Tessa Harris
AUTHOR

Tessa Harris

When I was five years old, I visited the dungeons of an old castle with my parents. The guide was telling us about the oubliette, the place where they threw prisoners and literally forgot about them. Without warning he turned the light off, plunging the space into darkness. We were blind for a few moments. But instead of terrifying me, the experience had the opposite effect. I wanted to know more about people, lives, events from the past. So,from a very early age, I loved history: buildings, books, stories. I went on to read History at Oxford University and qualified as a journalist and editor, contributing to several national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. I also acted as a literary publicist for the English TV presenter and novelist Pam Rhodes. Winning a European-wide screenplay writing competition led to the optioning of a screenplay. (Here's where the history comes in.) Set in 18th century England, it highlighted what has to be one of the most fascinating periods of England's past. The screenplay languished in what's known as development hell, but I was determined to tell some of the stories I'd discovered during my researches into the period. The result is "The Anatomist's Apprentice," the first of a series of Dr Thomas Silkstone Mysteries - stories from late 18th century England that are based on true events. Until December 2010 I was editor of a regional glossy magazine and was regularly heard on BBC local radio. As well interviewing dozens of celebrities, I interviewed writers at literary events in front of audiences. My most recent interviews were with Oscar winner Julian Fellowes (who wrote the screenplay for Downton Abbey), Barbara Taylor Bradford and Hollywood legend Leslie Caron.
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