Friday, December 30, 2011

HAPPY NIGHT YEAR

The Edge of Night went off the air on December 28, 1985 (what is it about major holidays and soap cancellations?).

In September of 2010, actress Mariann Aalda, who played Didi on the show, began a blog ruminating on what your favorite characters were doing in the new millennium.

In case you missed it the first time, start with the introduction: http://eontoday.blogspot.com/2010/09/introduction.html and keep an Eye on Monticello....

As an added bonus, check out a short story by Guiding Light's Tina Sloan on what she thinks happened to Lillian after the lights went out in Springfield at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/specials/tinasloan.html

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SOAP SEARCH

Veteran actress Maree Cheatham is the definition of a soap hopper, having played Marie on Days of Our Lives, Stephanie on Search for Tomorrow, Charlene on General Hospital, Mary on Knots Landing, Mona on Passions, Ceal on Desperate Housewives, and guest-starred on everything from Dexter to Cold Case to West Wing, in between feature film roles in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and The Wedding Singer.

The prolific actress let us in on a little acting secret she picked up from her years in daytime television:

In soaps, the favorite way to end a scene has always been on a close-up of the character driving the scene. Sometimes Stephanie was so evil, I imagined she had a pet snake in her pocket. When the scene ended with a close-up of me, I’d ask if they wanted me to “pet the snake.” It became shorthand for a withering look.

Read more from Maree and a host of other soap opera actors, writers, producers and experts in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, available on Amazon.com and BN.com!
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #138-2

“I’m throwing a soiree,” Felicia informed in a tone that implied they really should have known that already. “At Tops. Right now. Come on, the champagne is on ice, and you don’t want it gone by the time you finally decide to make your fashionably late entrance.”

“When did this happen?” Cass wanted to know.


“I had a spontaneous impulse,” Felicia’s voice wrestled for dominance with the jangles of the bracelets she’d decked out on both arms. “Out with the old, in with the new! What better time to celebrate than the present?”


“What exactly are we celebrating?”


“Life!”


“Could you be more specific?” Cass requested.

“My life. My old life. The one Donna took away from me when she killed Jenna, and almost Lori Ann, as well. Well, I’m not about to let her have a minute more of it. What is it they say about living well being the best revenge?”


***

Felicia resolves to get her groove back - much to Cass and Frankie's concern, Jamie and Lorna find themselves cut off, Dean breaks through Jeanne's reserve, Charlie attempts to apply Zeno's advice to Kirkland - with potentially tragic results, Morgan takes the low road, and Grant hears from the last person he ever expected.

Ring in the New Year with your Bay City favorites at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_138p2.html

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

GOOD READS BY GOOD READS!

As promised earlier, I am offering free copies of either The Man From Oakdale, Jonathan's Story, or Another World 35th Anniversary for anyone who posts a review of my latest soap book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments (shipping within the continental US only; while supplies last).

Here is an example of a review from Good Reads:

It was a nice little tidbit and a nice way to remember the soaps. The enchanted e-book version is wonderous as it links you to the YouTube scenes of the moments they talk about in such a way that you can relive the magic as well.

More reviews at Amazon.com!

Monday, December 26, 2011

SOAPY E-READS!

Thank you to TulsaWorld.com (if you're a Guiding Light fan, you know why just the mention of Tulsa makes me smile) for running Cindy Elavsky's (@Celebrity_Extra) interview with me regarding my work with Another World Today, Mindy's Twitter, and Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments Enhanced E-book.

DD:
Tell me about your enhanced electronic book “Soap Opera 451.”

AA: I reached out to the fans on transmedia – Facebook, Twitter, fan clubs, soap sites – and I asked them to tell me their favorite, most memorable moment from the beginning of soaps until now. I received a wonderful avalanche of responses. Once I compiled those lists, I went to either the actor, writer or producer who was involved in the scene, and I got the story of how the scene came together.

For example, after Linda Dano tells you about what it was like to shoot the intervention scenes on “Another World,” there the scene is – you can click a button on your tablet and watch it. I developed the idea as a fan and as a consumer.

Read the entire piece at: http://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/article.aspx?subjectid=275&articleid=20111225_275_TV35_Whiley353384&rss_lnk=4

Did you find a brand new iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Color or other tablet under the tree? Want to read a book designed especially for what they can do?

Is there an Amazon or BN.com gift-card burning a hole in your pocket? Then make sure you check out Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments Enhanced E-book at either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Write a review of it, send me a link to your post at AlinaAdams@gmail.com, and I'll say thank you by mailing you a free copy of either The Man From Oakdale, Jonathan's Story, or Another World 35th Anniversary Scrapbook (offer good in the continental US only; while supplies last).

Finally, if you want a sneak peek at what an enhanced e-book is like, go to: http://www.fictionalcandy.com/2011/12/guest-post-alina-adams-murder-on-ice.html and enter to win a free copy of my mystery novel, Murder on Ice!

Happy Holidays to all!
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #138-1

Marley paused for a long beat. And then she said, “Grant.”

“What about him?” Alice wondered.


“He lost Kirkland because of me. If Grant hadn’t been trying to help me, he never would have been placed in the position of being forced to trade away Kirkland.”


“No one forced Grant to do anything. He made his own decision.”


“A decision I drove him to.”


“A decision he made of his own free will. Granted, because of his feelings for you.”


“I couldn’t even look him in the eye afterwards. I can’t imagine how he must feel, how much he must hate me.”


“Is that why you banned him from visiting you here?”


“I couldn’t bear facing his disappointment, his contempt.”


“If he truly felt that way, would he have tried as hard as he has been doing to see you? Your rejection broke his heart, you may take my word on that.”


***

Marley makes a confession to Alice, Carl and Rachel plot to outsmart Chase, Steven needles Sarah about her mystery man, Matt comes to a decision about Donna, John deals with his final issue regarding Gregory's death, and Dean continues to be confused by Jeanne.

It's New Year's Eve in Bay City at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_138p1.html

Thursday, December 22, 2011

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

It's Christmas 2011 in Springfield, and Mindy has a whopper of a surprise for Phillip and Beth.

How does St. Nick fit in?

Watch the classic Guiding Light 1983 holiday clip below:



Then find out at: http://twitter.com/#!/MindyLewisBauer and help Guide the Light!
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #137-2

"Why don’t we just do Christmas here?" Jasmine wondered plaintively. "Like always.”

