Friday, March 30, 2012


General Hospital and The Doctors premiered on April 1, 1963. As the World Turns and The Edge of Night debuted on April 2, 1956.

And to celebrate these momentous anniversaries, I'm putting my latest project, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments on sale at 50% off!

From Sunday, April 1 to Saturday, April 7, 2012, readers will be able to download Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments, regularly priced at $9.99, for only $4.99 at both and

Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments is an enhanced electronic book chronicling Soaps' Greatest Moments over the past 75 years as voted on by popular, award-winning actors, writers and producers, as well as other television industry professionals and of course, the fans. The book features exclusive interviews with the greatest scenes’ most prominent players; links to classic video clips; and updates on “Where Are They Now?”

As an enhanced electronic book, Soap Opera 451 is the first of its kind both technically and editorially where you can actually click a link and view the soap opera scene being discussed, as well as visit the contributors’ own websites to learn more about them and their current projects (note: availability will wary depending on your viewing device). While many books have been written about the soap opera world, this is the first to include multiple shows, highlight specific scenes, interview key players involved in the most popular, and be crowd-sourced - giving fans a say in what is included. These “greatest” moments were chosen BY fans and soap professionals (journalists, producers, writers), and presented in a way never before available.


25 exclusive star interviews, including…
· All My Children: Eden Riegel (Bianca comes out to Erica)
· Another World: Linda Dano (Felicia's intervention)
· Dark Shadows: Kathryn Leigh Scott (Barnabas bringing Josette back from the dead).
· Days of Our Lives: Eileen Davidson (playing Kristen, Susan, Sister Mary Moira, Penelope and Thomas)
· Edge of Night: Tony Craig (Draper's train crash and amusement park escape).
· One Life to Live: Hillary B. Smith (Bo and Nora's wedding)
· Port Charles: Jon Lindstrom (Kevin mourns Eve's presumed death)
· Santa Barbara: Lane Davies (an overview of Mason)
· Young & Restless: Victoria Rowell (Dru sleeps with Malcolm while high on cough medicine; Lily's paternity reveal)

Soap writers, producers and experts, including…
· As The World Turns: Show writer Susan Dansby on Jack and Carly's break-up
· General Hospital: Headwriter Thom Racina on Luke and Laura's wedding
· Generations: Creator Sally Sussman Morina on the racial housing discrimination story
· Guiding Light: Headwriter Jill Lorrie Hurst on Natalia and Olivia's love story

And many, many more….

Check out the book on and now!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


To celebrate the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships, download an absolutely FREE copy of "Skate Crime: Multimedia" by Alina Adams, here! It's a book and a movie all in one! Could it also be the future of serialized storytelling? (And check out a sneak peek of Book #3 in the Figure Skating Mystery series, "Axel of Evil: Enhanced Multimedia Edition," here.)

Meanwhile, ever wonder what it's like to write tie-in books? "Tied-In: The Business, History, and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing," spills all the secrets on how to become an official part of the "Star Trek," "Star Wars," "James Bond" or "Dr. Who" universe.

I contributed the chapter on writing soap-opera tie-ins, talking about "As the World Turns," "Guiding Light," "Another World," and more.

The book usually sells for $14.95 in paperback, but, right now, it's available for FREE on Amazon as an e-book. Hurry up and get yours ASAP. I have no idea how long this promotion is going to last.

And enjoy!

Rachel led Jamie into the library, telling him, “It upsets me to find out just how badly I misjudged Jeanne. I really thought she loved Matt.”

“I suppose there’s still a possibility that things aren’t what they seem.”

Rachel raised an eyebrow.

“A small possibility,” Jamie doubled-down. “The good news is, Lorna managed to get the pictures removed off the web.”

“I saw that. I didn’t realize it was Lorna’s doing. Impressive.”

“My wife is a very impressive woman.”

Rachel briefly caressed her son’s face with her fingers. “You have no idea how delighted it makes me, seeing you so happy after all this time.”

