Hooked on Soaps…and the Men Who Star in Them?
Posted by Guest Sep 24 2008, 4:08 am
Then today is your lucky day. KJ Howe welcomes suspense author Alison Gaylin to the lair. Alison is one of those lucky women who knows all about those dreamy daytime men…
My new book, HEARTLESS, focuses on a soap opera magazine writer who has a secret affair with a hunky soap actor and travels to an idyllic town in Central Mexico with him, only to find that the town – and the actor – could be much more dangerous than they seem.
Now, I’ll tell you right up front – it’s based on experience. No, I’ve never had a passionate love affair with a gorgeous yet potentially deranged soap actor (Sorry!) – but I did work for quite a few years as a senior editor at Soap Opera Digest. And I’ve seen first-hand how irresistible those daytime leading men can be.
Besides going on set to interview the actors, I covered quite a few fan club luncheons and events for my job. And, though the fans were always thrilled to meet superstar actresses like Susan Lucci or Robin Strasser or Melody Thomas Scott, they went nuts – absolutely blushing, screaming insane – when someone like Maurice Benard (Sonny, General Hospital) walked into the room. It didn’t matter whether they were happily married new moms or 80-year-old grandmas, the soap hunks could turn any woman into a shrieking adolescent girl.
It got me wondering about the source of that appeal. Don’t get me wrong. Soap actors are gorgeous – washboard abs seem to be a job requirement – and from my own experience back in the 90s, most are incredibly nice to boot. But lets be real: It takes more than good looks and politeness to turn the average, sane woman into a quivering mass.
I’d say it comes not from the actors themselves, but from the lines they deliver on screen. Lines like, “I can’t stop thinking about you.” And “you’re driving me insane.” Lines that say, “I may be a ruthless mob boss/underworld spy/police commissioner/rock star/multi-millionaire businessman, but in my mind, it’s all about you.”
The soap hero may be immersed in a world of intrigue, but the most important thing in that world is always, always his woman. These guys will stare longingly into your eyes over countless candle-lit dinners, yet they rarely seem to eat a bite — or for that matter, watch TV, go out to sports bars with their buddies, or even hit the gym to work on those abs. They rarely complain about their jobs, back pain or mounting bills, yet they will talk endlessly about their feelings for you. And when you’re not around, they’ll tell their friends how completely whipped they are. Often, they will spend weeks, months or even years trying to get you in the sack, down the aisle and into their lives forever, devising ingenious, labyrinthine plots solely for that purpose. In short, they’re like no real man we’ve ever met. And we kinda love them for it, don’t we?
Who is your favorite soap hunk – and what it is it about him that you adore the most?
Alison, I can answer that question. My favorite soap hunk is Jason Morgan from General Hospital…with a nickname like STONE COLD and eyes as blue as the Caribbean Sea, what’s not to like? This suspense gal loves antiheroes with an Uzi and killer smile!
Suspense writer Alison Gaylin is the author of HIDE YOUR EYES, which was nominated for an Edgar in the “Best First Novel” category and its critically acclaimed sequel YOU KILL ME. She used her 15 years’ experience as an entertainment journalist to write her first standalone (and first hardcover) TRASHED — a thriller revolving around the tabloid industry. TRASHED received strong reviews and is now out in paperback. Her latest novel, the standalone HEARTLESS came out in hardcover in September and is currently in bookstores.
Called a “spine-tingler of a thriller” by the Chicago Sun-Times, HEARTLESS centers around a soap opera magazine writer, whose romantic trip to Mexico goes very, very wrong. It is available in hardcover from NAL/Obsidian at a bookstore near you.
Posted in Alison Gaylin, Heartless, K.J. Howe, Soap Operas