Shanna Hatfield is a USA Today Bestselling Author and writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Shanna was recently featured in the August issue of Welcome Home, writing a short story titled No Place Like Home. Shanna graciously answered a few questions about being a writer and what's next for her!
Why did you become a writer?
Short answer: To share the stories that pop up in my head and dance in my heart.
The long answer: During my childhood years on a farm in eastern Oregon, I often made up my own stories. The first one I recall writing was in the third grade about a raccoon because my brother had a pet raccoon at the time. I also had a deep love of reading. There was nothing quite like the anticipation of a new adventure waiting to be discovered in a book.
After college, I spent ten years as a newspaper journalist then switched gears into marketing, but I missed writing. I’d long toyed with the idea of writing a novel, but it wasn’t until a wintry day in February 2010 when I sat down and gave it a try. I fell in love. Everything about the writing process from creating characters to giving them a happy ending resonated with me and I felt like I’d finally found what I was always been meant to do.
My first four books were published in June 2011 with the release of the Women of Tenacity series. From there, I just kept writing and Evie is my 70th book.
What inspired your current book?
Evie is a sweet romance set in the early 1900s. I have such fun pairing together unlikely couples, which is definitely the case in this story. Flynn is a landscape architect and botanist who can get so absorbed in his work, he forgets to eat or sleep. He has little patience for anything that distracts him, and no interest in anything beyond his work and his sister… and then he meets Evie.
To balance his somewhat quirky character, I wanted someone full of joy and light, a social butterfly, to be the heroine of the story. And that’s when Evie came to mind. She’s an unconventional nanny who loves the children in her care with a loyal fierceness that catches Flynn by surprise. And because I love doing research for my historical novels, there are little historical tidbits scattered throughout the story.
What's next for you?
I’m excited to have a unique book releasing October 2nd. A Cowboy Christmas has dozens of recipes with full color photos as well as decorating ideas and holiday tips. In addition, the book features interviews with rodeo and ranch families, highlighting their favorite holiday traditions and what the Christmas season means to them.
The release of A Cowboy Christmas officially kicks off my sixth annual Read a Book, Help a Cowboy campaign to raise funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF provides financial assistance to rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to compete for an extended time. Through my campaign, I donate ten percent of all proceeds from all book sales between October 1st through December 24th to the JCCF. It’s a great way for me to give back to the cowboys who inspire my Rodeo Romance series.
Keeping Christmas will release in November and is the seventh book in the series.