Author Interview & Excerpt – An Infatuation by Joe Cosentino

Hello all! Please welcome the fabulous, multi-talentd author Joe Cosentino who’s dropped by to answer a few questions and share an excerpt from his latest release An Infatuation!

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Hello, Joe. What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

It is always hard for me to write homophobic characters. How nonsensical is it for someone to spend his/her time, money, and energy trying to hurt, belittle, or take away the rights of someone else? In most cases, the homophobic person is gay him/herself, and due to internalized homophobia, is battling with him/herself via the gay target. That is the case with the two homophobic characters in my novel.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in that you would love to write?

I’ve written plays, children’s plays, straight mystery/romance (PAPER DOLL, Whiskey Creek Press), and MM romance/humor (AN INFATUATION). My next project is an MM mystery/romance/humor series set in the world of academia. Since I am a college professor, I know that world quite well. Happily, nobody has been murdered at my college—yet. I am finishing the first three novels, DRAMA QUEEN, DRAMA MUSCLE, and DRAMA CRUISE.

If you were stranded on a desert island (food and water provided), what three things would you take with you?

First I’d take my spouse, because we take good care of each other. Next, would be my bed since I’m not one to rough it. Finally, my computer, because I can’t stop writing!

Do you have a designated writing area at home? What’s it like?

I have a cozy study with a fireplace, window seat, and a cherry wood desk.

What’s a typical writing day like for you?

Since I am a college professor and busy during the day, I write late at night. I find being a little tired helps me not to stifle my thoughts, and allows for open creativity. Sometimes I’m surprised the next day at what I’ve written!

What are you working on now?

I’m writing a sequel to PAPER DOLL called PORCELAIN DOLL. It’s about an ex-child star, now middle aged, making a comeback film, and finding herself at the hands of a murderer as well as a handsome co-star.

Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?

I was thinking back to my high school days, and how difficult it was back then for a gay teen before GLSEN, PFLAG, and WILL AND GRACE. Lab partners, gym locker rooms, and club meetings where super important. At my high school reunion, I realized that all the troublemakers had become police officers, and all the homophobes had come out as gay. AN INFATUATION was born.

What did you enjoy most about writing the story?

While the situation is fictitious, Harold is based on me, so that was fun. Actually, I really admire Harold’s resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Harold’s devotion to his spouse, Stuart, is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature. I also love the anti-bullying message of the story.

What are you finding to be the most challenging part of being a published author?

Finding the time to write, submit, and publicize my work. My spouse teases me that he’s my assistant.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?

I recommend letting your characters talk to one another and seeing what happens. An outline is simply an outline. Don’t be afraid to deviate from it. Also, a romance story needs much more than romance. Don’t forget the humor, and the twists and turns in the story. If you are writing a mystery, carefully place clues and red herrings throughout, culminating with a logical ending. Finally, until gays have equal civil rights, a little politicking never hurt.

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BOOK DETAILS

Title: An Infatuation
Cover Artist: Christy Caughie
Length: Novella
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, Bittersweet
Release Date: Feb 4th, 2015

2015blurb

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 at their ten-year high school reunion, the old flame reignites. Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner Press

2015Excerpt

One Friday afternoon I accidentally ran into my hero in the boy’s locker room. I’d had enough of the big guys banging me into gym lockers, pushing me into cold showers, and hanging me from the gym ropes. So I was on my way to give Mr. Adoni a note from Dr. Dlorah excusing me from gym class for the remainder of the school year (due to my highly contagious disease being studied by my doctor in Guatemala, where he could not be reached for the next year).

The locker room smelled of an odd combination of soap, cologne, sweat, and desire. Mario was getting ready for football practice, standing at his gym locker without a combination lock on it. Nobody would dare to break into it (Except for me that one time I smelled his jock strap. Okay maybe it was a few times, but not more than ten.). Mario slid his T-shirt (red today) over his thick, black hair and threw it on the nearby bench. No longer harnessed by cotton, his arm, back, chest, and neck muscles swelled to full size. I was half hidden behind the adjoining row of lockers, wearing my usual green and blue flannel shirt and brown corduroy pants. Mario, who wasn’t looking in my direction, said something really beautiful to me that I will never forget. “Hi.”