“I don’t live here anymore, Jazz,” Matt reminded gently. “I explained all that to you.”


“Oh,” she said, nodding, doing her best not to sneak a peek Carl’s way, even as that’s precisely what Elizabeth and Cory did at Matt’s words, while Carl stared back defiantly at them all.


“I’ll drive her over as soon as we’re done,” Lila told Matt coolly. “I’ll give you a call when she’s ready.”


“I can wait for Jazz to get changed,” Matt said.


“We’re in the middle of something,” Lila hissed. “Show a bit of respect, Matt. If not for your mother, at least for your daughter.”


“It’s okay, Mama,” Jasmine hurried to appease. “I can get dressed super-duper-fast. Don’t worry. Don’t fight.”


“Your daddy and Jeanne can wait. And we aren’t fighting. Are we, Matt?”


He hesitated, taking in the squirming Jasmine, the nervous Cory and Elizabeth, the torn Rachel and… Carl. Did Carl actually appear to be enjoying this?


****

Rachel and her children deal with the consequences of their estrangement while Lucas fills Lorna in about her own family's disintegration, Sarah asks Grant for a surprising holiday gift, Felicia and Morgan compare war wounds, Zeno offers Charlie inspirational advice as Cass and Frankie celebrate a multitude of happy occasions.

It's Christmas in Bay City 2011 at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_137p2.html

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WIN A FREE ENHANCED E-BOOK!

For the past year, I've been talking about enhanced e-books and how I think they could be a cost-effective way to transition soap operas from television onto the Internet.

What's an enhanced e-book, you may ask?

Read all about it here, here, and here.

Or you could see for yourself.

Go to: http://www.fictionalcandy.com/2011/12/guest-post-alina-adams-murder-on-ice.html and enter for a chance to win a totally FREE copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition.

This Figure Skating Mystery was originally published by Berkley Prime Crime in 2003. The Enhanced E-Book Edition features all the text of the paperback original, plus skating videos courtesy of The Ice Theatre of New York embedded as an integral part of the story.

Check it out and let me know what you think of the book, the overall concept, and it's potential as the future of both publishing and television!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NEWMANS HEAD INTO A NEW YEAR...

A Young & Restless Christmas from 1998...

Cassie is tiny! Victor and Nikki are together (as are Victoria and Neil - much to Cole's cranky displeasure)! Nick has very, very fluffy hair! And Victor gets all morally superior!

Monday, December 19, 2011

GENERAL HOSPITAL CHRISTMAS 1979

There's Steve and Audrey and Anne and Jeremy and Tommy and Joe and Jeff and Alice...



And Lesley and Rick and Amy and Laura and Scotty (and more Alice)...



Watch... and remember....
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #137-1

It's time for the Ghosts of Bay City Christmas Past!

Who will visit whom - and what lessons will they offer for the new year?

Find out at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_137p1.html

Friday, December 16, 2011

SANTA (BARBARA), BABY!

Santa Claus has been arrested by smarmy DA Keith (Justin Deas)! (Where did all those toys come from, huh?) And it's Julia (Nancy Lee Grahn) and Mason (Lane Davies) to the rescue, in this Christmas-themed episode of Santa Barbara:



When I interviewed Lane for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, he told me: Mason’s top moment? I am sadly under-qualified to make a judgment like that. I'd put some of the early Santa Barbara episodes against the best of them, though.

A fan, however, did write: I loved the Mason and Julia love story, and I think Santa Barbara was so extraordinarily terrific with Santa Claus during the Christmas episode….

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

TO LIFE!

Yesterday, as part of my mania to make a merry soap Christmas - no matter what the real world may have to say about it, I posted a classic AMC holiday clip of the Martins Making Merry.

Today, we have One Life to Live and Christmas 1989 with the Buchanans.

There's Bo with Sarah (#1 - before she went off to Another World - literally and soapily), the late Clint Ritchie as the original Clint, Cord, Viki, Renee, a pre-teen Kevin (before the recast roller-caster kicked in), teeny tiny Joey, Jessica (we can assume Natalie is hanging with Roxy and Rex, messing up Christmas Carol lyrics) and CJ, a Chuck (!) mention - and Asa promising to make amends.

Check it out below:

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #136-2

“I beg your pardon,” Rachel sputtered upon accidentally walking in on Lila mid-lip lock with… the Mayor of Bay City?

The pair turned around in unison, shocked, guilty, stunned, embarrassed.


“I’m sorry,” Rachel repeated. “I didn’t mean…” Before the obvious question surfaced. “What are you two doing in here?” she indicated her husband’s study.


“I’m afraid it’s my fault, Mrs. Hutchins,” Chase stepped forward so smoothly, Rachel felt certain that, even if she hadn’t immediately recognized him, she’d have known a polished politician anywhere. “Lila and I were headed…” he made a vague gesture that could have been anyplace, but one that Rachel interpreted as the direction of Lila’s bedroom – exactly as Chase had intended. “When I decided to get… spontaneous. I’m very sorry. I should have known better. Is this your personal office?”


“My husband’s, actually…”


“Then, please, do pass my apologies on to him.”


“Or you could just not mention it altogether,” Lila regained her power of speech to suggest, following up with, “I’m mortified enough as it is.”


“Mr. Hamilton…”


“Call me Chase, please.” He offered Rachel his most dazzling, photo op smile.


She appeared anything but enchanted. “I must admit, I’m rather… surprised by this display.” She left it to him to discern precisely what had triggered her… surprise.


***

Jamie offers Lorna a different perspective on her family while Lucas stays the course with Felicia, Rachel disapproves of Lila's choices, Sarah twigs to Steven and Jen, Kirkland makes a confession to Charlie, Grant mourns what he's lost, and Matt and Dean face off over Donna.

All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_136p2.html

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SOAPY HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN!

'Cause we need a little Christmas/Right this very minute/Candles in the window/Carols at the spinet....

It hasn't been the merriest of holiday seasons up to this point (i.e. The Grinch Who Stole Soaps), so I say we need a little daytime Christmas. NOW.

First up, All My Children from 1991.

