sooner, I might have shaved off a few years.

  15. Thank you for the wonderful interview. Thank you for the encouraging words of becoming a writer. It's always good to remember to keep persevering on in pursuit of the craft. The story that you've written sounds interesting–sounds like a lot of conflict. Can't wait to see how it ends.

    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  16. This looks like an absolute must read. Can't wait.


  17. Hi Cynthia,

    Persistence + patience = publication. Hang in there. I know just how discouraging it can be.


    Thanks for the compliment. A must read. That makes me feel so good.

  18. Fantastic interview! I enjoyed getting to "meet" Shannon. I really like what you said about the themes you like to write about, "Forgiveness, letting go and letting God, trust, and casting your burdens at the feet of Jesus." What all of us need to remember daily & finding good quality books that focus on these themes is a joy. Shannon, I love the cover of "White Roses." It is so pretty and just draws my attention & invites me to read the book.

    Blessings & grace to you both ~
    Beverly bgrider2[at]cox[dot]net

  19. I never heard of this author before and would love to read one of her books.
    enter me to win.

  20. Hi Beverly,

    Thanks for your comments. I love the cover too. I used a real church in Rose Bud, AR as my model, but used fictional liberty and added more stained glass windows.

    Hi squiresj,

    This is my debut novel with a traditional publisher. I'm excited to know readers are interested.

  21. Would love to get this book, will be looking for it. So many great books coming. Juanita

  22. Hi Juanita,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm with you, so many books, so little time.

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