book, Soap Suds, debuts on June 14, 2005. She is
featured in the June issue of Romantic
Times Book Club. Several book reviews have already
been done- Harriet
Klausner's Review, Fresh
Fiction (includes photo), ABC7Chicago,
Weekly (scroll almost to bottom).
There will be
several book signing events as well:
- Borders Books and Music,
North State Street, Chicago, June 16
& Noble, Mall of America, Bloomington, IL, June 18
- Waldenbooks, North East
Mall, Hurst, TX, June 19
- Borders Books & Music,
Preston Rd., Dallas, TX, June 20
Brentwood Bookstore, Beverly Hills, CA, June 22
Bookstore, Pasadena, CA, June 23
- Tecolote Bookstore, Santa
Barbara, CA, June 25
Soap Star Hughes Pens New
Novel About The Soaps: Staying Alive star Finola
Hughes has added novelist to her impressive resume after
co-authoring a new book poking fun at the world of daytime
The actress, who lampooned soap operas in comedy movie Soapdish in 1991 and has since become a regular on US
daytime hits All My Children and General
Hospital, has penned Soapsuds
with ghostwriter DIGBY DIEHL (corr).
But she insists soap fans looking for dirt on her co-stars
won't find any in the book- it's all fiction. The
British actress says, "There is not one true person
there, so I have no worries of offending anyone."
Hughes is so convinced the book will be a hit when it hits
stores next week (14 JUN 05), she has already started work
on a sequel. (Contactmusic.com, 6/13/05)
Flirts With Fiction, Starting QVC Jewelry Line in August
Arlington Heights, Ill. Jun 30, 2005): She knew who was
responsible for Michael Cambias' disappearance, but she
didn't want to tell anyone. So Anna Devane left
Pine Valley for Paris. Well, actually, she left
ABC for The Style Channel.
Emmy Award-winning actress Finola Hughes, who played
Devane on both "All My Children" and
"General Hospital," walked out on a successful
career in daytime television in 2003 for something she
was much more passionate about- fashion. Today,
the 44-year-old London native hosts the makeover show
"How Do I Look?" on The Style Channel (the new
season began June 20) and will start selling her own
line of jewelry on QVC in August.
But her life as a soap star isn't completely behind her.
As a tribute to her 18 years in the business, Hughes has
co-written a book, "Soapsuds," with former
"Santa Barbara" soap opera writer Digby Diehl
(Ballantine Books, $23.95).
The book is about- what
else? -a young, insecure, British-born actress who joins
the cast of a soap opera. Sound familiar?
She admits the characters are based on real people and
the lead character is "pretty much" her. But
she refused to identify the book's other recognizable
characters, including the aging diva (Susan Lucci?), or
the hot male co-star (Vincent Irizarry?).
What do her former
co-stars think of this book? So far, Hughes says she
hasn't heard from anyone. "I heard from a
crew member yesterday and she said, 'You brat!'"
Hughes said. So that means the stories are true?
"I'm not going to
say," Hughes replies, smiling smugly. That
means yes, they are true!
no. It really is fiction," she insists, becoming
serious. Just as in real soap operas, Hughes said
her characters and stories are exaggerated for the sake
of the story.
"(The characters) are kind of an amalgamation of
people I've met over the years," she says. "I
like to exaggerate. It's funny, and it helps people
understand what I was feeling at the time."
Like the movie "Soapdish" (a film Hughes
actually had a small role in), the characters in
"Soapsuds" have crazy personalities and
personal lives that create a soap opera of their own.
Since it's based on reality, the book offers soap fans
some interesting insights- such as what really happens
during those steamy love scenes.
Staying Alive co-star- Originally a dancer, Hughes
achieved stardom through acting. She was an original
cast member in "Cats" and debuted on screen in
the 1983 movie "Staying Alive," opposite John
Travolta. Eventually landing the role of
international spy and police chief Anna on "General
Hospital" in 1985, she later left the show and,
after a break from soaps, jumped to "All My
Children" in 1999.
But by 2003, Hughes had grown tired of the soap opera
life. At one point, the writers had her playing twins,
which she remembers as being "awful."
"I was terrible at it," she says. When
her contract was up, Hughes decided to make a career
doing what she has loved to do since she was a punk rock
teen growing up in London- shop, write and critique
While she's done some other TV work in the past two
years, including a regrettable stint hosting the
controversial reality show, "Who's Your
Daddy?" her main gig is on The Style Channel.
The career change seems to agree with her. During a
recent stop in Chicago, Hughes looked fabulous, dressed
in a girly, tan and white short-sleeved Paetro Zillia
jacket with a matching pleated skirt.
She was personable and funny with fans, many of whom
greeted her by saying, "I loved you as Anna!"
Some were surely taken aback by how tiny she is. Soaking
wet, Hughes probably weighs all of 90 pounds. Her bio
puts her at 5-foot-5 but that must have included her
Outside of work, Hughes spends time with her husband and
two children- a 4-year-old son, Dylan, and a newly
adopted 10-month- old boy, Cash (both named after famous
musicians). The family is building a new home in Los
Angeles, which of course will include a ridiculously
huge closet for Hughes' clothes collection.
While in town, Hughes couldn't resist popping over to
the Marshall Fields on State Street to do a little
shopping, even though there wasn't really time in her
schedule for it. "I only had a minute... I
just wanted to see a few things," she reasoned.
Fashion and writing might
be fun for now, but soap opera characters have a
tendency to come back from the dead. Or in this case,
from Paris. "Am I shutting the door on
returning to soap operas one day? I don't know,"
she says. "Who knows? They might shut (the door) on
Finola's top four fashion
- Overalls: "Why do
people wear these when they go out? Basically,
you're supposed to paint in them."
- Flip flops:
"They're not for a business meeting with
clients. Not even the dressy ones. They're for the
- Sweats: "It's not
so much the Juicy Couture (sweats). Those are cute.
But when they wear those enormous, thick, cotton
sweatshirts that say University of Chicago or
whatever ... people who wear them will say, 'I look
so bad.' Well, yeah! You're wearing 90 pounds of
clothes! To wear something that's larger than
yourself to make yourself look slimmer, well that's
just ridiculous. One person at a time, across
America, I'm going to get rid of sweats."
- Shorts: "I hate
shorts. They're for tennis."
Book Note: Hughes has authored a fictional
novel about a British stage actress who takes a role on a U.S. soap when her
beau dumps her. In her new career, the heroine alienates daytime's grande dame,
leading to backstage catfights. Likened to The Devil Wears Prada, Hughes'
book is slated for a spring 2005 printing. (SID 9/30/03)
Update- Finola's book can now be
pre-ordered on Amazon.