Pricilla Bleik loves those TV talent shows but decided to give hers a darker edge in One Little White Lie.
One Little White Lie tells the story of a married woman with kids who lies about her age to compete with teenagers on an international talent show. So far, so straightforward, but for my hapless protagonist India Roman, nothing is what it seems. No more plot spoilers, except to say be prepared (hopefully) for some pretty big shocks.
Why would someone like me – boringly proper with a penchant for sums, who’d rather be set on fire than sing in front of an audience – want to write about talent shows?
Initially, because I am an avid reader of chick lit and secret devourer of all types of talent shows, I thought it would be fun to write a fast-moving novel about these, aimed at adults. The talent show is usually a topic usually saved for younger readers. Then my husband suggested that I might add another element, something darker, and the publisher went for it. Chick lit noir was the term we decided to use.
The concept that openly public competitions could be harbouring terrible secrets was tantalizing. As viewers we like to believe we are part of these shows, don’t we? We vote, we discuss, we become passionate about our favourites. But what of the contestants themselves? What is the truth behind those smiles, those makeovers, those voices? And what about the programme makers? What is really going on behind the scenes? Is the voting fair? Are the contestants really chosen for their talent? I felt it might be possible to exploit the notion that all is not as it seems.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that TV producers are evil, or that contestants do play nasty games and hide big fat lies behind sweet personas. It’s all just fiction, until one of the tabloids proves otherwise.
One of the best ways to describe the book comes, in fact, from author Naina Gupta, who said in review: ‘Britain may have talent but it also has a dark side’. I thought it was so good I pinched it for the title of this guest post.
Thanks so much for reading, please take a look at One Little White Lie and feel free to let me know what you think.
Like any young girl India Roman’s sister Cylia dreams of making it big, and decides to enter the worldwide phenomenon that is the STAR competition. The only hitch is that Cylia suffers from a number of anxiety disorders and India is convinced that her sister won’t be able to join the winding open-audition queue without having a major breakdown. A mother of two with a distant husband, India finds it difficult to feel sympathy for Cylia, particularly as her mother has always favoured her much younger sibling. However, fate steps in and Cylia somehow ends up on the edge of the stage, about to audition for two of the toughest critics on TV. What happens next is both shocking and life-changing for the entire family.
Pricilla Bleik is 38 years old and works in Asia in finance and business. She began writing as a hobby after completing a diploma in creative writing, but decided to seek publication when an editor friend saw the synopsis for One Little White Lie and encouraged her to do so. In addition to spending her spare time writing, Pricilla is also an avid collector of art pottery, loves to travel with her husband, and has never once contemplated trying out for a talent show.