Sunday 26 July 2020

Summer Picnic with Jaffareadstoo ~Tracey Scott-Townsend ☼

☼ Jaffareadstoo is delighted to welcome you all to our Summer Picnic ☼ 

Pull up a deck chair, tie knots in your hanky and roll up your trouser legs!

☼ Summer time is here ☼ 

☼ I'm delighted to welcome writer, Tracey Scott-Townsend to our picnic ☼

What favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?

Hi Jo, thanks for inviting me. I’m looking forward to this picnic already! I’ll bring hummus, olives, Pitta bread, and strawberries. I’ll also ring a bowl of roasted Mediterranean vegetables, goats cheese, lovely, leafy greens including an enormous amount of fresh Basil, along with some fresh, succulent, strong-tasting tomatoes.

Would you like chilled white wine, a flute of Prosecco, a tumbler of Pimms, or a tall glass of sparkling elderflower cordial?

I’ll have a glass of chilled white, please. Just this once, I don’t drink very much these days so if I’m allowed, I’ll follow that with the sparkling elderflower.

Where shall we sit, by the pool, in the garden, in the countryside, at the seaside? 

Oh, how about at the edge of woodlands, on the slope down to a deserted beach?

Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag ?

 I think a wicker hamper would be lovely.

Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?

Yes, There’s a promontory on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, surrounded by ruined black-houses, looking out on the sparkling sea…

Which of your literary heroes are joining us on the picnic today?

I’d love it if Emily Bronte would join us. I think she’d like my location, too.

Which summer read are you bringing with you today?

I think I’ll bring an old book, an Alice Hoffman novel called White Horses. I read it during a hot summer when I was 21, and the feeling of the book is of sleepy summer heat as well.

What is your earliest summer memory?

Maybe of having been lost on the beach at Skegness when I was very small. I remember being returned to my family on my dad’s shoulders, and everybody in the vicinity cheering and clapping.

Do you have a favourite summer hideaway?

One of the East Yorkshire beaches near where I live. Kilnsea, on the edge of Spurn Point. The estuary of the River Humber. I lived there for a year when I was 21 (I seem to keep returning to that age!) and I always feel such a sense of peace there.

Do you have a summer music playlist for reading / writing? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you feel summery?

It’ll have to be a Genesis song. ‘Heatwave’ seems appropriate, and will always remind me of my youthful summers. (Our picnic is making me feel nostalgic!)

Do you find that your reading tastes differ between winter and summer?

Now there’s a question. I hadn’t really thought of that, but perhaps they do. For summer, I’ll go with Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days and Rowan Coleman’s The Summer of Impossible Things. In winter I’d curl up and read Diane Setterfield’s Once Upon a River and The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea.

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Do you find it easier to write in the summer months or during the winter?

Either. Until a couple of years ago I wrote in a shed in my garden, and so summer was a better time for that writing location. Now I have a dedicated writing space in my bedroom, as opposed to my ‘work’ desk in an office downstairs that I share with my husband (we run a small press). So all that really matters to me is to have a dedicated space to write in, whether in summer or winter.

Would you like to tell us a little about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?

My most recently-published novel is The Vagabond Mother, about a woman who takes off around the world in search of her missing son, and discovers she really loves the vagabond lifestyle. I have another novel out on submission which is about an honest politician, an ageing hippie and a recently-divorced gardener, whose lives were all altered by what happened at a music festival in 1972. My work in progress is about a woman who lives on a bench, and what happened to put her there.

Wild pressed Books

Tracey,where can we follow you on social media?

Twitter @authortrace

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. 

Tracey is co-director of an up-and-coming small independent publisher, Wild Pressed Books, which has a growing roster of authors and poets. She works with them as editor and cover-designer.

She is the mother of four grown-up children, and 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. At home she’s very busy on her allotment or in her garden.

☼ Thank you for coming to our picnic ☼

Thank you very much for having me, I really enjoyed it.

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