Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Are You Stuck on One Book? by Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Last year at my local writer’s group meeting, a friend and fellow member was upset. We’ll call her Jane. She’d signed with an agent, then been dropped. Her book had been rejected several times and she wasn’t sure what to do next.

Over several years, I’d traveled to a national conference and roomed with her, as well as attended several writer’s meetings and retreats with her. During the entire time I’ve known her, Jane has tried to get this one book published. So as she poured out her heart and frustration at the meeting, advice bubbled up in me.

I’ve known several Janes. Tirelessly and doggedly peddling that one book that nobody wants right now. I was Jane. I pitched one book for four years. Even though at the time, I’d completed five, I was stuck on the one because it was the book of my heart.

Finally, I met Mary Connealy at ACFW. Once she got published, she had books coming out faster than I could keep up with. She said she kept writing books and pitching different ones because with each book, you learn and improve. By the time Mary got a contract, she had dozens of books ready to go. I wrote another, then another. And another.

Back to the meeting. I took Jane’s hand and gently suggested she write another book. I told her about Mary, about the book I’d set aside, and about learning and improving with each book you write. I shared that it’s hard to let the book of your heart go so you can move on. But I assured Jane that she didn’t have to give up on it. Just write more while waiting for a home for that first book.

I cried. Jane cried. A few months later, she did the devotion at our meeting about being a willing vessel for God. She gave us each a small lump of play doh and told us to make a vessel. Then she told us how sometimes you feel like you’re doing really well being a vessel, moldable and pliable to God’s will when someone, like Shannon, comes along and crushes your dreams. She brought her fist down smashing her play doh vase and looked at me.

“I’ve been waiting to do that for months.” Jane started laughing. I did too, relieved that she wasn’t really mad at me. Then she went on to share that sometimes when you think your dreams have been crushed, that’s when you find new purpose. She thanked me for my advice and shared that she’d started a new book and was loving it. And loving writing again.

Recently, a new opportunity opened up for the book of my heart. Once the book I’m currently contracted for is finished, I plan to revise that old book since I’ve learned much since then and see if it can find a home. If it does, I’ll be ecstatic. If it doesn’t, I’ll write another book. And another. And another. . .

I pitched one book for four years...because it was the book of my heart. via @stvauthor #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting


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.
Connect with her: Shannon’s Website, Shannon’s Blog, Shannon’s Facebook, Shannon’s Goodreads, Shannon’s Pinterest, Shannon’s Twitter, and  Shannon’s Amazon Author Page. Sign up for her Newsletter to get a free e-book and behind the scenes info: Shannon's Newsletter

This cowboy has one more chance to make it right…

He already lost her once…

Now he’s fighting for her—and their daughter.

When Rance Shepherd takes a job stocking cattle for a local rodeo, he’s shocked that his new client is his ex-sweetheart, Larae Collins. Now he’s determined to prove to the single mother that he isn’t the restless cowboy she remembers. But when he discovers her little girl is his, they both must forgive past mistakes for a second shot at a future together.

Get your copy:

(Available at Walmart from mid-March until mid-June)

Blog Tour for Hill Country Redemption

Giveaway Details: Ten copies of Hill Country Redemption will be split among commentors on Shannon’s blog tour. Winner’s will be revealed on Shannon’s Blog on April 13th. 

March 1st - Becky Van Vleet’s Blog:
March 17th – Shannon’s Blog:
April 7th – Jennifer Hereen’s Blog:
April 6th – June Foster’s Blog:
April 2nd – Joy Avery Melville’s Blog:
April 7th – Catherine Castle’s Blog:
April 9th - Laurie Wood’s Blog: