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Oakdale Confidential:
An As The World Turns Novel

Thursday, November 16, 2006

On the official ATWT Message Board, a poster writes regarding Mike and Oakdale Confidential:

I'm surprised too considering (Mike) didn't pick up on the fact that the running theme of (Katie's) first book was Simon... what Simon did to her, her needing to get over Simon and comparing everything "good guy" Mike did to what "bad boy" Simon did.

This post intrigued me for a number of reasons.

First, I'm happy a reader picked up on the subtext of Oakdale Confidential. That layer was definitely there, though never blatantly stated.

Second, that subtext was there because I put it there. And I put it there because I believed, in spite of what was playing out on air at the time -- Katie and Mike in total love and planning to get married and live happily every after -- that Katie had never gotten over Simon.

That was my own personal prejudice. I just couldn't wrap my brain around the idea that any woman would prefer bland Mike over charismatic Simon. (This is no slight against actor Mark Collier, who is one of the nicest guys on the planet -- the indifference extends to the character of Mike only).

Simon is romance, adventure, and a sly twinkle in the eye. Mike is... Polite and tidy. Nothing wrong with polite. Or tidy. (Bet you he's a "measure twice, cut once" kind of contractor). Nothing too interesting about it, either.

So when I wrote Oakdale Confidential, I wrote it from the point of view that Katie was protesting way too much. Telling herself over and over again what a great guy Mike was to quell the part of her that couldn't let go of Simon. It's all over the book, just like the above posted noted.

And now, almost a year after I first wrote it, the story is playing out on air. Katie never got over Simon, and now her marriage to Mike is in tatters because of it.

In the movie Broadcast News, Albert Brooks calls Holly Hunter at work to give her a piece of news that she then feeds to William Hurt live on the air. Sitting at home watching TV, Albert marvels, "I say it here, it comes out there..."

I feel the same way.


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