Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for The Liars by Naomi Joy. My thanks also to Vicky Joss and publisher Aria for the opportunity to be part of the tour. I think this book sounds brilliant and I’m happy to share a wonderful guestpost on ‘office politics‘ and how it inspired the author to write The Liars.
Two women. One deadly secret. A rivalry that could destroy them.
Ava Wells is perfect. She has the boyfriend, the career, the looks. One night changes everything and her life isn’t so seamless anymore.
Jade Fernleigh is ambitious. She’s worked hard to get where she is. And she’s not about to let Ava take the job she rightly deserves.
Both women share a secret that could destroy them, but who will crumble first?
Naomi Joy is a pen name of a young PR professional who was formerly an account director at prestigious Storm Communications. Writing from experience, she draws the reader in the darker side of the uptown and glamorous, presenting realism that is life or death, unreliable and thrilling to page-turn.
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll know all about office politics. The cliques that form during after-work drinks, the divisions that emerge between those who are ‘in’ and those who are ‘out’, the horrifying realisation that people can progress at work based only on their relationships with those in charge. It’s a skill unto itself and, if you want to get ahead, you have to learn to play the game.
After graduating from Durham University, I moved to London to pursue a career in PR. The industry as a whole is extremely female-dominated—66% female to 34% male—but, at the top end, this statistic swings the other way: just 20% of the women in PR hold Managing Director positions. This, in my opinion and experience, is part of the reason why office politics and rivalries in the industry can tend towards the ruthless: I’ve seen female bosses take credit for more junior womens’ work, women thrown under the bus for mistakes that weren’t theirs, have heard lies and rumours fly between peers, each determined to outdo the other. But with a vast number of women competing for a dwindling number of roles the further up the ranks they go, it’s inevitable, isn’t it?
During my research for The Liars, I came across a term – The Sisterhood Ceiling – coined by researchers from the London Business School after they found that workplace competition was more likely to negatively impact women than men. It can manifest in a number of ways, from women shying away from competition in order to preserve an office friendship, from women stopping other women succeeding by actively sabotaging them. I witnessed, and experienced, both during my career.
This topic is ultimately what led me to write The Liars: a thriller borne out of an office rivalry. Ava and Jade are peers, both up for the same role at work. Ava is younger than Jade and has less experience, but her connections with those in charge make her the front-runner for the role. This infuriates Jade and she’ll stop at nothing to prevent Ava landing the job that’s rightfully hers. To make matters worse, the pair share an unspeakable secret, one they know will ruin them both if told. But with so much at stake, can either trust the other not to talk? Would you sabotage a rival to stop them taking what’s yours?
*** Don’t forget to check the rest of the blog tour ***