Having achieved success with her first novel, Death in Daytime, Eileen Davidson (Ashley, YOUNG AND RESTLESS) has released her second in a series of murder mystery novels for Penguin Books, Dial Emmy for Murder. This time around, lead character Alexis Peterson is onstage at the Daytime Emmy Awards, but her co-star and co-presenter Jackson Masters is nowhere in sight. Turns out he’s dead. Davidson discusses life as an author and how she balances it with her daytime gig.Soap Opera Weekly: How does Dial Emmy for Murder differ from your first book, Death in Daytime?
Eileen Davidson: Well, it’s the same basic cast of characters, but a different story.
Weekly: Do you like this book better than your first one?
Davidson: There are certain elements I like better, because the first book was the first book. I was just kind of finding my way. I’m a little bit more confident and sure of myself, now. Bob Randisi, my writing partner, and I write more together, and I’m trusting the experience more than I did before. Dial Emmy for Murder is better than the first book in certain ways. In form, I like it better. But it’s hard not to love your first book.
Weekly: Let’s talk about your wearing the author hat. What’s that been like for you?
Davidson: I love it. I’m having a great time. It’s an amazing experience you can only dream about happening.
Weekly: How do you find the time to write with a full-time job and front-burner storyline on YOUNG AND RESTLESS?
Davidson: It’s so interesting. It’s only time-consuming in spurts, because I have a writing partner. Like with the third book, which I’m in the middle of right now, I had a very strong idea of the story and what I wanted to do. So I wrote the first five chapters and e-mailed them to Bob. Then Bob wrote several more chapters and sent it back to me. Two weeks ago, I was writing every day; rewriting and changing what Bo had written back to me, because I didn’t think it tracked. I e-mailed it back to him with my changes. Then he made changes to my stuff. It’s a collaborative experience.
Weekly: So you’re not on any real writing schedule?
Davidson: Well, sometimes I have to e-mail Bob and say, “When are you going to get those pages back to me? Because I work every day next week and won’t be able to get to them for a while.” In the beginning, it was very hard for me. I tend to be little more controlling. I need to figure out what I’m doing and when. I’ve learned I have to be a little bit more spontaneous. As soon as I see a window of time, I need to get the kids out of the house and lock the door and write. Four hours at a time is a good thing for me. I can usually get quite a few pages done.
Weekly: Do you ever write at the studio on a workday?
Davidson: I do. Sometimes, when I have a long day, I’ll bring my computer in and write in between scenes.
Weekly: What kind of feedback have you been getting from fans about all of this?
Davidson: It’s been supportive. I’ve gotten a lot of people coming up to me, asking me questions. “When is the second book coming out?” “How did this whole thing get started?”
Weekly: Did you expect the venture to be so successful?
Davidson: It’s already exceeded my expectations by a thousandfold. Now it’s just a matter of keeping it up.