Jamie reached up to take his mother’s hand, lowering it to Rachel’s side and squeezing it gently. “And you have no idea how much it kills me to see you unhappy.”

“I do. I know it. Just like I know there has got to be a way we can resolve the stand-off with Carl so that all of us – “

He cut her off. “This isn’t about Carl.”


Jamie brings Rachel more bad news, Sarah reminds Grant of what he's missing, Jeanne shocks Matt, Amanda holds Kevin back, Chase encourages Lila, and Zeno provokes a guilty confession from Charlie.

All at:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Excerpt from an interview I conducted a few months ago, which just got posted:

What’s the most interesting comment you have ever received about your books?

It’s not so much one comment, per se, but the many disparate reactions that can be triggered by a single story. My first contemporary romance, Annie’s Wild Ride and, to an extent, its follow up, When a Man Loves a Woman were incredibly polarizing. People either loved the main characters, or detested them. They either understood why they did what they did, or thought it made no sense at all. No one was on the fence.

I found it absolutely fascinating how the same story could engender such conflicting reactions.

When I was at Procter & Gamble Productions, I developed a media property for them, Another World Today, which was an online soap opera where fans got a chance to vote at the end of every episode on where they’d like the story to go next. No matter how obvious a question seemed to be, we never, ever, ever had a landslide poll result. There were always divergent opinions.

It taught me there is no such thing as a story that everybody likes.

Read the entire interview at:

The above is particularly appropriate in light of this Monday's Another World Today poll results. Currently, they stand at:

POLL: Grant belongs with –

Marley 49%

Sarah 50%

What's really interesting is that, at several points yesterday, the percentages were reversed, and they may still reverse yet again. There really is no pleasing all of the people all of the time, though I - and all writers - do try their best!

(In case you're wondering where the missing one percent went above, that's a technical glitch that happens when someone clicks the vote key without choosing an option.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

PHILLIP'S PARENTAL PICKLE announced on Friday that they were releasing a Guiding Light DVD set focusing on Phillip Spaulding.

Of all the questions I've answered on this blog, one of the most popular has been: How did Phillip end up with four parents, anyway?

A detailed answer can be found at:

For background on The Four Musketeers of Phillip, Rick, Beth and Mindy, go to:

For Phillip and a troubled Lizzie, go to:

For more on the Phillip DVD set, go to:

“I won’t let you get away with this," Dean warned Donna.

“Oh, please, darling. In matters of blackmail, one can hardly refer complaints regarding a breech of contract to the Better Business Bureau.”

“I’ll reinstate the suit,” Dean grasped at straws.

“On the basis of what, precisely?”

“I’ll tell the judge you blackmailed me.”

“I’ll deny it,” Donna shrugged. “And, trust me, your reputation isn’t nearly as stellar as it was only a few days ago. Reinstating the suit against me will come off as nothing more than trying to distract attention from your own moral shortcomings.”

“Do you think Jenna – Do you think your daughter would approve of what you’ve done?”

“I’m rather certain she wouldn’t. The same way I’m equally certain my other daughter, Marley, won’t. Victoria… Victoria might frown and stomp her foot for a spell. But, I like to think she, at least, would have understood.”


Dean confronts Donna - and points out the one flaw in her plan, Lorna's efforts on Matt's behalf lead her to a problem closer to home, Carl goes to the source for inside information on Chase, Jen turns to Allie for information she can't get anywhere else, and Marley puts Grant in the path of temptation.

All at:

Friday, March 23, 2012


I have loved soaps since I was ten years old. And, I won't lie, as a kid, I imagined myself taking part in my favorite stories, fighting bad guys alongside the WSB, trading barbs with the Capwells during week-long dinner parties, and marrying my way through entire families while periodically jumping into fountains.

However, if I harbored any hope of my life making good daytime drama as an adult, that notion was permanently shattered the other day, when I was rejected from appearing on a radio show about interracial and interfaith families because my own was too... happy.

