A ‘Soap’ Reunion

I promised myself that I wouldn’t post about a Soap reunion that took place last night, simply because I didn’t think I had any right to intrude on a personal, private event.

But then Jay Johnson did what he always does – he crafted an eloquent blog post about it that is at times funny, poignant and deeply touching. (Sample a few of his posts at random – you’ll see that he has a knack for this.) I’m also very honored by what Jay wrote about the book.

So enough of my ramblings, let’s get to the good stuff right here.


Mystery Solved: The ‘Second Mary’


Those of you who’ve read Soap: The Inside Story… will know that, aside from the question “What would’ve happened in Season 5,” one of the greatest enduring mysteries was the identity of the “Second Mary.”

There were three actresses cast in the role of Mary Campbell: First Salome Jens, then another, before the choice of Cathryn Damon was made. And ironically, it was that second actress who was pictured in the infamous Newsweek article (see photo above) that “launched a thousand protests.”

That second actress was Sally Kemp. { personal site  { IMDB

Yesterday, Associate Producer Marsha Posner Williams compared notes with Ted Wass (Danny), who came up with the name; it was then confirmed by Director Jay Sandrich.

It’s so nice to finally have that mystery solved. Now, about Season 5…


Book Soup Event Recap


L to r: Robert Mandan (Chester), director Jay Sandrich, some goon, 
Jay Johnson (Chuck & Bob) 
©WayneWilliamsStudio.com 2014

As you can imagine, I’m still processing everything that went on during our all-too-brief trip to Los Angeles. And as you can tell from the photo above, some very special people turned up for the event.

We showed up at Book Soup just a few minutes before the 4 PM event time (bad form I know, but the LA traffic caught us completely off guard) in a pretty flustered state, so much so that we forgot to, well, turn the car off after we had unloaded the books inside the store. Not to worry, it was only running for about 5 minutes, but still.

Yet once inside we calmed down immediately thanks to Book Soup’s Amelia Cone and Molly (whose last name I did not catch, sorry Molly!), who put us at our ease.

To be honest, much of what happened next was kind of a blur. There was a pretty good turnout for the talk, which put to rest one fear I had – a big thank you to everyone who showed up, including Soap associate producer Marsha Posner Williams and her husband, Wayne (whom we have to thank for these photos, by the way. Thanks, Wayne) 🙂

I began with an exploration of the controversy that surrounded the show, and read a short bit from the book about the cast and crew settling in at Bob Seagren’s house to watch the Soap premiere (pp. 61-63).

We then opened the floor to questions and personal recollections of Soap, which quickly turned into a great little discussion about this wonderful show. One of the highlights was from a fellow who grew up in Wisconsin and bonded with his father over Soap, much to his mother’s chagrin at the time.

During the talk, Marsha glanced out the window and broke into a great big smile, the reason for which I saw a moment later when in walked Jay Johnson, Jay Sandrich and Robert Mandan! We all proceeded to listen fascinated as the three new arrivals and Marsha reminisced over the making of the show – just a splendid back and forth between them all. During this, they also took questions from the audience.

After they left, the event moved to the back of the store where I signed a few books…and Pamela bought a few others (have to watch that Amelia, she’ll find just the right book for you). Meanwhile, Molly and I bonded over our love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (What, I can’t like other shows, too?)

Many thanks to Gary and Gregory, Derek and Ray, and so many others, including Soap font of wisdom Jeff Krueger. We really couldn’t have asked for a better evening.


L to r: Robert Mandan, Jay Sandrich, some goon, Marsha Posner Williams
Jay Johnson ©WayneWilliamsStudio.com 2014

Brief Note

Hi all. Just wanted to say thank you once again for all the support for the book, and for last week’s Book Soup event. We returned from LA late last night, and today will be spent frantically trying to catch up on day-job work, I’m afraid.

I just wanted you all to know that I’ll get back on top of emails, blog comments, etc. tomorrow as time permits. And of course I will also fill you in on all the Soap-related events that took place over our far-too-brief trip. Suffice it to say that everyone we encountered was extremely kind to us, and went out of their way to show us a good time. Lovely people every one of them. In that respect they remind me very much of the people who have written in to this blog over the years 🙂

More soon,


The ‘Soap’ Book is Done

Quite frankly I never thought I’d be able to say it,  but there we are. After one last marathon session, Pamela and I uploaded the book to the publisher last night. People, it’s done 🙂

Many of you know just how long and hard this project was to complete, with all of the work of writing and designing being squeezed in between “day job” work, evenings and weekends. As always, thank you to everyone who has rooted for its completion. You know, despite the five years it took to finish, I don’t recall a single person griping about the long gestation. That meant everything to me.

So What’s Next?

Well, with any luck, this baby gets printed in the next couple of weeks or so and the people who pre-ordered it will receive a copy to call their own. As always, orders can be placed here, or soon on Amazon.

In the meantime, there are a couple of things that need doing this week:

1) Update the cover image on the blog. A few days ago Pamela got inspired and tweaked the cover a bit, for the better, I think.

2) More preview pages. We’ll upload a few more spreads from the book, as well as the back cover. It’s a little difficult deciding what to share because the sections I’m most proud of are also the ones that I want people to be pleasantly surprised to find while reading it. I don’t really want to “give everything away in the movie trailer,” you know? Still, nice problem to have.

3) Launch party. We’ve never really had one for one of our books before, so we’re hoping to put something together for this one. We had some tentative plans to do something in LA…we’ll see if that’s still doable.

All right, everybody, take a deep breath. Now the fun begins 🙂

All the best,