Friday, July 10, 2009

Interview Y&R: Eileen Davidson: Author, Part 2

Eileen Davidson has plenty of material from which to draw when it comes to writing a juicy story. After all, she has been on the No. 1-rated soap for about 15 years. As Ashley Abbott on “The Young and the Restless” (as well as starring on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of Our Lives” and “Santa Barbara”), Eileen’s character has seen her fair share of turmoil, intrigue, death and betrayal.

Eileen combined her love of soaps and her love of books into a successful foray into the world of murder-mystery novels. Her second book, “Dial Emmy for Murder,” was released last month, and she is hard at work on the third in the series. She was excited to discuss her latest project.

Have you always been specifically a mystery fan, or just a general book-lover?
Eileen Davidson: “I’ve always been very well read. I was reading a lot of spiritual and self-help books for many years, and it was very heavy. One day I just picked up a mystery novel when I was on vacation, and I thought, ‘This is so much fun!’ I got hooked on the whole genre. I was a writer when I was in high school, and I had always wanted to get back into writing. I do have an interest in forensics, a lot of the cold-case shows and A&E shows about solving murders. Combining that with what I do for a living seemed like a natural fit. People can get a bird’s-eye view of what we do for a living over here, and it’s also wrapped up in the intriguing world of forensics.”

Is there a bit of Eileen Davidson in the novel’s heroine, Alexis Peterson?
E.D.: “Stephen Colbert talks about ‘truthiness,’ and with these books, there’s a lot of truthiness in them. It’s a lot of truth, a lot of fiction, a lot of my own experiences with a twist. It’s a combination of everything — a truth-and-fiction stew.”

Are you working with author Robert Randisi on this second book as well?
E.D.: “Yes. He knows this form of writing very well; I know the soap-opera world very well. We work very well together. When I get pages back from him, they sound like he just finished writing a Western, so I am like, ‘OK, this does not sound like something a woman would say,’ and he says, ‘That’s what I have you for.’ So I rewrite it and put a female tone to it.”

What can you tell me about the third book?
E.D.: “The third book is leaning more toward romance, so it’s going to be a mystery/romance novel. I’m putting in more romance, but it’s weird. I’m not sure how to do it. I draw a lot of innuendo, but wonder, Am I really supposed to start to use certain body-part words when I write it? So I am kind of getting used to that sort of thing, and where to draw the line with that.
“The book opens at Hugh Hefner’s mansion at the Halloween party he has every year. Alexis is there, of course, and there is a murder at the mansion. It’s called ‘Diva Las Vegas,’ because the story ends up taking Alexis to Las Vegas. My husband (Vince Van Patten) came up with that title.”

Would you like to see your series of books turned into a television serial or miniseries?
E.D.: “Absolutely. We’re trying to make something happen with that right now, which is interesting, because everyone says that this genre is dying. But it’s still alive and kicking; we’re still here. But yes, we are pursuing it.”

Is there an indefinite number to the series?
E.D.: “We’re going to see how they sell and go from there. I can’t believe I got one book out, the fact that I have two books in the can is amazing. Anything else at this point is just gravy.”

“Dial Emmy for Murder” can be found at your local retailer or any online book outlet.