Read the entire, non-soapy, tragic tale at:

Thursday, March 22, 2012


“What in Heaven’s name is he doing here?” Carl demanded, even breaking off the kiss his wife offered to gaze over her shoulder at the Mayor of Bay City following Lila up the back stairs and out of sight.

“Hiding out,” Rachel summarized. “Lila asked if they might both take advantage of our security system to keep the press at bay.”

“And you agreed?”

“Lila is in love with him.”

“I am in love with you, and yet I’ve been banished to a lonely pied-a-terre on the outskirts of town.”

“That’s a slightly different circumstance.”

“Yet equally as untenable to me. Truly, Rachel, this is growing absurd. How long are we to keep up this travesty in the hope that your grown children might cease threatening to hold their breaths until they turn blue? Not that the shade wouldn’t be preferable to the otherwise green hue they’ve been sporting ever since I entered your life.”


Carl smells a rat in Chase and Lila's plan, while Lila sniffs the same in Grant's. Kirkland and Charlie fumble the parameters of their new relationship, Steven and GQ draw a line in the sand over Jen, Donna stuns Jeanne and Dean, and Frankie turns to Felicia - and you - for help with Cass.

Make your voice heard at:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It's getting closer! Counterpoint, the romantic family saga where you, the reader, tell me where the story should go next (ala will be published later this Spring. But, for now, please continue enjoying the sneak peek below!

Part #1

Part #2

Part #3


Victoria couldn't understand Robin's hostility. The Elizabeth Fund, named after Douglas Cooper's late wife, Robin's mother, was a philanthropic foundation established and administered by Cooper Shipping. They built schools, hospitals, old-age homes, orphanages. She wondered what precisely about the project Robin found worthy of such chilling anger.

"I wanted to speak to you about Gabriel Scott's clinic."

Robin gulped down the screwdriver and scowled, indicating he'd been expecting as much. "I'm not changing my mind."

Although Douglas had set up the Elizabeth Fund thirteen years earlier, following his wife's death, a substantial portion of the principle came from trust-fund money she'd left her son. As a result, even though Victoria reported to Douglas when it came to the daily operational details, Robin liked to put his two cents – rather, his approximately two hundred million cents – in, on issues like allocating grants. Or terminating them.

Victoria persisted, "Dr. Scott's clinic does wonderful, necessary work. I don't see why you would want to close such a worthwhile – “

"Oh, you don't, do you?" Robin slammed down his tumbler, and approached Victoria, managing to tower menacingly over her, despite standing a good two feet away. "Well, how about the obvious? Our funding Gabriel Scott's clinic is a conflict of interest."


"Are you serious?" He took another step closer. Close enough for Victoria to feel the moist heat radiating from his body. Close enough for her to trace the rivulets of water dripping down Robin's throat, past both collarbones, and inside the bathrobe open-V of his chest. "You don't think it's a conflict of interest that Dr. Scott also happens to be your brother?" Robin managed to make the last word sound like a synonym for the lowest form of vermin.

"No," Victoria said. "I don't. Your father called Gabriel in Houston, and asked him to relocate to San Francisco and set up the clinic. I didn't come into the picture until later. Gabriel told Douglas he couldn't relocate. I was the only family he had, and he didn't want to leave me. Douglas looked at my resume, saw that I had a background in non-profits, and offered me another position he needed to fill, manager of the Elizabeth Fund. Gabriel getting the grant had nothing to do with me. It was just a lucky coincidence."

"Real lucky," Robin mumbled under his breath. Then, clearly, he informed Victoria, "Be that as it may, the Elizabeth Fund is my money. I can give it to anyone I want. And I don't want to give it to Dr. Gabriel Scott. There. End of discussion."


For news about Counterpoint's publication, as well as other books from Alina Adams Media and your chance to vote on what happens next, please join our Facebook page at:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


When normal 12 year olds need to raise money for a school trip, they sell candy bars, wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions.

When the son of a mom who works in soaps does it, he decides to sell copies of "Oakdale Confidential."

I have a... unique child.

However, he is selling the book for $5 with $4 shipping, which means if you're looking for a great deal, please consider helping out a kid and his school.

