A SHOOTING STAR
by JOE COSENTINO
the second novella in the In My Heart series from Dreamspinner Press
On the eve of the best night of his life, winning an Academy Award, Jonathan Bello thinks back to his one great love, David Star. Flipping back the pages of time, Jonathan recalls his handsome, muscular, and charismatic college roommate. Since Jonathan was a freshman and David a senior in the Theatre Department, David took Jonathan under his wing and molded him, not only as an actor but as a lover. With every wonderful new adventure, David left his joyful mark on anyone with whom they came in contact, but Jonathan soon uncovered David’s dark past, leading to a shocking event. Undaunted, Jonathan celebrates the captivating man who will always hold a special place in his heart.
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Reviews for AN INFATUATION the first novella in the In My Heart series by Joe Cosentino from Dreamspinner Press:
“Author Joe Cosentino brought just the right amount of humor, angst and honesty to make this short but sweet coming of age story a success.” MM Good Book Reviews
“Joe Cosentino proves there’s more than one way to a happy ending in An Infatuation, a story of first love and heartbreak delivered in a fresh and funny voice.”
The Novel Approach
“Don't miss this one friends, it is a heartfelt story magical in the telling! Thanks Joe Cosentino for putting your heart on the page for us to savor!”
Bike Book Reviews
Bike Book Reviews
“It’s unusual for me to get sucked into a book in the first chapter but it grabbed me early and I read the whole thing in one day”.
Nautical Star Books
“I recommend this book to anyone reminiscing about that one that got away.”
“I think you will be left breathless with the reality and emotion behind An Infatuation.”
Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella), The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press short stories novella), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press), and Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press).
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
A SHOOTING STAR BY JOE COSENTINO FROM DREAMSPINNER PRESS
As an Italian-American, I subscribed to my mother’s theory that if someone doesn’t want you to see something, he will hide it in a locked vault covered with cement. So I inadvertently took a quick look at my roommate’s things on the other side of the room. He was incredibly neat. Numerous theater textbooks and play scripts lined his bookshelf in alphabetical order. The bulletin board above his desk displayed artistically arranged programs from various comedy, drama, and musical college productions listing the same male lead in each show: “David Star”.
“Do you always look at other people’s things?”
I nearly got whiplash as he entered the room.
Stammering like a kid caught masturbating by his parents, I said, “I… w-was… ad-m-miring y-your… r-room.”
Though it was a fall September day, he took off his scarf (violet) and rested it on a tall coat-rack, which held scarves in various colors like a department store window display. He was taller than me, with a chiseled, handsome face, and straight, shiny black hair, which fell down his thick neck. I admired his perfectly sculpted muscles, housed in a turquoise designer dress shirt. But what captivated me the most were his piercing crystal-blue eyes—and the enormous bulge in his skin-tight, designer beige pants.
He looked at me like a surgeon examining a tumor. “No, it’s not.”
“It’s Jonathan Bello.” He opened a bureau drawer, pulled out a bottle of hair gel, and tossed it to me. “You should gel your hair.” He opened his closet, revealing a multitude of color-coordinated shirts and slacks, and lay some on my bed. “And you can wear these.”
I looked at his perfectly pressed designer clothes. “Where did you get all these things?”
“They were gifts, mostly.”
“You must have some generous friends…. Sorry, I don’t know your name.”
“I’m David Star.” He took a bow.
Looking back at his play programs, I said, “You must have starred in every play at the college over the last three years.”
“Guilty as charged.”
“What happened to your last roommate?”
“He went to LA over the summer break and started auditioning. He got cast in a new TV sitcom. I hope it takes off. It’s called Cosby.”
“At the orientation session, they said freshmen are housed with other freshmen. How did I get a senior for a roommate?”
His eyes twinkled. “Just lucky I guess.”
“Do you think it was some kind of an administrative error or something?”
“Or something.” He added matter-of-factly, “I asked for a freshman roommate.”
1-Welcome Joe Cosentino! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your release.
Thank you, Chris. I always love visiting with you!
I started as an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Morphing into writing plays and now novels seem like the perfect progression. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give writing a try.
After my Bittersweet Dreams novella, AN INFATUATION, was released by Dreamspinner Press, I received numerous requests from readers for a second novella in the In My Heart series. Since AN INFATUATION was loosely based on my high school days through adulthood, I thought back to my days as a theatre major in college, and A SHOTING STAR was born.
