Wednesday, November 30, 2011


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

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 or 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


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


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 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:


“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:

Thursday, November 24, 2011


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:


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

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!

“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:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Complete press release at:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


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.), 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


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!


“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:

Friday, November 18, 2011


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, 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, or your own personal blog, earns you a soapy thank you gift! Details, here!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


“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:

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, as well. Details, here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


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 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


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?

“You don’t know what Carl and I were up against," Rachel lectured Jamie, Amanda, and Matt. "None of you know how we agonized over our options. In the end, we had to choose the one that would do the least damage to our children, to your children. And if the three of you would take a moment to climb off your respective, self-righteous high horses, you would see that matters could have been a great deal worse, if Carl hadn’t stepped in when he did. Jamie, do you honestly think Kirkland would have made it out alive and unscathed without Carl’s intervention?”

“I wouldn’t say he made it out unscathed,” the eerie calm of Jamie’s voice proved much more terrifying than any hot-headed explosion. “And, Mom, do you honestly believe that my son would have been in danger to begin with, if it hadn’t been for your husband?”

“Kirkland wasn’t kidnapped because he was your son. He was kidnapped and used as a bargaining chip because he is Spencer Harrison’s grandson.”

“Spencer Harrison. Who Carl made it clear was responsible for exposing the compound.”

“He was! You know he was! That file! Damn it, Jamie, that file would have never even come into play if Spencer hadn’t tried blackmailing you over Kirkland’s custody. Have you forgotten that? Have you all forgotten how this began?”

“It began with Jenna,” Matt said quietly. “And Donna being so afraid of Carl that she gave away her own child – “

“You know it wasn’t that simple, Matt. You know Donna had other reasons – “

“She was so terrified of Carl, that she had to take drastic measures. All of which she learned at the foot of the master.”

“This is irrelevant!” Rachel snapped. “We aren’t here because of what may or may not have happened between Carl and Donna during their marriage. We are here because you three have decided to play judge and jury, and decree that the steps my husband took to protect all of us don’t meet some high-bar of standards you’ve all recently acquired. I have no interest in debating this with you further."


Rachel, Jamie, Amanda, and Matt lay their cards on the table for the final time, Kirkland wrestles with his legacy while Grant rages over his banishment, Jeanne moves to help Dean, Allie forces Sarah to question her motives with men, and Felicia defends her actions to Lucas, who offers a warning of his own.

Read all about it at:

Friday, November 11, 2011


There are many different kinds of soap opera veterans.

There are the fictional characters who served...

There are the actors who served...

Read an interview with Robert S. Woods (Bo; OLTL) from 1981 about his experiences in Vietnam at: and Mark Valley (ex-Jack; DOOL) from 2010 on serving in the Gulf War and how that led him to acting at:

And finally there are the actors who are considered the veterans of their genre.

The late Helen Wagner (Nancy; ATWT) got a kick out of being listed as the longest running "thing" on daytime television in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Please enjoy this 1998 tribute to her below:

May everyone have a meaningful Veteran's Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


ABC Soaps in Depth is reporting that Prospect Park has seemingly benched their web relaunch of All My Children in favor of putting all their eggs in the One Life to Live basket. (In what is utterly and purely my opinion, and despite knowing that OLTL not only has/had better ratings but is also believed by many to be creatively on fire, I still think AMC - even without Lucci - would have been the better bet. Its name recognition is simply stronger, both among soap fans and, more importantly, non-soap fans. There is a reason PEOPLE Magazine put out a special AMC commemorative issue, and not one on any of the other recently departed soaps. AMC is the daytime drama most media people know, and thus it's the one most likely to get written about in the mainstream press. Which is critical for a project like this.)

But, my own personal backseat driving aside, this is really, really sad. I kept hoping all along that it was a case of no news being good news, while strongly suspecting that no news meant no clue.

Hopefully, OLTL will still happen and do so phenomenally well that taking on a relaunch of AMC (and ATWT and GL and AW and EON and, oh, what the hell, Ma Perkins) becomes a no-brainer with dozens of web companies engaged in a fierce bidding war.