“Did you just? Oh. Hi. Hello. Good afternoon. Nice to see you. I mean, change with you.” I looked down at the floor (but cheated a bit) as Mario kicked off his boots, slipped off his jeans then threw them in the lucky locker. His red underpants (briefs) revealed ample manhood. This is better than the newspaper’s underwear ads!

“Good gym class today with Mr. Adonis, I mean, Mr. Adoni.” Did I just say that? “Harold High.”

“Hi.”

“High.” How can I get my pulse down to 260?

“Hi.” Mario reached into his locker for his sweat clothes.

Shouldn’t people be doing that for you? “Oh, my last name is High. Like a kite.” How can I stop my arms from waving like an airport flagger on speed?

“Mario Ginetti. Like nothin’ else imaginable.” Mario smiled, revealing a row of perfectly white teeth, and held the sweat clothes in his hands as if he was mortal.

“I know. I watch your body play.” Why can’t I stop talking? “I mean, I watch you play … football … on the field … in your football outfit.” I feel like Michelangelo with his David!

As Mario put on his sweats, I continued to sweat.

“I’m voting for your body … I mean I’m voting for you for president of your … our … the student body.” I need my jaw wired shut. “I’m your lab partner in Chemistry class. Ms. Hungry’s class … I mean Ms. Hunsley’s class.”

His olive-colored face glistened as Mario’s face registered recognition—of me! “I thought I knew you from somewheres. Hey, thanks for doing the lab reports.”

“It’s my honor … I mean my pleasure. It’s fine. If you need help putting up posters for your campaign, I can … ”

Having just tied the laces of his sneakers, Mario stood absolutely still. He looked at me as if he was staring into my heart and somehow knew what I was feeling. “I gotta take a wicked piss.”

Can I watch?

“Thanks for helping me out, Buddy.” He slammed the locker door and left.

He called me, Buddy! My heart was as soft and silly as putty that Mario held in the palm of his hand like his soap on a rope.

2015About the author

Joe Cosentino is the author of the acclaimed mystery novel, Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press). 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 a musical theatre adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals), and 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 Porcelain Doll and Drama Queen.

connectwiththeauthor

Website | Goodreads | Amazon

Katherine Halle – Fixing the Hole: Character Interview

Hi, Katherine Halle here. Charlie has graciously agreed to host me today. I’m here with an interview of one of the MC’s from my most recent novella, Fixing the Hole, out with Dreamspinner.

“We’re here with Riley Jones, contractor extraordinaire.”

Riley ducks his head and blushes. “Well, I don’t know about that. I mean, my business is still pretty new. But I do all right.”

“So you’ve been in the contracting business how long?”

“Hmm, just about ever since I could remember? I mean, I started doing odd jobs when I was in high school. I started my own business after I graduated from college. So, I guess four-ish years?”

“Let me ask you some of the same things I asked Steve. What’s your favorite color?”

“Red, definitely red.”

“Favorite food?”

“Oh…that’s hard. Steve’s favorite is tacos. I don’t know. I really love homemade pasta, you know, like spaghetti and some crispy garlic bread? SO GOOD. But Steve makes this shrimp dish, with cream and Old Bay and turkey bacon. Seriously, one of the best things I’ve ever had in my mouth.”

“What about guilty pleasure food?”

“Mint chocolate. Hands down. Any kind. Andes Mints. Mint M&M’s, Mint Oreos, you name it, I love it.”

“So does Steve buy you a lot of that stuff?”

Riley rubs the back of his neck self-consciously. “Yeah, he’ll leave little treats in my truck, stashed in my tool belt, in my glove box, he even squirreled some away in my lunch box one day. I’m always finding mint chocolate something. He’ll deny it but he’s just a big old softie romantic. He bought me flowers on our first official date. On our second date he queued up my favorite movie on Netflix.”

