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Oakdale Confidential:
An As The World Turns Novel

Friday, June 30, 2006


A friend informs me that a blog called Snarkspot has, for months, been addressing questions to me on various topics related to "Oakdale Confidential."

I dropped by the blog, hopping to answer the questions posted to me directly, but could find no e-mail address for him/her. So, this is a public shout-out offering to answer the multitudes of questions (I had no idea I was so fascinating), if only Snark him/herself would be so good as to contact me.

(Oh, and one little note, when you called me a "klepto..." You are aware that klepto is short for kleptomaniac, aka a person with a compulsion to steal things. I believe, based on the general tone of your post, that you meant "schizo," aka a schizophrenic, which is the colloquial, though technically incorrect, term for a person with a multiple personality disorder. Or so one of my alternate personalities tells me...)

Have a great 4th of July, all!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Whenever I sit on a panel at a writer's conference, the question inevitably comes up from the audience: How do you handle rejection?

The primary truth is: By ranting and raving at my husband about what fools these editor mortals be.

Then again, having worked in soap operas for the past 10+ years, I really have come to learn that "Does not meet our needs at this time" honestly means just that.

It doesn't mean the proposed book sucks, it doesn't mean you can't write or that your photos is one no editor would dare put on a book jacket. It means that your manuscript does not meet their needs at this time. Period. (Maybe you're pitching cozies and this publishing house only does hard-boiled. Or yours is a romance set in Portugal and they've already got "Love, Portuguese Style" in the pipeline. Or the editor was once dumped by a guy named Garrick and has sworn never to publish a book with that moniker lest her ex think she's still obsessed with him).

Having seen a lot of casting sessions, I've learned that so many more factors other than talent go into selecting an actor for a role. You might be too short, too tall, too old, too young, the wrong ethnicity. (Despite what Dustin Hoffman swore in "Tootsie," you can't really act blonder).

Take, for instance, the role of Lulu Spencer on GH. Julie Marie Berman is an excellent actress, there is no doubt about it. But statistically speaking, there probably were at least another half dozen actresses at that audition who were equally talented. Julie Marie Berman, however, also happens to look a great deal like Genie Francis, who played Laura, of daytime's iconic Luke & Laura -- little Lulu's Mommy and Daddy. So lucky Julie got the role. And the other girls simply did not meet the show's needs at that time.

It helps to handle publication rejection, if you think of it in the same vein.

(A bit of on-topic gossip to make this post more lively: In 1994, when I was the writer on E's "Pure Soap," we had Kimberly McCullough (Robin) on as a guest. I was chatting with her mom in the green room, and she mentioned that when Kimberly was auditioning for GH as a seven year old, the role came down to two girls. According to Kimberly's mother, "A gorgeous little girl who looked just like Finola Hughes (Anna), and then Kimberly, who could really act." Seemed like an odd thing to say about your child...)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


In my own words, what it's like to be Anonymous, as told to Mystery Scene Magazine.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


My outing continues with a page-long interview and photo in this week's Soap Opera Digest. I was part of a feature called My Soap Job where they chose a person from each of the shows who has an unusual part to play in the production.

Now, while I was unspeakably happy to have Oakdale Confidential hit #3 on the NYT list, and equally giddy to be featured in Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine because it is such a major publication with book-buying readers, this is the part where I geekily admit that the Soap Opera Digest spread totally put me over the moon.

Mainly because I've been reading the magazine since I was @ 11 years old (like so many others, I started watching soaps during their zenith - the Luke & Laura Summer on the Run on General Hospital. Even people who claim, oh, no, they never watched a soap a day in their lives, they know who Luke and Laura are -- admit it.).

And I've been collecting the back issues of Digest since probably @1982 or so. I've got boxes and boxes of them. My parents used to laugh at me when I was still a kid and took over the linen closet for my collection. They stopped laughing when my first job out of college was working for E!'s Pure Soap show, a job I got because I was a walking encyclopedia on all the daytime dramas then on the air. My parents even helped me ship all my magazines to Los Angeles where Pure Soap was taped.

And then, a year later, they helped me pack them up again for a trip to New York and a job with ABC Daytime.

These days, my father says, "All those years we thought you were wasting time watching TV. And you were actually studying for your career!"

Heck, I learned more from Soap Opera Digest when it came to getting a television job (and on the NYT list) than I ever did in college!

Friday, June 02, 2006


It's time for me to come out of the literary closet, as it were (with permission from both As The World Turns and Pocket Books).

Check out the July issue of Romantic Times Bookclub magazine for a feature revealing Anonymous' (my) identity!