E-Bay link at:

Monday, March 19, 2012


Last week's release of the first trailer of Tim Burton's/Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows feature film earned cries of foul from the original series' devoted fans. They assert they'd been led to believe the movie would be more along the lines of Burton's previous Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Sweeny Todd, gothic, atmospheric thrillers played more or less straight, when what they got appears to be closer to Bettlejuice.

And the Brady Bunch Movie.

And Dukes of Hazzard.

And Bewitched.

And A Very Brady Sequel.

In other words, laughing at, not with a beloved 1970s television show.

See for yourself, below:

The movie's defenders, like's John Mitchell rationalize:

(T)he original series was a true-to-genre soap opera (just, you know, with a heavier lean on the supernatural).... The problem is, a straight take on the original... wouldn't fly with today's sophisticated film audience.... It's based on a soap, after all, and is so over-the-top that to direct it as a straight romantic vampire drama might have meant significant alterations to the story to "normalize" it. It would have had to be boiled down to the basics. That still might have made for a good film, but (real talk) it also might have meant that something really dynamic would be translated into a highbrow, slightly more horror-leaning version of "Twilight." And, um, no one wants that. On the flip side, if Burton had kept the deliberately exaggerated and theatrical style of the original without acknowledging the comedy inherent in going so over-the-top (this is the literal definition of "camp"), it would have been unwatchably ridiculous. Soaps are absurd but play their ridiculousness with the utmost seriousness. It's something we all know and accept about them, but it's not something that would work, not even for a second, on the big screen.

The debate reminded me of a quote I loved from Kathryn Leigh Scott, the original Dark Shadows' Maggie/Josette, who told me, when I interviewed her for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments:

Barnabas was essentially evil at first, but one felt sorry for him and he, poor man, suffered the fearful guilt and loathing of his curse: for him to live, others must die. His love for Josette was eternally doomed and he was a despised wretch who, at times, wielded immense supernatural powers and, at other times, was an impotent creature lying helplessly chained in a coffin. One responded to this sad-eyed despair with the romantic notion of saving him from himself. The situations were often absurd, but we played everything with an intense honesty.

(Watching the trailer, my husband kept asking, "Where is the romance? Where's the romance? How do they expect this to work without a real romance?")

What do you think? Is the new Dark Shadows an affectionate homage, or just another mean-hearted spoof of soaps in general, and Dark Shadows in particular? Tell us below!

“What the hell do you want?” Elizabeth demanded as her and Cory’s visit with Rachel was interrupted by Amanda appearing in the doorway of the library.

“I’m here to see Mom,” Amanda informed her little sister.

“I thought you threatened never to darken our doorstep again. Or are you just here to gloat about driving Father from his own home?”

“This is actually my father’s home,” Amanda corrected through clenched teeth, a fact they were all perfectly well aware of.

“And I am both of yours mother,” Rachel added in a tone that strongly suggested they’d best drop the sniping and behave, ASAP.

“Do you have a minute?” Amanda asked Rachel.

“She’s busy,” Elizabeth indicated the three of them, deliberately excluding Amanda.

“She said a minute,” Cory groaned at his twin. “I think we can spare Mom for a minute.”

“You know Amanda, Cory. Give her an inch, she takes a mile. And asks for an acre in a doggie bag.”


Rachel is besieged with conflicting requests from her children, Charlie and Kirkland continue to spinning their respective versions of the truth, leading to an explosion from Cass. Jen seeks advice based on Alice's relationship with Steve, and Jeanne receives shocking, unwelcome news.

All at:

Friday, March 16, 2012


Coming in Spring 2012! Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (where you, the reader, guides me in where you want the story to go next!)

Read all about how it was inspired by my work on Another World Today, here.

Then get a sneak peek of Part #1, Part #2, and Part #3, below!

She had to smile, in spite of herself. "Mr. Cooper – "


"Robin. I – I'm Victoria Morgan."

