Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield

Local author Shanna Hatfield has been writing Western romance novels for years and is still brimming with inspiration and creativity.

She’s excited about her characters, their adventures and her work, which contributes to her incredible productivity. Hatfield has authored more than 60 books and is releasing several more before the holidays.

Autumn is a busy time of year and perfect for releasing new books. The season also has its own nostalgic appeal, which works well with the climate and atmosphere Hatfield creates in her stories.

She loves romance, beauty, traditions and the charm of western life, these loves all contribute to her work as an author.

One of several new books out for the holidays, “A Cowboy Christmas, Western Celebrations,” honors families, traditions, the sacred passage of time and wonderful memories, like the smell of home baked cookies in your grandmother’s house years ago.

Hatfield has been a successful, award-winning author for quite awhile. She’s worked at it, focused and dedicated for long enough now that she’s feeling a little more comfortable with what she’s doing at this point.

Writing could be a lonely occupation, but she found her joy and inspiration with support and encouragement from her husband.

As the years have gone by her stories have evolved and addressed different aspects of the western lifestyle

Recently she wanted to write something more involved with rodeo athletes and a tribute to their moms. She’s accomplished this in several ways.

Her book about the Christmas celebrations got the ingredients just right: cowboys, Christmas and cooking, she decided to add recipes

“What a fun idea,” she said.

The ideas came together and she started working on it right away.

“I did all the food photography and the wreaths,” Hatfield said. “It was August, 100 degrees out. I learned how to make fake snow.”

The book includes “a hefty bit of nostalgia” she said and rich, deep memories of growing up in Vale, Oregon.

“I loved the holidays at home, my dad’s birthday at the same time, the family traditions and all the wonderful things we did. Mom was a home maker. We lived up on a hill and almost every year we hosted Christmas at our house,” she said. “Christmas is such a special, special time for our family. I wanted to share with others.”

She interviewed rodeo families, got their thoughts and family stories and their well loved recipes. And she shows her appreciation for the rodeo athletes and the enjoyment and inspiration they have provided throughout her life.

“About 10 percent of the proceeds from all my book sales go to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. It’s a great organization and since I love writing about cowboys, it’s a way of giving back to them for inspiring my stories.

“It is the coolest thing: when rodeo athletes are injured, the fund steps in to help them with rent, power and groceries. Usually they can’t get insured, so it’s a wonderful safety net for them.”

She loves rodeos so she’s very familiar with the need for medical help onsite.

Rodeo events are dangerous and even though these are professional, trained athletes, injuries do happen. “Cowboys are tough,” she said. “They get up and walk away, but then go to the medical trailer.”

Donations to the crisis fund help Hatfield to express her concern and gratitude.

“I wanted to say ‘thank you’ and give back. I found out about the crisis fund in about 2013.

“I want to give people something happy and hopeful,” she said. “To escape for an hour makes the heart happy. We get more than we give when we go into life with that mindset. When the families shared their cookie recipes, I made every recipe in the book.”

Karlene Ponti can be reached at karleneponti@wwub.com or 509-526-8324.

Karlene Ponti began as Special Publications Writer in 1999, work includes Lifestyles, The Weekly and Business Monthly. After Wa-Hi, Ponti attended Whitman and is a UW graduate. Later she was ordained a Christian minister at CDM Spiritual Teaching Center.