Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom and pastor’s wife. Her debut novel won the 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. When not writing, she runs circles in the care and feeding of her husband, their son, and church congregation. Home is a central Arkansas zoo with two charcoal gray cats, a
chocolate lab, and three dachshunds in weenie dog heaven. If given the chance to clean house or write, she’d rather write. Her goal is to hire Alice from the Brady Bunch.
Please tell the readers about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
When Harlequin bought the Heartsong Presents line, my agent contacted the new editor to tell her about me. The editor just happened to have read the 2nd book in my Texas rodeo series, Rodeo Hero and liked it. She asked my agent if I had anything similar. I’d completed all three books in the series by then and given everybody a happily ever after.
Except for the rodeo slut. She was a secondary character in the first three books of the series. She flirted with every hero I created, got pregnant (by another side character—not a hero :), gave up her baby, and skipped town two books ago. I decided to figure out what made her the person she was and what it would take to change her. The editor liked the idea and I ended up with three more books to continue the series.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
NATALIE WENTWORTH'S PAST IS ABOUT TO CATCH UP WITH HER
Natalie once dreamed of finding true love. Then Lane Gray broke her heart. After running wild to fill
the emptiness inside her, she heads back to her hometown to heal. But when she sees the cowboy she once loved so much, she finds him hard to resist.
Lane Gray is a changed man. The handsome cowboy wants Natalie's forgiveness-and more. Natalie has made plenty of mistakes in her life, but so has Lane. Could falling for each other again be the worst one yet? Or the path to redemption?
Many main characters are a reflection of the author or somebody the author knows. Are there any tidbits that you've put into you characters that mimic people around you?
All of my heroes have my husband’s coloring because that’s what I’m attracted to. Seven books with dark haired heroes and green eyes. My heroines can be brunette, blond, or redheads, but not my heroes. I keep worrying my editor will ask me for something different. I don’t think I could write a blond hero.
How did you decide on the setting? Did you need to do research?
The first book in the series required a year round indoor rodeo. I found the Fort Worth Stockyards and Cowtown Coliseum. I also needed a small town for my hero’s horse ranch. I found Aubrey, which just happens to be known as Horse Country USA.
We have family in the San Antonio area, so we visited the Stockyards and Aubrey for research as a stop sort of on the way. We’ve visited two more times since for book signings. Aubrey is a lot like the small town I live in and the people there have embraced me as one of their own.
The restaurant where all my characters eat, Moms on Main carries my books in their gift shop, hosts my signings, and feeds us well when we’re there.
Though each book continues the series, each book stands alone and shows a different aspect of the area. You get the whole story if you read them in order. But you can start anywhere without missing anything.
Shannon, that’s a great way to research, it sounds better than just getting information from the Internet or word-of-mouth. Tell us how it took to write the book, including preliminary work?
Four months total. Two and a half months for the first draft. Then two weeks to let it rest. And a month to edit.
What was the hardest part to write this novel?
Natalie’s character. I’ve never been a rodeo slut, so it was hard to get into her mindset and figure out what made her tick.
How did you come up with the title?
Natalie, the heroine has been very promiscuous past with cowboys, so she has a lot of rodeo regrets.
I'm sure many readers are interested in learning more about you. Do you have a homepage where they can do so?
My website is shannonvannatter.com. I also have a blog with weekly book giveaways where I host Christian authors sharing their real life and character love stories:
hanks Shannon for being on my blog this week I enjoyed having you.
I know readers would love to read the novel. Shannon has graciously offered to give one lucky winner a copy.
Leave a comment and tell us why you’d like to read Rodeo Regrets and a random name will be drawn.
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