March 28, 2011— -- Actress Susan Lucci, who's played Erica Kane on "All My Children" for more than 40 years, is out with a new book entitled "All My Life."
Lucci's memoir chronicles her upbringing, her long career playing Kane -- the woman soap fans love to hate -- and major milestones like winning the Daytime Emmy after being passed over 18 times.
CLICK HERE to see photos of Lucci as Erica Kane through the years.
Read an excerpt from "All My Life" below, then check out some other books in the "GMA" library
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 four and five 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 hair stylist 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.
In early 2010, my son, Andreas, came to me and said that he really thought I should write a book, too. He had no idea we had received so many letters from various publishers and literary agents. I was curious to know why he felt I should, so I asked him to share his reasons.
"Once the girls I meet find out that you are my mom, they want to know how you accomplished your goals. They're eager to know your story." Andreas was very thoughtful, enthusiastic, and really heartfelt in his explanation.
Andreas mentioned writing a book to me a few more times. And then one day Helmut brought me a folder full of those inquiry letters he'd been saving over the years. I had no idea that he had kept all of them. We sat at our kitchen table and began to read some aloud. One by one, each outlined very clearly a singular message. People wanted the book to be about me from me. Everyone agreed that virtually anyone with a television knows Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, but no one really knows much about Susan Lucci. Rereading those letters, especially with the encouragement from my son and so many others, made me realize that maybe now I should make the time to share my story.
So here I am. After spending forty-one years in front of the camera playing the unstoppable Erica Kane while successfully shielding and protecting my privacy and the privacy of my family, I am closing my eyes and holding my breath as I begin to peel back the curtain of my life, hoping it is the right thing to do. It's a little bit scary and a lot intimidating. But if I am going to take you on this journey with me, then like everything else I do in my life, I am committed to going all the way -- no limits and no self-imposed barriers holding me back. To be certain, this process has been different and challenging for me. But it is something I now fully appreciate and enjoy. I have never spent time in a therapist's office; nor have I ever candidly discussed my private life in public. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering why anyone would want to read my story, and to tell you the truth, I still can't say I know. I am a woman who pays attention to what those around me have to say, and for years, they've been asking me to share my story with you. So, with respect for those wishes and without further ado, here is my story.