In the novella, new college theatre major Jonathan meets the gorgeous, muscular, tantalizing, and mysterious upper classroom and theatre department star aptly named David Star. As David grooms Jonathan for college life and for stardom, Jonathan falls deeply in love with him. This leads Jonathan on an inner and outer journey, where he learns some shocking secrets about David, and about himself. As a remembrance story, the novella begins with Jonathan having just received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Film, as he thinks back to the person who was responsible for his win.
2-How long have you been writing?
As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto with full scale musicals in the garage starring my sister and me. Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me (rather than committed me-hah). So I’ve always been a storyteller. I also loved doing improvisation as an actor and later writing plays. I have been writing novels for just a couple of years with AN INFATUATION and A SHOOTING STAR (Dreamspinner Press), DRAMA QUEEN the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and PAPER DOLL the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press) so far. A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a holiday novella about a US law student falling for his third cousin in gorgeous Capri, Italy releases from Dreamspinner Press December 1.
3-What compelled you to write this particular story?
Like most college theatre departments, as a student mine was full of comedy, romance, mystery, and of course drama. The flames of love were kindled and hearts were broken while we put up play after play for delighted audiences who never knew the personal secrets behind the stage curtains. There was the star student who got the leading role in every show. Everyone, male and female, was in love with him, and he was in love with himself. There was also the class clown, the manipulator, everybody’s best friend, and (as they say on Gilligan’s Island) the rest. As we learned our acting craft, we learned solid lessons about life. We met and fell in love, some for a semester, some for four years, and some for a lifetime. It was an experience none of us will ever forget. I wanted to write about those days.
4-What gave you the courage to submit your story to a publisher?
Maybe Dreamspinner Press is sick of me. Hah. They published AN INFATUATION, A SHOOTING STAR, and coming up are A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS and THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (gay fairytales). I just submitted a new full length romance novel to them too!
5-When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
Like Harold in AN INFATUATION, Jonathan in A SHOOTING STAR is loosely based on me, though I haven’t won an Academy Award—yet. He is ingenuous, funny, warm, gullible, and has an open heart. As is the case with Stuart in AN INFATAUTION, Barry, Jonathan’s loyal scene partner in A SHOOTING STAR, is loosely based on my spouse. Similar to Mario in AN INFATUATION, David in SHOOTING STAR is a combination of a number of young men I met as a theatre major in college and as a young actor. Each was handsome, muscular, charismatic, sensuous, and almost other-worldly like Greek gods. Though they appeared to hold the world in the palm of their strong hands, they each had a secret weakness. The acting professor, the hysterically hypochondriac Professor Katzer, is a lampooned version of an acting professor I had in college who has since passed away. I want to play him in the movie version!
6-Why did you start writing m/m? Is there something special that draws you to this genre?
Go to the mall and look at the endless posters of movies with no gay characters in them. There are so many interesting gay stories that need to be told. I have a dozen of them in my head now.
7-What are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite author or genre?
Armistead Maupin has an amazing flair for writing eccentric, loveable characters with engaging and realistic dialogue. I reread his TALES OF THE CITY BOOKS constantly. Agatha Christie is the master of hiding clues, reversals, plot twists and turns, and surprise endings. I read every one of her books again and again. And of course I love Chris T. Kat’s amazing books!
8-What are you working on now?
I just finished a new gay romance novel set in the Jersey Shore, COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK which features two minor characters from AN INFATUATION. It could become a series.
9-When you're not writing, how do you like to spend your time?
Like Martin Anderson in DRAMA QUEEN, I am a college theatre professor/department head. That keeps me very busy. I think I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.
10-What are your writing goals for 2015?
I am editing for release A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (a winter holiday novella taking place in Capri, Italy) from Dreamsprinner Press, THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TAKES FROM FAIRYLAND (gay fairy tales novella) from Dreamspinner Press, PORCELAIN DOLL (the second Jana Lane mystery) and SATIN DOLL (the third Jana Lane mystery) from Wild Rose Press, DRAMA MUSCLE (the second Nicky and Noah comedy mystery) and DRAMA CRUISE (the third Nicky and Noah mystery) from Lethe Press. I also plan to write CHINA DOLL (the fourth Jana Lane mystery) and DRAMA ALOHA (the fourth Nicky and Noah mystery. Looks like I’ll be really busy.
11-Do you have personal goals for 2015?