"Is that a fact?" She watched him flip through what she could only presume was the little black book in his head, trying to match name to face and recall just how well acquainted they were supposed to be. It wasn't difficult to spot the exact instant when he made the connection. Robin's eyes darkened, abandoning both green and brown in favor of a murky, angry hazel. His flirtatious, lopsided smile coiled into an accusatory sneer. "You're with the Elizabeth Fund. What the hell do you want?"

More enhanced ebooks at:

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Yesterday evening, under the auspices of @Robansuefarm and @Guiding_Light, GL fans got together to watch an episode off the Guiding Light Classics DVD featuring Roger Thorpe's (Michael Zaslow) demise, and share their thoughts about it over Twitter in real-time.

Though it was too late for me to join in (10 PM Eastern is past my bedtime - I've got kids to wake up for school starting at 6:45 AM), I did contribute by sending a link to this article I wrote in 2009 about the wedding of Michael Zaslow's daughter, Marika.

The article made me wonder how Marika, who lost her father, sister, and mother in tragically quick succession, was doing today. Which in turn lead me to this piece, announcing the birth of Marika's daughter, Lucy, in 2010. With photo!

To buy the GL Classics DVD featuring Roger's death and more, click on the link below and join in the Twitter party watching fun!


“You win,” Dean told Donna.

“What, precisely?” she donned an air of utter indifference one way or the other.

“I’ll drop my civil suit against you.”


“You sound disappointed. I thought that’s what you wanted.”

“Of course it is, don’t be absurd.”

“I don’t think so,” Dean guessed. “I think it’s what you told yourself you wanted, because it made you kind of not seem too bad. Big picture-wise, I mean. I was a threat, so you took me out. Reasonable. Fair. Matt can’t get too upset about that.”

“I have no intention of telling Matthew any of what transpired here. And I would strongly advise you to do the same.”

“But, what I think you really wanted,” Dean went on, ignoring her latest threat. “Was for me to turn you down. Then you could go ahead and publish the pictures of Jeanne and me, and there goes Matt’s marriage.”


Dean challenges Donna's version of the facts, Steven challenges Sarah's approach to Grant and Marley, Frankie challenges Cass to take a long, hard look at the man he's become, Lila challenges Rachel's loyalty to her, and Kirkland faces a challenge from the last person he expected.

All at:

Monday, March 12, 2012


I've talked a lot about my hope that enhanced e-books might prove to be the savior of both the serial genre, and storytelling in general. A combination of words and images is cheaper to produce than 300+ hours of straight television a week, and is presumably more attractive to young people growing up surrounded by 24/7 media. Plus, there is a concrete revenue model.

In February 2012, I gave a talk at the New York chapter of the Writer's Union on the subject, outlining both my vision for storytelling in the 21st century, as well as concrete advice for authors who'd like to turn their previously published backlist into enhanced e-books.

Check it out below and let me know what you think!


Cass glanced down at the confirmed guest list to note, “You invited Lucas.”

“He loves a good party.” Felicia shrugged blithely.

“I thought you were done clinging to the past?”

“I’m done trying to force things,” Felicia corrected. “I’m done begging for it. But, should events simply happen, I wouldn’t be averse to exploring where they lead.”

“You want Lucas back?” Frankie guessed.

“I’m not dead yet, am I? I deserve to enjoy my life. Whether that’s with Lucas or a player yet to be named, I’m done hiding behind my grief. I am open to any and all possibilities.”

“That’s great,” Cass repeated.

“Once more,” Felicia prompted dryly. “With feeling. Try to sound like you actually mean it.”


Cass questions Felicia's alleged new outlook on life while Lucas does the same with Alice, Chase questions Amanda's motives, Grant struggles to keep Marley from questioning his devotion, and Jamie's questions at long last get the truth out of Kirkland.

All at:

Friday, March 09, 2012


I'm a writer.

Which means I need readers.

I am infinitely grateful to those who have followed my career since the early 1990s, buying my books whether they be romance, mystery, non-fiction, or soap opera tie-in.

