Category: Fiction

Miscellaneous works of fiction by Tessa Barrie

 

Learning the Hard Way (Writer’s Revenge)

The year is 1963 and Lisa Grant is four-years-old. Her mother, Elizabeth, has hatched a plan with two families living down the road from to employ a governess to teach Lisa and the neighbours’ young daughters.  I confess I am guilty of a case of writer’s revenge (character assassination) […]

Arthur’s Revenge

The reading of Arthur’s Will was expected to be straightforward and that he would dutifully leave his fortune to his grieving widow.  A few minutes before her outburst, Lisa had been fighting to control her anger and Elizabeth, as usual, was the focus of her irritation. She’d arrived late, dressed like the Queen about to meet a head of state but, thankfully, not wearing a hat. She waited for the solicitor to pull up a chair for her and sat in wide-eyed anticipation waiting for the reading to start, whilst stifling the odd theatrical tear. 

Fisticuffs at Fanny’s

It is the 8th of October 1980, and it’s Lisa Grant’s twenty-first birthday.  She has recently been reunited with her father, Will, who lays on a party for her at her favourite restaurant in Soho, Fanny’s Bistro.   The tables are hastily rearranged to accommodate two uninvited guests, […]

ESTABLISHING FOUL PLAY

The Endeavour Morse infatuated DCI Humphrey Middleton arrives in the sleepy market town of Didsbrook to investigate the unexplained death of its highest-profile resident, Jocelyn Robertshaw. In this sequence, he looks over the crime scene, and the corpse, and we find out that, when Humphrey first meets a cadaver, he likes to engage in a little one-sided banter.

Author Interview: Becci Murray

Christmas is coming and finding presents for the younger members of our families is at the forefront of our minds.  Today, we have a great idea for the 8-12-year-olds in your lives, the recently published Billy’s Brain Booster Juice which, as the reviews will tell you is… a rip-roaring tale!!  Perfect for 8-12-year-olds.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Billy’s creator, the author Becci Murray from Gloucestershire. Becci has written sketches for children’s television, along with theatre plays for a children’s drama company and now, Billy’s Brain Booster Juice.

CHARACTER INSIGHT – Elizabeth Galsworthy-Grant, nee Campbell

The first time he invited her back to his flat for a drink after a cocktail party to celebrate the New Year, she took advantage of his inebriated state. He flopped on to the sofa next to her, and she turned toward him, straddling his lap and pinning him down. Covering his mouth with hers, he felt he couldn’t breathe. Although way out of his comfort zone, being pounced on by an eighteen-year-old siren with the sexual appetite of a tigress, resistance was futile. If he had any doubts about the morality of his seduction, Elizabeth had no intention of giving him any time to think about it.

In the foggy waking moments of his hangover the following day, he dismissed what had happened between them for what it was, drunk sex. It would never happen again. He only had a few weeks left in London, and he would make sure he kept a low profile.

CHARACTER INSIGHT – Fergus Grant

The year is 1958 and my main character, Lisa Grant, has not yet been born.  I would like to introduce you to her charismatic young father, Fergus. On the brink adulthood, he is still enjoying his carefree life before he meets the force of nature that is Lisa’s mother, Elizabeth.

Leaving the Pantser in Me Behind

In June 2016 an idea for a book I’d been carrying around in my head for years, began clogging up my thought process.  I needed to write it, a.s.a.p. and, as luck would have it… I was made redundant.  So I threw myself into writing Just Say It.

After I started it, I realised I had little else apart from the main character and, after writing the first draft, she was beginning to sound alarmingly like me.  The pantser-style first draft was nothing more than an autobiographical unburdening of my life to date, with a large dollop of post-redundancy frustration on top.

After a total overhaul of the original manuscript my MC, Lisa Grant, thankfully, took on a life of her own.  It took me four and a half years to finish her story.  The storyline often going off at tangents, which produced unrealistic MC goals and hours of frustrating rewrites.

Taking It Slow

Lisa Grant is leaving the UK for good to live in The Algarve to work at father’s vineyard. Her car breaks down at Portsmouth where she bumps into old flame Rory who, fortunately for Lisa, is also headed for Portugal. Rory gallantly offers to drive Lisa there and they decide to take their time travelling through Spain and Portugal to do a bit of sightseeing.

MOMENT IN TIME

Seduced by the rush of the incoming tide, I walk towards the shimmering haze where the cool Atlantic Ocean meets the sun-drenched shore. My pace quickens, the hot sand burns the soles of my feet.

The sun, high in the azure blue sky, heats my tanned and tingling skin as I walk slowly along the water’s edge.   The powder puff clouds drift slowly by on the velvet breeze, its feathery touch fluttering against my face.

Provenance

Heads turned as Elizabeth walked on to the platform.  She was a beautiful young woman, a technicolor ray of light illuminating a black and white world still struggling to escape the grip of post-war austerity.

Unexpected Twist

‘Bravo, young lady! Joan Fothergill! You didn’t tell me your daughter sings like a nightingale and can act the socks off the entire DADS membership.  Goodness, how time flies, young lady, the last time I talked to you was by the trout lake, and you were wearing a pair of pink knickers.’ My cheeks turned crimson, and I heard my mother mumble the words, lake, knickers?

STILL LIFE

I was so cold and my heart felt like a bird trapped inside my chest.  My head hurt and something warm trickled from my forehead, over my eyes, down my cheeks and on to my lips.  I licked them and they tasted salty.  A strong, pungent metallic smell, which I couldn’t instantly identify, drifted up my nostrils.

Exhilarating​ – The Jersey Festival of Words 2019

Yesterday I went to four sessions at the Jersey Festival of Words, it was the day for me to soak up the words of wisdom, as well as support, local writing talent and hopes of coming away with a better understanding of what literary agents are looking for.

OUTTAKES: JUST SAY IT

I’ve been having one final, brutal, word cull of the final draft.

This is one of the scenes I’ve cut when my MC realises her life is stagnating and I would like to share it with you.

HANGING ON TO YOUR SELF BELIEF

By the time dawn came around, my self-belief had taken a nose dive and I was considering giving up writing and doing something less stressful, like bungee jumping. But, writing is a leap into the unknown.  You need to constantly keep challenging yourself, bumbling along in the inside lane is not going to get you anywhere.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

 Eleanor Roosevelt.

Test your mettle on a daily basis, you will never know whether how good you are until you take that leap of faith.

CRITIQUES: Taking Them on the Chin

As agonising as critiques can be, they are a vital part of our development as writers.  If we don’t take feedback on the chin, we will never learn to master the craft.

VALENTINES DAY OUTTAKE – Allergic to Marriage

He averted her gaze, sucking air in through his teeth. One of his many irritating habits and something he always did when he knew he was in the wrong. He sighed deeply before turning to look at her again, a weak smile rippling across his face as his eyelashes fluttered.

Wednesday Short

My Writers Group are convinced I am suffering from some sort of Mother Complex. Maybe I am but one does tend to write about the things they are familiar with.

Off the Cutting Room Floor…Outtake from Novel Editing Hell – A Mother’s Obsession

After Lisa turned thirteen, Elizabeth Galsworthy-Grant turned into a one-woman precursor to Tinder.  She became obsessed with finding her daughter a husband, preferably a wealthy one, so she would never have to contemplate that nasty three-letter word job. She could never understand why her efforts were always so unappreciated by her rebellious daughter, with her feminist views and ridiculous mantra…’I don’t need a man to complete me.’

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