The Martins host a party, Brooke is pissed off, Dixie is missing a presumed dead Tad (but not so much that she hasn't hooked up with new sleaze-about-town Craig), Jamie's an innocent infant, JR's a sweet toddler - and brunette (and still called Junior), and Tom wears an ugly sweater. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LIKE SKATES THROUGH THE HOURGLASS... (AS THE DAYS SKATE?)

As soon as the weather starts to turn nippy, thoughts turn to Winter. Which means Winter Sports. Which means, specifically, figure skating.

This winter, skating is particularly uppermost in my mind as I am in the process of re-releasing my Figure Skating Mystery series, originally published by Berkley Prime Crime, as enhanced e-books, with skating videos embedded alongside the text as part of the story.

The first novel, Murder on Ice, is a (very) thinly disguised take on the 2002 Olympic judging scandal. Only in my version, the judge who cast the unpopular vote and gave the gold to Russia over the West turns up dead soon after.

Who done it? A skater? A coach? An official? A fan? (Hopefully, I did a good job of laying out the clues!)

Of course, as regular readers of this blog know, my first love is soap operas. Which is what led me to the absolutely, LOL, hysterical clip below.

Days of Our Lives' John and Marlena explain the judging scandal (complete with trademark flaring nostrils, negligees, and pregnant pauses)! You must watch this!



And afterward, check out Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition at: http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Ice-Enhanced-Multimedia-ebook/dp/B006LEH0L6/ref=sr_1_7?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1323788873&sr=1-7

Monday, December 12, 2011

NOW IT CAN BE TOLD...

Like any soap character worth their salt (who hopes to make it past the first thirteen week contract cycle), I too have a deep, dark secret in my past.

This particular one goes back to my days as a figure skating researcher.

Naturally, I have chosen to share it on the Internet, here.
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #136-1

Sitting facing her grandmother’s gravestone, Lorna nevertheless heard Felicia come up behind her. She’d know the sound of that jewelry anywhere.

Her mother supplied by way of explanation, “I called Jamie. He said you needed time to think. I suspected I’d find you here.”


Lorna declined to respond. Or turn around.


“I must say, I’m happy the whole truth is finally out.”


Lorna smirked to herself ironically.


“It allows me the chance to explain.”


“You don’t have to.” Lorna pivoted where she sat, looking at Felicia for the first time. “I read the court transcript. I know everything now.”


Though surprised, Felicia pressed on. “You may know what I said. I assure you, you have no idea how I felt.”


“That’s rich,” Lorna snorted. “You claimed to know exactly how I would feel about the abortion Morgan proposed. I guess our Mother/Daughter ESP only flows one way.”


“What about your own daughter? You’re a mother yourself now, Lorna. Take a moment to imagine what you would have done in my position. If Devon was the one fighting for her life, and you had the means to save her, wouldn’t you take it? Wouldn’t you do anything you had to, no matter what the cost?”


****

Felicia attempts to explain herself to Lorna, Frankie - and Charlie - see a new side to Zeno, Sarah points out the obvious to Allie while Dean is anything but to Jeanne, Kevin refuses to let Amanda off the hook, and Lila grows suspicious about Chase's true motivations regarding Carl.

All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_136p1.html

What happens next for everyone? Tell us on our Message Board at: http://www.soapopera451.com/talk/mboard.php or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Another-World/307355595460?ref=search&sid=13800416.3728872026..1

Friday, December 09, 2011

BABY SOAP

It sounds a little weird these days to say that you like kids, but I'm going to go ahead and admit that I've always loved child actors, especially on the soaps.

It's very rare when a child actor is allowed to age with a role, like General Hospital's Kimberly McCullough (Robin), or One Life to Live's Kristen and Eddie Alderson (Starr and Matthew). Usually, they're recast at several key junctures:

* When cute babies turn into cute toddlers who like to toddle off the set very cutely.

* When cute babies turn into such meek toddlers that they refuse to say a word on camera (ala Lily on Modern Family).

* When cute school-age kids suddenly sprout up and into teen-agers before the writers are ready for them to (I worked at ABC when Gina Gallagher was fired from her role as Bianca on All My Children because, according to one exec, "She got boobs.")

* When cute school-age kids fail to sprout up and look like teen-agers in time for the writers who want to pen them a more adult storyline.

Some child actors continue on in their profession, others choose to have a more normal life and pick alternative careers.

Below are some "Where Are They Now" interviews I've conducted personally with former pint-sized soap stars, as well as news links to other stories.

Ashley Peldon (Marah; Guiding Light)

Damion Scheller (Gregory; Texas, Jonathan; Guiding Light, Josh; Search for Tomorrow, Paul; As The World Turns)

Danielle Burns (Nancy; Another World)

Bryan Buffinton (Bill; Guiding Light)

Jadrian Steele (Little John; Ryan's Hope)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #135-2

“Your mother is deeply distraught these days,” Carl managed to make the innocent status update sound both sinister and threatening.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Amanda said. “That wasn’t my intention.”


“Bollocks. That may not have been Jamie’s intention, or Matthew’s intention, but it most certainly and definitively was yours. You have been lying in wait for, I daresay, years, looking for any adequate excuse with which to attempt battering your mother into submission. As if you give a fig regarding Spencer Harrison, or even Kirkland.”


“Kirkland is my nephew! I love him! And Spencer Harrison was the husband of a dear friends of mine, not to mention a father-in-law I actually liked.”


“Nonetheless, in this particular instance, both were nothing more than tools to further an insidious agenda, which is to make your mother pay for the perceived sin of stepping out on the sainted Mac Cory – death be damned – with another man.”


“A man who stalked me, a man who was planning to kidnap me!”


“During a time period when young Alexandra was still in diapers. And now here she is, a mother herself – inconvenient and unpalatable as you may find that fact to be, Grandma – and yet you insist on holding petty grudges. How childish!”


“The child of a father you tried to destroy, and a mother you actually succeeded in kidnapping, then shooting. And what was it you said to the police afterward? I remember: Rachel shouldn’t have gotten in the way. Charming. Very romantic. Do you whisper those words to my mother in bed at night? Does she get turned on by that?”


****

Amanda and Carl prepare to duel to the death, Jen at long last explains herself to Steven, Lorna goes for the jugular with Morgan, Gregory helps Allie through her latest crisis, while Matt and Donna exchange expectations.

Is this the end, or a new beginning? Vote at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_135p2.html

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

BEWARE OF SOAP ENTITIES BEARING GENERALITIES....

