About My Alter Ego and Me – 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 I was nineteen. I had been asked to write a column for a regional newspaper called, Serendipity, and didn’t want my mother to know the slightly risqué pieces originated from my keyboard.
Many moons ago, I decided to leave writing fiction to my alter ego, Tessa Barrie, while I plod on with my life writing project, My Life to Date and How I Survived It.
‘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.’
Tessa Barrie soldiered on writing short stories and freelance contributions, after the inevitability of me succumbing to a ‘proper job’… Until, I was made redundant in June 2015.
Believing my redundancy was a sign from Cadmus, the Greek God of of Writing, I poured all my post-redundancy frustration into writing a pantser-style novel. The critiques of the early drafts of said novel, started rolling in, including this one:
‘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. Learning from this and other critiques, five years later, after numerous rewrites and filling in multiple plot holes, Tessa Barrie’s first novel has just been published on Amazon, after a degree of buffing-up by the long-suffering Deb Sutton, who also designed the cover has been served up as Just Say It! The revised title, not the bit on-the-nose one.
‘My writing career has been sporadic, at best, after a flurry of pure teenage genius. Poetry published at thirteen, writing my first (and last) musical at fifteen… After my miserable pre-pubescent poetry morphed into tormented teenage angst lyrics, and I entered my songwriting phase. Since then, I have drifted between being in print, and not.’
In 1998, I co-wrote her late stepfather’s autobiography, Brian Trubshaw – Test Pilot and assisted with his second book, Concorde – The Inside Story, in 2000. Both books were published by what was then Sutton Publishing, under the watchful eye of Jonathan Falconer. She is immensely proud to have been involved with both publications.
In 2021, Karma, made the long-list of the Fiction Factory Short Story competition and, Still Life, was long-listed in their March 2021 Flash Fiction competition.