Author Interview – Drama Muscle by Joe Cosentino

Interview with Joe Cosentino, author of Drama Muscle, the second Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel published by Lethe Press

Please welcome back Joe Cosentino to the Purple Rose Tea Room. Joe, you’ve become a regular.

A regular what?

At the Tea Room. 

Yes, I love it here, the purple peacocks on the wallpaper, the purple silk fans, the purple teapots, the eggplant appetizers on purple plates, the scent of lavender, and of course the purple roses everywhere. The only thing missing are the purple M&Ms.

We’ll get that for next time.

I’ll hold you to that.

Just hold me. Kidding! We don’t want to start any rumors.

Speak for yourself. Let the rumors fly!

Back to the interview. Your Dreamspinner Press novellas (An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland) were well reviewed. 

The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland doesn’t release until January 27.

Think positively. What do you say to people who loved them and might be surprised that the Nicky and Noah mysteries are quite different? 

You might like a blond guy one day and a ginger guy the next.

How did you know?

I know. It’s the same thing with books. I’d ask readers who liked my romance novellas to give Drama Queen and Drama Muscle a try. Like I did with seaweed (when my New Age friend invited me to dinner and I was starving), they may acquire a different taste.

At a past visit, you told us about Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery. Was that well received?

Before that book was released, my mother said to me, “People actually read your books?” Hm, I wonder if Stephen King’s mother asked him that? Thankfully my mother read it and loved it, as did my faculty colleagues at my college who kidded me that if they ticked me off I would murder them in the novel. The readers seemed to really enjoy the humor, guessing whodunit, and falling in love with Nicky and Noah as they fell in love with each other. Reviewers called Drama Queen hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. One reviewer said it was the funniest book of the year! Who am I to argue? In Drama Queen college theatre professors were dropping like stage curtains and amateur sleuths/college theatre professors Nicky and Noah had to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. When the ebook reached eighteen on the Amazon bestsellers list in its category and the paperback and audiobook (with all twenty-four roles played by Michael Gilboe) sold like tickets to Cats after the Tony Awards, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery.

Why did you set the series in a college university? 

As a college professor/department head, I have always been aware that colleges are rife with mystery, romance, and humor. In each book Nicky and Noah eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending—until the next book. Can’t you just see Matt Bomer as Nicky, Neil Patrick Harris as Noah, and me as Martin Anderson (the theatre department head) in the TV version?

Who can I play?

The Playwriting professor in Drama Queen.

Is she sexy?

Very, but she gets murdered.

Figures. I like how the college (Treemeadow) is named after its founders, a gay couple, Tree and Meadow. Why did you set the second novel in the Bodybuilding Department?

Isn’t it obvious? I have always been fascinated with bodybuilders. The concept of eating protein every two hours, lifting weights for three hours a day, shaving every body part, spray tanning, and posing in tiny gold trunks is amazing to me. Not to mention the muscles. When watching a bodybuilding competition on television (okay, I admit it), I noticed the link between bodybuilding and theatre. Since I work out every day—

You do?

Okay, I know it’s hard to believe. That’s one of the reasons (you can guess the other) I am enamored of the real bodybuilders who are so big they don’t even need to iron their shirts.

Tell us a bit about the storyline of Drama Muscle, the current Nicky and Noah mystery?

In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out who is murdering musclemen in the Bodybuilding Department. In the novel Nicky is directing bodybuilding students in Treemeadow College’s annual Bodybuilding competition on campus. Bodybuilding students and faculty drop faster than barbells until Nicky figures out the identity of the murderer, as well as Noah’s secret revolving around Van Granite, one of the bodybuilding professors. Noah’s hysterically funny parents visit from Wisconsin and are drawn into the action, and Nicky and Noah reach a milestone by the end of the novel.

A milestone?

I’ll never tell.

Okay, I have to go here. Nicky is described as having an enormous manhood. Does that help him solve the murders?