A girl can always dream... soaps taught me that.

“I am sorry,” Donna seethed. “I am deeply and truly sorry for what happened to Jenna. How many times am I supposed to keep repeating that?”

“Just once over the past two years would have been nice,” Felicia informed her.

“Dean thinks that besting me in court will make him feel better, that it might somehow alleviate the emptiness. We both know that’s not the case. We’ve both lost enough to understand that all his actions will do is prolong Dean’s pain and keep the anger and bitterness bubbling close to the surface until it engulfs him. And that’s not good for either Dean or Lori Ann.”

“Kindly do your best, Donna,” Felicia warned. “To keep from subscribing me to any clubs in which you claim membership.”

“I know what it’s like to lose a child,” Donna reminded, holding her ground, refusing to be marginalized, not on this issue, of all things. “Twelve years on, Victoria’s death is still as freshly painful to me as if it happened yesterday. In addition, I had to give up Mikey, the little boy Michael and I were intending to adopt. And Marley… I almost lost Marley to a suicide attempt just a few months ago. If I hadn’t come home when I did, the garage filled with carbon monoxide would have – “

“It was a set up,” Felicia said flatly.

“I – I beg your pardon?” Donna’s voice quavered.

“Marley’s so-called suicide attempt. It was a set up.” The coldness in Felicia’s voice made it clear she wasn’t speaking out of anger or lying in the heat of the moment. Felicia knew exactly what she was doing, and she wanted Donna fully cognizant of that fact. She wanted her to feel every ounce of what Felicia was telling her.


Felicia deliberately (mistakenly?) provokes Donna, Spencer's will-reading blindsides Grant, Frankie makes an offer to Zeno that affects the rest of her family, Morgan questions Lorna's choices, while Allie and GQ finally get to the heart of their conflict.

All at:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


(Raise your hand if you remember that ad campaign...)

I guest blog at: regarding my plan to fuse books and TV and, along the way, revitalize them (and their writers) both.

An excerpt:

But, this is where things get tricky. Just because the technology is now available to enhance all books, does that mean that all books should automatically be enhanced?

If by “enhanced,” you mean what a majority of publishers are doing, which is adding an interactive table of contents, some photos, and maybe a critical essay on the main work, then yes, sure, why not? All of those things are useful and not particularly distracting.

If by “enhanced” you mean non-fiction books incorporating maps and period film footage and video interviews with the key players in their story then yes, absolutely, a more complete picture is always preferable when it comes to fact-based tomes.

But, if you’re talking about fiction, it’s not nearly as cut and dried.

In my humble opinion (and, at this stage of the game, everyone is simply making their best guess, the concept hasn’t been around long enough to mint a single expert who might claim superior knowledge) the only reason to introduce enhanced elements into any novel is if it serves the story – nothing else.

Does this enhancement improve the reader’s experience? That’s it. Not: Does it fluff the author’s ego, show off a cool, new gadget, or even pad the bottom line?
Does it make the story we are trying to tell better?

Read the entire piece at:

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Thank you to Soap Opera Weekly for featuring "Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments" in their latest issue.

Meanwhile, let's talk Kardashians.

Full disclosure: I have no idea who (what?) a Kardashian is.

All I know is that, ever since "Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments" was released in September 2011, it has hovered in the top three best-selling books on Amazon's Television Guides and Reviews list. It's main competition are Will Wheaton's "Memories of the Future" (a really funny episode by episode memoir of "Star Trek: The Next Generation") and a compilation of thoughtful essays on Joss Whedon's cult-hit, "Firefly."

All three books are loving tributes to three beloved, scripted television genres and shows. I can live with this.

What I cannot live with is that, as of this weekend, the #1 slot on the list has been taken over by a book highlighting "Kim Kardashian: In Her Own Words." (It speaks?)

I have written before about the havoc reality TV has wreaked on scripted programming, soaps in particular. And now this insult!

