Welcome to the new look website for My Alter Ego and Me – formerly www.tessabarrie.com, the official website for Tessa Barrie and her alter ego, Sally Edmondson – or is it the other way around?
Tessa Barrie started sharpening her pencil when Sally was nineteen and was asked to write a column for a regional newspaper called Serendipity. She didn’t want her mother to know the slightly risqué pieces originated from her keyboard, so she brained stormed a pen name with friends. Tessa after her Springer Spaniel and Barrie because, while all her friends were buying rock music, she was dancing around her bedroom to Barrie Manilow.I’m not someone who has left glittering gongs in my wake, nor have I led an intrepid or inspiring life. I don’t plan to blame my parents for my ineptitudes and failures. I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person, although some might say, I am delightfully vague. Either way, I’ve always been quite capable of cocking up my own life, without parental intervention or outside influence.
My writing career has been sporadic, at best, after a flurry of pure teenage genius. Gloomy poetry published at thirteen, my pre-pubescent poetry morphing into tormented teenage angst lyrics when I entered my songwriting phase
I wrote my first (and last) musical at fifteen and was still stage struck at seventeen, until my hopes and dreams of treading the boards were crushed in my first lesson with a drama teacher moonlighting from R.A.D.A. He always wore a suit and tie, with a red carnation tucked in his buttonhole and smoked incessantly. In between puffs, he delivered his caustic comments with aplomb and the cadence of Noel Coward, from the corner of the poorly lit room he taught us in. I'd just stuttered my way through a previously unseen script of The Lady's Not for Burning.
There was silence from the cavity in the corner as, with some trepidation, I watched the silhouetted figure take a long, slow drag of his fag before he exhaled the words...'Darling, if you are harbouring aspirations about going on the stage, forget it.'
In adulthood, I succumbed to a proper job and got on with life in the real world. Since then, I have drifted between being in print, and not. In my spare time, Tessa Barrie carried on writing fictional short stories, while I wrote factual freelance pieces for any publication prepared to take them and co-authored Brian Trubshaw – Test Pilot
After being made redundant in June 2015. I took it as a sign from Cadmus, the Greek God of Writing, to pour all my post-redundancy frustrations into writing a pantser-style novel, with the working title of They Always Look at the Mother First
Five years later, after too much procrastination, numerous rewrites and filling in multiple plot holes, Just Say It
was published on Amazon in June 2021, after a bit of buffing-up by the long-suffering Deb Sutton, who also designed the cover.
CLICK HERE TO BUY JUST SAY IT
Just Say It is a story of self-discovery, family secrets and everything in-between, and is filled with emotion, both tearful and humorous.
In 1999, Lisa Grant, once a well-known columnist for a leading UK magazine, turns forty. Attempting to avoid a midlife crisis, she finishes writing a therapeutic spoof about her life, but it only scratches the surface of the problem – the rocky relationship she has always had with her narcissistic mother, Elizabeth.
Realising she needs to break the negative emotional hold her mother has over her, Lisa harnesses her journalistic skills to investigate her mother's life before she came to London in 1957 as a seventeen-year-old debutante and is shocked by what she finds.
Since then, I have appreciated how important reviews are for Indie authors and this one for Just Say It
has put a spring in my step and turbo charged my brain into finishing novel number two, The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook which, hopefully,
will hit the bookshelves by the end of the year.'A great story about self-discovery, family secrets and everything in-between. Written in a flawless style, it draws the reader in from the first page, building up one layer after the other. From the main character, who is honest and unapologetic, to the way the past is revealed, I would say that this is one of the best books I have ever read.'