Chapter 1: Born to Perform
Over the course of the past fifteen years or so, different publishers and agents have reached out to me asking if I would be interested in writing a book. Each letter laid out the specific reasons why they believed people wanted to hear whatever it was I had to say. While I was flattered by their kind words, writing a memoir wasn't something I ever thought was in me. And, to be very honest, I didn't have the time it takes to sit down and write one. As a working actress, wife, mother, new grandmother and a businesswoman, I live with a very full schedule. Most of the time I feel like I've been shot out of a cannon. I spend a great many days reading and memorizing scripts, creating the nuances that bring the dialogue and Erica Kane to life, and then I fill it all up with acting. On top of that, I'm attending design meetings for my products on HSN, I'm taking voice lessons, doing interviews, talk-show appearances and trying to squeeze in my morning workouts somewhere between 4 and 5 in the morning! When I am not working, I am traveling for work or spending time with my family. I am always moving forward, so I wasn't sure that there would ever be a good time...or any time to look back. Those moments of reflection or "savoring the moment" have been few and far between for me.
There were many times when my makeup artist Robin Ostrow and my hairstylist Joyce Corollo, from the New York team at All My Children, also encouraged me to write a book, because people who knew we worked together always asked them questions about me. Robin and Joyce were constantly coming to me with different ideas about what I should write. They talked about fashion, health, beauty and inspirational stories from my life. They were very encouraging, but at the time I still wasn't completely convinced that writing a book was the right thing for me.
In late 2009, I agreed to do a charity event for Francesca James, one of the legendary actresses of All My Children. She played the dual role of Kitty and Kelly. She auctioned off a handwritten letter from me answering whatever questions the winning fan wanted to ask. When I received the questions, I wanted to take the time to sit down and thoughtfully answer them. At first, it was just one of many tasks I had to do that day—something else on my already piled-high and overflowing plate. Much to my surprise, though, answering the questions was really fun and intriguing despite the tremendous time constraints. One of the questions this person asked was "What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not playing Erica Kane?" I love those types of questions because they allow me to be spontaneous in my response. I've always liked flying by the seat of my pants. Answering that letter opened me up, maybe for the first time ever, as I suddenly found myself thinking about the process of writing and what it would really take to someday author a book.