Today I’m sharing how I went from writing romances set in Romance and Rose Bud, Arkansas to wrangling Texas cowboys. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post, follow my blog tour, and sign up for my newsletter. I’ve got several copies up for grabs. Check out the giveaway details at the end of the post.
Whenever I speak at events in Arkansas, I always feel bad that I haven’t set a book in my home state since my very first published series. So I thought I’d explain why I’ve ended up writing about Texas cowboys.
The first several books I wrote were set in rural Arkansas. With over two hundred rejection letters, I wasn’t published yet. I read an article that said if Texas is in the title or a cowboy is on the cover, the book will sell better. Though I was willing to do almost anything to get published, I didn’t have any Texas cowboy books in me.
Until we took our young son to the state fair. While there, I saw a cowboy dressed in Justins, Stetson, and Wranglers holding hands with a girl wearing a pin-striped suit and suede boots. I wondered how they met and what they could possibly have in common.
That night, inspiration struck for a book about a city girl and a bull rider. Since my dad once announced at small town rodeos, I knew a lot about the sport. I wrote the book and set it in rural Arkansas.
But it didn’t fit. My bull rider needed to be professional and full time. Rodeos in Arkansas are spread all over the state. I needed a centralized area where my cowboy could be home during the week to captivate my heroine. Since I married a Texan, I knew my way around the state and decided to set my story in the Dallas Fort Worth area with my hero’s ranch in the small town of Aubrey.
In the meantime, my husband had answered the call to preach. After sixteen years of marriage. I didn’t feel worthy or up to the challenge of being a pastor’s wife. So I captured my very torn feelings in a book about a florist and widowed preacher. Though the florist had been a Christian for years, she didn’t feel she could fill the pastor’s deceased wife’s shoes. It was very therapeutic for me and helped me accept my new role.
I submitted both books, then had the opportunity to pitch them both at a writers’ conference. The setting for my Arkansas story sparked the editor’s interest. So White Roses set in Romance and Rose Bud, Arkansas became my first traditionally published book. After two more books completed the series, my editor took a look at my Texas book. I ended up with a contract for three Texas rodeo books.
But after Rodeo Dust released, the publisher decided to close the Heartsong Presents line. It seemed my other two contracted titles were dead in the water. Until Harlequin bought the line and I was back in business. When I finished the series, my new editor asked if I had anything similar. I ended up continuing the series with six more books. But history repeated itself. After book eight in the series, Harlequin decided to close the line.
Since Love Inspired readers love cowboys, I got to finish out my contract with the line. When I asked if I could write another Arkansas series, my agent said I’d created a niche for myself with Texas cowboys and I should stick with it since that’s what readers expect from me now.
It’s fine with me. Texas cowboys have been good to me. I just want everyone to know that I do really love my home state of Arkansas.
About Shannon: Award winning author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter writes contemporary Christian cowboy romance and has over a dozen published titles. A romance reader since her teens, she hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as she demonstrates that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does.
She gleans fodder for her fiction in rural Arkansas where she spent her teenage summers working the concession stand with her rodeo announcing dad and married a Texan who morphed into a pastor. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and son, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.
About the book – A Texas Holiday Reunion:
His Christmas Homecoming
With her foreman out of commission, Resa McCall needs horse trainer Colson Kincaid to run her family ranch through the holidays. But having the handsome single dad back in Bandera, Texas, is unsettling. Colson broke Resa’s heart years ago, and she can’t risk getting close again. Still, working with him and bonding with his sweet little girl is making the ranch feel merry and bright. Being at Resa’s side stirs up emotions Colson thought were long gone. But he has a powerful secret that could keep them apart forever. Can Colson give Resa the one Christmas present that might finally bring them back together—the truth?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now:
Comment to enter the drawing for a copy of A Texas Holiday Reunion. Six copies will be split among names drawn during the blog tour from Oct 18 – Dec 8. One winner will get to pick the theme for a custom made memory board personally crafted by the author. Deadline Dec. 8th. Winners will be revealed on the author’s blog on Dec 10th. Go to my website http://shannontaylorvannatter.com and sign up for my newsletter to enter more giveaways and get a free book download.
Follow my blog tour for more chances to win A Texas Holiday Reunion:
- Oct 18 – https://allbettsareoff.wordpress.com/
- Oct 19 – http://www.inspyromance.com/
- Oct 24 – http://craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com/
- Oct 24 – http://brendaandersonbooks.com/blog/
- Oct 24 & 27 – http://shannontaylorvannatter.com/inkslinger-blog/
- Oct 26 – https://saralfoust.com/blog/
- Nov 2 – https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/about/blog/
- Nov 3 – http://chirpnchatter.blogspot.com/
- Dec 1 – http://sarahruut.com/tag/author-interview/
Question for Readers: Have you ever done something that accidentally changed the course of your life or career?
Come back October 31st for Jodie Bailey!