Guest author Jane Wenham-Jones
I’ve invited Jane here today to talk about her wonderful release Prime Time.
Please put your hands together and give her a hearty welcome!
My new novel Prime Time was inspired by some of the bizarre things I’ve got up to, in the name of publicity for my various books. This has included appearing on a variety of TV programmes which has sometimes been huge fun and sometimes led to me watching the re-run through my fingers…
Here are a couple of things I’ve learned along the way
Don’t sit on the set
In fact don’t sit anywhere until you’re told to. When I went on the (live) Heaven and Earth Show, I absently-mindedly perched on the end of a shelf-thing while waiting to go on. It turned out this structure was strictly for display purposes only and was delicately balanced to house a huge lump of crystal. I watched the lump crash to the floor and shatter into thousand pieces moments before presenters Alice Beer and Ross Kelly walked forward to pose in front of it as the opening credits rolled.
I could blame it on the trauma of the above but the footage that ensued did not cover me with glory and taught me an important lesson. Keep smiling or at least look interested. It doesn’t come across well if you appear to have a face on.
You may already be thinking I was an odd choice for a programme that explored what I believe the BBC described as “ethical, spiritual and cultural issues” (and strangely I was never invited back!) but I should explain that it was around the time David Beckham had (allegedly) been caught up to no good with that Spanish bird. And the theme of the discussion was: Is monogamy overrated?
I was on with a German writer called Ulli Springett who had written a Buddhist-inspired book called Soulmate in which she argued that utter fidelity is the key to perfect happiness and feeds the soul. I’d been booked to give the opposite view.
Obviously I was on slightly shaky ground, because the general consensus of opinion tends to be that if you find out find out your husband’s been spending every Thursday night, not at his car maintenance class as you thought, but locked in passion with the woman up the road, you have every right to feel thoroughly betrayed and to weep, wail and very probably beat him to a pulp with his jump leads, but I did my best.
I ventured that there were worse things you could do to your partner than have a quick bunk up with someone else – engaging in physical violence/being tight about shelling out on decent holidays/saying: yes, actually love, your arse does look massive in that – and that these things happened when you’d been married too long or had too much to drink and it wasn’t worth getting too hysterical over one testosterone-fuelled footballer who probably loved his wife really and had already forgotten his transgression by the time the tabloids obligingly got hold of it.
Understandably, this rather flabby argument did not much wash with Ulli whose speeches in return became ever longer and more earnest. I didn’t think about what I was doing while she held forth or consider that my expressions might be broadcast to the nation (or the God-fearing segment of it, anyway).
But every time the camera panned to me I was sitting there looking as though I’d just been told my flight had been delayed for 15 hours and there were no drinks vouchers.
“Grumpy,” said one friend. “Bored” said another.
Now whenever I am filmed with others, I keep my mouth fixed into a permanent beam and my eyes trained firmly on my co-guests, to show how utterly enthralled I am by every word they are saying.
When I was on with our local MP, I looked as though I longed to marry him.
A British romantic comedy by Jane Wenham-Jones, author of ‘Perfect Alibis’.
Laura Meredith never imagined herself appearing on TV, she’s too old, too flabby, too downright hormonal, and much too busy holding things together for her son, Stanley, after her husband left her for a younger, thinner replacement. But best friend Charlotte is a determined woman and when Laura is persuaded on to a daytime show to talk about her PMT, everything changes. Suddenly there’s a camera crew tracking her every move and Laura finds herself an unlikely star. But as things hot up between her and gorgeous TV director, Cal, they’re going downhill elsewhere. While Laura’s caught up in a heady whirlwind of beauty treatments, makeovers and glamorous film locations, Charlotte’s husband, Roger, is concealing a guilty secret, Stanley’s got problems at school, work’s piling up, and when Laura turns detective to protect Charlotte’s marriage, things go horribly wrong. The champagne’s flowing as Laura’s prime time TV debut looks set to be a hit. But in every month, there’s a “Day Ten” …
Jane is the author of four novels and two non-fiction books – Wannabe a Writer? – a humorous look at becoming a scribe – and Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of? a guide to the art of book and self promotion. As a freelance journalist she has appeared in a wide range of women’s magazines and national newspapers and writes regular columns for Woman’s Weekly and Writing Magazine, where she is the agony aunt. Jane is an experienced tutor who is regularly booked by writing conferences and literary festivals to run workshops and give talks on all aspects of the writing process. She is also a member of Equity, has presented for the BBC on both TV and radio and has done her fair share of daytime TV, particularly when promoting her controversial second novel Perfect Alibis (subtitled How to have an affair and get away with it…) It was those – sometimes hair-raising – TV experiences that inspired Prime Time, her new novel. For more information see http://www.janewenham-jones.com and http://janewenhamjones.wordpress.com/
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