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Carolyn Hennesy Interview: 'General Hospital' Star on Her Latest Book 'Pandora Gets Heart'

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Carolyn Hennesy

Carolyn Hennesy is probably best known as the sarcastic no-nonsense legal shark Diane Miller in the ABC daytime drama General Hospital. She also appears on the Wednesday night ABC sitcom Cougar Town, as scene-stealing Barb, the “Cougar Goddess,” who dishes up advice night and day on how to land a boy toy.

Hennesy writes when she’s not acting and has penned a series of books primarily aimed at tweens, but are enjoyed by all ages. They are based on the Greek mythological character Pandora – a 13-year-old Pandora brings a box containing all of the evil and misery in the world to school one day; the box is accidentally opened, the evils are released, and Pandy must recapture each evil that she has released upon humanity … and doesn’t have much time to get it done.

“The quest is getting harder, but Pandy and Co. are also growing and maturing with each adventure…I think it evens out.”

The first novel, Pandora Gets Jealous, was released in January of 2008; the second, Pandora Gets Vain, released August of 2008; and the third book in the series, Pandora Gets Lazy, came out in March of 2009.

Pandora Gets Heart, Hennesy’s latest offering, was published last month.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): This book is entitled Pandora Gets Heart, but she goes after the evil Lust. How do you write about Lust in a tween-targeted novel?

Carolyn Hennesy: Very carefully.  Fortunately, an idea presented itself concerning extremely important historic events … one major event in particular … for which the catalyst was pure lust.  It was easy to incorporate without ever “showing” lust in action.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Tell us about Pandora’s journey for the 4th evil.

Carolyn Hennesy: She’s in ancient Persia, dealing with evil princes, enchanted gardens and one seriously ticked off genie.  She also gets diverted on a very important “mini” quest.

Carolyn Hennesy

Carolyn Hennesy (Courtesy of Carolyn Hennesy)

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is the task for capturing evils getting harder and harder for Pandora as the series goes along?

Carolyn Hennesy: The quest is getting harder, but Pandy and Co. are also growing and maturing with each adventure. I think it evens out.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What is next for Pandora?

Carolyn Hennesy: Providing this quest is successful, she’s off to capture Greed.  But to find out where she’s headed, you’ll have to read book five!

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you plan on writing a different series when the seven Pandora books are finished? Is an animated series in the works?

Carolyn Hennesy: I have no plans for another series at the moment (I plan on sleeping a great deal!), but you never know.  And, yes, we are in the talking phase of taking Pandy to the big/little screen.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What authors have inspired you in your writing?

Carolyn Hennesy: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edith Wharton, the Brontes, Jane Austin, to name a few.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You have great chemistry onscreen with Alexis on General Hospital. Diane and Alexis have an uphill battle defending Sonny on murder charges. Will the dynamic legal duo be able to get Sonny acquitted?  I’d say, at the very least, the courtroom scenes should be very interesting … Alexis trying to keep things on the straight and narrow and Diane willing to stretch the law a bit to suit her needs.

Carolyn Hennesy: Are you really asking me to spoil the trial … really?  I do agree, this will be one of the most interesting chapters in Port Charles history, both professionally and personally for all concerned.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Ah, you can’t blame me for trying! You know, Diane is so loyal to Max; I believe she truly loves him. After all, when she thought he was impotent, she did everything she could to help him. But, do you think Diane could stand by her man for the long haul if there were no intimate relations there?

Carolyn Hennesy: Diane is a very tactile and sensual creature, so, as much as she loves her guy … the answer would be:  not on your life.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I’m thinking if we could get Lulu out of the picture, perhaps Diane could play “cougar” with Dante?

Carolyn Hennesy: Or Johnny … or Keifer … or Morgan … (okay, strike that last one.)

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Speaking of cougar, you are definitely a scene-stealer in Cougar Town. Any chance we could see more of you on the TV series? I’d love to see Barb swoop in and perhaps have an affair with Josh.

Carolyn Hennesy: As far as seeing more of me goes, you’d have to check with the writers (I serve at the pleasure of the king, as they say), But naturally, if I had my way, an affair with Josh would so delicious, wouldn’t it?

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you have any girlfriends who remind you of Courteney Cox or Busy Phillips?

Carolyn Hennesy: You mean flawlessly beautiful, inside as well as out?  All of my friends are exactly like that.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I heard it through the Twitter grapevine that you had a huge audition recently. Would that be for another TV show or a film?

Carolyn Hennesy: I have had a couple recently, for both TV pilots and a studio film.  Keep those fingers crossed. An overload of work, in this case, is not a bad thing.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Your husband will be appearing as a biker on General Hospital in March – will you have any scenes with him?  I believe that will be his second appearance on the soap as a biker. Could it be a recurring role?

Carolyn Hennesy: Ah, just the thought of my hubby in chaps … but I digress.  No, unfortunately, no scenes with him in his upcoming episode.  Spinelli and Maxie get that pleasure.  He’s playing a different biker than “Big Dave” (the one who dragged Alexis into a dance).  But, again, he looks great in chaps, so when they need a hog-rider, he’s their go-to guy!

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Would you be interested in joining another soap if General Hospital was cancelled?  If so, which one?

Carolyn Hennesy: Absolutely, but only if GH were can … can … I can’t even bring myself to write it.  Soaps are hard work and tremendous fun.  If I were to join another one, it would called “As The Tort Turns” about the loves and losses of a beautiful, sassy, upstate NY lawyer who comes to the small town of Geneva, Ohio to start a new life…after a mysterious disaster while living in Port Charles.  Wacky hi-jinks ensue.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What do you like to do in your “down” time when you’re not acting or writing?

Carolyn Hennesy: “Down” time?  Surely you jest.

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