Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Strempek Shea’

SOAP OPERA CONFIDENTIAL: Writers & Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of our LivesCo-Edited by Elizabeth Searle & Suzanne Strempek Shea

Out Now from McFarland Books!  Featured in The Reminder newspaper and in SOAPS IN DEPTH national magazine!


In this new Soapy anthology, writers and ‘soap insiders’ discuss their shared love of Soap Operas!  This book features authors like bestsellers Elinor Lipman and Ann Hood and Leigh Montville and Suzanne Strempek Shea, author-actress Marianne Leonne, soap icons Thorsten Kaye and Soap writer/actress Louise Shaffer, editors from Soaps in Depth plus Celebs in Disgrace blogger, me!

Check out our Facebook Page, our recent Book Launch on April 30th at Newtonville Books near Boston and our other upcoming readings in Northampton, MA; Portland, ME and Washington DC.  Soap fans and book readers, STAY TUNED!

(photos: Helen Peppe; Thorsten Kaye: GoogleImages; CBS.com)

Elizabeth and Suzanne are co-editors and Soap Fan soul sisters

Thorsten Kaye, star of The Bold & The Beautiful and contributor to SOAP OPERA CONFIDENTIAL



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Dark Yet Perky: Elizabeth’s Blog Book Tour by Elizabeth Searle

Welcome to my ‘Blog Book Tour’; happy to discuss my works-in-progress here and to introduce three scribes on the rise.  THANKS, first, to PAULA TREICK DeBOARD, who asked me to take part in this ‘blog book tour.’  Paula is a stellar novelist and a Stoneocast MFA alum. I knew the minute I read Paula’s workshop work that she is a born storyteller who won’t let you go once you start her compelling tales.

Check out Paula’s blog and Blog Book Tour answers:  Live from the Bean (Go, Paula!)

Suzanne Strempek Shea and me at Stonecoast MFA this summer

Suzanne Strempek Shea (right) and me at Stonecoast MFA this summer, 2014

Paula kindly ‘passed the torch’ and a Book Tour question-list to me.  In the Blog Book Tour, writers answer the questions below on their blogs and tap other writers to do the same.  So I’m happy to answer these questions below, then to introduce three terrific authors whose answers I will be eager to read: Suzanne Strempek Shea, Matthew Phillion and Eugenio Volpe.  All have new books out!

First: my own answers to the Blog Tour’s four questions:


This will be my longest answer because I am always juggling many balls:

Bravo Sierra Pictures & Creatrix Films are 'developing' my first novel as a feature film

My first novel is being ‘developed’ as a feature film

*A NOVEL set on the night of the Boston Marathon bombing man-hunt, centering on one messily ‘blended family,’ a Birth Night gone wrong and a stepson on the run.  The novel alternates between a husband and wife– two characters I’ve written about for almost as many years as I’ve been married myself.  I have always wanted to take a Birth Night and the ‘stages of labor’ and concoct a novel around that.  I didn’t know this novel would also wind up involving the horrifying and riveting Boston bomber man-hunt.  But I’ve felt compelled to set my tale on that unforgettable night, since I  live in a suburb of Boston that was ‘locked down.’  I take the title of this novel-to-be from a ‘Tweet’ sent out by Mayor Tom Menino after the capture of the bombing suspect: “We Got Him”.

*THREE PERSONAL ESSAYS which will come out in THREE FORTHCOMING ANTHOLOGIES in 2015: Paper Camera from New Rivers Press; an anthology edited by Elizabeth Benedict from Algonquin Press and an anthology edited by Nina Gaby from She Writes Press titled Dumped: Women Unfriending Women, about female friendships run aground.  Also we have a reading coming up in October from my most recent anthology, Knitting Yarns, edited by Ann Hood with a super group of fellow contributors.

The LA stars of Tonya & Nancy with me in Feb 2014

The LA stars of Tonya & Nancy with me in Feb 2014

*Several THEATER WORKS including the latest revisions on my ongoing theatrical adventure, TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA (see our Website).  I have written the libretto for a new classical opera, SEVEN RABBITS ON A POLE, based on the play by John Picardi.  Stay tuned.

