Friday, June 14, 2013

Great Summer Chick Lit! Meet Author, Tracie Banister

Tracie Banister

Today it’s great welcome author Tracie Banister. First, can I ask what your books are about?

My first novel, Blame It on the Fame, tells the story of the five nominees for the Best Actress Oscar from the time they learn about the nomination until the envelope is ripped open and the winner is revealed. Readers get to take a peek behind the velvet curtain and see how the media frenzy surrounding the Oscars affects these five very different women and takes a toll on them both personally and professionally.  

My latest release, In Need of Therapy, explores the world of Miami-based psychologist Pilar Alvarez who's struggling to deal with the demands of her patients, her love life, and her crazy, Cuban family.

What inspired your books? Do you have any real-life stories or experience of Hollywood fame?

I always write about things that interest me, and I’ve long been fascinated by the celebrity world, reading all the gossip mags I could get my hands on, religiously watching Entertainment Tonight, visiting movie lots and TV show sets whenever the opportunity arose (I grew up Southern California.) The Oscars are an annual holiday in my household! So, it was just a no-brainer for me to set my first book in Hollywood and delve into what goes on behind-the scenes with all the actresses who are nominated for that coveted gold statue. I had a blast writing the book and doing all the research for it!

As for In Need of Therapy, one day my mother off-handedly said, “You should write a funny book about a female psychologist,” and a light bulb went off over my head. It just seemed like such a great idea that was rife with possibilities (What does a psychologist really think when she's listening to her patients' problems? How does her shrink persona translate to her personal life? Is there a downside to being caring and empathetic?) I've always been a bit of an armchair psychologist myself as I took some Psych courses in school and I love to analyze people and give them advice, so I relished the opportunity to write for a heroine who did that for a living.

What are you working on at the moment?

My third Chick Lit novel! It’s 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 am, also, hoping to write a Regency Era series that will have the same comedic and romantic elements that my modern-day novels do. I've already got several chapters of the first book in the series under my belt and I look forward to moving forward with it as soon as I'm done with my San Francisco story!

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I am awakened every morning at 10:00 by my houseboy, Fernando, who brings me breakfast in bed (an egg white omelet w/spinach and cheese - very healthy.) I dictate a chapter or two of my latest novel to my personal assistant while getting my hair and make-up done (by professionals, of course.) Then, I'm off to meetings with my "team" (publicist, manager, agent, fan club president, et al.) In the afternoons, I do personal appearances, interviews, etc. Then, it's back home to get ready for whatever movie premiere, club opening, or gala I've been invited to . . . Oh, wait, did you mean a day in my real life? Unfortunately, it's not nearly as much fun as my fantasy life. In fact, it's totally unglamorous. I'm chained to my desk for up to 10 hours a day, 7 days a week (This is why I have carpal tunnel and a twitchy eye!) My writing "uniform" is a t-shirt, sweats, and fuzzy slippers (I have them in 5 different colors - no lie!) The only breaks I take during the day are to exercise, do household chores, run errands, or play with my dogs. Other that that, it's work, work, and more WORK, and I love it!

If you weren't a writer what would you love to be?

That is a great question! Let’s see. 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.

What are you currently reading?

What the Dog Ate, by fellow Chick Lit author Jackie Bouchard. I am a sucker for books that involve dogs, and Kona, the chocolate Lab who belongs to the heroine in WTDA, is quite the character!

What do you like to do in you free time?

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 (Again my taste in books is eclectic. I read Chick Lit/Women’s Fic, Paranormal, Young Adult, Cozy Mystery, and Historical Romance.)

Where can readers find out more about you?

I love social media, so I am very active on both Twitter and Facebook. I, also, have a blog called Books by Banister, which I update several times a month with news about my writing and books and features on other authors who write Chick Lit, Women's Fiction, and Romance.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Katheryn. It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you Tracie!

Author Bio:  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 work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she, also, starred in and tried to direct the production.) Her dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, Tracie decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Her debut novel, the Hollywood-themed Blame It on the Fame, was released in January, 2012. And she's following that up with the fun summer read, In Need of Therapy.  

Book Blurb (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: 

Book Blurb (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.


  1. Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog, Katheryn! :)

    1. Thank you Tracie for the great interview,


  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading it, Janine! :)

  3. Fantastic interview! I laughed out loud at your fantasy work life, Tracie. You know how much I love your writing, and it's always fun to learn more about you. I'm glad you're reading "What the Dog Ate" because it is one of my favorite books!

    1. Thanks, Sam. If only my fantasy work life were real! :) I am definitely enjoying "What the Dog Ate." Stayed up late last night so that I could squeeze in a few more chapters.

  4. Thank you for the shout-out!

    Fernando....hehehe. Love your fantasy life! And I loved Blame It On the Fame! Looking forward to In Need of Therapy, and your next book with the pooches!

    Great interview, ladies!

    1. My pleasure, Jackie. Hope you enjoy INOT when you get a chance to read it. :)

  5. One day Tracie your fantasy work life will come true, I'm sure of it. In my latest novel I have a 'ghost' dog - do you like those as well? lol. Read INOT, looking forward to Blame it on the Fame. xxx

    1. Oooo, a "ghost" dog. I am intrigued, Shani. Can't wait to read The Runaway Year when it comes out. Thanks again for your wonderful review of In Need of Therapy. :)

  6. Great interview! Great to meet you Tracie. I have to admit, I just bought in need of therapy (which I don't think I've ever done after reading an interview). I LOVED the cover and the blurb sounded great. I love things that have a Caribbean vibe and this books sounds quite enjoyable. Thanks for having Tracie on your wonderful blog Katheryn and best of luck to you Tracie.

    Paul R. Hewlett

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Paul. Nice to know that my cover and blurb are doing their jobs and enticing people to buy INOT! :) I hope you enjoy the book. I had a blast writing it and really loved adding that Cuban flavor to the story.

  7. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    You can find me here: Thanks!

    Loren Mathis