December 17, 2013

12 days of writers - no. 10: tracie banister

Blogger's Note: Welcome to the 12 Days of Writing, Change the Word's annual December celebration. After two years of sharing writing tips, this year, I'm sharing 12 writers with you. For the first three weeks of December, you'll have a chance to meet 12 wonderful women and learn about their favorite holiday traditions.

I can explain my relationship with our next author, Tracie Banister, simply: My life is better because of her. She's my partner in crime. More than being the person I've collaborated with on Chick Lit Chat, promotions and various other projects, she's become one of my biggest confidantes in the writing biz. She beta read both my debut novel and my holiday short, and I took her input to heart. When I'm having a tough day or an exciting moment, she's one of the first people I want to talk to about it. I hope everyone is as lucky as I am to have such a supportive person in their camps. (Oh, and she's the fantastic author of Blame it on the Fame and In Need of Therapy.) We also share a great love for the holidays, and I'm excited for you to learn more about her traditions.



What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
I am a huge fan of Christmas cards! I love sending them as it’s that one special time of year when you can acknowledge all the people who’ve made a difference in your life. And I love receiving them, finding out what everyone is up to, seeing family photos, displaying the wide variety of cards all over my  house. I purchase my Christmas cards in October and I’ll usually spend quite a bit of time at Hallmark, carefully considering all of my options. I like to get a cute, colorful design that’s indicative of my personality (glitter is almost always involved.) Then, of course, I have to get the perfect Christmas stamp (I may or may not have squeed when I saw the gingerbread house stamps the post office was offering this year. They are so cute!) I start working on my cards the first week of December. And yes, I include a handwritten personal note in each one. I’m very old-school about that.


While working on my cards, I blast my favorite Christmas CD, Harry Connick, Jr.’s “Harry For The Holidays” on a continuous loop and sip Earl Grey tea. It’s a whole thing, and I really look forward to doing it every year!


What is a must-have eat or treat this time of year?
I really love roasted turkey. I only get it twice a year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s a special treat. It smells so good cooking in the oven all day that I’m practically drooling by the time we sit down to eat. Being a southern girl, I like to smother my turkey with gravy and eat a big helping of cornbread stuffing on the side. YUM! Turkey is the gift that keeps on giving, too, because there’s nothing better than a sandwich made with leftover turkey the next day. Plus, I got this fabulous recipe for turkey tetrazzini from my neighbor a few years back, so I can use up every little scrap of turkey and eat very well for up to a week after the holiday!


What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
When I was seven, my mother got me a Little Red Riding Hood Topsy Turvy Doll. Now I hadn’t asked for this and had never even seen one of them before, so my mother went off-list with this gift, which was a risk, but I LOVED it!


What made the Topsy Turvy doll so awesome was that it was  three dolls-in-one. First, there was Red Riding Hood in her hooded cape, then when you flipped her dress over her head, the doll became Red’s gray-haired grandma in a blue floral nightdress, then when you flipped granny’s nightcap over and covered her face with it, you’d have the big bad wolf’s face in the granny gown – brilliant, right? I took Red with me everywhere I went for the better part of a year and slept with her at night. Unfortunately, ole Red met a tragic end when I got the stomach flu and upchucked all over her in the middle of the night. I was devastated. My sweet mom bought me a replacement doll, but for some reason it wasn’t the same and I didn’t want anything to do with that one (The fickle affections of a child!)

What is your favorite holiday read and watch?
EEK I can only pick one favorite holiday watch? This is tough because I am a Christmas movie-watching freak and pretty much spend the whole month of December mainlining every sappy, romantic holiday film that airs on Hallmark and Lifetime. But I usually only watch those once or twice. The holiday movie that I watch multiple times every year is . . . Elf with Will Farrell.


That movie never gets old for me. I love the sweet innocence of the Buddy character and how much he enjoys everything about Christmas. And the film is hilarious! I actually quote it quite a bit during the holidays. “You sit on a throne of lies!” “Smiling's my favorite.” “SON of a NUTcracker!”

Favorite holiday read would have to be Little Women. There are some really great Christmas scenes in that book, and it’s a story about how important family is, which is very appropriate for the season.

What’s one New Year’s resolution you’re making for 2014?
Truth be told, I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions because I can never stick to them! It might not be a resolution, but I think a “theme” for 2014 will be “Stress less and enjoy life more.” I’m a very driven Type A person, so I don’t stop to smell the roses as often as I should. I hope to do better with that in the new year.

Thanks so much to Laura and Change the Word for your continued support and friendship! And best wishes to all for a holiday filled with lots of love and laughter and a happy, healthy new year!




About the Author
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 Academy Awards-themed Blame It on the Fame, was released in January 2012. And she followed that up with the fun, Miami-set romp, In Need of Therapy. In her spare time, she blogs and co-hosts #ChickLitChat on Twitter, which is a popular group that meets online every week to celebrate and discuss the genre.