It doesn’t hurt. Well, maybe it does. Hah. Nicky has to flirt his way into some places to get certain information, so his handsome face, muscular body, and huge penis are definitely assets. Even more, however, Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues. Most of all, Nicky uses his smarts, always fine assets in an amateur detective. Nicky has such amazing wit, perseverance in the face of adversity, and smarts. I love his sense of determination in not only nabbing the murderer, but also getting his man—Noah. Nicky knows what he wants and how to get it. He is genuinely concerned for others, and he wants to help them. He also has no problem taking on the role of hero. Finally, he is a one-man man, and Nicky is proud to admit that man is Noah Oliver. However, my favorite character in book two is Noah’s mother who is devoted to her son—almost as much as she’s devoted to her camera! I also love how Noah’s father is an amateur sleuth like Nicky. As they say, men marries their fathers.

Nicky is of Italian-American decent, like you. Is that a coincidence?

Not at all. I come from a very funny Italian family. I use that in a great deal of my writing, though my mother swears nothing I write about actually ever happened. When I complained to her about working all day at my college and writing at night, she replied, “Just think how hard you’d have to work if you had a real job.”

She’s a pip. Speaking of pips, Noah is eight years younger than Nicky. Does that present a conflict in their relationship?

People who say age is only a number are lying. Age always comes up. Thankfully, Nicky and Noah handle it, like everything else, with great humor, style, and love.

How do you think up all the clues, red herrings, plot twists and turns, and surprises in the novel?

I learned from the best! I’ve read every Agatha Christie novel and play many times. She is a genius at outlining when and where to give the reader what information. I love the inversion in her books, where she uses sleight of hand to lay out all the information, but not in a straight forward manner. The reader becomes the sleuth to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I also learned a lot about creating funny quirky characters from Armistead Maupin, another amazing writer—like you!

Awwww. You have another mystery series, the Jana Lane mystery series.

Yes, I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press), Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In Porcelain Doll (releasing March 15 from The Wild Rose Press), Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, Jason Apollo. In Satin Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In China Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

Nine Star Press is publishing my two novels that take place at a gay summer resort on the Jersey Shore: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward.

You are certainly prolific. 

It gives me more opportunities to visit you.

Double awwww. How can readers contact you? 

I love to hear from readers at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

On that note, thank you again Joe Cosentino for visiting the Purple Rose Tearoom. Until the next time…

DramaMusclecover

DRAMA MUSCLE (a Nicky and Noah mystery)

a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO from Lethe Press

Paperback: novel
Publisher: Lethe Press
Language: English
Cover Art: Denny Minonne
Cover Design: Inkspiral Design
ISBN-10: 1590215664
ISBN-13: 978-1590215661
Release date: January, 2, 2016

Purchase Links

http://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p353/Drama_Muscle%3A_A_Nicky_and_Noah_Mystery.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590215664/

2015NewAbout the Book

It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!

Praise for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press:

“Without doubt the funniest book I have read this year, maybe ever” “brilliant” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“I cannot stop laughing. Drama Queen is Hardy Boys-meets-Murder She Wrote-meets-Midsummer Murders, with a side of parodic, farcical, satire.” “Who-dunits don’t come more whodunnity than this.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

“I’m hoping that this is just the start for Nicky and Noah. If Jessica Fletcher could have so many murderers in Cabot Cove, why shouldn’t the same hold true for Treemeadow College?” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews

“This fast-paced, hilariously funny, entertaining novel will have you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out who-dun-it!” Joyfully Jay

“a murder mystery, a comedic romp, an investigative caper, and a love story all rolled up into one nifty little novel” The Novel Approach

“The tangled weave of murder mystery and other mysteries comes to a startling conclusion that is both satisfying and mind boggling.” MultitaskingMomma

“I am not used to reading books that make me snigger out loud, but in Drama Queen Joe Cosentino has struck a great balance between his use of tongue in cheek humour and a compelling mystery which we want to see solved.” Divine Magazine

“Nicky and Noah are two sexy leading characters who conduct the investigation in this comedic caper with wit and style.” Vance Bastian Reviews

“Cosentino does a wonderful job of writing a mystery that keeps the reader guessing right up until the end.” Barron Owens Reviews

“I love this story, just the right mix, of fun, hilarity and mystery in the mix. The storyline is fresh and well thought out, and the dynamic of the characters is through the roof! Bike Book Reviews

“The author clearly knows of what he speaks on all matters theater, and the kind of authentic details he brings to the table in terms of characters and staging makes this immensely entertaining.” Love’s Last Refuge Reviews

“Joe Cosentino has brilliantly done it again! His latest novel, Drama Queen, is the most fascinating mystery of all time. I loved the laugh out loud moments and the crazy fast-paced plot. Readers will instantly be drawn into Joe Cosentino’s stunning mystery. I recommend this novel to readers worldwide and look forward to reading the next adventure by this talented writer.” Danielle Urban, Universal Creativity, Inc.

