Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva

Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva

A Novel

  • reading group guide
Calysta Jeffries is the hottest black actress in daytime and the diva of the soap opera world, known for her role as Ruby Stargazer on television’s most popular soap opera, "The Rich and the Ruthless."

After fifteen years, three returns from the dead, two failed pregnancies, one alien abduction, and overcoming retrograde amnesia, Calysta still hasn’t managed to snag the biggest award in daytime drama: the Sudsy. Now is supposed to be her moment. But Calysta’s onscreen/offscreen rival Emmy Abernathy wins the award for the fourth time. The drama begins when journalist Mitch Morelli asks Calysta for a quote after the award show and her true feelings for her costar slip out.

Ripped from the headlines of Soap Opera Digest and straight off of the television screen, Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva will give readers plenty to talk about as they try to guess where the real world ends and Rowell’s imagination begins.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439164846 | 
  • May 2010
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Video

Victoria Rowell Unveils Calysta Jeffries, star of her new Novel Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva

Victoria Rowell gives us a peak behind-the-scenes in the soap opera world of her protagonist and alter-ego, Calysta Jeffries.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Victoria Rowell. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva tells the story of Calysta Jeffries, an actress who plays onscreen soap diva Ruby Stargazer on television’s popular soap opera, The Rich and the Ruthless. The story begins at the Sudsy Awards, the fictional version of the Daytime Emmy Awards. Calysta is up for best actress and after fifteen years of hard work and good acting, she deserves it. The drama unfolds when the award goes to Calysta’s onscreen/offscreen rival Emmy Abernathy. What follows is a dramatic, passionate, emotional and hilarious story of one woman’s journey to make amends with the past and discover what it means to be happy and fulfilled.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

  1. The story opens at the Sudsy Awards with Augustus Barringer whispering predictions to Calysta: “The night belongs to you, kid . . . I can feel it” (p. 3). Did this opening scene assure you of Calysta’s win, or did you get the sense she would lo
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About the Author

Victoria Rowell
Photograph by Michael Helms

Victoria Rowell

Victoria Rowell, best known as Drucilla Winters on The Young and the Restless, is the author of Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Women Who Raised Me, received The African American Literary Award and two NAACP Image Award nominations. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva?

A. "Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva" is a novel I've been slowly writing for ten years - inspired by working in daytime off and on for over two decades, having had the privilege of working on three different soap operas in that span, and here's a little trivia for you... Who remembers me as Georgette the Chauffeurette in my soap opera debut in a New York City-based sudser? You also may remember me in 'As The World Turns' in the late eighties, and most notably as feisty fashionista Drucilla Winters on 'The Young and the Restless' for seventeen years. Due to overwhelming demand I decided to complete "Secrets" while I was on the road with my New York Times' Bestselling memoir, "The Women Who Raised Me".

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