BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Going on camera isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be….A Guest Post by Jane Wenham-Jones

It sometimes seems as television programming has been overtaken by "reality" tv. But life changes when you live it so publicly. Jane Wenham-Jones tackes this in her newest book, "Prime Time".

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 and


Going on camera isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be….

I absolutely love the cover of Prime Time – and that’s probably because I’ve had nothing to do with it! Whenever I’ve stuck my oar in regarding designs in the past, it has not ended well…

For example, I loved the first cover of my second novel with a passion too. Perfect Alibis, my then editor Sadie Mayne, told me, had one of the best covers Transworld had ever produced. I thought so too. It featured a glam-looking bird in a tight black dress with a six-inch waist. Sadie had also thought of a good shout line – “Have you ever been in lust with someone you shouldn’t?”

Unfortunately, by then, I thought I knew a bit about covers and publicity too (though quite clearly not enough!) and came up with what I thought was a better one. How to have an affair and get away with it. This, I said, would be attention-grabbing when we were doing the media campaign. The publishers went with my idea.

Which actually was a slight mistake. While this shout line certainly got attention, it wasn’t always the right kind. Yes the press picked up on it - I was featured in The Sun, invited to go on Kilroy and Trisha, and photographed supine in a feather boa on the centre pages of the Daily Star but that sort of coverage didn’t necessarily translate into mega sales. And I soon found when doing signings, that there would be a lot of interest but not quite so much flocking to the till.

Women would pick the book up and put it rapidly down again the moment they’d examined the text on the front.

“Oooh no,” they’d giggle. “I couldn’t take that home, Henry wouldn’t like it…..”

Which was OK if I was there in person to explain the moral message in chapter 24, but not so great if I wasn’t.

Journalists, too, mistook it for a manual for adulterers, which might have got me screamed at on daytime TV, but didn’t get me on the best-seller lists.

I can’t regret it now though because I got to do a whole heap of TV and radio and other fun things I probably wouldn’t have been asked to do.

And since WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW has always been my mantra, I have put those experiences – warts and all – to good use In Prime Time. I have really enjoyed 90% of the TV I’d done but the novel reflects the one big lesson I learned at the same time.

Going on camera isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be….


By: Jane Wenham-Jones
Publisher: Accent Press
ISBN: 978-1908766588
Length: 224 pages
Release Date: JULY 5, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon US    Amazon UK      The Book Depository
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Book Blurb (from goodreads):

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" ...

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