She must be stopped!

Monday, November 07, 2011


“What about everything Mom has done for you?" Matt demanded of his brother. "I mean I know…actually, scratch that, I don’t know what Alice did for you, because you won’t tell me. But I realize it had to be a hell of a lot for you to embrace her like you have, knowing her history with Mom.”

“It was a hell of a lot.

“Okay, but Mom has been there for you, too. Fighting with Sandy over Cory Publishing, Blaine, Cecile, your tell-all book, knocking up Vicky while you were with Lisa, marrying Vicky, fighting her for Steven – ”

“I was there, Matt, I remember.”

“Jake’s shooting, his attempted murder trial, your feud with Jake, Kelsey, the sexual harassment lawsuit – “

“I said I get it!”

“Not to mention the 21st Century piece de resistance: Your double whammy of hiding a nervous breakdown and being accused of killing Cecile to cover it up.”

“You done?”

“Just as soon as you admit that Mom doesn’t deserve you turning your back on her. Not after she put up with all your crap for forty years, too.”


Matt questions Jamie's true motivation for turning his back on Rachel, Marley reveals her fears to a sympathetic Alice, Charlie struggles to understand Kirkland's withdrawal, Amanda gets blasted by a surprise source, and Dean turns to Jeanne for an explanation - and help.

All at:

Friday, November 04, 2011


And it's kind of key to transferring a pair of legendary daytime properties like All My Children and One Life to Live to the web.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported:

An average hour of one of his soaps currently costs ABC around $160,000 to make, which is outrageously cheap for TV and fantastically expensive for the Web. But Kwatinetz says he’s not going to be able to save much money when he moves the shows online — he’ll still be paying the same writers, actors and production staff. Overall, he figures he’ll need around $80 million to produce both shows for a year, and $65 million in hand to start up production.... But Kwatinetz still doesn’t have all of the cash he needs to go forward.

“A lot of the investor pool that we go to are people with Hollywood backgrounds,” he says. “And while we feel that it’s obvious that convergence is here, we’ve met with an unusual amount of skepticism. So now we’re going out to Silicon Valley, and they seem to get it.”

Read the entire article at:

When I was interviewed by Daytime Confidential about Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, Jamey Giddens also asked me, based on my experience with Another World Today and Mindy's Twitter, what I thought soaps needed to do transition to the web.

I answered: Got a character you want to keep on the canvas but the actor is leaving? Keep them alive through a personal blog or e-mails sent right to fans that could also tease their return story and allow fans to write back, interact and even become a part of the story.

New technology makes getting input from the fans easier and quicker than ever. Another World Today ended every episode with a poll so that fans could actually drive story the way they wanted. Wwell, majority rules... Some science fiction shows have set up fan chats that appear on the screen right as the show is going on. You could even have characters interacting with the posters as the action is happening!

It wouldn't be a matter of changing the shows, which, as I pointed out in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, have a great deal of things going for them still, but a matter of expanding how the stories we've loved for 70 years are presented and distributed, and thus how they're received and embraced by the next generation.

What would you all think of Prospect Park picking up and continuing the ABC shows in a format similar to Another World Today and/or Mindy's Twitter while they continue to look for funding to shoot full episodes?

Let me know in the Comments below!

Thursday, November 03, 2011


I started reading romance novels because I watched soaps. I started writing romance novels because I watched soaps.

And now, because of my involvement with the As the World Turns and Guiding Light tie-in novels, as well as Another World Today and Mindy's Twitter, I am exploring ways to take both soap operas and romance novels in a new direction - technically and creatively (and I sincerely hope you join me. In fact, the concept kind of hinges on you!)

I guest blogged about it at:

I spent close to ten years working for Procter & Gamble Productions. I wrote three best-selling tie-in novels for them, Oakdale Confidential and The Man From Oakdale for As the World Turns, and Jonathan’s Story (with Julia London) for Guiding Light. I also developed a property called Another World Today, a bi-weekly serial where every episode ended with a question. Fans voted and whatever majority ruled, I wrote.