*FILM SCRIPT revisions on an adaptation of my novel A FOUR-SIDED BED, which is being developed by a small film company,  Creatrix Films.  See the sizzler reel at www.afoursidedbed.com

*SHORT STORIES; I have two that I hope to finish to ‘finish’ a new collection…


As you can see above, I work in multiple genres.  In fiction and scriptwriting both, I aim for high intensity.  I crave a certain mix of tones that I call ‘Dark Yet Perky.’ (more…)

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As the Boston Bruins lost to the Montreal Canadiens in game seven of the semi-finals on the road to the Stanley Cup, Suzanne Strempek Shea consoled herself with memories of better Bruin days, including those she knew as a kid, when she fell in love with hockey during the reign of Bobby Orr. Here’s one of those memories.

baypathSuzanne Strempek Shea is the author of ten books, including the newly released “This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both.” www.suzannestrempekshea.com

Love on ice … at age 13 

by Suzanne Strempek Shea

“Watch out!”

My mother flung out her arm and knocked me back to the sidewalk. The big blue car that I’d almost stepped in front of rolled smoothly past us and down Causeway Street.

We’d traveled so far and I’d waited so long for this day, my mother reminded me. We were almost in the door of the Boston Garden and now I was going to get myself killed.

“But, but…”bobbyorr

“But what?”

“But that was Bobby Orr!”

I was 13 years old an absolute nut for the Boston Bruins.

This was 1972, two years after the team had won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1941, and one year after its unsuccessful defense of it. But I was no fair-weather fan. I’d long before caught the bug from my father, who grew up playing hockey on the Chicopee River that marked the end of his dead-end Chicopee Falls street. He dated my mother at Springfield Indians games in the Coliseum, where team owner and former Bruin great Eddie

Shore regularly stalked around, shining a flashlight in the face of fans brazen enough to put their feet up on the chairs in front of them.

Winter nights, I’d fall asleep listening to our radio fuzzily picking up the Bruins games on Boston’s WBZ. In time, we purchased and hooked up in our attic a huge television antenna that was shaped like an arrow and pointed in the general direction of the other end of the state, and Boston. With the dawn of cable, we got our first clear and regular pictures of the Boston Bruins in action. My passion shifted into full gear. (more…)

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eric-braedenLet’s talk TV. Was anyone else sitting virtual vigil at the deathbed of Victor Newman, hero/villian of CBS’s top-rated THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS? Stellar writer and fellow Soap addict Suzanne Strempek Shea mourns A GUIDING LIGHT EXTINGUISHED in her excellent elegiac essay.

Sources now say Victor (aka Eric Braedon) really won’t walk out on his worldwide fans due to a pay cut. But with even top-rated Y&R forced to cut costs, with ratings in decline, Soaps face death by Reality TV. Maybe our endless supply of fresh ‘celebrities in disgrace’ is to blame. Are we all so addicted to real-life scandals we no longer thrill to made-up ones?

I for one can’t stomach Reality TV or revived game shows: too damn depressing. I can’t watch more than a few minutes without wondering queasily: who ARE these people? What Balloon-Boy-size case of Attention Desiring Disorder drove them to such extremes? Why is everyone following low-class real-life jerks like Jon Gosselin rather than classy larger-than-life jerks like Victor Newman? But maybe there’s something I’m missing in Reality-TV-land. Clue me in.

Which Reality shows do you watch?  Dancing With Stars? Real Housewives (I prefer the Desperate ones)? The new (do we really need a new) Let’s Make a Deal? What’s the fascination– and, Victor or no Victor, can Soaps survive?

PS: thanks to Caitlin for this cool link on Roger Thorpe on “Guiding Light” PPS: And thanks to Mark for further insight into fame-seeking/Attention Desiring Disorder.
photo: Eric Braedon, the one and only Victor Newman: NNDB.com

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