2015NewExcerpt

As the ethereal sound of horns parted the heavenly clouds, the young gods and goddesses appeared in a ray of white light. Standing as strong as the stone columns behind them, the deities displayed stunning muscles, colossal beauty, and mammoth ambition housed in the smallest and most seductive of white garments. Lightning flashed as they formed a resilient line and each struck their first flawless pose. Zeus was dark-skinned and as powerful as thunder. Ganymede at his side had skin of white porcelain and a clever stare. Hercules and Adonis were the perfect blend of masculine vigor and physical splendor. Athena was a gorgeous, olive-skinned warrior, and Aphrodite a lovely, fair-skinned temptress. Achilles watched them all, vowing to be victorious in the end.

“Good work, everyone!”

That was me, Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Directing at Treemeadow College, a white-stone Edwardian-style private college in the quaint and picturesque village of Treemeadow in the equally quaint and picturesque state of Vermont. As inscribed on the two bronze statues at the college’s entrance, the college’s name comes from its founders, Harold Tree and Jacob Meadow. Tree and Meadow were madly wealthy, madly generous, and madly in love. The old gents would no doubt be proud to know that Noah Oliver (Professor of Acting) and I have become a current generation couple at Treemeadow College. That’s not to say Noah and I look anything like our college’s founders. We aren’t made of bronze for one. We wear dress shirts, slacks, and blazers in the fall season rather than heavy dark suits. Also, the Treemeadows were small, thin, scholarly types. Noah and I are both tall. I am of the dark hair, long sideburns, Roman nose, pumped body (thanks to the gym on campus) variety. Oh, there’s one other small thing. Well, it’s not really small. To the delight or horror of my past boyfriends, I have a nine-and-a-quarter-inch penis—flaccid. Luckily, Noah is delighted and totally open (pardon the pun) to new adventures. Noah has luxurious curly-blond hair, batting blue eyes, and the warmest heart in New England. His body is firm and smooth, but not toned as he never goes near the gym—until now!

Each year the top students in the Bodybuilding Department compete in a contest to be named the Top Toned Tan Trojan at Treemeadow (Try saying that three times fast). Actually, the real name is Treemeadow’s Annual Bodybuilding Competition. The winner receives an enormous gold cup, and more importantly, the year’s college tuition free. Given the rising cost of tuition at Treemeadow, this is no lightweight matter (pardon the pun again).

Bodybuilding Department Head Professor Brick Strong asked my Theatre Department Head, Martin Anderson, if Noah and I could use our theatrical expertise to add a dramatic flair to this year’s bodybuilding competition. Since I was not directing a play that semester, Martin agreed to give Noah and me release time, thereby changing our mantra from “Let’s put on a show” to “I’m gonna pump you up.” That led to Noah and me hauling lighting, smoke, sound, and set equipment, along with a number of skimpy Greek period costumes, from the Theatre Department building to the Physical Education building. The plan was that I, as a directing professor, would direct the production, and Noah, as an acting professor, would work with the student-athletes on stage presence for their individual poses.

“Okay everyone, Professor Oliver will take it from here.” I stepped aside and leaned against the gym wall.

Noah flicked back his gorgeous blond locks and took my place in front of the students like a new king taking the throne after a revolution. Sounding delectably butch, he said, “Let’s take a little time to discuss each of your characters. The Greek period was a—”

“That’s the period we’ve selected for the competition in terms of characters, set, and costumes,” I said.

Noah smiled in my direction.

I think Noah and I are the perfect couple. “Rodney, we know that your character, Zeus, was the father of gods and men—” Rodney Towers was tall, dark, and massive with muscle. “—which is why your toga has a thunderbolt on it,” I said.

Noah stiffened.

“I’m always happy to help,” I said.

“So I see.”

“But Professor Oliver is totally in charge now. So everyone, please listen to Professor Oliver,” I said.

