Thursday, May 07, 2009

Writing the Eileen Davidson novels by Bob Randisi

The Eileen Davidson novels - by Bob Randisi

A few years ago, when I was writing poker mysteries with Vince Van Patten--child actor, at one time a top 25 tennis player, and now commentator on the World Poker Tour--I was having dinner at his house in Malibu. His beautiful wife, Soap Opera star Eileen Davidson, had cooked dinner for me and I had eaten with them and their family. Vince and I were discussing the book at the dining room table when Eileen called from the kitchen "Bob, when are we going to write a book together?." Thinking she was kidding I said, "As soon as Vince and I deliver this one we can talk about." Well, a few months later, after we had delivered the book (THE PICASSO FLOP), Eileen's manager emailed me and said Eileen wanted to talk about doing some books together.

So I called Eileen and she was serious. We discussed it for only a few minutes before we came up with a character—her! Well, almost her. The lead is a soap opera star named Alexis Petersen who is working on a show called “The Yearning Tide.” We discussed plot lines, I worked up a proposal and we sold it in a two book deal to the first publisher who looked at it, NAL. While we were writing the first book, DEATH IN DAYTIME, NAL dubbed their mystery line OBSIDIAN BOOKS, and that is the imprint under which the books are being published. DAYTIME came out last September to excellent reviews and good enough sales for NAL to sign us to a third.

Now the second book, DIAL EMMY FOR MURDER (Eileen’s title) is due out June 2nd, and we are writing the third. These books are legitimate collaborations, not celebrity books with Eileen’s name stamped on them. She came up with the plots for book 2 and 3, and started writing them. We work through emails and phone calls. (Vince did not use email very much, hence my two trips to Malibu to work with him.)

Here is what The Romantic Times just said about EMMY:

"Clean, crisp writing and an authentic voice make Davidson's second mystery featuring soap opera star Alexis Peterson fast-paced and funny. The author's background as a soap actress provides a delightfully wicked insider's view into the world of daytime dramas. With great pacing and plotting, this mystery will have readers eager for the next Alexis adventure."

And Harriet Klausner has given in 5 stars. You can see her review on B&

The books are fun and greatly benefit from Eileen’s experiences on “The Young and The Restless,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “The Bold and The Beautiful.”

Leaving my name off the cover was my choice. Seemed to make sense since I’m mostly associated with hardboiled work. You can find my name on the copyright page, though. But don’t tell anybody, okay?

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