Thursday, 23 January 2014

Q&A with Tracie Banister

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


      Time for another Q&A, this time with the lovely Tracie Banister. I've read both her novels this month and her writing is brilliant. I will post the reviews later. 
      Thank you so much Tracie for doing this, so happy :) xxx


      An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her debut Chick Lit novel, BLAME IT ON THE FAME, is being released in January, 2012. She resides in the South and enjoys watching TV, going to the theatre, finding talented, new writers, and spending time with her three adorable rescue dogs.


     1. How did your writing career develop? Did you always dream of being a writer?

I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school – plays, essays, short stories, etc. Writing just came naturally, and I enjoyed sharing my work with others. I dreamed of one day publishing a novel, but I also had dreams of marrying a prince and starring on a soap opera. None of those dreams seemed very likely to happen, so I did what sensible people do when they grow up and got a real job (administrative work.) I took a stab at writing a Historical Romance novel in my early twenties just to see if I could do it, but got distracted by real life and never finished it. For the next decade or so, I kept my creative juices flowing by penning a lot of genre fan fiction that was well-received online.

My "Aha!" moment came when I lost my job as a personal assistant after 12 years. My friends and family encouraged me to follow my bliss and devote myself full-time to writing a novel. The thought of chasing a dream was pretty scary, and I honestly didn't know if I had what it took to not only complete a novel, but submit it to agents and editors. Rather than spend the rest of my life wondering, "What if?" I decided to commit myself 100% to getting my work published. I'm happy to say that despite a lot of ups and downs, it's been a really rewarding experience and I'm proud of myself for going after what I wanted.   

      2. How about the genre of your books: Chick-Lit and Romance, was that always the plan? And why?

I dabbled in a few other genres before finding my “home” with Chick Lit. As I mentioned above, the first novel I attempted to write was Historical Romance. The first novel I completed was a light Mystery with a Chick Lit vibe. After some reflection, I realized I was much better suited to writing comedy and romance than I was Mystery. So, I switched to straight Chick Lit after that, and the rest is history!

      3. Your novel In Need of Therapy plays in Miami, Florida. Do you have a special connection to that place?

     I have family in south Florida, so I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Miami a few times. I love how vibrant, exciting, and full of character Miami is. There’s wonderful blend of cultures in that city, and I thought it would be a really great place to set a Chick Lit novel.

      4. How does a story for your book develop?

I'm both a plotter and a pantser. I would sooner walk into traffic than write an outline; I loathe the things. However, I have been known to use dry erase boards and copious amounts of neon-colored post-its to help me figure out the chronology of a book and how different plots/characters intersect. I always know the beginning and ending of my books and I write very detailed character bios before I ever start work on a book. Then, I set the characters down on the page and let them play. They're very good at leading me where they need to go and I find that my stories unfold in a much more organic way when I use this method rather than plotting out every little detail in advance. I always say that the best bits in all of my books are the surprises, not the things I planned.

      5. If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you probably do now?

I’ve always loved animals, especially dogs (I have three rescue cocker spaniels.) So, my dream job, besides writing, would be to open/operate a sanctuary for rescue dogs that might otherwise have trouble being placed in a home because they’re older or have special needs. One of my rescues is half-blind and another is deaf, so I have a special place in my heart for dogs with similar issues.

6. Who is your favourite writer and why?

Jane Austen. I love the observational humor in her stories, as well as her quirky supporting characters and the way she handled romance. She set a very high standard for all female authors.

7. Blame It On The Fame is really different from your other novel. How did you come up with the idea of focusing on five Oscar nominated actresses?

I've always loved the movies and reading about the lives of celebrities, so writing a book about the five women vying for the Best Actress Oscar seemed like a natural for me.  Once I'd decided to set my novel in salacious, scandal-ridden Hollywood, I had to commit to being honest about the kinds of things that go on behind-the-scenes in that industry and in my characterizations of the female leads. These women are not saints; they use colorful language, they engage in steamy sex, they stab each other in the back (as do all of the people they work with), but they also have their deep-seated issues and vulnerabilities. One of my favorite reviews for Blame It on the Fame came from a woman who had worked in the movie business for years. She said that my book and the characters in it were very "realistic," which made my day!

8. Can you already tell us something about your next novel?

My next novel is a Chick Lit story about two sisters who are polar opposites and live in San Francisco. I can't say anything more without getting spoilery, but I can promise plenty of comedy, romance, cute guys, and even cuter dogs. I’m hoping to have this book out in late spring/early summer, so stay tuned for announcements about the title and cover art!

      9. What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

My fave thing to do in my free time is hang out with my three dogs. They all love to play and get so excited when their toy box gets pulled out. I, also, have a serious TV addiction (I watch
everything from Sci-Fi/Fantasy to competitive reality shows like Dancing With the Stars and Top Chef.) I do several crossword
puzzles a day, usually on my lunch break. And I try to do as much reading as I can on the weekends. I, also, love the theater and traveling.

10. What’s your most favourite place/destination?

     Las Vegas! I love everything about it – the neon lights, the theme hotels, the shows, the great restaurants, the slot machines, the celebrity sightings.
      11. Coffee or tea?

Definitely tea. Must be my English blood from my mother’s side.

      12. Paperback or e-reader?

E-reader. I was converted after receiving a Kindle Fire for Christmas a couple of years ago.

      13. Mountains or the sea?

     Mountains. I find them very peaceful.

      14. Summer or winter?

     Winter. I love cold weather, which is ironic since I’ve lived in warm climates my whole life. ;)

      15. Sweet or salty?

Salty. I live for salt and vinegar potato chips!

      Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog, Simona! It’s been a pleasure :)

      In Need Of Therapy

Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart? 

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger. 

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

Barnes & Noble: 

      Blame it on the Fame

A power-trippin' bitch, a has-been, a skanky ex-model, a press-shy indie queen, and a British stage actress no one knows - this is how the Best Actress hopefuls in this year's too-close-to-call Oscar race cattily describe each other.  Which of them will win the much-coveted gold statue and what price will they be forced to pay as they travel the red carpeted-path to Hollywood glory?

Amidst all the press-schmoozing and angsting over which designer gown to wear, these Oscar contenders feud, commiserate, and face a succession of personal crises – scandalous secrets come to light, marriages implode, accidents land two nominees in the hospital while another receives news that could derail her career, all culminating on Tinsel Town’s biggest night when anything can happen, and does.

     Where you can find Tracie Banister:

Twitter:  @traciebanister


  1. Thanks so much for having me on Sky's Book Corner, Simona. I enjoyed it. :)

  2. I can't wait to see what your next book with be. I loved both of these books mentioned here.

  3. I would love to open a dog rescue place too! Can't wait for your new book! Especially the cute pooches!