Monday, May 2, 2011

Soap Opera Charm

Having recently moderated the Behind the Scenes of a TV Soap Opera panel at the RT Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles, I was more than a bit dismayed to learn that ABC cancelled two of its three daytime dramas — All My Children and One Life to Live. (For those playing along at home that leaves General Hospital as the network’s only daytime serial, on a network that once had at least five series running back in the Ryan’s Hope/Edge of Night or Loving days.) Many people have called the move idiotic and I can't disagree. While I strongly believe that soaps need to evolve and grow — anyone who believes soaps are finished should check out how well telenovellas do ratings-wise — I think there were definitely things that could have been done and should have been done both on and off screen to help continue these shows. So while fans rally and call the network, I've got a gift for all you who have loved daytime dramas over the years — a reading list of books (old, new, biography, novel and YA) to help you relive the good ole days of daytime.

Stirring in Salem and A Secret in Salem by Sheri Anderson (Days of Our Lives tie-in)
The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli by Carolyn Henessy (Diane, General Hospital, a tie-in novel)
All That Glitters by Kristi Andrews (a fictional YA book series from the 1980s about the teen stars of a soap opera)
Diva Las Vegas by Eileen Davidson (Ashley, The Young and the Restless, this book is part of the actress/author’s Soap Opera Mystery series)
Robin’s Diary, by Judith Pinsker and Claire Labine (based on stories from General Hospital)
Dark Shadows, the Salem Branch by Lara Parker (Angelique, Dark Shadows)
Soap Opera by Eileen Fulton (Lisa, As the World Turns)
Soapsuds by Finola Hughes (Anna, General Hospital)
Oakdale Confidential by Alina Adams (an As the World Turns tie-in novel)
Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story by Julia London and Alina Adams (a GL tie-in novel)

Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter by Carolyn Hinsey, editor of Soap Opera Digest
Changing Shoes by Tina Sloan (Lillian, Guiding Light)
As My World Still Turns by Eileen Fulton (Lisa, As the World Turns)
I’m Just Sayin’: Three Deaths, Seven Husbands, and a Clone! My Life as a Daytime Diva by Kim Zimmer (Reva, Guiding Light; Echo, One Life to Live)
Like Sands Through the Hourglass by Susan Seaforth Hayes and Bill Hayes (Julie and Doug Williams, Days of Our Lives)
All My Life by Susan Lucci (Erica Kane, All My Children)
All My Children, the Complete Family Scrapbook by Gary Warner; General Hospital, the Complete Scrapbook by Gary Warner: One Life to Live: Thirty Years of Memories by Gary Warner
Days of Our Lives, 45 Years, a Celebration in Photos by Greg Meng
All the Days of My Life (So Far) by Allison Sweeney (Sami, Days of Our Lives)
Deidre Hall’s Kitchen Closeup by Deidre Hall (Marlena, Days of Our Lives)

What's your all-time favorite soap opera moment?


  1. Hi, Faygie!

    I believe you interviewed me years ago when "Oakdale Confidential" first came out!

    It's funny that you asked about favorite soap opera moments: I am in the process of writing an entire book on the subject (

    I've gotten some terrific submissions so far, and some wonderful behind the scenes interviews to go with them.

    I hope we'll get to hear your nomination, as well! (And please spread the word to all the soap fans you know - I'm looking to get as broad a cross-section of opinions as possible!)

  2. Hi Alina!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Your book sounds like fun. And my favorite soap moment? I'll have to think about that and get back to you. (Though really Luke and Laura's wedding was iconic.) And I'll definitely spread the word on your book.