Hey there! Today I’m very excited for you to meet Whitney Braun who will be chatting with us about her newest novel, “Go the Route“.
She’ll also be joining us over at the Book Nook Facebook Group for our very first author spotlight today. She’ll be talking more about her books and running some fun giveaways. Hope to see you there!
About the Book:
Lucy Martin has her own set of big dreams as her first year of university approaches. The only problem is that her father doesn’t agree with them. Dave Martin is all business as the head scout of Major League Baseball’s Toronto Jays, and he believes success is having people know your name. Lucy doesn’t care about prestige as she sets out determined to find a way to live out her far simpler dreams.
Caiden McMann isn’t going to let Toronto’s big city vibes intimidate him. He’s a twenty year old intern for the Toronto Jay’s head scout on track to defy the odds. He is certain that nothing can stand in the way of his dreams until he meets his match in the form of a merciless boss and the man’s irresistible, and rather quirky, daughter.
Will Caiden and Lucy find a way to chase their dreams and go the route, or will one too many obstacles pull them from the game?
Becky: Hi Whitney! Thank you so much for joining me on the blog today!
Tell us a little bit about your books?
Whitney: All of my books are contemporary Christian romances. My ‘Worth’ series has three full length novels and one Christmas novella, and the first book in my ‘Dream Chaser’ series, Go the Route, just released in February. This series revolves around baseball–my favourite sport!
All of my books feature Canadian towns and cities (although Sethburn, Saskatchewan is my own made up town), and a lot of hobbies and interests of mine are integrated in my stories. I love to write about what I love to do! Some of these things are grain farming and lots of sports. I often worry that my readers won’t enjoy these aspects, but a lot of women have told me how much they loved to learn about them in amongst the romance.
Becky: That’s so neat. I want to incorporate some books that take place in Canada into my TBR and these look like a great fit.
“Go the Route” recently released in February. Tell us a little bit about the book?
Whitney: First, there’s some back story to this title even though it’s the first in the Dream Chaser series. Caiden was featured in my book Worth the Wait when he was just seven years old. In the new book, he’s twenty. You can read about his parents’ love story, as well as his childhood in the other one. Caiden was born with a heart condition that wasn’t discovered until well into his childhood. As his parents reconnect, he undergoes open heart surgery and says goodbye to following in his dad’s footsteps as a professional athlete. But that doesn’t mean he leaves sports behind!
In Go the Route, Caiden scores an internship as a scout for the Toronto Jays, and through that, he meets Lucy—the daughter of the Jays’ not-so-friendly head scout.
These two navigate some sticky situations as Caiden works to prove he has what it takes to make it big, while Lucy finally learns to stand up for her dreams to a father who wants to forget the past.
These two may be young, but they’ve got a lot of courage and a powerful God on their side!
Becky: Ooh, this sounds like a beautiful story that I can’t wait to read!
Did you have a favorite character that you loved writing about in the book?
Whitney: Yep, sure did! Caiden is my favourite character that I’ve ever written. This fellow has a super special place in my heart. His name is actually the name of my oldest nephew. Every niece and nephew of mine always becomes a character! (Stayed tuned for Luke & Nate!) But the main reason Caiden is so dear to me is because of his heart condition.
His character was inspired by a different nephew, Caleb. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and underwent open heart surgery when he was just three days old. He was a fighter, and his parents were too! Their story will forever inspire me.
So, when I started a new series, I just couldn’t leave Caiden behind!
Becky: That sounds like a unique and special story. Thanks so much for sharing, Whitney.
Did you always dream of becoming a writer? What inspired you to write?
Whitney: No! I had silly dreams of accounting and hotel managing when I was a girl. Hotel managing. Ew. Why?
Even though I had lofty and odd career dreams, I also found myself writing all the time. In fact, my first story was published in the 1999 yearbook of my elementary school. I pursued an education in rhetoric, as well as creative writing, in university. I wrote my first novel when I was just 22 and haven’t looked back since.