“Thank you.” Focusing back on Zeus, rather Rodney, Noah said, “The Greek gods in mythology were part god and part human—”

“Which is why I selected this motif for the competition. You all have human emotion, but your strength and powers are supernatural.”

“Right,” said Noah with a tight jaw.

I folded my arms across my chest. “Professor Oliver is really good at working on character development, so pay close attention to him.”

Noah took in a deep breath. “And the Greek gods were quite amorous—”

“With both sexes,” I said. “Zeus and Ganymede were just one pair of famous lovers who influenced the arts.”

“Excuse me, everyone.” Noah put a hand on my shoulder and ushered me to a corner of the gym. “Nicky, I appreciate your help, but—”

I put my arm around Noah. “You don’t need to thank me. I love you, and I am always here to help you.”

“Well can you please…stop?”

“Did I say something wrong?” I asked dumbfounded.

“I would like to be able to finish a sentence! Will you let me do that?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you.”

“I won’t say another word,” I said as we walked back to the students.

“Promise?” Noah whispered in my ear.

“Of course.” I looked at my watch. “You should move the rehearsal along, since there’s lots more to do.”

2015NewAbout the author

Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Drama Queen and Drama Muscle  Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Nine Star Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, 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 Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Satin Doll and China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Nine Star Press).

connectwiththeauthor

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

DramaQueencover

Interview & Excerpt – Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino

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.

2015 Divider

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!

DramaQueencover

BOOK DETAILS

Author: Joe Cosentino
Series: A Nicky and Noah Mystery
Publisher: Lethe Press
Published: May 27th, 2015
Genre: Gay Comedy Mystery Romance
Length: 196 Pages
ISBN: 9781311345837

2015NewAbout the Book

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!

Purchase Links

Amazon Kindle eBook | Lethe Press Paperback | Smashwords

2015NewExcerpt

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? 

2015NewAbout the author
Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation and Paper Doll. He is the head of the department/professor at a college in upstate New York. Sorry, gents, but he is happily married.

connectwiththeauthor

Website: http://joecosentino.weebly.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Author Interview & Excerpt – Illusions by S.A. Ozment

Please welcome the fabulous S.A. Ozment who’s been kind enough to answer a few questions. She’s also sharing an excerpt from her upcoming release, Illusions! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

Illusions is my first book, so everything seemed a bit challenging in the beginning. Probably the most difficult thing in this story was finding exactly the right way to end it. I ran through several scenarios in my head before finally deciding on one that I liked. I hope it was the right choice.

What are you working on now?

My second book Demons was very emotional for me therefore, I want my next novel to be all about fun and fluff with a bit of romance. I have several ideas, I just need to pick one and run with it.

Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?

I discovered m/m romance when I started watching Queer as Folk about 10 years ago. I fell in love with Brian and Michael and wanted the two of them to have a happily ever after together. However, it wasn’t until I discovered “Chrolli” that I wanted to actually write a love story. “Chrolli” is the story of Christian and Oliver in the German soap opera, “Verbotene Liebe”, which means “Forbidden Love”. I found them one day on You Tube in 2008 and fell in love. When I say that is a beautiful love story, I mean it’s a BEAUTIFUL love story. The entire storyline in on YouTube and it’s subtitled in several languages. It was very popular for a long time. I became friends with Jo Weil (Oliver) as well as the wonderful man who wrote the story, Tom Chroust. After watching that amazing story, all I wanted to do was write my own beautiful love story.

What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

I’m a big fan of anything Hollywood and I enjoyed sharing some things that I had seen and heard from various people through the years. When I wrote about the studios, I recalled going to Paramount Studios and visiting some of the Roswell cast. A lot of what Skylar has to say is from things I have heard my actor friends say in the past or some of the behind the scenes stories that they have shared. It was a lot of fun for me to write.

What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?

I don’t usually plan anything. For example, when I started Illusions, I had no idea that there would be an arsonist involved. That just happened. I started writing the book because I wanted to tell a story about an actor falling in love with non-celebrity person. After a while, the book started to write itself. Honestly, there would be times when I didn’t know, until my fingers started typing, what would happen next. It was all very strange to me, the entire process of Illusions.

How did it feel to sign that first contract?