“And what movie is that?”

“The Avengers. Well, really anything in the Marvel Universe, but yeah, The Avengers. Cannot wait for Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron.”

“And Steve’s favorite?”

Riley laughs. “Well, that you would have to ask him. But I’ll tell you between us, the Twilight series.” He looks around furtively and laughs again. “Really don’t tell him I said that.”

I laugh right along with him. “Okay, as long as you tell me something secret about yourself.”

Riley goes still, something I’m told is unusual for him. “I love him. Like balls to the wall, no holds barred, my heart is a goner, until I die, love him. I don’t know what I would do without him. He thinks I’m the one that fixed his heart, but really? He fixed mine.”

“Wow. And on that, I think we’ll close, because really? What better way to close then on a heartfelt love declaration like that. Thanks for being with us Riley. If anyone has any questions for Riley, go right ahead and ask, I know he’ll be happy to answer –”

“YES! Ask away, I love talking to people, as long as it’s not TOO personal,” he laughs nervously.

“You heard the man, he’s ready and waiting for your questions!”

Thank you Charlie for hosting me today! Check out Fixing the Hole from Dreamspinner.

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Katherine

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TH2014Blurb

Heavy rains and strong winds slammed an uprooted tree through Steve Crowell’s roof, leaving a gaping hole to match the one in his heart. After his ex left him for a younger man, Steve’s not sure he’s ready to handle another disaster. His best friend highly recommended the contractor, but the man’s already late, and when he shows up with his music thumping, Steve isn’t impressed—until Riley steps out of his pickup truck. Personable, gorgeous Riley talks a mile a minute, which Steve finds both ridiculously endearing and terrifying. Piecing together a heart isn’t as easy as fixing a roof, but Riley might just be the right man for the job.

TH2014Excerpt

I was just about to look at my watch again when I heard a pickup truck come rattling up the driveway, loud pop music blaring from the open window.

Silence reigned when the engine cut off. I watched as a wiry young man opened the door and stepped out. I looked him over and took in the muscular legs shaped by a tight pair of jeans. My gaze roved over muscles barely contained by a fitted, army green Henley, finally landing on bright green eyes set in a young face under a military-style buzz cut of brown hair.

“Hi.” The young man strode forward, his hand outstretched. “I’m Riley Jones and you must be Steven Crowell. Sorry for being late. My dad tried to convince me to make him eggs and bacon instead of the oatmeal he should be eating for his heart, and he wouldn’t let up until I promised to make him a big breakfast this weekend.”

Confused by this outpouring of information, I found myself stupidly saying, “Breakfast?”

“Yeah, my mom died when I was in junior high, so it’s been the two of us for so long that I just never moved out. I mean, I was gone during college, but then I came back, started my contracting business and it was just cheaper to live with him than get my own place. Then he had some heart trouble and if I don’t make him eat right, he’ll just eat burgers and fries or those god-awful frozen dinners all the time. And wow, sorry, I just keep talking, don’t I? Why don’t you show me what you need done, Mr. Crowell?”

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TH2014Author

Katherine Halle is known as the “Queen of Happy Endings.” She firmly believes that no matter what the obstacles, what the struggles, or how much angst is involved in the journey, that the ending should always be a happy one.

 Katherine’s love of the written word started at a very early age with repeated demands of “read to me” to any who would listen. It was only natural that writing would follow. As a child, she could often be found daydreaming, thinking up fanciful stories and writing them down. Now she does it on a laptop. Much faster.

 Katherine’s favorite animal is her dog. She likes books, movies, and quirky television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hart of Dixie. She loves cooking and watching cooking shows. She has lived in both Europe and the United States and loved both. When she’s not writing or plotting, Katherine enjoys spending her time listening to music, reading books written by other people, and being with her family.

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Twitter | Blog | Dreamwidth Blog | Goodreads  

Email: katherinehalle@yahoo.com