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GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Maurice Benard Shares His Powerful New Book (EXCLUSIVE)

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With his autobiography, Nothing General About It: How Love (And Lithium) Saved Me On And Off General Hospital, due out April 7, GENERAL HOSPITAL star Maurice Benard (Sonny) couldn’t wait to surprise fans with the reveal of his book cover last month. But instead, his family, GH executive producer Frank Valentini and co-stars like Steve Burton (Jason) surprised him on the set!

“I thought I was just going to get a piece of paper to post and share,” he set up. “I didn’t know it was going to be the actual book jacket on a book! It was a trip. Holding a book, it felt like holding my history in my hand. It hit me in a way I didn’t think it would.”

Benard couldn’t imagine his big day getting better… until photos and videos of the reveal hit social media, and the world realized it could already pre-order his book. Not only did he receive countless messages of support, but by the end of the day, Nothing General About It ($25.19, Amazon) had shot to the top of Amazon’s pre-order sales — and over the course of that week, it was ranked No. 1 in the Television and Bipolar Disorder categories and No. 2 in Television Performer Biographies!

“That blew me away,” Benard said. “It’s a testament to how loyal my fans have been from day one [when I played Nico] on ALL MY CHILDREN. They have never, ever let me down. They come to everything I do. It’s almost like a party. They’re right there. And it makes me kind of emotional.”

Maurice Benard book cover

“When you hold something you’ve worked so hard to do for the first time… it’s just amazing.”

Benard can’t wait for next year when he gets to tour with the book, in which he opens up about his lifelong battle with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. “It’s a beautiful story… but it’s not an easy one,” he previewed. “I finally read the whole thing, and I was just crying. I know it’s my story, but it reads like a movie. By the end of it, it all ties together. I just got hit!

“It’s also very timely, because it seems like there are more people committing suicide now because of drugs and mental illness than ever before,” continued the mental-health advocate, who also communicates with fans and supporters every Sunday via his “State of Mind” videos on Instagram. “It’s just me talking about my experience with mental illness in my life, and the responses I get are overwhelming. That’s why I’ll never stop talking!”

Where to buy: $25.19, Amazon 

For more on your favorite GH stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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