Thursday, May 10, 2012


First a little note from Kyra Davis: New York Times bestselling author, Alina Adams is a close personal friend and a bit of a mentor of mine. She's published romances, mysteries, non-fiction figure skating books, soap opera tie-in books and now enhanced ebooks (ebooks that include videos). She also produces enhanced ebooks for other authors.. Oh and she's a blogger,  a mother of three and a regular contributor to Mommy Poppins. In other words, she's busy. But she still had time to write a guest blog for us here. So without further ado: Alina Adams:

I realize that a Happily Ever After is mandatory.  Hey, I like a Happily Ever After as well as the next girl.  (Though, with one of my books, “Annie’s Wild Ride,” there was a rather vigorous debate on-line as to whether my hero and heroine would be able to stick it out for the long haul.  My personal feeling?  No.  Sorry.)

But, here’s the thing.  If I’ve just invested three hundred pages into falling in love with a couple, I want to know what happens post-Happily Ever After.  (I.e. I came for the wedding and brought a nice gift.  Why can’t I come on the honeymoon, too?)

I suspect my desire for seeing the story continue comes from thirty years of watching soaps.  And almost twenty years of working in them.  I started at ABC Daytime, then moved over to As the World Turns and Guiding Light.  I produced the official websites and wrote tie-in novels like “Oakdale Confidential,” “The Man From Oakdale,” and “Jonathan’s Story” (with Julia London). 

And I dealt with the fans.  On Message Boards, through e-mail, at Fan Club Events.  And here is what I learned: Fans have very strong opinions about what they want to happen next with their favorite characters.  And their ideas aren’t bad.  (Also, their ideas are wildly divergent.  For everyone who loves A with B, there’s someone who loves A with C.  Not to be confused with those who love C with B.  Or those who think all three are getting way too much airtime over D, E and F.)

In 2009, while still at P&G Productions, I developed a property called, a twice-weekly serial where, at the end, the readers got to vote on what they wanted to see happen next.

It was a fascinating process to watch.  Not only was there no such thing as a landslide win for any poll, but some would literally flip-flop for days between 49% percent pro and 51% con, and vice versa.  (Seriously the 2000 presidential election was less contested.)

This basically meant that, whatever I ultimately did, half my audience would be unhappy with the result.  There’s no business like show business, I guess!

Knowing this going in, I did what any self-destructive (er, I meant self-respecting, I’m sure) writer with hopes of a long-term, successful career would do: I created my own original book series, putting the power of plotting into the hands of my readers.  (I also prayed a lot and wondered what the hell I was thinking.)

Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One)” is currently out on Amazon.  At the end, there are links to click (God, I love technology) for readers to express their opinions about what should happen next.  When “Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume Two)” is released next month, their suggestions will be incorporated.  And so on into Volume Three.  And Four.  And…

How hard could that be?

Write a book a month, taking into consideration wildly different opinions, while keeping everyone equally happy.

Yup.  I think I meant self-destructive, after all.

Alina Adams is the New York Times’ best selling author of soap opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries, and romances, including Annie’s Wild Ride and When a Man Loves a Woman.  Her latest project is Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga.  In addition to turning her own backlist into enhanced e-books, she has produced enhanced e-books for others, including Dan Elish, whose middle-grade fantasy novel, The Worldwide Dessert Contest, now includes its own original musical score.  Learn more at


Diane Kelly said...

Very interesting blog post! The split feedback is interesting. Probably half the world wants a happy ending even if it's not real, and the other half wants a realistic ending even if it's not happy. I can see how hard that would be!

Alina Adams said...

Hi, Diane!

Yes, the split feedback can drive a writer a bit wacky.

Just today on my message board,, I got the following comments within a minute of each other:

1) Matt and Donna......all is right in Another World. Thank you Ms. Alina. Again.......DONNA AND MATT...

2) Ugh, Matt and the viper can go jump into the bay. Now. Today. Just. Go. Away! Matt will NEVER be interesting if he has to deal with that albatross around his neck. Please, Alina and Nicole, FREE MATT!

What's a writer to do, LOL?

Thanks for reading and commenting!