I was born in Yorkshire in an era before mobile phones and social media and grew up wild and free in the pastoral Gloucestershire countryside, unincumbered by electronic devices.
I now live in Jersey, Channel Islands where I never go anywhere without an electronic device and am the proud mother of Cassie the Blog Dog and Ollie the Cat.
I try to look at life from the funny side, but I am prone to having the odd GOW rant.
I’ve written on a freelance basis for years, whilst holding down a proper job, taking a creative writing break to write songs and to co-write a factual book.
I have written under the name of Tessa Barrie since I was 19 and writing a column called Serendipity for the local rag, and didn’t want my mother to know that these slightly risqué pieces appearing on a weekly basis originated from my keyboard. So I decided to call myself Tessa, after my Springer Spaniel and Barrie, a blatant misspelling of Barry because I was, and I still am, openly Cococabana, since being blown away by Barry Manilow performing at Wembley and turning a solo performance in a full-on musical extravaganza.
I kind of fell into blogging about eighteen years ago, whilst blowing my own trumpet about my own music, as well as waxing lyrical about other artists and bands.
I was fortunate enough to meet the late Barbara Large for the first time in June 2015, when she came to Jersey with Adrienne Dines to host a Writers Weekend Workshop and, between them, they kick-started my passion for creative writing.
And the rest, as they say, is history. In June 2019, I finished writing my first novel… Just Say It, a bittersweet story about how growing up with a narcissist mother affects one woman’s life.
In March of this year, I heard my short story, An Honest Review, had been Longlisted in the Fiction Factory’s 2018/2019 competition.
‘It has just the right mixture of ingredients in carefully measured quantities. The introduction puts us perfectly the mood, the descriptions and the buildup put us clearly in the picture and the revelation of the characters make us smile.’
I was happy with that. It is a tongue-in-cheek story about a writers group, somewhere in the Home Counties. I was encouraged to develop the story further, which wasn’t hard to do because I had fallen in love with all the members of the Didsbrook Writers Group. An Honest Review the novel is now beginning to take shape, and I am finding it liberating to, finally, be sinking my teeth into a new project.
And here, for your delectation, are the much-loved members of the Didsbrook Writers Group.