Hi – I’m Tess. Welcome to my official website for all of my docu-fiction crime writing. If you are wondering what a docu-fiction author is, then just think of a documentary – but as fiction. Over the past couple of years, there has been an incredible surge in true crime story-telling, including in the world of podcasting. And I, like many of you, have listened to countless episodes of Up And Vanished, They Walk Among Us, Canadian True Crime, Sword and Scale, Casefile, and The Vanished. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I really dig true crime, but the creative storyteller in me always wants to control the narrative. My style is writing is similar to what you’d hear on a podcast, but it is complete fiction. I may have been inspired by a true crime story but I always add to it or change elements to make it fictional.
What makes me a docu-fiction writer? Well, I chose this style of writing because it appeals to me. My background includes an Honours Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. I also have a Master’s Degree in Psychology of Language Use, which is where my curiosity really grew in regards to the psychological mindset of a criminal.
The Secrets At Sea: A Story About A Crime
A beautiful blonde student goes missing from a small Caribbean island called Amala. Then, a brunette goes missing. Then one more female student. Soon, the cops identify a pattern with three mysterious men, who have had connections with all the women in question. Who are these men and what have they done with the women?
Soon, the police are overwhelmed by the amount of evidence in the case and they wonder whether they will ever be able to solve this mysterious puzzle of conflicting stories, betrayals, and murder.
Voices from the Grave: A Story About A Crime
A husband with secrets. A wife who is over the moon in love with him. Two daughters and a son on the way. Detectives are baffled when the mother of the children disappear along with the kids. The husband is left behind with nothing but questions as to where they are, and if he will ever see them again.
But television hosts are ready to tear his demeanor apart and soon, he unravels. He will tell a tale of murder, betrayals, lies, and sex that will leave the dead speaking up from their grave.
Everton Pond: A Story About A Crime
A husband and his wife live two hours outside of New York City in an idyllic small town, away from the hectic big city life. Once a week, the husband goes into the city to work but can do most of his work remotely. His wife is a stay-at-home mom with their four children. Then, suddenly, she’s gone. While the husband is a primary target, the mystery surrounding her disappearance only gets more complicated.
With a secret lover, talks of divorce, and financial problems, detectives are left wondering who took her. And is she alive, or has she abandoned the kids she loves so much? This story is one that will have you guessing all the way through.
Anna: A Story About A Crime
A young girl disappears and her mother Maple is desperate for help. All she wants is her daughter home again and she believes someone from her past has taken her. But when her body is found, the local detective is convinced that she had something to do with the murder. As he nears retirement, an open-and-shut case would suit him just fine.
When a dashing young detective shows up to replace him before retirement, Detective Morgan is challenged, as she wants to do things by the book. With a young detective in tow, he has to find out who killed Anna while balancing his own demons. This novel is not only a story about the murder of a little girl, but also about sexism, power, discrimination, and devastating secrets.
This book is not a docu-fiction. This is a work of literary fiction.
Who is Sam Watson inspired by?
When I started writing “Anna,” I could only think of Ryan Eggold as Sam Watson. Think “Blacklist” season 1, before Elizabeth discovers his secret.
Do you kill your darlings?
All the time. You wouldn’t recognize “Anna” in the first draft if I showed it to you.
What writing advice do you have for me?
Plan everything out before you start writing. Do character profiles. The last thing you want to do is write yourself into a corner or make small mistakes that could be avoided. Readers are going to remember that a character had blonde hair in chapter 4 but is a brunette in chapter 23.
WHAT INSPIRES ME?
I am incredibly inspired by all of the stories I hear in the media, on true crime podcasts, and from television shows, such as Vanity Fair Confidential and Forensic Files.
You name it, I’ve watched them all. The inspiration from my stories come from cases that I’m not able to guess myself. Is the person guilty or innocent? Is the person in question being framed? Who knows.
I love cases that are true head-scratchers. I love the cases that are unexplainable. Why did this happen? How did this happen?
I studied psychology when I was doing my master’s degree and I am still, to this day, fascinated by psychology. There’s a part of me that wants to pursue a certificate in psychology, just to learn more about what drives people to do what they do.
Because people don’t kill just to kill – do they?