Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Award-winning author Shannon Taylor Vannatter: "Love doesn't make the world go around. God does."

Why I Write Christian Fiction
By Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Note: Leave a comment and get a chance to win a copy of Rodeo Regrets.

Back in 1999, I finally realized the story I’d had in my head since I was a teenager could be a book. I set out to write a clean romance because I fell in love with the genre as a teen. But my characters wouldn’t stop praying and talking to God. And I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t leave God out of the story because love doesn’t make the world go around. God does.

Christian romance was still in its infancy then and I had no idea there was such a thing. Until I went to the library to learn how to get published. The librarian suggested the Writer’s Market Guide and I found numerous publishers looking for what I was writing. I was a reader. How had I missed Christian fiction? I often shopped at the Christian book store, but I always went straight to the music section.

I submitted my book to publishers and started another book. I stopped counting rejections at two hundred on six different books. If I’d known how hard, how frustrating, and how long it would take to achieve publication, I probably never would have started. Nine and a half years later, countless writers meetings and conferences, and a membership in American Christian Fiction Writers later, I achieved my dream.

I write romance because I love happily-ever-afters and I read to relax. With romance, I know everything will turn out okay. The how it will turn out okay keeps me turning the pages. I write Christian because I can’t imagine writing anything else.

Now there are so many genres within Christian Fiction. Science fiction, speculative, fairytale retellings—something for everyone. It never ceases to amaze me the unique books God can dictate to touch every reader. All he needs is a willing writer.

I try to be that willing writer. With each book, I write to uplift Christians, to help them see something in a new light, to strengthen their walk with God. And I always pray that Christians will loan my book to their non-believing friends and maybe my book will plant seeds. 

Summary of Rodeo Regrets
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?

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.