Fan favorite Melanie Smith played Emily Stewart during part of acclaimed head writer Douglas Marland’s time on As the World Turns. Now, the actress turned entrepreneur, and author is talking to Soap Hub about a book, Unfinished Business: 8 Steps to Heal Your Trauma, Transcend Your Past, and Transform Your Life, which she’s written to help people deal with their past in order to live a more fulfilling present and future.
Melanie Smith: Unfinished Business
Smith, who is described on her website as “the Unfinished Business Coach,” was inspired by her clients to take pen to paper and write Unfinished Business, a book that she hopes will help readers deal with unresolved issues. “It’s funny,” Smith tells Soap Hub. “So many of my clients were saying to me, ‘When are you going to make [what you do] more accessible?’ I had done webinars. [A while back] I was lying on my couch with Covid [and] I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll write a book?’ I took the workbook from my webinar, and it proceeded from there.”
From Oakdale to Seinfeld
Smith, who played one of Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriends, Rachel, on Seinfeld, brings much of herself to the book, revealing painful details from her personal life, including the loss of her parents. “I am a person who is a ‘shoulder-walker,'” Smith reveals. “I don’t like walking ahead or behind anyone. On the path of our journeys, I like to know we’re together. I want everyone else to know that my life has been filled with heartache. I am here to be a model and a beacon…I’m one of the happiest people you’ll ever meet. The fact that I sit here isn’t a miracle — it’s a skill.”
Melanie Smith: ATWT Unfinished Business
Emily matured during her stay in Oakdale. She started out in a very unhealthy relationship with manipulative James Stenbeck (Anthony Herrera) and moved on to a more mature (albeit doomed) dynamic with Brock Lombard (Greg Beecroft). Who in Oakdale might have benefited from reading Unfinished Business? “James Stenbeck needed a shipment of these books!” Smith chuckles about the diabolical villain. “Emily, of course, [because she] was so heartbroken and was desperate for love…she sought love around every dark corner.” Smith adds that pretty much everyone in town could have benefited from reading her tome, including Emily’s mother Susan (Marie Masters), Paul (Andrew Kavovit), Barbara (Colleen Zenk), and Josh (William Fichtner).
More About Emily and Unfinished Business
You can check out Soap Hub’s complete interview with Smith in the video below. The actress goes into more detail on Unfinished Business and also talks about the famous scene in which James learned that Emily had had sex with his son Paul, and he literally lifted her off the ground by her neck! (That’s when Paul came in and shot his father dead — only James managed to cheat the Grim Reaper that day.)
Unfinished Business is set for a Tuesday, August 8 release. You can pre-order your copy by clicking here. And you can learn more about Smith and her work here. The actress/author urges folks to seek help on multiple levels if necessary.
“Healing from trauma, loss, and heartbreak is a deep and committed endeavor,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “One which we all deserve to experience. However, the information and exercises presented in this book are not a substitute for psychotherapy or a replacement for practices or protocols prescribed by your physician. If you are experiencing symptoms or the retriggering of trauma, it is in your best interest to engage with skilled professional help.”