Friday, July 2, 2010

Secrets, Scandals and Lies

As per TV Guide:

Cool news for fans of Days of Our Lives' John and Marlena...they're coming back! Only you won't find 'em on your TV. The legendary supercouple — played by Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall, who were axed in 2008 to cut production costs — will be among several MIA Days characters who appear in a new potboiler novel called Salem's Secrets, Scandals and Lies (Sourcebooks, Inc.). Due in November, just in time for the soap's 45th anniversary, the book is by former Days head writer Sheri Anderson, who will reveal what's been happening to Jarlena since the characters split town. She'll also bring us up to date on such other Salem expats as Belle, Shawn, Patch and Eric.

"I love this kind of writing because it gives me total freedom with the characters," says Anderson. "I can take them to any lavish locale in the world and I don't have to worry about budget restrictions or actor contracts!" She'll focus the book — the first of at least three — on a brand-new character, teen heiress Charlotte "Charley" Gaines, who is the daughter of a notorious Bernie Madoff-type crook. Or so she thinks. After her mother dies in a car crash in Monaco, Charley finds out that her true birth parents hail from Salem. "Charley is gorgeous, spirited, independent and still a virgin —for the moment anyway," Anderson says.

The books will take place in the same basic time frame as the current Days plots. "I keep the show up to speed on what I'm doing so I don't contradict their storytelling," she says. "As a fan of soaps, it drives me crazy when continuity is wrong." Might Charley actually appear in the flesh on Days some day? "I would love it," says Anderson. "But I understand as well as anyone that head writers don't want to be told that they have to use a character. If they read my books and decide they'd like to use Charley I'm all for it. The needs of the show come first."

Anderson doesn't consider her sexy tomes to be romance novels. "Those tend to be a bit on the soft side," she says. "These books are a little more daring and edgy than that." And they may get a rise out of certain Days fans. Case in point: Anderson will have Charley develop an attraction for the very married Shawn!


My thoughts:

I'm always leary of books that take off from a popular series or movie and have original characters put into them. This reminds me of Alexandra Ripley's sequel of Gone With the Wind that practically made Scarlett and Rhett unrecognizable and had a lot of extra original characters in it that I could have cared less about. So this Charley chick better have a lot of charisma to win me over. Can't imagine when John and Marlena managed to have this love child come out from nowhere. She had the "alien twins" during her missing it probably wasn't then unless she truly was a baby-making machine.

Also, I wonder how well John and Marlena will do on paper without Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn to give them life. Soap characters, in my opinion, often become popular through the skill of the actors that play them combined with good story. While most DAYS fans know that Sheri Anderson is an excellent headwriter, her skills will really come to the test as a novelist to make this work.

At any rate, you will be sure to find a book review here on DAYS OutTakes.

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