August 2015

Tracie Banister’s writing (and living) with a crew of Cockers

By Joyce Lamb August 27, 2015 12:00 am


Tracie Banister, whose latest romantic comedy, Twin Piques, is out now, says her Cockers are wonderful writing buddies.

Tracie: When I love someone, I am loyal to a fault, which explains why I’ve been stuck on the same breed of dog for the last 25 years. And why wouldn’t I love Cocker Spaniels? They’re the perfect canine companions for a girly girl like me — smart, friendly and full of personality, they have gorgeous hair, look cute in a variety of coats, sweaters and accessories and are fiercely protective. (No need for an alarm system with my Cocker Crew around. They let me know when anyone gets within 20 feet of my house!)

Best of all, Cockers are wonderful writing, editing and reading buddies. My trio of furry friends keeps me company when I’m spending all those long hours hunched over my keyboard, and they remind me when it’s time to take a break (usually because they want to eat, play or take a walk).


Tracie Banister and Reggie get to work.

tracie-banisters-reggie-2Now that’s he’s a senior, 13-year-old Victor is all about naps, so his permanent spot in my office is under the desk. (He even likes eating his meals there!) Hallie, who’s 11, is more of a roamer, so she pops in and out during the day to see what I’m up to. She gets more interested when I’m on the bed or couch, reviewing what I’ve written, and she can curl up next to me. But if I start talking out loud to myself, she bolts. (Guess she doesn’t think I should record my own audiobooks!)

Reggie, a very rambunctious pup of 8 months, spends most of his time in my office trying to destroy it. That little guy has a serious paper fetish! He will jump up and pull anything he can reach off my desk, has been known to chew up reams of copy paper, and garbage-can-diving for discarded Post-its is the highlight of his day.

Meet Reggie, Tracie Banister’s paper shredder.


twin-piques-by-tracie-banisterSince my dogs are such a huge part of my life, it’s only natural that they influence my work. When I was contemplating career options for the heroines of my romantic comedy, Twin Piques, I quickly seized on the idea of making Willa (the sweet, quirky Tobin twin) a pet psychic. I’ve always wondered what goes in my dogs’ heads, so why not explore that through a character, right?

While I was in the planning stage for Twin Piques, a local pet boutique announced that there would be a psychic in residence for a few days. I made an appointment for two of my Cockers and eagerly anticipated getting to see a pet psychic in action! 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. According to readers, those ended up being some of the most amusing parts of the book!

Find out more about Tracie and connect with her through