But, I'll admit it - I'm greedy. I want more readers. Not just for my own books, but for books in general (those statistics about how few American adults read a single novel in their lifetime is a bit disheartening).

To that end, like any good pusher, I'm looking to get my potential audience hooked early. Like, in middle school.

In addition to being a writer, I am also an enhanced e-book producer. What's an enhanced e-book? It's a book... and more.

One of my recent titles is The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Multimedia Edition by Dan Elish. Not only does this version include all the text of the original, 1988 print release, but it also features original, musical theater songs written to compliment the story!

Check out what Broadway World had to say about it, here.

So many elementary schools these days are buying Kindles and iPads in an attempt to get kids to read more. But, there are very few books designed for specifically those machines. The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition was created for the express purpose of getting kids excited about reading. The songs even feature lyrics on the page, so kids can follow along!

This Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10, we are giving away copies of The Worldwide Dessert Contest for free. Click here to get yours. And please pass the information on to your local school and library. Our goal is to get this book into the hands of as many future reading addicts as possible!

Thursday, March 08, 2012


In honor of International Woman's Day, Soap Opera 451 honors the great women of daytime: Irna Phillips and Agnes Nixon.

Click on the links above for a round up of history, behind the scenes stories, and more!

Carl took great pleasure in revealing, "You see, Donna, I have agreed to testify on Dean’s behalf at his hearing. Frame Versus Love: May Fairness Prevail at Long Last.”

“You’re bluffing!” Donna did precisely what she accused him of.

“I am deadly serious.”

“You wouldn’t…”

“Au contraire. For the chance to see you ground to powder beneath Justice’s Heel, I daresay I would do just about anything.”

“Including dredging your own dirty dealings up into the light of day? I doubt it.”

“I am doing this for my daughter,” Carl managed to make the final word sound infinitely menacing. “And for all those who loved her.”

“Why now?” Donna challenged. “You could have done it years ago, when the truth first came out. Why did you wait until now to make your grand, poetic gesture?”


Carl helps Donna make a difficult decision - while Dean questions her true motives. Jamie betrays Kirkland's trust, Amanda does the only thing she can think of to help Kevin, Steven challenges Jen, and Grant gets his way - but then so does Chase.

All at:

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Melody Thomas Scott joined the cast of The Young & the Restless as Nikki in 1979. Eric Braeden followed as Victor in 1980.

Both, however, had long and illustrious careers in movies and prime-time television prior to that.

Scott made her feature film debut in the thriller, Marnie, in 1964, playing the title character as a child in flashbacks.

Six years later, in 1970, Braeden went toe-to-toe with an arrogant (and eerily Victor Newman-like) computer in Colossus: The Forbidden Project for his first starring movie role.

Check out both below!

Melody Thomas Scott (about 6:00 in)

Eric Braeden

Monday, March 05, 2012


I talk e-books with "The Wall Street Journal's" Smart Money Column!

And more traditional authors often find that their publisher isn't interested in producing e-books, or promoting them, says Adams. (She would know: Adams gained the right to self-published e-book versions of her Figure Skating Mystery series, after her publisher declined to do so.)"Unless you're Stephen King or another major author, you're doing all your own marketing," she says.

For readers that means many good books go undiscovered. Still, readers of all kinds can benefit from the wide array of e-books if they know where to look. Getting a publishing deal is increasingly tough, and platforms such as Amazon and Smashwords appeal to authors, Amerland says. "Publishers used to be the gatekeepers of quality, but e-books have shown that many publisher-rejected books actually do quite well," Amerland says. Publishers are also quietly making older, out-of-print titles available, says Adams -- who recently found a $9 e-book version of a hard-to-find romance novel whose print copies cost 10 times as much. "Now you can get your hands on all these wonderful classic books" for less money, she says. Readers just need to expand their search to look for those digital copies.

More great tips for readers at:

Read the entire article at:

The envelope arrived sooner than Donna expected.

