LAST WEEK TO WIN! WINNER WILL BE DRAWN ON 1/11/13!
For many years, "Love in the Afternoon" was the slogan for ABC Daytime's line up (back when that line up consisted of more than one soap... not that I'm bitter or anything). Now, it's the title of author Alison Packard's new romance novel, which not so coincidentally takes place on the set of a sizzling daytime drama.
Kayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image—and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime's most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend.
Sean Barrett, the son of an influential, award-winning actor, is the hottest soap star in the country. Paired on-screen with the talented and beautiful Kayla Maxwell, Sean is determined to keep her at arm's length, burned before by fame-seeking actresses who had no qualms about using him to get to his famous father.
But when Kayla receives threatening letters, her past as a scream queen seems to be coming back to haunt her. Succumbing to an attraction neither one of them can deny, Sean and Kayla must face down her stalker and their own personal demons before trusting what they both feel—a love that lasts long after the cameras stop rolling.
What inspired Alison to set her book in the soap world? Soap Opera 451 went straight to the source to find out that... and more!
Alina Adams: Why a soap opera setting for your first romance novel?
Alison Packard: As an avid romance reader for many years, I'd never come across a book set in the soap opera world. I thought it would be unique , fun, and a way to pay tribute to a genre that I, and many others, love and grew up watching.
AA: Are you a soap fan?
AP: Yes, I'm a huge soap fan! I've been watching soaps since I was a kid. Three of my favorites shows, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light, sadly, have all been canceled. My other favorite, General Hospital, is still airing and I watch it every day when I get home from work.
AA: Were you inspired by any current soap actors when "casting" the book in your head?
AP: Good question, and as there are many soap actors I admire and love to watch, it's not out of the realm of possibility. But in truth, no soap actors (past or present) were "in my head" when I was writing Love in the Afternoon. My inspiration for Sean was Josh Holloway from Lost, and in my imagination, Kayla looks a lot like a younger Catherine Zeta-Jones.
AA: How did you do your research about producing a soap and acting in it?
AP: I've never worked in the television industry so my research on that aspect of the book was done on the Internet. I found several interviews with soap opera actors who described what a day on the set was like and incorporated that into the story. The opening scene was inspired by an interview I'd read many years ago in a soap opera magazine. The actress, Eileen Fulton from As the World Turns, told the story of how an extremely angry woman came up to her in the grocery store, slapped her face and accused her of being a home wrecker. For some reason, that story stuck with me and I thought a variation of it would be a great way to start the story.
AA: Is the plot of your book particularly soapy?
AP: It's got romance, family drama and a stalker! It doesn't get much soapier than that!
AA: Why will soap fans enjoy your book?
AP: I hope they'll enjoy Love in the Afternoon because it's a loving homage to a genre that's been dying a slow death for several years now. Those of us who love soaps are truly saddened by the state of daytime television today. There are only four soap operas left on network television and one day soon there may not be any. I hope I'm wrong, because when that incomprehensible day arrives, millions of hearts will be broken, and all we'll have left is You Tube edits to remind us of the shows and characters we've loved so dearly.
Love in the Afternoon is on sale for $1.99 through the end of the year (regular price is $4.99) so make sure to pick up your copy ASAP, using the link below:
In addition, Alison has generously offered to gift one lucky reader with a FREE copy of her book. Just e-mail AlinaAdams@gmail.com with "Love in the Afternoon" in the subject line, and you'll be entered in the drawing to win.
Good luck and happy holidays!
Alina Adams is the author of NYT best-selling soap opera tie-ins "Oakdale Confidential," "The Man From Oakdale" and "Jonathan's Story," as well as romance novels "When a Man Loves a Woman," "Annie's Wild Ride" and "Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga."