I’m thrilled to feature fabulous chick lit author Tracie Banister on the blog today. Tracie is the author of the popular novels Blame it on the fame, In need of Therapy, and now Twin Piques.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Hi Lily, thanks so much for having me on your site! My name is Tracie Banister, and I’m an author of three Chick Lit novels, along with being a blogger, TV addict, and dog lover. I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, with my two Cocker Spaniels (That number is about to increase as a puppy is being added to the mix next month!)
Now tell us something about yourself that someone would be surprised about, grin.
Ooooo, let’s see. Here’s an unusual tidbit about me: I was born with a geographic tongue, which means my tongue has a lot of lines on it like a map!
Did you always want to be a writer?
Pretty much. I started writing plays for my class to perform when I was in elementary school, then I moved on to writing stories about my friends and I having different adventures when I was a little older. I would bang out daily instalments of those stories on my typewriter each night, fold them up into little triangles, and slip them through the slots of my friends’ lockers the next morning. It was always fun to get their feedback at lunch!
Your latest book Twin Piques is such a lovely story – I’ve always been fascinated by twins and how they can be so different. Did you always want to tell a story about twins, where did you get the idea?
My very first attempt at novel-writing back when I was twenty was a Historical Romance that had twin heroines (The cringeworthy title of that tome was Rapture and Deception.) I never finished that book, but the idea of identical twins stayed in the back of my mind.
Twin Piques began its life as a short story for an anthology that was asking for romantic, dog-centric stories. I came up with the idea of writing about a heroine who was a sweet, whimsical pet psychic and what happens when she meets up with a grumpy academic who thinks she’s a nut. I soon realized that I had way too much story to tell for a short and shoved the idea into my Unfinished Projects folder. A year or so later, it occurred to me that I could have even more fun with my pet psychic character if I gave her an identical twin who was very no-nonsense and left-brained in contrast to her, then I was off to the races with writing the novel!
Do you ever cry when you’ve finished a novel or miss your characters?
As much as I love my characters when I’m writing for them, I’m always happy to give them closure at the end of a book and move on to a new set of characters. And they stay alive long after I finish writing the book because readers ask me questions about them and I post pieces about them on my blog. I don’t really feel like I have to say goodbye to my characters because they’re always in my head!
Do you have a favourite leading man or lady from your novels. Or would that be like having a favourite child?
There’s no way I can pick a favorite amongst my heroines as they are all close to my heart, but I will confess to having a major crush on Gavin aka “Gav” from Twin Piques. He has a cool job that requires creativity (graphic novelist), has a naughty sense of humor, is a romantic at heart, and let’s not forget the rockin’ bod he has from being a marathon runner – yum! 😉
Note from Lily : So proud of myself from restraining my English self from putting in the missing ( wink) o’s in humour and favourite. Grin.
What is your writing process – do you write every day?
I try to write Monday through Friday, then take the weekend off to tend to my real life and do other book-related things (write pieces for my blog, do promo, catch up on social media). Generally, I am the tortoise, not the hare, with my writing. When I need to up my productivity level and meet a deadline, I’ve found The Pomodoro Technique to be very helpful as it makes me focus on nothing but writing in manageable, 25-minute chunks.
What’s the biggest lessons you’ve learnt in your career as a bestselling author?
You have to be patient and manage your expectations. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are readerships.
30 second Tracie
- Champagne and canapés or coffee and biscuits? I don’t drink or eat sweets, so how about some tea and toast (raisin, please).
- Sea or country? The country, for sure. My dream has always been to have a writing cottage in the English countryside, with a beautiful garden right outside my study window.
- Dogs or cats? Unfortunately, I’m allergic to kitties.
- Plot or free form? A little of both. I don’t outline (I hate it!), but I usually have the beginning, the ending, and a lot of key points in the middle of my stories in my head before I begin to write. I always say that the best bits in my books are the things that aren’t planned, though.
Read on to find out more about Tracie’s latest novel.
Forensic accountant Sloane Tobin and kooky pet psychic Willa may have the same face, but that’s the only thing these identical twins have in common.
How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head?
Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses. When she’s assigned two high profile cases, Sloane feels confident the promotion she’s been angling for is within her grasp. But will her plan to climb the corporate ladder be thwarted by difficult clients, her co-worker-with-benefits, or – most surprisingly of all – her own sister? And how’s she supposed to stay focused on the drama at work when her childhood friend, Gav, moves in next door and the spark between them becomes impossible to ignore?
To get what they both want, can Willa and Sloane band together and rely on each other’s strengths? Or will their differences drive them apart once and for all?
Connect with Tracie