Her usual man had offered to send the material over digitally. He informed her that all surveillance these days was done digitally, and how it would save Donna time and money –

She informed him that she had plenty of money. (As if that weren’t made clear by the numerous jobs she’d hired him for over the years.)

As for time, well, Donna needed time. To figure out what precisely she intended to do with her merchandise once she received it.


Sarah makes Grant an offer any man would find tough to refuse, Dean confronts Matt about the women in his life, Steven stands by Jen - whether she wants it or not, Felicia makes a tentative overture to Lucas, Kirkland faces a literal moment of truth, and you decide just how far Donna will go to get her way!

All at:

Friday, March 02, 2012


The Soap Opera Encyclopedia by Christopher Schemering was published in 1987 and contains detailed, historical and trivial information on every daytime and primetime serial up to that time.

It's an absolute must-have for any soap lover's book collection and, in honor of National Read Across America Day (3/2/12), I am giving out free copies.

All you have to do is buy any of the below Alina Adams Media products:

Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments

When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition

Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition

On Thin Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition

The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition

Forward me your proof of purchase to, and I will mail you a copy of The Soap Opera Encyclopedia (offer only good in the continental US, and while supplies last).

Happy Reading!

(I've just been informed by a reader that the Amazon links don't seem to be working. I've tested them myself and the trick seems to be to open a new window, instead of just clicking. So sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for bearing with me - and, yes, it also seems Blogger has decided not to take Comments today, either. Technology! Oy!)

Thursday, March 01, 2012


Just got off the phone with my friend who is putting together a paper on the importance of soaps, to be presented at an academic conference.

He wanted to thank everyone who already submitted their answers to his questions (more here). They were very helpful. If you'd like to participate, he is still eager to hear from you.

One of the things we talked about was my theory that soaps are not a passive entertainment, but an active one.

In most genres: Prime-time, film, stage... information is presented to you. You can either accept it or not, sympathize with a character or not. But, the experience is finite, in any case.

With a soap, as you watch a character grow and evolve, be it from rapist to hero like GH's Luke, or from victim to bad girl like ATWT's Barbara, the viewer is challenged to grow and evolve, as well.

Are you going to go from hating someone to now rooting for them? Will you turn your back on a previously favorite couple because a better alternative has come up? Can you accept a character you once embraced doing something you personally feel is unconscionable?

With soaps, it's not merely a matter of the character's mindset or viewpoint changing. Yours must too, if you're going to continue with the story. And that is active watching at it's finest.

Viewers might watch prime-time and movies and theater, but they live soap operas right alongside the characters.

Which is one of the many unique features that makes soaps so compelling. (Another, as I've written before in my post Why Soaps Are the Greatest Thing in the History of Ever, is that instead of being told about a character's past, you can see it. Most likely, you have already seen it as it was first happening.)

Would you agree?

“Thanks so much, Sarah,” Marley beamed over her shoulder as she dug in the closet for the twins’ jackets. “I really appreciate you helping us make this happen.”

“The girls need you, Marley. We all tried to step up while you were gone and fill the gap. We couldn’t do it. You think everyone’s replaceable, but it’s not true. You can’t just substitute one person for another like it doesn’t matter.”

Grant heard Sarah’s words, and picked up the veiled implication underneath. But, fact was, he couldn’t particularly focus on what she was saying when, truth of the matter, he also couldn’t take his eyes off of her.

Sarah was dressed in a turtleneck orange sweater, and a pair of skinny jeans the hems of which were tucked into her high-heeled boots. It was, quite frankly, the most clothed Grant had ever seen her. However, thanks to how skintight the entire ensemble was, it also gave Grant a better view of every curve and contour than if she’d come in wearing nothing at all.

Which would have been a tad less subtle.

And probably less effective.


Grant struggles to let go of Sarah and focus on Marley, as Chase and a reluctant Lila plot to use him for their own purposes. Kirkland gets a pep talk from Steven, Dean tries to understand Jeanne and Matt's relationship in light of Frankie's discovery, while Zeno offers Charlie some advice on the value of honestly, and Amanda wonders whom she can trust.

All at: