The 2010 paperback edition of Delusions of Grandeur featured my friend, model, Katharina Linke by Michael Williams. The photo was meant to depict "Alexandra" in an important plot point in the story.
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 Opera 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 was 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.
Donald & Ivana Trump were my inspiration for "Garrison & Ingrid Steele"
On the day one of our friends died in a tragic car accident, Jennifer learned she had won the role of Morgan on Guiding Light replacing Kristin Vigard.
The new Kelly & Morgan became the shows most popular couple. John Wesley Shipp is not only a great actor. He is an incredible person.
Delusions opens and closes at The All Souls Church in Stony Brook, Long Island. My home town.
When the new Guiding Light writers fired Jennifer and wrote Morgan out of the story, Jennifer landed the starring role on NBC's "V" I called it "Beyond This Planet" in my story.
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.
In true soap opera fashion, Jennifer left acting and married the founder of Celestial Seasonings Tea.
In 2014 the paperback edition of Delusions of Grandeur went out of print and was remastered and rewritten to become part of the Shattered Delusions Trilogy.
Like many guys (and ladies) over 40, I have been up and down with that annoying and ever present 6-8 pounds away from my ideal healthy weight. I finally came to the not-so-shocking revelation that diet accounts for almost 80% of this end result. At least with me it does. I am one of those people who eats a handful of M&M's and are calling 1-800-Jenny! I am 6'1 and just under 180 which is where I plan to stay as I intensify my weight training cut-up routine.
It's lame I agree but it totally works! #bulldogs #priceless
Lets be real here. Mariah Carey has one of the most powerful voices in the universe. She holds the record for 18 #1 hits including "One Sweet Day" which for twenty years has been the longest running pop single in the history of the Billboard charts and the rock era. She came close to topping herself over a decade later with "We Belong Together" at 14 weeks.
With an operatic six-octave vocal range one has to wonder how such a talent could drown out that voice in meaningless hip-hop tracks that are interchangeable. On top of that, am I the only one who notices that this is actually her THIRD greatest hits set and an almost carbon copy of her LAST #1's set with a carbon copy cover.
No doubt she looks amazing then and now, but this writer thinks this singer is far too talented for recycled greatest hits CD's. And, needs to return to her great voice and transition into a classier version of herself.