‘In the world of TV, the real drama happens behind the scenes…’
Woman of the Hour is a novel by Jane Lythell that was published in the summer of 2016 by Head of Zeus.
Described as ‘a gripping story of workplace intrigue, inspired by the author’s own experience of working in the glamorous world of live TV‘, Woman of The Hour is the first book in a new series, with ‘StoryWorld Two’ from Jane Lythell out soon.
In the meantime, here is my review to whet your appetite….
Meet Liz Lyon: respected TV producer, stressed-out executive, guilty single mother… woman of the hour.
StoryWorld is the nation’s favourite morning show, and producer Liz Lyon wants to keep it that way. Her job is to turn real-life stories into thrilling TV – and keep a lid on the scandals and backbiting that happen off-stage.
But then simmering tensions erupt at the station, trapping Liz in a game of one-upmanship where she doesn’t know the rules. As the power struggle intensifies, can Liz keep her cool and keep her job?
Does she even want to?
In this gripping novel of power, rivalry and betrayal, Jane Lythell draws on her experiences of working in the glamorous, pressurised world of live TV.
We are all used to Reality TV on our screens these days. We watch as many teary-eyed competitors fight it out, all looking for their chance on centre stage. In many cases it has been termed car-crash TV, but the one show that always has such a huge following and continues to attract new viewers is Breakfast TV.
As folk awaken to the shriek of the alarm, many have a routine of grabbing a cuppa and settling down for 5/10 minutes with a little news and some comic moments before the reality of the day comes crashing in.
But do any of us know what it is really like off-camera? The smiling faces, the banter….is it all an act? Are the presenters at loggerheads behind the scenes looking for the most air time to increase their public profile?
Jane Lythell takes us on an almost ‘real-life’ look behind the TV veneer in Woman of the Hour.
Liz Lyon is a producer of the very popular morning show, StoryWorld. She is long divorced from her husband Ben after an acrimonious break up, leaving her as the main carer of their young daughter Flo. Trying to balance a very stressful job and an hormonal teenager would be enough for anyone, but Liz also has to deal with the egos of the shows main stars.
Jane Lythell divides the novel between the Storyworld TV station on London Bridge and Chalk Farm flat, the place Liz calls home. From the outset it is very clear that Liz is pulled between wanting to be there at all times for her daughter, as well as striving to compete in a very male dominated workplace.
Liz Lyon’s life is a balancing act. With some new personalities coming under Liz’s tutelage, she finds herself attempting to keep everyone happy…except herself. With her years of experience involved in StoryWorld, it is Liz who maintains the status quo. She is the one the show’s ‘stars’ turn to when they feel they are being unjustly treated or have any grievance in relation to anyone or anything.
Liz makes a discovery that stirs up some memories from her past that she had kept buried in order to survive in this industry. With her best friend Fenton as her confidant, Liz must find a way forward before these revelations come to light and cause untold damage to her reputation and to that of StoryWorld.
Jane Lythell draws from her own experience in media and successfully unveils a world full of self-centred individuals whose only focus is their own personal gain. Liz Lyon must fight to survive using all her wits, while also dealing with her home life which is going through some very turbulent times.
Can women really have it all? Is it possible to be a good mother and also strive for that ‘glass-ceiling’ in a male dominated environment? The pressure, the hours, the demands….
Woman of the Hour is a great opener for a new series. We have been introduced to all the different characters who, I have no doubt, have plenty more to give. In reading this book there were many individuals I just did not like, as the egotistical nature of the business really came through. Liz seems to be only one with any real sense of what is right and wrong and this remains her strength throughout the book.
For a behind-the-scenes peak at what really happens when the camera stops rolling, pick up a copy of Woman of the Hour.
Purchase Link ~ Woman of the Hour
‘I worked as a TV producer for 15 years and my third novel WOMAN OF THE HOUR takes the lid off the TV industry. Behind the glossy exterior of the on-air programme there lurks backstage intrigues, scandal and huge egos in conflict; an insider’s account of the private life of a TV station.
My second novel AFTER THE STORM follows an English couple who get on a small boat with two American strangers to sail to an island after knowing them less then 24 hours. It has been described as Marine Noir.
My debut novel THE LIE OF YOU is a portrait of obsession to the point of madness in which a woman tries to destroy her colleague.’ (Courtesy of Goodreads)