After my foray into figure skating, I returned to daytime television in 2001, working for a company called SoapCity.com. They were owned by Sony, and hosted the official websites for The Young & the Restless, The Bold & the Beautiful, and Days of Our Lives. I was hired to produce the official As the World Turns and Guiding Light sites, under their overall umbrella.

From the beginning, SoapCity was very big on grand plans... and very vague on specific details. The buzz words flew fast and furious, the results... not so much. More often than not, when I'd request a particular feature for the ATWT and GL sites, I'd hear, "That's impossible."

My husband, a long-time web developer, translated for me, "That means it's a little bit hard."

Eventually, SoapCity folded, and I stayed on with P&G, ATWT and GL.

This past summer, when news of Prospect Park's licensing All My Children and One Life to Live broke, I contacted them, offering my expertise in the field of continuing television properties on-line the way I had with Another World Today and Mindy's Twitter. Initial response was swift and enthusiastic. We had a couple of back and forths... and then they fell off the face of the Earth. (It's actually kind of reassuring that I was treated exactly the same way as Susan Lucci. I'm honored.)

Once again, big picture plans were high, specifics mostly absent.

Now comes the announcement from Broadway Video via We Love Soaps that:

In addition to ordering online through the company’s website or Amazon.com, fans will soon be able to buy episodes right off store shelves. Classic episodes of AS THE WORLD TURNS and GUIDING LIGHT will hit store shelves next year. “We’ve been talking to re-sale partners who can have these releases and others on store shelves next year,” the company’s president, Mark Yates, told World Turns TV. “We’re working toward an aggressive release schedule.

I want to be enthusiastic, I really do. Same way I really, really, really wanted the Prospect Park deal to work out.

But, see how the first sentence announces the ability to buy episodes right off store shelves as a definite... then backtracks in the second paragraph to say that they're "talking to" and "working towards?"

One is a statement of fact. The other is a possibility.

The article goes on to report:

Yates declined to say how many As The World Turns DVD box sets the company has sold since the initial offering in October. He did say sales were robust enough to attract ‘a number of online sales and online partners’ and to justify creating an aggressive release calendar for next year.... Response has been so overwhelming that the company will continue to produce the box sets, at least for World Turns and Guiding Light.

My husband left the corporate world of web development to return to his first love, teaching, a few years ago. He is a high-school math teacher now. And one thing he always tells his students (and our kids) is "lots is not a number." Neither is robust. Or overwhelming. Or a number, for that matter.

I have written before about 1000 True Fans and the absolutely mandatory requirement to tangibly demonstrate that soap products (DVDs, merchandising, books, etc...) can be profitable for their creators if we want to have any chance of getting our shows back in any form.

We need to go from robust and overwhelming to X number of units sold, X dollars of profit made. The industry decision makers demand specifics, not generalities.

And it's up to the fans to provide them.

I know you can do it!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

SOAPS.... ON... ICE....! (You have to say it like: Pigs... In.... Space....!)

I have a confession to make.

From 1995 to 2000, I cheated on my first love, soap operas, with a brash young interloper: competitive figure skating.

I worked at ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBC as a writer/researcher/producer for their skating coverage, including the US Championships, the World Championships, the 1998 Olympics and several professional shows.

In 2001, I saw the error of my ways (primarily due to the fact that my constant traveling prompted my then 18 month old son to cease speaking to me, or even acknowledging my existence when I got home) and returned to soaps.

In 2002, I was offered the chance to author a series of Figure Skating Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. I accepted the offer, and then proceeded to turn my skating mysteries into soap operas. (I know, very sneaky of me.)

Although each of the five books in the series, Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop and Skate Crime are stand-alones in that the mystery raised in the beginning is solved at the end, the rest is pure soap opera. Characters' personal stories, especially their romantic entanglements and deep, dark secrets flow from one book into the next, and reading the preceding one definitely adds to your enjoyment of the subsequent story.

Now, I am making the books even more soapy with the addition of enhancements such as video, courtesy of The Ice Theatre of NY.

As I revealed to the Crime Writers Blog:

“Skate Crime” features a prominent subplot about an African-American woman skating pairs with a white man at a time when that just wasn’t considered acceptable. And, what do you know? Several Ice Theatre videos just happened to feature the exact same combination skating together! To see how I worked the videos into the text, check out my $.99 cent excerpt, “Skate Crime: Multimedia” at:
http://tinyurl.com/SkateCrime on Amazon. (You’ll need a reading device with an Internet connection and the ability to play videos.)

With other cases, I was forced to massage the text just a little bit to make it match up with the available footage. Obviously, I couldn’t change a character’s race (that would be one too many cases of Search and Replace, and utterly out of the question in cases where race was a key part of the story). But, I’ll admit, a few imaginary people did receive a quick change of hair-color just to make the juxtaposition flow easier.

Read the entire thing at: http://crimewritersblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/meet-alina-adams-turning-visual-into.html

Monday, December 05, 2011

NICE TO BE PART OF SOME GOOD NEWS FOR A CHANGE!

From Lynda Hirsch's column this weekend:

Q: With all the sad news about soap operas, is there anything good? — Lauren in Walnut Creek Calif.

A: Well, there is one great new e-book on the world of soaps that came out in September. "Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime's Greatest Moments," written by Alina Adams, who is a soap insider and has had books on the New York Times bestseller list, loves soaps and wants to share her love of soaps with others...

Read the entire piece at: http://www.creators.com/lifestylefeatures/fashion-and-entertainment/lynda-hirsch-on-soaps/lynda-hirsch-on-soaps-q-and-a-11-12-03.html

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #135-1

“I – I was just with Morgan," Amanda began.

“Really?” At least the declaration succeeded in capturing Lorna’s attention, even if she looked anything but pleased to hear it.


“He feels awful.”


“That’s impossible.”


“No, honestly, he does. Having you find out about what happened when you were in a coma – and the way you found out… He’s a wreck, a complete and total wreck.”


“Impossible,” Lorna repeated, slower in case Amanda was feeling unusually dim today. “If Morgan thinks he’s feeling awful now, he’s going to embrace a whole new appreciation for the true meaning of the word once I get through with him.”


“Seriously, Lorna, he’s suffering enough, and he’s going to keep on suffering for a long time. What good would you laying into him do?”


