Tossed Off the Edge
The soap opera known as The Edge of Conflict has been keeping viewers tuned in every afternoon since 1970. The show was centered on the exploits and troubles of the very rich Knight Family of Hillvale. At the heart of this long-running drama is Regina, played by soap diva Sheila Wozniak, who grew from troubled teen to matriarch over the decades. Wozniak has won many awards, and once had an enormous fan base.
However, as times have changed and soap opera audiences have dwindled, Wozniak found that her influence with the network and the international soap company Poplar & Grindle had waned just like her fan base. Refusing to change along with the show’s producers, she finds that she has been fired. There will be no more Regina, and to make her understand that they no longer want her, her televised funeral turns out to be an on-air cremation. There was no way for her to escape the flames.
With very little acting experience outside of her four-decade role, Sheila Wozniak is unsure what to do next until a publishing house comes calling and asks her to write her memoirs. She is a drinker not a writer; so she hires her favorite former head writer from The Edge of Conflict to ghost write her autobiography.
The fun ensues almost immediately as Ms. Wozniak, ever the dramatic diva, goes into detail about her past. Due to the many years of playing the same character and being a fan of TV herself, she tells her story, leaving the reader entertained but wondering if she really was married to a successful Madison Avenue advertising agent (Bewitched) followed by a marriage to a successful California architect with three sons (The Brady Bunch) or went on a spiritual pilgrimage to Puerto Rico (The Flying Nun). From the book: “Regina Knight Harrison Donavan Taylor Donavan McDonald McDonald Woodward Merriweather Todd’s funeral was held on channel seven at 1:00 p.m. local time in every time zone across the country. If you had ever watched daytime TV between 1970 until her demise, you couldn’t have missed her. She was blond and dramatic, and she had been shot, paralyzed, kidnapped, raped and tortured numerous times. On her better days, she had given or received a number of internal organs, suffered heart attacks and endured a radical mastectomy… In spite of all the difficulties, Regina maintained a strong faith in the power of love. She was a one-man woman in spite of having been married nine times to seven different husbands who got younger and younger as Regina aged.
For readers who thrive on an actor’s conflicts with ungrateful children, they won’t be disappointed since Miss Wozniak is under the impression that Mommie Dearest was intended to be a guide to raising children!