Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Peek Into My Bookcase: The Whitney Chronicles

Judy Baer is here! Everyone say hi!

Once again I'm taking you to that fabulous shelf on my bookcase... my re-read shelf. The books that I absolutely love and I pick up again from time to time. Today I present The Whitney Chronicles by Judy Baer. This is the first book that I took to church with me and put it in the hands of one of my friends and said, "You HAVE to read this!"

The Whitney Chronicles is a comedy and it is a romance, though not your typical one. Whereas a lot of romances follow the relationship's progress all the way to total commitment/marriage, this ones follows more of that initial coming together process.

I will be honest, most of the time those books are not my favorites. I like them and all, but I really like following the progression of the relationship more.

Whitney herself is what saves this book. There is so much going on in her life beyond figuring out this whole guy thing that you just can't help but take the ride with her. She's a fabulous, fabulous character. Despite the comedic leanings of the book, it deals with some very serious issues that I think Judy handled very well.

Here's the official blurb for the book:

spinster: noun
1 : an unmarried woman or a women for whom marriage seems dubious
2 : a women who spins or weaves for a living

Her mother, sister, and friends (?) fear spinsterhood may be the fate of thirty-year-old Whitney Blake. And while she doesn't believe she'll actually  end up weaving her own tablecloths, Whitney does wonder whether Mr. Right will ever arrive, despite her mom's adoption of matchmaking as the prime project of her "postmenopausal zest."

Maybe Whitney needs to be more proactive. And so she starts a journal, stating her goals:
"This month - lose two pounds (sensibly), stand up straight with my stomach sucked in so I appear tall and thin, don't let my mother drive me crazy (a particularly difficult project). GET ORGANIZED. Start by cleaning closets. Have friends over for dinner. Pray more, obsess less." 

It must be working - suddenly there's more than one man in Whitney's life. But are any of them marriage material, or is "fabulous, single, Christian man" an oxymoron? 

And, as I mentioned, Judy Baer has actually stopped by to talk about this book. I had no idea until I started researching this article how many books Judy had written. She's written more than seventy books! I have only read eight of them, so now I'm on a hunt to find more. 

Without further ado, a short talk with Judy Baer: 

Q: Because of styling and timing this book has often been compared to Bridget Jones' Diary. Did that book/movie influence you at all? How do you feel having the two compared?

A: Though this book is often compared to Bridget Jones’ Diary, it was actually written beforeI’d even heard of the book or the movie.  I’d given the manuscript to my agent two years earlier and she said that although she liked the book, there was no market for it—yet.  By the time she called to say she’d sold the book to Steeple Hill CafĂ©, I’d almost forgotten about it!  I’m so glad it was published because Whitney is one of the characters who is closest to my own sensibilities and sense of humor. 

Q: Authors frequently talk about stories running away with them and characters doing the unexpected. I don't want to give away the story to anyone who hasn't read it yet, but was there ever a point when you were writing the book that you thought Whitney would end up with one of the other guys showing an interest in her?

A: I really did love the first guy in the story that Whitney had friendship with but I always write with the end of the book in mind, so a true romance with him was an impossibility.

Q: You've written more than 75 books. That's amazing! What was it like the first time you held a book with your name on the cover? What is one thing you know now that you would like to have known then?

A:  The first time I held a book in my hand was almost as exciting as when the editor called and told me she was purchasing the book.  Love’s Perfect Image was the first I sold and I remember bouncing off the sofa in the family room.  It was bliss!

Q: Of those 75+ books, do you have a favorite? Were there any that were just a complete bear to write that you were just glad when you were finished?

A:  Books I enjoyed writing?  The Whitney Chronicles, for sure.  Be My Neatheart and The Million Dollar Dilemma for Love Inspired were great fun.  Most recently, my favorites are Unexpected Blessings and Surprising Grace which will be released in April, 2012.  When they are fun to write, they become my favorites and I think the joy shows up in the writing.

Thank you, Judy, for stopping by today! 

You can learn more about Judy and her books at her website

The Whitney Chronicles can be purchased in ebook format from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The paperback seems to only be available in used format, but there were several listed on Amazon and eBay. You can probably find them at other online used book retailers as well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment