As the daughter of a soldier, Tracey Emerson spent her childhood and most of her teenage years moving between army camps in the UK, Germany, the Middle East and the Far East. After a short stint in boarding school, she did a degree in Dramatic Arts at Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds. Not long after graduating, she moved to Edinburgh on a whim, intending to stay for six months. She has lived in Scotland ever since.
Before writing fiction, Tracey worked in theatre and community arts. As well as acting, she ran drama workshops in hospitals, focusing on adults with learning difficulties and mental health issues. After a period of poor health, she began writing as a way of reconnecting with her creativity. She started attending creative writing classes at the University of Edinburgh’s Lifelong Learning Centre and was lucky enough to meet the author Helen Lamb, who encouraged her to send in one of her first short stories to The Scotland and Orange Short Story prize. The story, ‘Our Big Day Out’, was a runner up in the competition, and this early success gave Tracey the confidence to keep writing. Other story publications in anthologies and literary magazines followed, and Tracey went on to study for an MSc in Creative writing at the University of Edinburgh. After completing this course, she received a scholarship to do her PhD in Creative Writing at the university, working on the novel that would eventually become her debut thriller, Mother’s Day.
Since then, she has continued to publish short stories and her feature writing has appeared in Stella magazine, Woman’s Own and The Sydney Morning Herald. In June 2021, she signed with Boldwood Books to publish her second thriller, The Perfect Holiday, under the name TJ Emerson.
As well as writing her own fiction, Tracey works as a literary consultant and writing tutor and is also the Creative Director of The Bridge Awards, a philanthropic organisation that provides micro-funding for the arts.
When not travelling, Tracey lives in the hills of Perthshire. She can often be found tramping around the countryside and, occasionally, braving a dip in the chilly rivers and lochs.