On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
I'm delighted to welcome Tracy Rees to our Sunday Brunch today
Welcome, Tracy. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
It’s either Greek yoghurt with berries, nuts and honey… or banana pancakes with Nutella depending if I’m having an angelic or a devilish kind of a day!
Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
I’m normally a green-tea-in-the-morning kind of person, but for a special brunch like this one, definitely a glass (or 3) of Buck’s Fizz!
Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
Outside on the patio! If it’s cold, we can wrap up warm, if it’s wet, we can huddle under the canopy (is there a canopy?) and if it’s sunny – perfection!
Shall we have music playing in the background, and if so do you have a favourite piece of music?
It had better not be Tchaikovsky or I’ll end up twirling round the garden – especially after the Buck’s Fizz! How about Una Mattina by Ludovico Einaudi? Or else just the birdsong…
Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
I’ll bring Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid so that we can just have it on the table nearby to admire the beautiful cover. Oh and from time to time I might open the covers and sigh over the endpapers. You can too if you like.
When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
I always have to have a novel on the go, no matter how busy I am. Even if the only time I have for reading is ten minutes before bed, I need that brief storytime to help me unwind. Escapism is really important for the human psyche I think, especially when life is so full and pressured. I can’t think of one specific book – my tbr list usually hovers around 60 books or so and there are always more that I want. As fast as I read I replace… I suppose it’ll always be that way.
Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
I’m very fortunate – ideas tumble into my head all the time from I don’t know where – that magical realm of story that hovers around us I think! They can be triggered by films, other books, music, conversations with friends, a shift in the weather, a beautiful piece of clothing or any number of things but often they really do seem to come out of nowhere. It’s a blessing (for obvious reasons) and a curse, because I can’t keep up with them. I can only write one at a time so they have to queue up!
Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I write all year round. I love every season and am inspired by every season. It’s definitely easier to write on dark rainy days, however. When the sun’s shining I really find it hard to be deskbound – I love to be lazing in the garden in summer or out walking on crisp winter days. As for a favourite place… I love my study because it’s all set up for writing. I light a candle, settle down with a mug of tea and let the magic happen. I have a large desk and a stunning view of the estuary and hills… If I’m at the research stage of a project I have a favourite café by the sea that I go to for a couple of hours with the history books!
When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
I don’t get easily distracted. I tend to have tunnel vision when I work, especially when a deadline looms. Then I tend to work and work to the exclusion of all else and end up feeling a bit weird – wobbly and light-headed – for a while afterwards!
Give us four essential items that a writer needs?
Kettle, teabag, water, mug!
What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
My current wip is a historical novel set in the late nineteenth century. It's about a very wealthy, spoiled society beauty who is thoughtless and bored. She falls in love with an utterly unsuitable man and it sets off a chain of events that change her forever. Those who have read my latest historical book The Rose Garden, which was published in the UK in September this year, will recognise the setting and some of the characters, but it's a complete, standalone story so readers don't need to have read The Rose Garden to enjoy it.
1895. Hampstead, London.
Olive Westallen lives a privileged, if rather lonely, life in her family’s grand Hampstead home. But she has radical plans for the future of her family – plans that will shock the high-society world she inhabits.
For her new neighbour, twelve-year-old Ottilie Finch, London is an exciting playground to explore. Her family have recently arrived from Durham, under a cloud of scandal that Otty is blissfully unaware of. The only shadow over her days is her mother’s mysterious illness, which keeps her to her room.
When Mabs is offered the chance to become Mrs Finch’s companion, it saves her from a desperate life on the canals. Little does she know that all is not as picture-perfect as it seems. Mabs is about to become tangled in the secrets that chased the Finches from their last home, and trapped in an impossible dilemma.
Tracy where can we follow you on social media?
More about Tracy
Tracy Rees was born and grew up in Swansea, South Wales. An only child, she spent a great deal of time lost in books and always dreamed of being a writer. A graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge, she moved to London and worked in medical publishing for many years, before training and then working as a counsellor for people with cancer and their families. She has also been a waitress, bartender, shop assistant, estate agent, classroom assistant, university lecturer and workshop leader.
In 2014 her first novel, Amy Snow, won the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and the Love Stories Best Historical Read award. She has published six historical novels and two contemporary novels. Her books have been published in twenty countries around the world.
She lives on the Gower Peninsula of South Wales where she enjoys walking, yoga, line dancing and endless cups of tea with friends.
Tracy, thank you for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo.
Follow us on Twitter @jaffareadstoo #SundayBrunchwithJaffareadstoo