TV soap operas may not be as big as they once were but that hasn't stopped my life from becoming a long-running saga with no beginning, middle or end. It has been a long journey. An adventure. I am doing what I love doing. Writing. It is incredibly surreal to receive fan mail. Since the publication of Delusions of Grandeur in 2010 I have received hundreds of letters, messages and emails from fans. Many of them ask about actress Jennifer Cooke, who, in fiction became "Alexandra Bass" one half of the ill-fated couple Byron & Alexandra at the center of the tale. Others inquire as to where the story came from. What is real and what is fiction?
Well, my stock reply has always been, "Only in fiction can the truth be told."
Everything I learned about TV Soap Operas I learned on the set of Guiding Light in New York. It was a different time then. Soaps ruled television. I knew even back then I wanted to be a writer. So, using characters based on real people in my life and experiences I weaved a plot revolving around a billionaire real estate tycoon and his socialite wife, (Donald & Ivana Trump) and the star-crossed young lovers Byron & Alexandra who get swept up in a decades long mystery that keeps them apart.
Each of the four sections of Delusions of Grandeur were at one point intended to be a separate book, or one season of a primetime soap. It went through years and years of changes. It wasn't until 2007 recovering from a serious sports injury on pain medication that I pulled the manuscript out of the closet, dusted it off and rewrote it from page one. Below you can take a brief photo history.
Jennifer introduced me to Douglas Marland, one of the greatest TV soap writers of all time. I became his assistant, often staying at his palatial home. His golden advice to me: "Soap writing takes a singular focus to tell a story." He was an amazing man. When he died suddenly in 1993 I was devastated.
Pulp Fiction Author