“How is my relationship with Morgan any of your business?”


“He’s a good guy, he doesn’t deserve – “


“Did your brother deserve to be dragged into court and forced to prove that my baby was his?”


“That was your doing, not Morgan’s. You’re the one who lied to Jamie about being married. Why don’t you just admit that all this righteous indignation at both Morgan and your mother should rightfully be pointed your own way? You’re the one who stuck them all between a rock and a hard place, and now you’re shrieking as loud as you can in the hope that no one comes to their senses and realizes what’s actually going on here!”


***

Lorna tangles with Amanda before moving on to confronting Morgan, while Amanda is stunned by Kevin's reaction to her confession. Donna find a surprising - if temporary - ally, Jen and Steven can't ignore each other any longer, GQ comes to Allie's defense - with tragic results, and Cass and Frankie face an inconvenient decision.

All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_135p1.html

Thursday, December 01, 2011

SOAPS CAN TEACH YOU CHEMISTRY! (THE REAL KIND, NOT JUST THE OOOOH, THOSE TWO BETTER GET TOGETHER SOON KIND)

Coming off this Monday's roundtable discussion about the benefits of soaps to society (listen to the entire thing here), I read the below story in MIT's Technology Review Magazine (yes, I have very diverse interests: Soaps, skating, musical theatre, education, economics, theoretical physics... Check out my earlier post on soap operas and Schrodinger's Cat, here):

F
or two years between college and graduate school, Mala Radhakrishnan, PhD '07, taught high-school chemistry in San Jose, California. To help her students grasp some of the trickier concepts, she used analogies based on a ­familiar medium: the soap opera.

Her descriptions of atoms and molecules that fall in love and cheat on each other helped her students learn chemistry and even inspired them to create a chemistry-themed mural, which they titled
One Half-Life to Live.

Radhakrishnan, who had begun writing poetry the previous summer, took a cue from her students' mural and wrote her first chemistry-themed poem: "As the Magnetic Stir-Bar Turns."


Read the entire piece, here.

There's also a cool video tying both ideas together at: http://youtu.be/xhOtKurHayo
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #134-2

“Go to Hell, Donna,” Lorna ordered, turning her back on the woman, heading back to Jamie and Devon… when the look on her husband’s face, not to mention Morgan and Felicia’s, forced Lorna to waver just a little. “What? What is she talking about? What’s going on?”

“Leave.” Lucas grabbed Donna by the elbow, pulling her towards the door. “Now.”


“I’ll leave when Lorna tells me to leave,” Donna insisted sweetly.


“The directions to Hell earlier weren’t clear enough?” Jamie seethed.


Lorna pivoted in her place, abruptly ordering, “Fine. Say your piece.”


“No!” Felicia interj
ected, warning Donna, “You don’t want to do this.”

“I do,” Donna corrected. “I honestly and genuinely do.”


“Then go ahead,” Lorna snapped. “Get it over with. Say whatever you came to say, then go back to your pathetic, miserable, friendless existence, and leave the rest of us to enjoy our celebration.”


“You heard the lady,” Donna advised Felicia, Lucas, Morgan and Jamie. “Lorna wants to hear what I’ve got to say.”


“Lorna,” Jamie said softly. “Don’t let her do this. Don’t give her this power over you.”


“I’m not,” Lorna insisted, putting up a much braver fa├žade than she actually felt, but resolved to see this through to the end. “I’m actually doing the exact opposite. I’m showing Donna there is nothing she can do to hurt us. Let her do her worst, blow her wad; it’s the only way to be rid of her once and for all.”


***

Donna's bombshell sends shock-waves through Lorna and Jamie's, and Felicia and Lucas' - not to mention Frankie and Cass', and Amanda and Kevin's - relationships, while Lila wallows in guilt of her own, and Morgan takes desperate action.

Bay City boils over at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_134p2.html

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

YOU GOTTA HAVE HOPE!

So, remember my super top secret plan to transition soaps from television to the Internet in a cost-effective manner?

The one that I talked about here, and here, and in my interview with Daytime Confidential, and in this week's ABC Soaps in Depth (12/12/11 issue). (So maybe secret is a bit of an exaggeration. Would you believe... endlessly talked about?)

Here is an update.

This past September, I released a romance novel of mine, When a Man Loves a Woman (previously published as a paperback original by DELL in 2000) as an enhanced e-book, utilizing the same format of text combined with video/audio that I originally developed for P&G and www.AnotherWorldToday.com.

I was very nervous about how my enhanced e-book would be received, as nothing quite like this has ever been done before, and while I believe in it as the wave of the future, ultimately it's up to the customer to decide. (And the customer is always right!)

Luckily, reviews have started tricking in, and they appear to be positive!

Bibliophilic Book Blog says:

Have you ever fallen in love with your best friend? Can you overcome the biggest hurt and betrayal of your life to trust again? Ms. Adams tackles all of these questions with a deft hand and compelling characters... Well-crafted with people and events which worm their way into your heart, this book is compelling. Add the music from the enhanced e-book and it makes it a rich and multi-layered experience to pick up When a Man Loves a Woman. (Read complete review, here.)

Reading Reality writes:

This was a good friends-into-lovers romance.... I was reminded of a quote from science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, “There is only one way to console a widow. But remember the risk,".... About the enhanced part of the ebook…This is an interesting idea, and I can see, or rather hear, how this might work in the future.... But it’s a neat concept. (Read the complete review, here.)

So far, so good!

Finally, the review that really gave me hope this morning came from one posted regarding Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments Enhanced e-book:

What really makes this worthwhile are the carefully chosen video clips related to the topics. The clips were able to play pretty well on my iphone. I've never seen a Kindle work like this, but I hope I will see more in the future.

Yes! Thank you! I have been banging the drums and preaching the gospel and typing away to anyone who'd listen the possibility that enhanced e-books might be, if not the savior of serialized storytelling, at least an adequate transition point while respective creative minds regroup, recalculate, and reconfigure a way to get us the soaps we love back at a price everyone (producer and consumer) can live with.

