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Catching up With GUIDING LIGHT’s Tina Sloan (EXCLUSIVE)

Having spent 26 years playing a cancer and domestic-abuse survivor on GUIDING LIGHT, Tina Sloan (Lilian) knows a thing or two about dramatic twists and turns. So it wasn’t hard for her to come up with the story for Chasing Cleopatra: A Novel Of Love, Betrayal And Suspense. Released in February, the book follows the trail of a beautiful assassin, Cleo, who finds herself in the midst of an intricate terrorist plot when she begins a whirlwind romance with a much younger man.

“I dreamt the plot years ago,” Sloan confessed to Soaps In Depth. “I brought it to my friend, who is a book editor, and she said, ‘It’s a wonderful romance, but you need danger in it.’ Then I researched. My son was in intelligence in the Marines and knew a lot of black ops and spies, and I even called the head of the CIA, who is a friend of mine. I became fascinated by the danger element of it.”

And like any good dramatic writer, Sloan holds off on the big reveal, building the anticipation. “You don’t know who the terrorist is until way, way into the book,” she smiled. “There are so many surprises in it. I’ve had people tell me they are up all night reading, which is lovely to hear! I think the book has a great soap-opera quality to it, obviously, because I’m a soap actor.”

Sloan — who’d released her self-help memoir, Changing Shoes: Staying In The Game With Style, Humor And Grace, in 2010 — even ended Chasing Cleopatra with a classic Friday tag of sorts. “The last line,” she teased, “lends itself to a sequel.”

GL Lillian Buzz
Sloan imagines that Lillian and husband Buzz “are just as happy as can be, surrounded by grandchildren.”Rob Mayer/

After GL ended in 2009, Sloan relocated to Florida and took on a new role: that of grandma. “I love them!” she gushed of her son and daughter-in-law’s two children. “They’re in Washington, DC, but we see them often. They love to come down to see us in Florida, and we go up there to see them.”

Despite her new career as an author, Sloan hasn’t hung up her acting hat: She appears in the Web soaps VENICE: THE SERIES and BEACON HILL. Both series are produced by GL’s Crystal Chappell (Olivia), with the second season of BEACON HILL scheduled to drop in April. On the political drama, “I’m a late-in-life lesbian,” Sloan chuckled of her character, Louise. “I’ve been with my partner for 40 years, and we fight all the time. It’s really kind of funny. I get to work with Crystal and Beth [Chamberlin, Beth] and all my GL friends. I love having this opportunity!”

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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