Ellie lives in a campervan with her dog, Jack, selling her handmade dolls at craft fairs. There is one doll that she can’t bear to finish until she comes to terms with the truth of what has happened.
The Eliza Doll is an uncompromising family drama about upheaval, off-grid living and living on the dole in 1980s England.
Set in East Yorkshire and Iceland from the eighties to the present.
1. Do you always take a book/e-reader wherever you go?
Yes! I hate the thought of being on a journey or having to wait around anywhere without a book to read.
2. Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
Ooh, that’s a difficult question for me. I suppose I’m oddly superstitious in a way, I used to worry if I said something or thought something it might come true. To that end – just in case – I’ll have to say ‘the good one’.
3. Where can I find you when you are reading?
In bed before I go to sleep, definitely. And I allow myself to read for pleasure anytime I choose on a weekend. Occasionally in the bath, too, or on a long journey in our van.
4. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
You’ll find me either in my garden, at my allotment, at my work desk in the Wild Pressed Books office, which is our front room, or at my writing desk upstairs. At the moment I aim for a thousand words of writing in the morning, followed by garden, office and allotment – punctuated by cooking. I find it’s easier to divide the day’s activities into portions.
5. Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
6. What are you most proud of?
My four adult children. Sometimes I can’t believe we got through all the stress. But they really do make me proud. After that, my six published novels, my lockdown garden and the food I bring home from my allotment.
7. What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
That it’s become a thing independent of me. A sort of ‘Did I really write that?’ feeling.
8. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Even if it’s only a couple of hundred words at a time. Don’t give up. Take any criticism seriously, step outside yourself and consider how you can make it better. Repeat.
9. Who would you like/have liked to interview?
Jane Goodall. I think she’s learnt so much about society and the world in general from her study of chimpanzees.
10. When and where do you prefer to write?
My own private writing space. Now it’s a really nice wooden desk I bought from the tip shop just before everything shut down. It’s painted dark blue and it was too big to fit in the space on the landing where I’d planned to put it, but it fitted well in our large bedroom instead so that’s where I write at home. In the past I had different writing sheds, which I loved. I also write (in normal times) while on the road in our van.
Thank you, Tracey Scott-Townsend and Love Books Group Tours.
About the author
Tracey-Scott-Townsend is the author of six novels — the most recent The Vagabond Mother (January 2020) and Sea Babies (May 2019) — all published by Wild Pressed Books and Inspired Quill Publishing. Reviews often describe her novels as poetic or painterly.
She is also a poet and a visual artist. She has a Fine Art MA and a BA (Hons) Visual Studies. She has exhibited paintings throughout the UK (as Tracey Scott). She has a long career as a workshop facilitator with community groups and in schools.
Tracey is co-director of an up-and-coming small independent publisher, Wild Pressed Books, which has a growing roster of authors and poets.
Mother of four grown-up children, Tracey spends as much time as possible travelling the UK and Europe in a camper van with her husband and two dogs, writing and editing while on the road.