Stay tuned for more updates from my brave new, enhanced e-world, and please check out When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition on either Amazon.com or BN.com and let me know what you think. Could this be a way to transition soaps to the Internet while keeping costs in check and setting up an alternative revenue model, besides?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ON THE AIR

Last night, I was lucky enough to participate in a round-table on soaps, hosted by Silas Kain of BlogTalk Radio, with three fantastic women:

Michelle Patrick: A Harvard graduate, Ms. Patrick was a writer at AMC for 19 years. Ms. Patrick also wrote for GH.

Dr. Melissa Scardaville: Melissa was the Guiding Light editor at Soap Opera Digest from 1999-2005. She recently completed her PhD in sociology at Emory University relating to the struggle of aesthetic legitimacy of the soaps.

Sarah Adams: Graduate student at North Dakota State University with a background in History and Mass Communications with an emphasis on Media Studies. She examines the soaps from the eyes of the fans with scholarly perspective.

We ended up discussing everything from the lack of ethnic, cultural, religious and disabled representation on daytime, to the genre's disrespectful treatment in mass media, to actors who believe they were hired to play themselves rather than a character, to the future of soap operas on the Internet and what it would take to revive the serialized drama to its former place of glory.

Listen to the show below and let me know what you think!

Listen to internet radio with Silas Kain on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, November 28, 2011

CYBER MONDAY! BUY ONE SOAP BOOK, GET ONE FREE!

Thank you once again to Soaps in Depth Magazine which, in addition to writing an article on Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments (read it here), and featuring the one-of-a-kind enhanced e-book in their Holiday Gift Round Up, has now run an interview with me in their 12/12 issue.

I am quite humbled and very appreciative!

And for everyone looking to get an on-line, soapy deal today, my contribution to the holiday season is below:

Buy a copy of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, boasting exclusive interviews with the actors, writers and producers who made the scenes soap fans and experts voted as their favorites of all time, and I will send you one copy of Oakdale Confidential, The Man From Oakdale, Jonathan's Story, or the Another World 35th Anniversary Album FREE!

Just e-mail me your proof of purchase to AlinaAdams@gmail.com with your mailing address and the book you'd like to receive.

Remember, you do not need a Kindle, a Nook, or any designated reading device to experience this one-of-a-kind book. All you need is anything with an Internet connection (your desktop computer, your laptop computer, your phone, a tablet, etc...) and the FREE Kindle or Nook app.

Sale ends at midnight, Monday, November 28, 2011. (You may pick which book you'd like to receive for free while supplies last. If we run out of your preferred title, you will be asked to make a second choice. So hurry and make your selection now!)

On Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Soap-Opera-451-Greatest-ebook/dp/B005NSDZYC/ref=sr_1_1?m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&ie=UTF8&qid=1316430944&sr=1-1

On BN.com: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Soap-Opera-451/Alina-Adams/e/2940013566910?itm=5&usri=alina%2badams
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #134-1

“Just one more picture,” Felicia insisted, despite the groans her suggestion engendered. “Last one, I promise. I know when I’m beginning to try people’s patience…” Felicia waved a warning finger at the crowd. “Don’t anybody dare correct me.” She swept her arms together, gesturing for everyone to get closer. “Final shot: Devon, Lorna, Jamie, Morgan, Alice.”

Lorna leaned in to Jamie and whispered, “Do you think she’d believe me if I told her Devon refuses to come out of her trailer?”

“You heard your mother: Just one more shot.”

“You are so trusting,” Lorna clucked.

Nevertheless, everyone dutifully did as Felicia ordered. Lorna and Jamie posing with Devon between them, Morgan and Alice on either side of the proud parents.

Felicia had finally gotten the composition exactly to her liking and was threatening to click the shutter any minute now, when a new, albeit familiar, voice from the back of the room purred, “What a lovely tableau.”

All conversation ceased and every head turned in her direction as Donna slowly made her way down towards the guest of honor.

Taken aback, but refusing to show it, Lorna told her husband. “Hide the spinning wheels, Jamie, Maleficent is here.”

***

Donna interrupts Devon's christening with a threat to tell all, Carl finally tells Rachel how he honestly feels, Lorna offers Felicia a peculiar compliment, Cory attempts to reunite his family, Lila is put on the spot, Alice helps Kirkland untangle his thoughts, Morgan and Kevin square off, Steven schools Allie, and Dean scores a point with Jeanne - while receiving a challenge.

The story heats up at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_134p1.html

Thursday, November 24, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY/CYBER MONDAY EXCLUSIVE OFFER JUST FOR MY READERS

As I've said over and over again, I am so thankful for all the support daytime fans have given me for my books, my blog, my soap projects - and my non-soap ones.

To show my gratitude, I have a special offer, good starting today, Wednesday, November 23, 2011 through Tuesday, November 29, 2011.

Want a copy of "Oakdale Confidential," The Man From Oakdale," "Jonathan's Story" or the "Another World 35th Anniversary Scrapbook" to slip under someone's Christmas tree? (Or keep for yourself? I'll never tell!)

Want to get it for free?

All you need to do is buy a copy of my latest enhanced e-book, "Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments" featuring behind the scenes interviews with the actors, writers and producers who created the scenes soap fans voted their all-time favorites, at either:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Soap-Opera-451-Greatest-ebook/dp/B005NSDZYC/ref=sr_1_1?m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&ie=UTF8&qid=1316430944&sr=1-1

OR

BN.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/soap-opera-451-alina-adams/1107154000?ean=2940013566910&itm=4&usri=alina+adams

E-mail me your proof of purchase to AlinaAdams@gmail.com along with your mailing address and which book you want, and I will send it to you, ASAP!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!
ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #133-2

“I don’t mean to put you on the spot, Jamie,” Alice began as they all settled around the impeccably decorated Thanksgiving table.

“So why do I suspect you’re about to, anyway?” he asked with a good-natured laugh.


Alice smiled. “Everyone here remembers Mac and his wonderful toasts. And those who don’t, have certainly heard enough about them from the rest of us. I’m wondering if you might oblige to do the honors this year.”


Jamie coughed uncomfortably into his fist. “Those are awfully big shoes to fill. Especially at the last minute.”


“Don’t worry,” Grant reassured innocently. “We’re not expecting much.”


“Some people,” Amanda drawled in her ex-husband’s direction. “Set slightly higher bars for themselves than a notch above adequate.”


“Oh, believe me, Amanda,” it took all of Grant’s self-control not to sneak a peek at Sarah as he responded. “You taught me that lesson very, very well.”


