Saturday, July 4, 2015

Author Saturday Spotlight: Joe Cosentino #Interview #Giveaway

Joe Cosentino, author of An Infatuation, Paper Doll, and his most recent book, Drama Queen is my wonderful Spotlight this Saturday. With the new release of Drama Queen we're going to talk quite a bit about that. There's a lovely interview and of course a giveaway. Joe will gift any person his book An Infatuation. So, we'll take a peek at that book as well. I'm so happy to have Joe here today as my spotlight. I've enjoyed his work greatly and I'm sure if you've read his books you'd agree. So let's get started:

Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (June 6, 2015)
Language: English
Cover Design: Ben Baldwin
ISBN-10: 1590214676
ISBN-13: 978-1590214671
Release date: June 6, 2015

It could be curtains for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodies popping up all over campus, Nicky must use his drama skills to figure out who is playing the role of murderer before it is lights out for Nicky and his colleagues. Complicating matters is Nicky’s huge crush on Noah Oliver, a gorgeous assistant professor in his department, who may or may not be involved with a cocky graduate assistant...and is also the top suspect for the murders! You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat, delightfully entertaining novel. Curtain up!

Other works by Joe Cosentino include...

With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.

Jana Lane was America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana’s flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present.

The local suspects include Jana’s down-on-his-luck husband with a dislike for living off the fruits of his wife’s young labor, Jana’s sister and male friend (who both have eyes for Jana’s husband), Jana’s show business father, her deranged loyal fan, and Jana's young Guy Friday who covets her fame and shares an uncanny resemblance to Jana.

Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer—Rocco Cavoto—the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. With Rocco’s help, Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future.


Thank you, Joe, for being here today and answering a few questions. Drama Queen published June 6th and is a Nicky and Noah Mystery. So, I have a few questions about this book.

      I’m hoping this is one of many in this series, can you tell if there will be more and if you know just how many there will be?

Thanks so much, Meredith, and thank you for your support! In Drama Queen (book one), Nicky and Noah have to uncover why college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains while Nicky directs the college play production—a murder mystery. In Drama Muscle (book two), Nicky and Noah have to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In Drama Cruise (book three), Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship. All three novels are written and awaiting publication. This fall I plan to start the fourth Nicky and Noah mystery, Drama Aloha, where Nicky and Noah will go to Hawaii to direct a luau show, and figure out why muscular male dancers are dropping like grass skirts. 

     Growing up I watched shows like Matlock, Father Dowling Mysteries, Perry Mason, and Murder She Wrote. Have mystery shows always been something you’ve been drawn to, and if so what were your favorite shows?
I loved those shows too! I’ve also read every Agatha Christie mystery, Alfred Hitchcock Magazine mystery, and Sherlock Holmes mystery. There’s nothing better than a good brain teaser with a fun puzzle to solve. The reader or viewer works right along with the sleuth to solve the crime. My favorite sleuths are accidental or amateur sleuths, like Nicky and Noah, who stumble upon murder and are called upon to use their skills to solve it. In this series, Nicky and Noah use their theatrical skills (like playing other people) to get their clues.

     How does one go about plotting an intricate plot for a mystery such as Drama Queen?
I don’t enjoy mysteries with no clues, or clues presented at the end of the novel. I also don’t like mysteries where the murderer is suddenly revealed at the end with no possible way to have guessed his/her identity. To me a good mystery lays out clues, red herrings, plot twists and turns, likeable characters, and a surprising ending that is justified. Also, I don’t think a mystery is just a mystery. There should also be humor, romance, adventure, and an interesting location. I kept all this in mind when plotting the Nicky and Noah mysteries. I did the same with my Jana Lane mysteries, about an ex-child star (beginning with Paper Doll). Since I was an actor, I start with a character biography on each character then I add his/her secrets. This leads to the outline, where I mark exactly where each clue and red herring will be revealed. Once the characters come along and start talking in my head, I write the first draft, sometimes deviating from the outline when the characters want me to do so. Next I do a second draft. After my spouse reads it and offers me a critique, I do a third draft. Then it’s ready for the publisher.

      You have an amazing history with theatre and acting, you clearly brought that knowledge to this book, between that and being a professor, is that how Nicky and Noah came to be? Were the plot bunnies hopping all over campus?
You are so right! When I thought about creating a gay mystery series, it was obvious to me it would include the worlds of show business and academia, since I live in both as an actor and college theatre professor/department head. It’s great fun using my knowledge of theatre and universities to navigate through the theatre department at Treemeadow College. Though the college and characters are fictitious, their actions are based on my knowledge of acting, directing, and teaching. When the Nicky and Noah series comes to television, I want to play Martin Anderson, the department head!

     You have an outstanding ensemble in this book, and I imagine we’ll see more of them through this series, does each character have a little backstory you write up to help keep them individual in your mind?
The characters in the series, and in all my books, are real to me. They live in my head and heart, and I can talk to them at will. Since you always need new suspects in a mystery, each book will have some of the same characters and some different characters. As the series progresses, we’ll also get to meet Nicky’s parents and Noah’s parents who are hysterically funny. In addition to solving more murders, Nicky and Noah will also have some personal issues to resolve. However, they will always be together solving mysteries and sharing their love with one another.

     How do you come up with all these character names?
A lot of authors struggle with naming their characters. For me the names come easily when I think about the characters’ personalities. Sometimes the names tell us a bit about their personalities. An example of this is David Samson the Technical Theatre professor in Drama Queen, since Samson was a big, strong guy in the bible story.

     What’s next for you book wise?
Since An Infatuation was so well received, I have another Bittersweet Dreams romance remembrance novella coming from Dreamspinner Press this fall, A Shooting Star. It also is set in the theatre department at a university, but a very different one from Treemeadow College. Dreamspinner Press is also publishing my short holiday romance novella, A Home for the Holidays, in December. It takes place in one of my favorite places, Capri, Italy. Of course the next two Nicky and Noah mysteries, Drama Muscle and Drama Cruise, will be released, as will the next two Jana Lane mysteries, Porcelain Doll and Satin Doll. I also wrote a book of gay fairytales, and I just started a new gay romance novel to write over the summer. As I mentioned, next up for me to write beginning this fall is the fourth Nicky and Noah mystery, Drama Aloha, and the fourth Jana Lane mystery, China Doll. This should take me to retirement. Hah.

Thank you for being here today Joe, and I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait for more Nicky and Noah!

Thank you again, Meredith. Your support means so much to me, as does the support of your readers. I’d love to hear from them. They can contact me via my web site at


Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek 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 Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), A Shooting Star (Dreamspinner Press novella), A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella), and Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery.


One reader will get the chance to experience Joe's work. He will gift one person an ebook copy of An Infatuation. Simply enter the rafflecopter.  The contest will run until July 10th. Winner will be contacted via email so make sure to check your spam! 
Good luck to you all and once again I'd like to thank Joe for being here today to talk to us about his amazing work!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. I've always been a fan of British mystery series and I guess I can blame my library for stocking lots of Agatha Christie when I grew up.