A writer and a fan.

In the final installment of Soaps.com’s interview with former General Hospital writer Karen Harris, she shares her thoughts on the Quartermaine family, the future of Daytime, and what’s next for her.

Soaps.com: Another issue with the fans is that the Quartermaines have been greatly diminished over the years. Why do you think they don’t focus more on the core family?

Karen Harris: You know, well because I think the Spencers and the Quartermaines are the two core families, but now the Corinthos’ are too. Sonny’s been there for eighteen years. It’s hard to deny that impact, but the Spencers…I don’t know. I mean I love Edward, I love John Ingle, he’s in my Internet pilot, Life in General. I love John. I think Tracy’s [Jane Elliot] great. I think we’re seeing more Quartermaines now because we’ve got Luke [Anthony Geary] and Tracy connected. I think sometimes we make choices along the way that we have to make and I don’t even remember why Alan was killed off. I know we tried to make it as impactful and dramatic as possible. And did. I loved that he came back as a ghost for awhile. I thought that was wonderful and I’m a big fan of Stuart Damon. I just adore him. I liked all of them. But once Lois [last played by Lesli Kay] was gone, Ned [Wally Kurth] was gone. It was just, what there’s room for to play in a way that will do justice to everyone.

One of my favorite scenes I’ve written over the last five years was with John Ingle. I actually wrote it when Alan died. He made the speech about Joe Kennedy. He was talking about how the man he idolized, who was rich and all that when he was a young man, and he watched him grow old and the man lost his family one by one to assassins’ bullets and to drugs and to airplane crashes. Edward said, “I wanted to be him when I grew up.’ He said, ‘And now I am. I’ve lost them all,’ basically. Because I looked and I went, Justus [last played by M’fundo Morrison] is gone, Alan is gone, Emily [Natalia Livingston] is gone now. It was when Alan died that I wrote it, but we couldn’t use it because the show was too long, but they saved it and did it later when Emily died. They revived it, the thought, the idea. It didn’t matter when it happened. I look back and from a storytelling point of view you look at a man who has watched everyone die around him. He’s a shell of who he used to be. He’s trying to hang on to his power and whatever control he has and all he’s got left is Tracy for the most part. That’s why he grabs on to Maya [Annie Ilonzeh] when she shows up. It’s like, oh, someone I can tell what to do.

I think it was not a conscious thought. I think it was a gradual thing that happened over time. I don’t think there was a conscious effort to get rid of the Quartermaines. I think little by little that’s just how stories started to play out. It wasn’t a plan. It wasn’t “Ten Little Indians.” Ten Little Quartermaines.