One of our favorite chick-lit writers, Tracie Banister is back with a new chick-lit romantic comedy that hooks us at page one and takes us under the sea. IN THE SWIM of THINGS is a perfect summer beach read. Grab your sunscreen and pareo.
IN THE SWIM OF THINGS is a sexy, sun-soaked tale about a tail-wearing girl who makes a lot of waves.
Ocean-loving Kyra Goodwin had to give up her dream of becoming the female Jacques Cousteau in order to take care of her father and brother, but being a mermaid at the Cape Cod Aquarium is pretty fintastic as far as alternative careers go.
Of course, life as a half-fish/half-woman isn’t all sunken treasure and Ariel twirls. Kyra has to deal with perpetually pruney fingers, eyes irritated by saltwater, and bratty kids on the daily, plus her glam alter ego can make dating really weird. (So many men have pervy siren-of-the-sea fantasies!) When she meets hunky surfer Cade, and he’s into her without knowing what she does for a living, Kyra thinks she’s finally won the romance lottery.
Unfortunately, Kyra’s plans for a carefree summer of catching waves with her new boyfriend run aground when Sea Star Beach, a place that holds great sentimental value for her, is taken over by a big-city developer who wants to build an exclusive resort. Kyra’s crusade to save her beloved beach threatens both her job and her relationship with Cade as does her growing closeness with her irresistibly broody merwrangler, Declan, whose precocious daughter is intent on playing matchmaker.
When a new family drama arises just as Kyra receives an offer that would turn her greatest desire into reality, she’s torn. Will she do what’s expected of her, or dive in and follow her heart?
TRACIE TOOK SOME TIME TO ANSWER SOME OF OUR QUESTIONS.
MERMAIDS: what is our fascination with mermaids?
Good question! I think they’re sparkly and fun, which is appealing to women. And they’re beautiful and alluring, which men like. There’s also an element of mystery about mermaids—they come and go as they please and have the whole entire ocean to play in. There’s no telling what they’ve seen or what their next adventure might be. I think we’d all love to have that kind of freedom!
How did the idea come up for this book?
I was inspired by an episode of House Hunters International I saw a few years back. One of the house hunters was a woman who was a professional mermaid, and she was shown swimming around in her tail. The idea of being a mermaid for a living really captured my imagination! All I could think was: what a perfect occupation for a RomCom heroine to have.
Tell us a little bit about writing IN THE SWIM OF THINGS?
It was fun, but also challenging as I was interrupted twice by some major real life stuff that kept me from writing for several weeks each time and it’s hard for me to get back in the groove when that happens. I was determined to persevere, though, because I loved this story and really wanted to tell it. One of my great pleasures in writing this book was how the character of Kyra developed on the page. She ended up being a lot feistier than I originally intended and I adored her for it!
This is your sixth romantic comedy novel – what interests you about the genre?
I just really enjoy telling stories about women finding their way in life, with their careers, friends, family, and love. Every woman (be they real or fictional) has a different experience on their journey to finding fulfillment, and it’s fun to explore that with both heart and humor.
Any misconceptions about chick lit/romantic comedy?
Oh, gosh, where do I start? It drives me cuckoo when people dismiss the genres as being “fluffy” as if that’s a bad thing. You know what else is fluffy? A soufflé, and you can ask any chef and they will tell you that a soufflé is one of the most difficult things to make. Just because something’s light doesn’t mean it’s lacking in substance and is somehow inferior. Writing stories that are funny, romantic, fast-paced, and packed with snappy dialogue takes a lot of skill.
Another misconception about Chick Lit/RomComs is that they’re not intelligent, which is just plain wrong. Almost all of my heroines are college-educated professionals with extensive vocabularies. Also, I do tons of research for my books in order to bring authenticity to my stories. Chick Lit/RomComs are written by smart women for smart women.
What are you working on next?
I don’t like to say too much about my works-in-progress, but I can reveal that I’m three chapters into writing my seventh book, which is set in Los Angeles. My heroine has an unusual career that I’m already having a lot of fun with, and her mother and grandmother are pretty fabulous and inspiring in their own right. This book is going to have a strong focus on awesome lady bosses!
Anything you’d like to add?
Many thanks to Cindy for featuring In the Swim of Things today! I hope everyone will check out this book. It has everything a RomCom fan could want—laughs, love, family, a bad guy (and girl!) to boo, a cute kid, an exasperating pet, and so much beachy goodness you’ll swear you can smell the salty sea air and suntan lotion wafting off the pages, which makes it a great read to kick off the summer with!
Thank you, Tracie for sharing your time and talent.
Tracie’s 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, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit).