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?
My alter ego, Tessa Barrie, started sharpening her pencil when I was nineteen, after being asked to write a column for a regional newspaper called Serendipity
. I didn’t want my mother to know the slightly risqué pieces originated from my keyboard.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
When I was made redundant in June 2015, I believed was a sign from Cadmus, the Greek God of of Writing and poured all my post-redundancy frustrations into writing a pantser-style novel, with the working title of They Always Look at the Mother First
. When the critiques of the early drafts started rolling in, it was clear, I still had much to learn.‘From reading the synopsis, it does sound like there is an awful lot going on, and it’s worth making sure that characters are properly developed for readers to identify with them, especially as the situations they find themselves in become more complex. Make sure you amuse, rather than bludgeon, the reader with witty lines – less is definitely more when it comes to comic writing. I also wondered whether the title might be a bit on-the-nose? Otherwise, this is a good beginning.’
Well, the good beginning bit was encouraging and, I learned from this and other critiques, and changed the title. Five years later, after numerous rewrites and filling in multiple plot holes, Just Say It was published on Amazon in June 2021
, after a certain amount of buffing-up by the long-suffering Deb Sutton, who also designed the cover.CLICK HERE TO BUY JUST SAY IT
I am hopeful that, novel number two, The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook
, will hit the bookshelves towards the end of 2021.