Welcome To My Alter Ego and Me

Looking at Life from the Funny Side

About my alter ego and Me

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 in 1999.

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.


I am hopeful that, novel number two, The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook, will hit the bookshelves towards the end of 2021.



Novel-in-progress, The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook.

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Three Steps Forward, Five Steps Back – The Growing Pains of a Virgin Novelist

I didn't go into this self-publishing malarky totally blinkered. I had some idea what I was letting myself in for, but it has proved to be more of a challenge than I initially thought.

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Regular free downloads of eBooks for Just Say It.

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Just Say It  Free Kindle Download 6th-12th September 2021

Doc Martens takes on Dior as a workaholic daughter finally rebels against mollycoddled mother. After forty years of verbal incontinence, will the two ever see eye to eye? Will the twain ever meet?

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Why after eight years I decided to say goodbye to WordPress.

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Coming Soon to a Book Shop Near You!

Didsbrook is a sleepy market town somewhere in the Home Counties. When its most famous resident, the former darling of London's West End, turned multi-published author, is found dead. Who could possibly want to murder the much-loved Jocelyn Robertshaw?

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To Indie Authors Everywhere, With Love

In homage to and in support of Indie Authors everywhere! #withlove

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Getting Self-publishing Savvy! Things I wish I’d known before publishing Just Say It!

Once you hit the self-publishing button, there is no going back. One moment you are in the middle of a lengthy eye-watering proofread; the next, you are drowning in a vast ocean of books, trying everything you can to get recognition for your firstborn novel in the crush of the 45 million wannabe best sellers already out there.

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SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER – Snippets from Just Say It, plus free eBooks and More!

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A short video to thank everyone for reading and reviewing Just Say It.

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Coming Soon to a Book Shop Near You!

Didsbrook is a sleepy market town somewhere in the Home Counties. When its most famous resident, the former darling of London's West End, turned multi-published author, is found dead. Who could possibly want to murder the much-loved Jocelyn Robertshaw?

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Full Review of Just Say It by Lauren Jones of Turning Another Page - for Reedsy Discovery

Lauren Jones of Turning Another Page, San Antonio, reviews Just Say It.

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READ ON KINDLE, BUY AND SHARE - Just Say It is available on Amazon now!

JUST SAY IT, the debut novel by Tessa Barrie has been described as' a beautiful, poignant, and sensationally apt rendition of what it means to love unconditionally and grow from the past,' and it's free on Kindle.

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JUST SAY IT - REVIEW - 28th August 2021

Dikska Malek's @book_riot006 on Instagram's review of Just Say It.

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JUST SAY IT - REVIEW - 25th August 2021

Review of Just Say It by Book Lovers

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Just Say It is the debut novel by Tessa Barrie

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The dotage diaries

Life Saving Attempt

Here is today’s dose of memory recall from my rapidly disintegrating grey matter that has been lodged somewhere in my hippocampus for eighteen years.

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The Gradual Decline

The aches and pains of growing older.

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Turning Into My Mother

The day I turned into my mother.

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Steroid Euphoria

Staving off the steroids.

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The C. R. A. F. T. Club

Becoming a member of the CRAFT club.

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Sleepless Nights

Delightfully dozy.

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