Connect with Tracie
Blog: http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/traciebanister
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister

Buy Her Books
In Need of Therapy:
http://www.amazon.com/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y
http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-need-of-therapy-tracie-banister/1112265620?ean=2940015006889

Blame It on the Fame:
http://www.amazon.com/Blame-It-Fame-ebook/dp/B006ZBG5HU
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blame-It-Fame-ebook/dp/B006ZBG5HU
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blame-it-on-the-fame-tracie-banister/1108931543?ean=2940016563343

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27 comments:

  1. I love your Little Red Riding Hood doll and I also love the Elf quotes - I watched it for the second time in a week on Sunday! Great interview

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    1. I've got about 20 viewings of Elf on you, Sooz! ;) Love that movie!

      Isn't it funny how primitive dolls from the '70s look now?

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    2. Elf is one of my favorites, too.

      And I'm glad you were able to find a photo of Red to share so we could see what she looked like!

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  2. I remember my younger sister having the same doll. I thought it was cool, but didn't dare touch it. She got all the cool and fun stuff growing up. I also love turkey and the leftovers really are a treat.

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    1. Yay, someone else who remembers the Red Riding Hood Topsy Turvy doll! Sorry your sister never let you play with hers, Janine. I wish I could say that I would have shared if we'd been friends back then, but . . . ;)

      Hope you enjoy your turkey this Christmas! I'm already salivating thinking about mine - YUM!

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    2. Only one more week until you get your turkey and leftovers, ladies!

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  3. Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of this wonderful series, Laura! I never get tired of talking about Christmas, and it's been so much fun to read all of the other authors' posts about their holiday faves.

    Much gratitude to you for your friendship. I look forward to sharing more writing adventures with you in 2014! :)

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    1. Likewise, Tracie. You're such a good friend. And you're so good at Christmas. :) It's great when we can pair the two together.

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  4. Enjoyed reading your answers, Tracie! And I absolutely share your love of Lifetime/Hallmark Christmas movies. I have been riveted to my television set for the past several weeks. I LOVE those movies :)

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    1. Aren't Lifetime/Hallmark holiday movies the best, Meredith? I've been watching like two a night for over a month now. It's a serious addiction. Which ones have been your faves so far this year?

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    2. I've been on a Hallmark binge myself. It's been a lot of fun. :)

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  5. One of my favorite authors and favorite people. Not at all surprised that we like so many of the same holiday traditions: Elf, Harry Connick, Jr., turkey (not necessarily in that order)... I love Christmas.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Brea. Back at ya, my friend! Of course, you love Elf because it's one of the funniest movies ever made! One can never get too much Will Farrell during the holidays, which is why I'll be rushing out to see Anchorman 2 after eating turkey on Christmas day. ;)

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    2. It'll be a very Will Farrell Christmas for you. :)

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  6. I HAD THAT SAME DOLL! Loved it! My favorite part was the wolf. (I had a big doll collection as a kid.) Have no idea what happened to it.

    Also, I'm with you on the hand-written note in a Xmas card. I must admit, it bums me out when you get a card from someone who you only correspond with once/year and it seems to have been untouched by a human hand - all pre-signed, etc.

    And I agree, Laura - Tracie's the best!

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    1. Ha! I love that you had the same doll, Jackie. Confession - I thought the wolf was kind of scary, so I didn't let him come out to play very often. I was mostly into Red because she was blonde like me and wearing my favorite color. ;)

      So true about Christmas cards. I get very disgruntled over impersonal newsletters and photo cards that people don't even bother to sign. Such a shame that holiday cards don't often have that personal touch anymore. I will not go down without a fight on that one, though. I'm sure I'll still be handwriting my holiday cards from my nursing home when I'm 90.

      Love ya lots, Jackie! :)

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    2. Your cards are so nice to get. You can definitely tell that there's a personal Tracie touch to them. :)

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  7. Great post! I would have loved that doll too. I think a few of us picked Elf... chick lit writers must have a similar sense of humor. Reading In Need of Therapy was one of the highlights of my year - lots of laughs and poignant moments - thanks for that! Happy Holidays to all!

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    1. INOT is such a fantastic read. It was one of my favorites of 2012. Can't wait to read Tracie's next book.

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    2. A similar warped sense of humor probably. ;)

      Thank you so much for your kind words about INOT, Patricia. You made my day!

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  8. Tracie!!!! I had that doll!!!!! I can't believe you had it, too! And I agree with Laura--INOT is one of my favorite reads of this year. FORD!!!

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    1. OMG, who knew that so many people had a Red Riding Hood Topsy Turvy Doll? We should form a fan club or something. ;)

      I will never get tired of reading your lovely comments about INOT. Thank you!

      And Ford's mine, sorry, ladies. ;)

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  9. Those stamps are so adorable! I love your card-writing tradition... I love how you kick it old-school! :) I make fun of my Mom because she LOVES those sappy Christmas movies but, most of the time, I end up watching them with her and I'm the first one to tear up! lol
    Happy Holidays to you and your family, Tracie!! Looking forward to a new Tracie Banister book in the New Year!! :)

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    1. Her next one will be amazing.

      And embrace the Hallmark movies, Cat. Cherish every second of their sappiness. :)

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    2. I kick a lot of things old-school, Cat. I'm a retro girl in a high-tech world. ;)

      And I think you secretly love Hallmark movies. How could you not? They are awesome!

      God willing I'll be releasing my next book some time in 2014. Pray for me, y'all.

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  10. That RRH topsy-turvey was a fave for me, too. In fact, all topsy-turveys. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas--and New Year filled with many blessings! xo

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