Lori Loughlin, 16, is just another junior at Long Island's Hauppauge High until she takes the train to Manhattan and plays out romances—like with a disco owner who gets killed, with a puppeteer suspected of the murder, not to mention with her half sister's husband. Yes, she's Jody Travis, the ambitious, lovesick ballerina on the ABC soap The Edge of Night. In reality, Lori's life is no such sudsy package. Her father is a Bell Telephone foreman, while her mother helps manage Lori's finances: that includes salary up to $3,000 a week and real estate holdings on Long Island and in Florida. A model since the age of 11, Lori has appeared in ads for both Macy's and Gimbels plus Cover Girl makeup and Avon. In 1979 she stepped up from modeling to co-star with Blythe Danner and Michael Moriarty in NBC's well-received adaptation of John Updike's Too Far to Go. Lori was also a contender for the Brooke Shields
part in The Blue Lagoon, but bowed out, she says, when the rating was changed from PG to R. "I couldn't handle the nudity," she explains. "It was my own decision, not my parents'." Too busy for dating (but not to maintain a B+ average), she is now frankly torn between college and Hollywood. As for Jody's future on the soap, Lori smiles: "I'd get killed if I told."
Richard Meyers, 27, is not so much a wordsmith as a word factory pumping out half a dozen volumes a year of adventure fiction and showbiz fan books from his five-room trailer in West-port, Conn. He spun off Doom Star Number Two, the 220-page sequel to his sci-fi thriller Doom Star, in seven days. The works are not the throwaways they sound. To research The Illustrated Soap Opera Companion, he snowshoed through a 24-foot stash of scripts. On his Dirty Harry and Mission Code pulp series, which he writes under pseudonyms, Meyers worked with local police plus a gunsmith and a demolitions expert. The son of a mental health administrator and an actress, Richard says he was "lucky to grow up in the golden rebirth of science fiction. Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein were philosophers and poets as well as dreamers." He attended three New England colleges before quitting in senior year to write for Atlas Comics. Now married to Melissa Nichols, a registered nurse and acting student, he refuses to disclose his income but admits, "I do all right"—without ever working more than eight hours a day. He needs time, he says, to skeet shoot, view 150 movies a year and watch up to four hours of TV a day. But never the news, he explains, "because I don't like reality too much."