I’ve belonged to a few writing groups over the years and co-founded the SOBs aka Screen Writers of Brevard in 2004, but nothing prepared me for my first STAR meeting.
The beauty of the Milky Way stretching from one end of the library conference room to the other knocked my knickerbockers right off! STARs or Spacecoast Authors of Romance were to the left of me and to the right. I felt a truly awesome, electric buzz. As I now know to be routine, each STAR shares her own story of her writing journey: her struggles, her disappointments, her successes small and mammoth. STARs offer constructive advice on the spot and they share genuine joy and pride for others’ success. And as a bonus, a shooting star will launch herself into the atmosphere and you hold your breath as she rockets to her destination. You wish you could catch her, hold on with all your might and enjoy the ride. As I find myself back on earth sitting in a plastic chair at the library, I feel dizzy with the energy around me and realize this is the ultimate exercise in "Never Judging a Book by its Cover".
Bridgette is first. Her satin dress hugs her Rubenesque form as her voluptuous breast pour over. I, a straight woman, can’t keep my eyes off her. Surely, I've just met my first porn writer up close and personal. I drag my shy eyes from her breasts to her ruby-red lips which undulate as a low husky voice says,“I’m Bridgett”. I hold my breath, “I’m an elementary school teacher.“ What? They teach Kama Sutra in second grade now? She continues, “I write Inspirational Romance”. Well! I see stars! Perfectly dressed Priscilla appears perfectly normal and tells us she's writing Paranormal Romance. Trendy Jane looks like she’s just stepped off a Paris runway writes Historical Romance. Soft-spoken Pearl, her collar tightly closed at her throat, old-fashioned spectacles wobbling on the bridge of her nose whispers, “I write erotic fiction specializing in ménage and bondage.” Dynamic Laura has written more than 60 books in 5 genres with 10 pen names. Rocki, everybody's most beloved author. Amy and her moving memoir. Chris with her two distinctly different series and an editorial pedigree second to none...
The stars of STAR dazzle me and I feel drool slide down my chin. Publishers report the stunning numbers of books being sold, woo us and court us. I meekly introduce myself. I doubt anyone understands my strange accent, but they smile kindly and nod their approval and extend genuine welcomes.
The shooting STARS are so gracious and encouraging, I almost feel optimistic about my rise to meteoric fame just being in their scintillating presence. Seriously, these girls know their stuff and share as if we new-authors are at an open-air banquet of olde and they're providing endless heady mead and whopping legs of lamb. Bon Appetit as they enjoy the others entertainment! It's full of STARs!
*Names have been changed to protect innocent and not-so-innocent authors!