Now, I am ready to try authoring a romance novel series, Counterpoint, in the same way. Every book will end with a cliffhanger (I do come from the world of soaps, after all!) and a chance for readers to vote on what they’d like to see happen next. I intend to put out a book a month, all reader-directed. There will also be a message board, where those who need to express their ideas and suggestions in more detail can do so. I am very curious to see what the result will be, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it will answer the question of whether readers want to be involved in the story-telling process, or whether they prefer to be swept away by the action.

For instance, with Another World Today, only about half of the people who visited the site actually voted, and some visitors even posted that they refused to vote because the emotional issues were too complex! (I am going to take that as a compliment. No matter how they meant it.) Another point that came up with AWT was that while some vocal posters on the message board expressed particular fondness for one character, whenever questions about her were put up for a vote, the response was lackluster — and, more often than not, against her!

And then there were the split-down-the-middle tallies...

Read the entire piece (and find out more about some of those too close to call votes) at: and please leave a comment. Mala, who runs the blog, is also an editor at Soap Opera Weekly, so she really listens!

“They’re my children, Carl. Would you ever give up on Cory or Elizabeth no matter what they said or did? Did you give up on forging a relationship with Ryan despite all the bad blood and history between you two?”

“No,” Carl conceded. “But in the case of Jamie and Amanda… they’ve made their positions clear. Them or me.”

“Them or you,” Rachel nodded with sudden sadness as she examined a framed photo on the mantle – Rachel and Mac flanked by Jamie, Amanda, and Matthew – before looking to a second shot, a second family, she and Carl with Cory and Elizabeth.

“And your decision is?”

Rachel turned abruptly. “What do you mean? You actually believe I would consider – “

“You would not be the woman I know you to be, if you did not at least work through the cost-benefit analysis of staying with me over your children’s objections. As you repeatedly remind me, they are your children.”

“Yes, they are. But I refuse to be bullied by them. Verbally or emotionally.”

Carl smiled, wryly, “Ah, so you shall be sticking by me out of spite?”


Carl wonders how Rachel intends to respond to her children's ultimatum, while Amanda attempts to convince Matt to join them, Steven spells out his terms to Marley, Grant struggles not to fall into old habits, and the results of your vote regarding Jamie and Lorna's future!

All at:

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Previously, I have mocked soaps' attempts to deal with interfaith romance. I stand by my mocking. This scene in particular was dreadful.

I have also written about interracial relationships and biracial children on soaps. A little more seriously. Probably because, overall, soaps have taken interracial relationships more seriously than interfaith ones.

While they acknowledge that there might be some tangible differences among people of different races, having a non-mainstream faith is, more often than not, treated like a cute little quirk you can get over if you just try hard enough. (In soaps' defense, considering how almost everyone on daytime practices some kind of vague Christianity that flares up for weddings, funerals, christenings and out of the blue confessions destined to be overheard by the wrong person, you can't really blame them for being confused about religion overall, and other people's in particular.)

Now, in the interest of putting my money where my... uh... typing fingers are, I have written about my own interfaith, interracial, interethnic family at Opportunities for turnabout is fair play mocking begin at:

(And for those wondering, yes, I did mention how much we had in common when I interviewed Hillary B. Smith about One Life to Live's Bo and Nora's first wedding. She thought it was neat.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Thank you so much to the current issue of ABC Soaps in Depth for featuring Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments in their Showered With Love Holiday Gifts suggestions.

Planning on being everyone's favorite Secret Santa and sliding some brand new Kindles and iPads under the tree this year? Or maybe expecting to find some? How about souping your new toys up with soaps? An enhanced e-book celebrating daytime drama at the very top of its game and featuring exclusive interviews and tips could be just the ticket to hearing, "This is the best gift ever, Mom/Dad/Spouse/Life-partner/Significant Other/Casual Hook-Up I'm Ready to Take to the Next Level Now!"

Read more at: