Georgie & Dillon are Maddie & Fritz now. (

Karen Harris has been writing soaps since 1993. Since then, she’s penned for “General Hospital,” spin-off “Port Charles,” Primetime spin-off “Night Shift” and All My Children. In addition to all that, she has created something new that she’d like readers to check out. It’s a fabulously complex (and hilarious) online pilot project, with a wide-eyed wink at how soaps come together. “Life in General” with “Greenville Central” is a show within a show that gives the behind-the-scenes story about making a soap. Got it? Before I say more, give yourself a couple of minutes and click this link to watch episode one. You’ll enjoy seeing soap vets, especially Lindze Letherman (ex-Georgie Jones), John Ingle (Edward Quartermaine) and Scott Clifton (ex-Dillon Quartermaine) in roles very different from what you’re used to. Okay, you can go now. We’ll talk in a few minutes.

Well, what did you think? Since the launch of the pilot on Strike TV in late October, “Life in General” has been nominated for five Soap Opera Spirit Awards (a Canadian TV Guide competition). I can see why, as a life-long soap fan, it was hilarious to see how TPTB (as we so often refer to the people who put soaps together) bicker and stress over what we eventually see on our TV screens. Karen, is seems as if “Life in General” is the best of all worlds for you creatively. Am I Right?

Karen Harris: Yes, it’s an opportunity to execute my own view, my own humor, and my own drama. I’m not making something to sell products. No one’s there to say it’s not good enough, except the viewers. They’re the ones who will decide whether it’s worthy or not. I’ve had such a great response and feel that people are hungry for it. General Hospital fans will especially enjoy seeing some of their favorite actors, albeit in other roles. Can you tell us a little about John Ingle’s character, Raymond?

Karen Harris: I love John Ingle. We have a secret love affair but it’s not so secret. He can do anything. Edward Q. is wonderful character, such fun to write because he’s bold and brassy. Raymond is supposed to represent the iconic people who helped create the soap opera in the first place. They’re watching younger people come up behind them and are threatened by it. They try to hang out to what they’ve created. For them, it’s harder to make the adjustment to new ways. I’m not sure that Raymond would be flexible enough to create a soap for the internet. The world of daytime drama is changing and I wanted to show that there’s a place for us to tell our stories online. I’m sure people in radio freaked out when TV came, I feel the same way about the internet. Raymond made that transition from TV to radio, he could retire, but he can’t do it. He’s so in love with his characters. He’s disconnected from his real world and is hanging on at all costs to what he created on the show. He’s not as openly hostile as Edward Quartermaine. His vulnerabilities are way more evident than Edward’s. How about Lindze Letherman as Maddie Whittaker?

Karen Harris
: I wanted to give Lindze a chance to be something other than a straight ahead good girl. Maddie is a bit of a minx, she’s a young actress who isn’t as naive as you think. She’s thrown into the soap world figuring that she’ll be a star at some point, not knowing that these girls are very disposable. For every Lindsay Lohan there’s another one who gets thrown out the door who we never hear from again. The character Lindze plays on “Greenville General” is more like Georgie was, a heartfelt character who is a nurse. It’s a real challenge for these actors to take on two distinctly different characters and Lindsay is up to it.