My inspiration is definitely embedded in my daily activities. I love to play baseball, cross country ski, downhill ski, and watch sports on television. In our house, you must vow to be an Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Blue Jays fan. I also help my family grain farm on our 500 acres of land. I’ve been driving a tractor since my early teen years, and to this day, it’s my absolute favourite thing to do. All of this can be found woven into my novels. It makes writing that much more fun!
Oh, and I married an accountant instead so that I never have to think about math again.
Becky: If you could spend the day with a fictional character, who would you pick and what would you do?
Whitney: As a teen, I would’ve said Cody Coleman, the wounded and stormy dreamboat from Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter series. We would’ve hung out at Lake Monroe and he would show me around the university campus. But alas, dreams change. Now, I would wish to spend the day with Anne of Green Gables. We would do anything she could dream up! Silly, weird, quiet, loud–I’m game!
Becky: Cody Coleman. -swoon- And Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorites too. 😀
Who are some of your favorite authors who inspire you?
Whitney: Karen Kingsbury, hands down. Every one of her release days I celebrate as a holiday. When I read her books, I don’t even see the words. The characters just play out the entire story in my head. Her writing is flawless and emotionally overwhelming to the point where I consider the members of the Baxter family my imaginary friends.
Becky: Karen Kingsbury is definitely a talented author. Did you hear that the Baxter family will have their own television show soon?
What are you currently reading?
Whitney: Anything and everything. I mostly read the same genre that I write–it’s great research! I’m working my way through Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series again since I was a teenager the last time I read them.
Becky: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Whitney: I have an idea but never anything concrete. Usually, I’ll Google image search until I find a picture of the person in my head. I’ll write a short biography of each character before I begin my first draft. I love to watch them grow and change as I write. It’s one of the most exciting parts of writing to me.
Becky: Do you do any research when it comes to writing? If so, what kind of research have you done?
Whitney: So much research! The second novel in my ‘Worth’ series is about a cattle rancher. I never grew up with livestock, so that was a learning experience. I’ve also learned a lot about the ins and outs of professional sports, what goes on behind the scenes. It’s a fun part of the writing process.
My husband and I also love to travel. When I was drafting Go the Route, we took a trip to Toronto and attended a few Blue Jays games. Best. Research. Ever.
Becky: That sounds like some fun research!
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever discovered while researching?
Whitney: I know too much about cattle now. Weird stuff not worth repeating. Ew.
Becky: Do you put yourself in your books/characters at all?
Whitney: I’m told by friends and family that I’m in there quite a bit! There are a few Seinfeld references–my favourite show, and my sense of humour. Lucy from Go the Route looks most like me of any of my characters. Goofy glasses, curly hair that’s always piled on top of her head. Just little things like that.
Becky: Seinfeld, it’s been so long since I’ve watched that show!
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
Whitney: Writing The End at the tail of any manuscript always brings a huge sense of accomplishment. Being an author is a lot of work, more than readers can imagine. If I broke down the hours spent versus the sales I make, I’m grossly underpaid. But none of that matters when I know that this is where I’m called to be. Hearing from readers about what my books mean to them makes this all worth it. This is my career and my ministry.
So in between raising my son, being a wife to my always busy accountant husband, playing competitive slow pitch, skiing, reading, and cheering on my favourite teams, I write. It’s where I find me, and that’s a reward all by itself.
Becky: What do you hope that readers will take away from your stories?
Whitney: I always aim to make them feel. I want my books to evoke emotion, and since I don’t believe in sad endings, I aim for ‘happy.’
But aside from that, I want my stories to be a place where teens, mothers, wives, aunts, and grandmothers can forget about their busy, stressful days and just escape for a little while. I hope my readers can feel relaxed and recharged when they close my books.
Becky: Those sound like great goals! Thanks so much for sharing with us. I enjoyed chatting with you and I hope you did too. 😀
About Whitney Braun:
Whitney Braun is a country girl through and through, whose passion for writing fiction began in the third grade. Her experiences of growing up in a BC farm town provide unlimited inspiration for her stories. Whitney currently resides on an acreage outside her hometown of Fort St John with her husband.
When not reading or writing, Whitney can be found outside, playing slow pitch and golfing in the summer, and with skis strapped to her feet in the winter.