“Better step up, Dad,” Steven advised. “Natives are getting restless.”


“How very thematic of you, Steven,” Felicia praised, even as she chimed in. “I agree.”


“Okay, then,” Jamie rose awkwardly, Lorna patting his hand in mock encouragement as he lifted his wine glass, waiting for everyone else to do the same. He looked around, gathering his thoughts and – admittedly – stalling for time. Wondering what Jamie could possibly say that might resonate with the motley group of revelers even a fraction as much as Mac’s words traditionally did.


***

Thanksgiving makes strange bedfellows as Matt, Jeanne and Donna welcome yet another holiday refugee, Cass is forced to share Frankie with an Oakdale tradition, John and Sharlene celebrate in another world, Jen explains herself to Allie, Sarah confounds Grant, Felicia offers Lorna a chance to come clean, and Cory lives up to his namesake with a pointed toast of his own.

All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_133p2.html

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

PROSPECT PARK OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES PLAN NOT TO CONTINUE ALL MY CHILDREN AND ONE LIFE TO LIVE ON-LINE

Complete press release at: http://www.soapoperanetwork.com/news/prospect-park-suspends-online-plans-for-all-my-children-and-one-life-to-live

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

LOVE IN THE TIME OF RECESSION

Last month, TIME Moneyland released a list of 12 Thing We Buy in a Bad Economy.

Number One on the list? Romance Novels!

Josh Sanburn writes: During bad times, we want an escape – so Americans often turn to those sordid, steamy paperback novels found on grocery store racks featuring Fabio-like men seducing scantily clad women. During the four years before the recession hit, sales of romance novels were flat, according to romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises. But in 2009, the romance category took off, with overall sales up 7 percent and Harlequin making a $3 million gain year-on-year.

Not surprisingly, even during the Great Depression, when times were much, much harder than they are now (i.e. a 24.9% unemployment rate), 100 million Americans still went to the movies every week to - what else? - escape the bad news at home.

In other words, a bad economy is good for entertainment companies.

Recently, I wrote a post about the Theory of the 1000 True Fans, and how that could help soap fans get their shows back.

We need to form a group of "true fans" committed to buying every soap product on the market. Because, once we demonstrate what the number of fixed buyers is, we can give companies like Prospect Park and Soap Classics hard data with which to plan their next offerings. If they know that they are guaranteed say, $200,000 dollars of sales - minimum - with every soap product they put out, they will adjust accordingly. If sales vary widely from one item to the next, it becomes much harder to plan, and the temptation becomes to chuck the whole thing in favor of something less unpredictable. In a nutshell, if you see a soap product - buy it. It's the only tangible way to make your voice heard. (The cold, hard truth is, a fervid fan only means something to a content producer if they can be converted into income. A fan who can't be converted into income is useless, and thus doesn't "count." Again, we don't have to like it, but we have to be aware of how we're perceived and valued.)

SoapClassics.com, which released the ATWT DVD set last month just announced a special, 5-episode Christmas compendium for the holidays (available separately and as a value pack with the original box set).

Just like with romance novels and escapist movies, if soap fans can demonstrate that they are a solid investment, even - especially! - in tough economic times, they can position themselves as the perfect customer, the kind that can be counted on to buy the product no matter what.

The kind of customer that gets more of what they've been asking for.

History is on our side!

Monday, November 21, 2011

NUMBERS GAME

Besides being a show-stopping number from the original Broadway production of Nine in 1982, Be Italian also features soap stars from One Life to Live, Days of Our Lives, As The World Turns, and Ryan's Hope.

Watch below and see if you can name them all!

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #133-1

“I don’t quite know what to say,” Felicia apologized to Rachel. “Lorna told me about your rift with Jamie. How he, Amanda and Matt…”

“Told me to go to Hell?” her friend wondered bitterly.


“I’m sorry. I – I know how it feels to have your children turn their backs on you.”


“And on Thanksgiving, too,” Rachel remarked. “No one can say my brood doesn’t have a sense of the symbolic.”


“If it helps any, I understand why you felt compelled to act the way you did.”


“Do you? You and Spencer, you two were friends, weren’t you?”


“We were. He even called me before he went to help Kirkland. He thanked me for being his sponsor. He sounded… he sounded resigned to his fate. I know it sounds odd, but, in some ways, he sounded almost happy to have been given this chance to redeem himself, to redeem his past. It’s tragic. For him, for Alice. Having so little time together. But, the life he led up to this point…”


“The life he and Carl both led.” There was only so much whitewashing of the past even Rachel felt committed to doing.


“Lucas, too,” Felicia shrugged. “When I heard about what had happened to Spencer, to Kirkland, my first, unchristian, uncharitable, ungracious thought was: Thank God it wasn’t Lucas or Lorna; Devon or Lori Ann.” Felicia smiled sadly. “So, you see, how can I possibly judge you when, if I were in your shoes, I probably would have done the exact same thing?”


****

Rachel deals with the ramifications of her earlier choice, Jeanne continues to surprise Matt, especially where Donna is concerned, Morgan challenges Cass' cheerful facade, Lila makes up her mind regarding Chase's request, Kirkland and Steven question stances they've previously taken, Amanda and Grant discover way too many points in common, and Lucas finally says his piece to Alice.

Thanksgiving in Bay City begins at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_133p1.html

Friday, November 18, 2011

SOAP STARS ARE THE BEST!

Jon Lindstrom, who is featured in the Tour De Force section for his work as Kevin on Port Charles, had this to say about Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book as a whole:

A really fun read. Half the time I can't even remember the scenes I shot, let alone anyone else's. This ebook took me back to my own time and opened a window on the experience of so many of my friends. I had a wonderful time going through it!

Thank you, Jon! Make sure to visit his personal website, http://www.jonlindstrom.com for the latest updates about his current projects.

And remember, writing your own review of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments on either Amazon, BN.com or your own personal blog, earns you a soapy thank you gift! Details, here!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #132-2

“How do you think Ryan would have felt,” Alice asked abruptly, though the connection between his assertion and her question was obvious to anyone paying attention. “About what you did to Spencer?”

