Hello all! Please welcome our fabulous guest, Joe Cosentino who’s been kind enough to answer a few questions about his newest release, guilty pleasures, writing, and more.
C: What was the most challenging part of writing this story?
J: DRAMA QUEEN is a fast-paced, hysterically funny whodunit with a dose of gay romance. In addition to Nicky and Noah, there are five murder victims and six suspects with constant clues, red herrings, plot twists and turns, and a shocking ending. While the novel was an incredible amount of fun to write, there were a lot of balls (no pun intended) for me to keep in the air.
C: Do you have a designated writing area at home? What’s it like?
J: Like Martin Anderson, the theatre department head in DRAMA QUEEN, my study has a large cherry wood desk opposite a fireplace with a cherry wood mantle and a cherry wood bookcase. I also have a window seat looking out over the woods. It’s the perfect place to write.
C: What’s your guilty pleasure?
J: Like Nicky Abbondanza, the Directing Professor and leading character in DRAMA QUEEN, I swallow vitamins like air.
C: What do you do when you’re not writing?
J: Like Noah Oliver, the Acting Professor and Nicky’s amore in DRAMA QUEEN, I am a theatre college professor. Like Nicky I have directed college productions. Like Martin I am the department head.
C: Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?
J: Besides being personal to me, there are so many untold gay stories. Just go to the mall and see the array of posters of upcoming films without one gay or lesbian character in them.
C: What did you enjoy most about writing this story?
J: I love that it is a series, so I can build on the characters. In DRAMA QUEEN, 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, 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, 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. As Nicky and Noah fall deeper in love with each novel, my hope is the readers will fall in love with them.
C: What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?
J: Since I was a professional actor, I start with character, writing a long character biography for each character. Next I move on to the outline. However, once the characters start talking, I often deviate from the outline. I give the second draft to my spouse. After getting his notes, I do a third draft, which goes to the publisher.
C: What are you finding to be the most challenging part of being a published author?
J: Finding the time to promote my work. Thank you for your help with that!
C: What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?
J: Don’t write for a particular publisher. Write your best work, which is personal for you then look for the right publisher for that work.
C: What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you?
J: I have quite a few new releases coming up. Dreamspinner Press is publishing my second Bittersweet Dreams novella, A SHOOTING STAR, in the fall; my holiday novella A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, in December; and my gay fairytale stories, THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND in the winter. Lethe Press is publishing DRAMA MUSCLE and DRAMA CRUISE, but I don’t yet have the publication dates. I am currently writing a new romance novel, COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK.
C: Which of your characters is most like you?
J: Martin Anderson, the theatre department head, in the Nicky and Noah series was patterned after me. So movie producers, I’m ready for my close-up!
Author: Joe Cosentino
Series: A Nicky and Noah Mystery
Publisher: Lethe Press
Published: May 27th, 2015
Genre: Gay Comedy Mystery Romance
Length: 196 Pages
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!
I left my students to their private discussion and joined my young graduate assistant seated on a red velvet bench in a turreted area of the lobby. As I dug into my sizable piece of cake, Scotty leaned into me like a cat facing a sardine, “Since it looks like the tech rehearsal will run late, I can teach your morning Theatre History class tomorrow.”
“That won’t be necessary, Scotty.” Just stick your finger down your throat then head to the gym as usual.
“With teaching your classes, assessing and updating curriculum, going to faculty meetings, advising students, writing your articles, advising the theatre club, and directing plays, I worry that you may get sick.”
You’d unleash the bubonic plague if it meant getting my job. I patted his shaved and oiled knee, and said a la Margo Channing, “I’m fine, Scotty. Just leave your notes on tonight’s performance in my office box tomorrow.”
“Am I too late for the party?” My knees dipped as Noah Oliver took off his coat and scarf and stood next to me. “Happy birthday, Nicky!” He winked at me.
Maybe we can adopt seven children, run away to the hills, and start a family singing act.
Scotty leapt from his seat like it was a pogo stick. “Have a piece of cake, Noah. No nuts!”
I beg your pardon?
“Thanks for remembering, Scotty.” Noah sat between Scotty and me and dug into the creamy wonder. Was that a familiar smile between Scotty and Noah?!
Scotty explained as if he was Noah’s husband, “Noah is allergic to nuts, Nicky.”
Hopefully not to mine.
Noah took me in with his baby blue eyes. Did I notice a look of lust in them? “How’s the show going?”
What show? Oh! “We’re all exhausted, frazzled, panicked, and certain of a great opening night.”
Noah squeezed my hand. “You’re an amazing director. The creative way you move your characters around the stage, how the elements of design compliment the story, and your unique vision is thrilling to watch. I expect nothing short of brilliance in this production.” Noah beamed with pride. “And you have some powerful student actors in the show.” Scotty collected our empty plates. “Noah is a terrific acting teacher.” He gazed at Noah with pure adoration. “The students are lucky to have you.”
Since theatre is a collaborative art, I said, “Tyler’s execution of David’s scenic design is amazing, and as usual Tyler has been a total work horse. Ariella’s costumes have an incredible gothic look, but they’re light enough for the students to move around in them.”
Noah whispered in my ear, and I restrained myself from throwing myself on top of him. “Can I speak to you about something…personal?”
“Sure.” How about a June wedding?