A Shooting Star (In My Heart)
by Joe Cosentino
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press
Interview with Joe Cosentino for A SHOOTING STAR, the second In My Heart bittersweet dreams novella from Dreamspinner Press
Why write a bittersweet story? What is the attraction there?
- There are different types of bittersweet stories. My two novellas include moments of humor, romance, sadness, and revelation. Just like in real life. That’s what attracts me to the genre. I started as an actor then playwright. I can’t remember acting in a play, movie, or television show, or writing a play that did not include some sad or tragic moments. Those moments brought the stories to life, and were what the audience members talked about and remembered. After AN INFATUATION (the first In My Heart bittersweet dreams novella) was released by Dreamspinner Press, many readers messaged me to say how much that novella changed their lives. They said they laughed, felt romantic, and cried while falling in love with Harold and Mario. To this day I cherish every one of those messages. They also requested 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.
Is there a certain bittersweet moment or story you remember well?
- We all have people we miss in our lives. While not having them with us may be sad, the memoires can be joyous, life-changing, and passionate. I was a theatre major in college. Like most college theatre departments, 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. He was handsome, muscular, charismatic, and an incredible actor-onstage and off. He broke everyone’s heart, but we all idolized him anyway. We shared an incredible experience that binds us till this day. An experience none of us will ever forget. This novella is dedicated to that time.
Do you feel we must know what the bitter tastes like in order to understand or savor the sweetness of life when it arrives?
- Well said! My mother always said, “You have to lose something to appreciate what you have.” She also said, “Don’t you have anything better to do than sit home and write books?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that to him? Hah. Actually, my mother loves my books!
What character or moment in this story stood out for you as your “aha” moment? Not the revelatory moment for the plot, but the moment when you knew it was coming together as a story?
- Jonathan has incredible spirit. He is likeable, gullible, and wears his heart on his sleeve. David is magical, an enigma, and incredibly sexy. I knew they would have powerful chemistry from the first page, and they didn’t let me down. When Barry, Jonathan’s devoted scene partner, entered the story, he was so hysterically funny and sweet. At that point I knew the story was incredibly special.
I know some readers run from stories without HEA let alone, HFN, what would you say to them?
- AN INFATUATION and A SHOOTING STAR celebrate and cherish first love, infatuation, and lasting memories. Reading them will be an experience you will remember. Besides, I hear it’s good for us to have a good laugh and a good cry once in a while. If you don’t like the idea of reading a bittersweet dreams novella, read DRAMA QUEEN (the first Nicky and Noah comedy mystery from Lethe Press). In book one, college theatre professors, Nicky and Noah, use their theatre skills (including impersonating others) to find out why their colleagues are dropping like stage curtains. It’s available as an ebook, paperbook, or audiobook (performed by the hysterically funny Michael Gilboe). BTW, there are only HEAs in my future books! I am currently editing for release: A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (a winter holiday short story taking place in Capri, Italy) releasing in December from Dreamsprinner Press. Following that will be THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TAKES FROM FAIRYLAND (gay fairy tales novella) releasing from Dreamspinner Press in February, DRAMA MUSCLE (the second Nicky and Noah comedy mystery set in the college’s Physical Education department) and DRAMA CRUISE (the third Nicky and Noah mystery set on a murder mystery dinner theatre cruise to Alaska) from Lethe Press. I also just finished a new gay romance novel set in the Jersey Shore, COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK. There is also my (straight leading characters with gay supporting characters) mystery novel, PAPER DOLL, from Whiskey Creek Press, about an ex-child star making a comeback as she finds a murderer from her past and present. Coming in 2016 are other Jana Lane mysteries: PORCELAIN DOLL and SATIN DOLL from The Wild Rose Press. Looks like I’ll be really busy!
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.
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.
“What’s your name?”
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.”
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).
Contact Joe at:
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Joe Cosentino is offering a giveaway of AN INFATUATION, the first In My Heart bittersweet dreams M/M novella from Dreamspinner Press. Post a comment about his interview. We will select the winner and Joe will email you the ebook!” Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Make sure you leave an email address where you can be reached if chosen. Happy reading.