Thursday, 7 May 2015

Another Rebecca by Tracey Scott-Townsend 
Release Date: 21st March 2015
Publisher: Inspired Quill
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

On the cusp of adulthood, Rebecca Grey has no idea where her life is headed. Like many of us, she struggles to build a sustainable identity, a task made even harder by the fact that her mother is engaged in an extended breakdown and her absent father has another family to worry about. Dealing with their problems leaves little time for her own, and pretty soon, something has to give. As she toils under the weight of a tragedy that was never hers to begin with, Rebecca faces the impossible task of carving out a future for herself, all the while shadowed by the mistakes of her parents. Told with an experienced voice through the eyes of three characters.

Another Rebecca tells the story of one family’s moving inability to let go of the past, of love lost and found, and a young woman’s determination to pull herself out of disaster.

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to welcome Tracey to the blog with a great author interview.


Do you write under your real name or is this a pen name you use?

Tracey Scott-Townsend is my real name – the one I have now, anyway! I was born as Tracey Wilson, became Tracey Scott at my first marriage, and added Townsend to the Scott on marrying for the second time. My husband and I chose to join our two names so we would each keep a part of our children’s family name.

Where are you from?

Lincoln, UK. It’s a cathedral city with a very steep hill leading up to the top. And it has two commons, the West and the South. I was born here and moved away to Hull for 17 years, where I was married the first time and had all my children. I moved back to Lincoln in 1999, but plan to make a permanent home in Hull with my husband (when we’re not travelling) in 2017. That’s the year Hull becomes UK City of Culture.

Did you write as a child?

Yes. Always. I wrote my first ‘novel’, Bonny, King of the Brumbies when I was 10. I wrote poems from the age of 7 and when I was 12 my teacher put up a display of my poems for open evening.
What was the first thing you ever had published?
In 2012 I began my publication journey with a short story called ‘Fox Haven’ in Cassiopeia Magazine, an online literary and arts journal. This was followed by further publication of short stories in 2013 and 2014. My first novel, The Last Time We Saw Marion was published in April, 2014.

Do you have a writing routine?

I try to. The plan is to prioritise writing during ‘normal’ working hours – i.e. between 9AM and 6PM. That means ignoring the washing, washing-up, wiping-down and evening meal preparation, not to mention the calls of dog, cat and guinea pigs on my way out to the Writing Shed across the garden. So I sometimes get distracted. On the other hand I will often work late into the night, so it balances out.
Ideally, the routine would be to write/edit/research between 9 and 12, then take a break for sunshine, tea or perhaps a quick domestic duty or two. Then back to work between 1 and 3. Then walk the dog (combined with shopping for food – I have a pull-along trolley). The dog gets a treat for waiting patiently outside the store, tethered, of course. Finally I’ll get in another writing or editing stint between 4 and 6PM.
Having a writing shed helps because I keep nothing in there other than work-related stuff and personal things such as photographs and books which help to keep me inspired.

Do you have any writing rituals?

1/ Tidy the working space. I can’t work amongst clutter, it’s too distracting. 2/ Gaze around my shed because I love it in there so much. 3/ Check Facebook, Twitter, email etc. before beginning writing.

Do you have a current work in progress?

Yes. I’m writing a novel provisionally entitled Island Babies. It’s about Lauren and Neil who move to the Outer Hebrides; Neil to take up a position as a GP and Lauren to write an academic book. The couple are getting over a personal tragedy and living on the (fictional) island of Kerensay brings Neil’s past back to haunt both of them in different ways.

Where did the idea for Another Rebecca come from?

It was originally inspired by a painting: There is no Night by Jack B. Yeats. The painting is an abstract, intensely coloured landscape incorporating the figure of a blond-haired man and a galloping white horse. I wrote a short story inspired by this in 1989. Another Rebecca is a development of that story. At the beginning of the book, Rebecca effectively goes into the painting and the theme of it underlies her whole broken childhood.

Who was the first person you gave the book to to read?

I first put some chapters of the book – then provisionally titled Veil of Grey – up on the writers’ community site Authonomy dot com. It was critiqued by a particular group I was a member of, and it was also chosen for the site’s ‘One to Watch Wednesday’ spot in May 2012. The first person to read the finished manuscript was my friend Ali Edgley who gave it a read-through and made suggestions for improvement.

Do you have any advice for budding authors?

Write a ‘dirty draft’ without worrying about editing or improving along the way. Then go back to the beginning and rewrite. Then go back to the beginning and edit, then go back to the beginning and edit again, then… and so on. Eventually you will ‘know’ that it’s right. And then send it to an editor who will make many suggestions for improvement, and then go through the whole process again.

Thank you to Tracey for appearing on the blog. You can catch my review of Another Rebecca on the blog tomorrow!


Tracey spends her writing time in her much-loved shed. Its a world of her own making, like her stories. She says that stepping inside and closing the door behind her induces a feeling like the one you get in the hushed atmosphere of a church. 
She is the mother of four children, three of whom have now left home: one of them particularly far away. Still, shes sure that Australia will provide as much inspiration for her writing as Iceland has done, (another place she was introduced to by her son). Shes really hoping to witness a full show of the Northern Lights next time she is there.
Closer to home, Tracey enjoys travelling in the bus-with-a-woodstove with her husband and their Labrador, Riley. They are always on the lookout for a scenic layby in which to sleep. Last year they spent time all over the British Isles, including the Outer Hebrides, which will be the setting for a future novel. In a few years they plan to set off on the road (by way of the sea) for an extended period of time: after all, writing can be done anywhere.

social media links:
Twitter @authortrace

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