Carl startled, fighting a simultaneous instinct to defend himself versus rearing up and stomping off in a huff. He settled for a variation on the former, telling Alice, “Ryan would have, first and foremost, wanted Kirkland out of danger. He adored that boy. As much as if the lad were his own flesh-and-blood. Ryan’s untimely death, in point of fact, came about primarily due to his concern for Kirkland – and Grant’s utter lack of it.”


“Ryan’s death was an accident,” Alice said. “Spencer’s wasn’t.”


“I am sorry, I didn’t come here to – “


“You came here in an attempt to recruit my help for getting Jamie and Amanda to change their minds about wanting you out of Rachel’s life.”


“I came here because I know you are deeply fond of Rachel’s children, and – I presumed – have no interest in seeing them suffer needlessly. I thought you might wish to offer them your own perspective on the folly of drawing impenetrable lines in the sand and setting up familial civil wars. The end results of such tussles are never satisfactory for anyone.”


“Does Rachel know you’re here?”


***

Carl turns to Alice for help with his family feud, while Rachel deals with Jamie, Amanda and Matt's response to her choice. Marley boils over at Donna's best intentions, Frankie explains her own intentions to Cass, and Chase comes to Lila with an even more shocking proposition.

All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_132p2.html

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LOOK, A VOOK ON NOOK! (I read a lot of Dr. Suess...)

Ever since Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments was released in September of 2011, I have received numerous requests to make it available on Barnes & Noble's Nook, as well.

Well, your wish is my command! Our tribute to the best of daytime, featuring exclusive interviews with the actors, writers and producers who made them happen can now be read on either the Nook, or the Nook app on your desktop, laptop, phone, etc... Buy the enhanced e-book, here.

Also newly available on the Nook are The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition a tale of adventure, fantasy, music, and roller-skating apple pies, as well as When a Man Loves a Woman, a contemporary romance that asks the question: Can men and women ever truly be just friends? What if one of them is married? What about when they're suddenly not anymore?

Meanwhile, my thank you gift of either a free copy of Oakdale Confidential, The Man From Oakdale, Jonathan's Story, or the Another World 35th Anniversary book for those who review Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments applies to reader reviews at BN.com, as well. Details, here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HOW MUCH FANS COULD A SOAP FAN COUNT IF A SOAP FAN COULD COUNT FANS?

Even though they may argue - sometimes rather violently and personally - about the how, where, when, and why, daytime fans overall seem to agree on the big picture: Support Our Soaps!

The question is: What does that mean?

E-mail campaigns are good. Written campaigns are better. Coupons, rallies, Facebook pages, phone calls, all of those are good.

But, nothing is as good as money. That's a fact. You don't have to like it, you just have to accept it.

Mel Brooks once lamented that "it used to be show business. Now it's show business."

It is. And if fans want to have any chance of saving their shows, they need to keep that notion first and foremost.

The Technium's Kevin Kelly, in 2008, posted The 1000 True Fans Manifesto.

It read, in part:

The gist of 1,000 True Fans can be stated simply: A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans....

Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day's wages per year in support of what you do. That "one-day-wage" is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that. Let's peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks.

One thousand is a feasible number. You could count to 1,000. If you added one fan a day, it would take only three years.

When http://soapclassics.com/ released their As The World Turns DVD set, the cry went out, "Buy the set! Support the shows! If enough people buy it, there will be a Guiding Light set! And maybe an Another World set! And streaming! And maybe more shows produced!"

My husband is a math teacher. He is always telling our kids, "lots" is not a number. Neither is "enough."

Human beings may speak in generalities, but, truth be told, they prefer specifics.

Instead of telling our friends and fellow fans, "Let's make sure "lots" of DVDs are sold, so there are "enough" sales to insure more sets," those of us who want to see our soaps continue to thrive and flourish well into the 21st Century need to set a numerical goal everyone can get behind.

We need to form a group of "true fans" committed to buying every soap product on the market. Because, once we demonstrate what the number of fixed buyers is, we can give companies like Prospect Park and Soap Classics hard data with which to plan their next offerings.

If they know that they are guaranteed say, $200,000 dollars of sales - minimum - with every soap product they put out, they will adjust accordingly. If sales vary widely from one item to the next, it becomes much harder to plan, and the temptation becomes to chuck the whole thing in favor of something less unpredictable. In a nutshell, if you see a soap product - buy it. It's the only tangible way to make your voice heard. (The cold, hard truth is, a fervid fan only means something to a content producer if they can be converted into income. A fan who can't be converted into income is useless, and thus doesn't "count." Again, we don't have to like it, but we have to be aware of how we're perceived and valued.)

At their peak, soap operas had 40 million daily viewers. Surely it would be possible, out of all them, to form a core group of 1000 true fans.

And then go from there....

Monday, November 14, 2011

LARP THE SOAPS!

This weekend, I took my Harry Potter reading 8 year old (though he recently started whichever book it is that's REALLY long - don't know if the enthusiasm will hold) to the World Quidditch Cup, on Randall's Island in NYC.

100 College Teams (I saw Dartmouth, Yale, Swarthmore, Hofstra, U Mass...). Two thousand dedicated athletes - men and women (the official rules state all teams must be co-ed). All running around a dozen outdoor fields (thankfully, the weather was great) with a broom between their legs, chasing a person dressed in gold lame to signify the snitch, playing an imaginary game based on an imaginary world created in a series of best-selling books.

That's fan dedication!

The website states that they are not affiliated with author JK Rowling, and Alex Benepe, the event's commissioner and creator told NJ. com: Rowling hasn't stopped the IQA from running its website, where it sells a rulebook. "Warner Brothers leaves us well alone."

Benepe also reportedly wondered: Could he even find anyone interested enough to run with a broomstick between their legs? Would the whole enterprise simply prove to be nothing more than an adventure in LARPing (live-action role-playing)?

While the above paragraph (written by the reporter, not Benepe himself) appears to view LARPing as somehow inferior to his endeavor, it was, in fact, precisely what I thought of when I first heard of the Quidditch World Cup.

Wikipedia describes LARPing as: A form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters' actions. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules, or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

And I have long-wondered whether there might be a place in fandom for a Soap Opera LARP? Would people be interested in acting out new scenarios featuring characters from All My Children, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Santa Barbara, etc... And, consequently, would the shows' original creators be just as generous about letting their fantasy world be expanded as Ms. Rowling seems to be?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Could this be another way for fans to demonstrate their passion and commitment to the genre?