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? 🤔
My alter ego, 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 I didn’t want my mother to know the slightly risqué pieces originated from my keyboard. After that, I decided to leave all forays into the world of fiction, to Tessa Barrie, while I plodded on various life writing projects,
‘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 carried on writing short stories and freelance contributions, after the inevitable happened, and I succumbed to a ‘proper job’.
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. .
‘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 my 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. I am immensely proud to have been involved with both publications.
An Honest Review made the long-list of the Fiction Factory Short Story competition in 2018/2019. My pantser-days behind me, An Honest Review evolved into novel number two, The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook, which made the long-list of the Flash 500 Novel Opening competition in 2019.
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.