Where Writers Write: Tracie Banister

This week we welcome novelist Tracie Banister to the Where Writers Write series. Remember– if you want to be featured in the Where Writers Write series, email me at kristinoffilerwrites@gmail.com!

Hi!  My name is Tracie Banister, and I’m a novelist who likes to write books for women, about women.  My stories are pure escapism with lots of humor and romance, the kind of thing you’d read at the beach then pass along to your girlfriends.  I recently released my debut Chick Lit novel, Blame It on the Fame, and hope to publish a second book this summer.

I want to thank Kristin for allowing me to participate in this wonderful series about writers and their creative spaces.  I’m always fascinated to read what inspires and drives an artist, what his/her process is like, and what little quirks are a part of it.  I am a creature of habit and have been writing at the same small, beat-up desk since I started work on my very first novel (about 7 years ago.)

What is your writing space like?

I do my writing in my office/TV room.  It’s a place of comfort, solitude, and creativity.  The walls are painted a beautiful shade of moss green, a color I’ve always found very soothing.  When I’m writing and feel stuck or frustrated, I can just look straight ahead at the bare green wall behind my desk and my mind instantly clears.

In most areas of my life, I’m very organized, but not so with my desk.  I have an addiction to post-its and use them liberally, scribbling character names, plot ideas, research info, bits of dialogue, etc. on them.  So, those are always piled up messily on my desk, along with memo pads where I write a lot of notes for my different writing projects.  I, also, have multi-colored post-its plastered all over my plotting board, which sits on the floor next to my desk for easy access and reference.  I keep a couple of motivational and creativity-inspiring items on the right side of my desk – a Shakespeare paperweight that my brother picked up for me in Stratford-on-Avon when he was studying abroad. Hanging from The Bard’s neck is a silver pendant given to me by one of my dearest friends.  The inscription on the pendant says, “Never give up.”  I touch the top of Shakespeare’s head and the pendant every morning before I begin work on my computer.

Do you keep a writing routine? If so, what is your routine?

My brain really works best when it’s fresh, so I do most of my writing in the late morning/early afternoon.  I have a writing ritual – I pour myself a glass of Lemon La Croix Water, rub on some Origins hand cream (which has bergamot in it, so it smells like my beloved Earl Grey tea), and don my writing sweater (a comfy black cardigan.)  I work for a few hours in the morning then I take a break to exercise, eat lunch, and do a couple of crosswords (these always stimulate my brain and put me in the proper frame of mind to write.)  I go back to my WIP for a few more hours in the afternoon and usually end my day by rereading what I’ve written and making notes for the next scene or chapter.

What’s something unique and interesting about your writing space?

I have framed posters from Broadway shows on several of the walls in my office.  I am a big lover of the theatre and try to get to New York once a year to see as many plays and musicals as I can.  All art inspires and motivates me, so having these posters in my creative space reminds me not only of wonderful experiences, but what can be accomplished when you follow your dreams.

If you could have any writing space in the world, what would it look like and why?

I’ve often fantasized about having a cottage in the English countryside, something really quaint and cozy. In my cottage, I would have an office where the walls were lined with shelves of books so that I’d be surrounded by the creative genius of all the literary greats – Austen, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, the Brontes – and I’d put my desk in front of a big picture window that looked out onto a lovely English country garden teeming with flowers and greenery. I imagine myself sitting at that desk gazing out at that abundance of beauty and color and being very inspired.

Tracie Banister lives and writes in Atlanta. She blogs about her books and other fun stuff at http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/ and tweets at @traciebanister.

A big thank you to Tracie for sharing her space with us this week! What do you guys think? Would your dream writing space look like Tracie’s English countryside retreat?

9 thoughts on “Where Writers Write: Tracie Banister”

  1. I love it Tracie! I would come visit your English cottage in the countryside. It sounds wonderful. This series is so fun! Your post its are much more organized than mine🙂

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  2. I want to come to the cottage too! Great interview – I love seeing a sneak peek into your writing world. Your board of post-it notes scares me, though (and puts my “system” to shame). Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Elise. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I avoid getting lonely or stir-crazy by taking short breaks every hour or two when I’m writing. I can take my dogs outside for a walk and run into a neighbor who will stop for a chat any time of the day (lots of retirees and work-from-homers in my ‘hood.) I, also, take breaks to do mini-workouts, which help to keep my energy level up. I definitely think it’s important to mix up some physical activity with all of that brain work!

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