Guest ~ Jane Wenham-Jones
Today we’re thrilled to welcome as our guest Jane Wenham-Jones, with her exciting new release, Prime Time.
“Write what you know” is my mantra and all my novels have been based loosely on experiences I’ve had myself or, in the case of Perfect Alibis, (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) the exploits of my friends.
My third novel, One Glass is Never Enough, for example, is about three women who own a wine bar in Broadstairs – something I did for a couple of years.
One of our regulars was Trevor McCallum, director of Red Door TV, who made a series called Just for Starters for the Good Food Channel (then UKTV Food. Trevor soon picked up on my media tart tendencies- perhaps it was the way I kept serving up my publicity shots along with his wine and shouting “Make Me A Star!”
Trevor suggested that I, along with my friend and co-owner of the bar, Jacqui and one of our staff, Will, might like to take part in one of the programmes. We had to prepare a course each and then come together at the end as it to have a dinner party.
I chose to do the main course.
This was mainly so I could demonstrate one of the few things I know I can do well, which is to make perfect mashed potato. (For the secret you will have to read Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of? – footnote 10)
I usually do my supermarket shopping in Waitrose (product placement, Mr John Lewis?) but on this particular occasion, for reasons I now forget, I was forced into a rival supermarket to get my ingredients.
This one did not have the helpful little signs I was used to: suitable for mashing etc so I bought “general purpose” spuds.
Which, despite being endlessly boiled, remained like bullets and responded to my enthusiastic wielding of the masher by shooting from the saucepan and hitting the cameraman.
We had to stop filming while everyone became hysterical and then pulverise the things with a hand-held blender. The resultant mass was like over-thick wallpaper paste. Later we had to eat it.
It tasted fine. The potato was the topping to my own recipe, a Mediterranean twist to a British classic – Spicy Turkish Goatherd’s Pie. Amusingly, the recipe is still up on the internet – now more boringly named Turkish Shepherd’s Pie and not attributed to me. (Although I suppose the latter is fair enough since all I did was look up how Delia made the standard version and then add half my spice cupboard.) Click here if you want something to make for dinner tonight http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/512074.
And if you’d like to see how this and other on-camera moments finally inspired a fourth novel about daytime TV, Prime Time is now available in paperback and for download. 🙂 Thanks for having me here today.
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/.