I got the chance to read a really awesome book called Twin Piques by the lovely Tracie Banister. I haven’t read a novel this fun and hilarious in a long time. I think that you can get a real sense of the author’s personality through their work, and Tracie seems like she would be so fun to hang around.
This novel takes place in San Fransisco, California, where we meet Willa and Sloane. Twin sisters that are as different as they can be. Willa is a charming, sweet and caring pet psychic (I mean, how cool of a job is that?), while Sloane is a buttoned up forensic accountant ( who isn’t so buttoned up around her boss, if you know what I’m saying).
Willa is on the look out for the man of her dreams, and Sloane doesn’t really seem to care about having a relationship. Like I said, opposite as opposite can be. They may look alike, but these twins are definitely on their own path in life. Not only that, but they will show you how sisterly love goes beyond their differences, and that they will come together in times of need for each other.
This novel was chocked full of quirky metaphors that had me chuckling the whole way through. It also had romance, and steamy sex scenes (blush). The full, descriptive writing style painted the perfect picture while reading. All I want now is to read more of these twin’s lives. I also want to be a part of it!
If you are looking for a light hearted summer read, look no further because Twin Piques has it all, and then some.
I give this one 5 out of 5 stars for making me cry with laughter.
One of the best parts about being a blogger and a book reviewer is that you get connected with some really great people, such as authors. Tracie and I had some good conversations, and she also did a Q&A with me, which was so fun. Doing these types of things really gets you into the mind and life of the author, and it makes you more interested in reading their novels, at least in my opinion.
Kerrie: The saying goes “write what you know”, so are you a twin? Or better yet, are you a pet psychic?
Tracie: I think one of the best parts of being a writer is getting to delve into characters who are nothing like me. I am not a twin; I don’t even have a sister! Of course that doesn’t mean I haven’t been exposed to twins throughout my life. I’ve always been fascinated by the twin dynamic and knew I wanted to write about it someday.
As for being a pet psychic, I wish! My three dogs are a total mystery to me, which is why I thought it would be fun to write for a character who knew what was going on in the heads of her furry friends. I did visit a pet psychic with two of my pups as research for Twin Piques. I’m sorry to say that it was an underwhelming experience. I was expecting a Patrick Jane (The Mentalist) type psychic who would put on a show and “wow” me with her observations, but what I got was someone who just asked a lot of questions, then made innocuous comments that really didn’t help me gain any insight into my dogs. So, I decided to take creative license and ramp up the fun factor when I wrote about Willa’s unusual ability and her sessions with clients in the book.
K: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
T: I really like the early stages of a writing project when I’m super excited about creating a new world and populating it with a variety of interesting people who all have a story to tell. Before I start a book, I write (by hand) really in-depth profiles for my lead and supporting characters. These profiles are full of all kinds of tidbits about their histories, likes/dislikes, relationships, education, even things like their favorite color, movie, ice cream flavor, etc. Half that stuff never ends up in the book, but that info still informs the characters and helps me to make them three-dimensional.
K: Is there any of your own personal life in the novel?
T: My love of animals, especially dogs, is reflected in the Willa character. And I was able to explore some of my feelings about not having a fatherly presence in my life though Sloane’s abandonment issues in the book.
K: Who designed the cover of this book? (I think it’s adorable)
T: Thank you! I was incredibly fortunate to have the very talented Lyndsey Lewellen do my cover art. Not only did she do an amazing job bringing my creative vision to life, she added many of her own special touches that really made the cover unique.
Fun fact: Lyndsey was pregnant with twins (and on bed rest) when she was creating the illustration of Sloane and Willa for the book’s cover, which was either an amazing coincidence or fate! Lyndsey’s twin boys, Digory and Emeth, were born shortly after the cover was completed.
K: As you wrote this book, did you work with an outline or did you just go off the top of your head?
T: My writing process is pretty much the same with every book. I’m not an outliner; I hate the damn things and feel like they stifle creativity. As I mentioned earlier, I write very detailed character bios before I start work on a book. I always write in chronological order and know the beginnings and endings of my books, but I get hit with most of my best ideas once I set the characters down on the page. I like to let things develop organically in a story; the characters always tell me where they want to go and what they want to do. And now I sound like a crazy person! LOL But it really is true. I feel like if I have a really good handle on the characters when I start a book, they will show me the way.
K: What was your favorite part to write and why?
T: I have to pick just one? YIKES! Okay, a chapter/scene that stands out for me as being not only a blast to write but also serving as a good snapshot of the sisterly relationship in the book is the one where Willa is shopping for fabric for a party dress she’s going to make for Sloane and she gets a phone call from her sister. Their bickering back and forth on the phone interspersed with Willa’s search for the elusive perfect fabric was a fun way to showcase how they are poles apart in almost every way, but there’s still an incredible bond between them and they’d do anything for each other.
K: Are you writing a new novel at the moment? If so can you speak about it a bit?
T: I don’t like to reveal too much about my books while I’m working on them, because things are subject to change along the way. However, I can say this about my next book – the story is set in New York City and involves a pair of antagonistic chefs who are forced to work together in a very public venue. There’s a love triangle (actually, a quadrangle), a very colorful and unique group of supporting characters (some friend, some foe to the heroine), and lots of scrumptious food (If I could cook any of these amazing dishes myself, I would have already gained twenty pounds writing this book!). I’m about halfway through my first draft of the story and am hoping <crossing fingers> to release it in Spring 2016.
K: What do you do when you’re not writing?
T: When I’m not doing book-related work, I like to spend quality time with my three Cocker Spaniels (Hallie and Victor, my two special needs seniors, and Reggie, my six-month-old puppy who is a handful!), get caught up on all the shows on my DVR (I’m a television addict!), read (of course), and do crossword puzzles.
K:What book has most influenced you and what book are you reading now?
T: Has to be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I consider Austen to be the mother of Chick Lit as she was the first to combine romance with comedy. Her characterizations were so detailed and vivid they practically jump off the page, and no one has ever written wittier dialogue.
I’m taking a little bit of a reading break right now while I focus on writing my fourth book, but the last book I read was Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr. I loved the heroine’s snarky sense of humor and was totally crushing on the male lead, Nicholas. <swoon>
K: If you could say one thing to your readers what would it be (and not thank you!)
T: I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them!
Thank you so much Tracie for letting me interview you, and for letting me read your book!