It was the most surreal feeling. When I started writing “Illusions”, I had just been laid off from my job of twenty-two years and I was frustrated at the job hunting process. Once I started writing, I quickly realized that it very therapeutic. While it felt great to write and be able to say anything I wanted on paper, I never once thought about the story being published. An author friend of mine suggested that I send it to Dreamspinner. When they accepted the manuscript, I jumped up and down. It was a fantastic feeling.

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

Being so new, I’m not sure I can give good advice but I can offer the steps that I took. Once you write your book, have it reviewed by several of your friends for grammar, pacing and anything that may need to be added or removed. Once it’s cleaned up, it’s time to pick a publisher. Make sure you submit the manuscript exactly as they asked and then move on to your next book while you wait. That makes the time go a little faster and hopefully, once you hear they want your book, you’ll be well into your second.

What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you?

I’ve just submitted my second novel “Demons” to Dreamspinner Press and I’m waiting to hear back if they will publish it or not. Other than that, I’ve been promoting “Illusions” and haven’t had time to start another book but I hope to very soon.

What are your five favorite songs and why?

1) Right now, my number one favorite song is Demons by Imagine Dragons. It was my inspiration for the book that I just completed. I feel like everyone has demons that they battle everyday and sometimes it’s easier to just avoid love rather than face down these demons.

2) My second favorite song is The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars. This fan video of Sebastian Stan (who I love) in Kings was my sole inspiration for Skylar in Illusions.

3) I recently found my third favorite. It’s Take Me to Church by Hozier. I have to say that I don’t completely agree with the song. I believe in Church and God, but I know that there are many so called Christians who use the Church to hide behind their own bigotry. I chose to believe the song is about those particular people.

4) Stay with Me by Sam Smith. I absolutely love everything about this song. Besides the fact Sam’s voice is so beautiful, the words break my heart. “Oh won’t you stay with me, ‘cause you’re all that I need.” I believe he wrote this song for his straight best friend, whom he was in love with. Such a sad, yet beautiful song.

5) I’m Not the Only One – Another Sam Smith song that I’m obsessed with. “You say I’m crazy, ‘cause you don’t think I know what you’ve done.” Another song that is so incredibly sad, because his lover is cheating on him and I can feel Sam’s feelings in all of his songs. That is a gift of a true songwriter.

I could go on and on as l love music. I really enjoy the 80’s music, BonJovi, REO Speedwagon, “LoverBoy”, all of those hair bands. They were my favorites.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in lust at first sight. I can’t imagine loving someone until I knew more about them. I do think that you can see someone and be very overwhelmed with feelings but again, I think it’s more physical at that point.

Name 5 favorite movies. Why?

For someone who isn’t really a “fall in love” type of girl, the majority of my five favorite movies are all romantic. Go figure.

Notting Hill – This is probably my all time favorite movie. I love the premise; I adore Hugh Grant’s acting and Spike! Who could not love “Spike”. The soundtrack was beautiful…so many things to love about that movie.

Latter Days – I adored this movie!! I felt so sorry for Aaron when he was thrown out of the Mormon Church for being gay. This movie touched me in so many ways. I still find myself watching it at least once a year.

Love Actually – I’m a huge Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fan so it’s no surprise that this movie is high on my list. I watch it every year, sometimes more than once and it never gets old. Just the love stories, especially the little boy who loves the girl in his class, it’s just so sweet.

Life as a House – I love this movie because the story of the man building the house at the same time he was building his relationship with his son was so beautiful to me. Of course, I cried like a baby at the end. Lovely movie.

Legends of the Fall – This movie introduced me to Brad Pitt and while I could stop there, I did really enjoy the drama of the three brothers and their father in the wilderness.

Thank you again so much for having me here as a guest. I really appreciate it.:)))

Shirley

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IllusionsFS

Genre: M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Christy Caughie 

2015blurb

Ever since arriving in Hollywood, Skylar Murphy has been loving life. He’s starring in a hit television show and on the verge of grabbing the lead role in the most anticipated movie of the decade. Poised on the edge of superstardom, he doesn’t want or need any complications to distract him from that goal. Whether he’s sleeping with a woman or a man, his noncommittal, no-strings-attached love life suits him perfectly, and despite his rep for playing gay roles, the world still thinks he’s straight.

At the launch party for his new show, Skylar meets Aiden Moore, an openly gay firefighter by day and cater waiter to the stars by night. Skylar is immediately attracted to him, but Aiden rejects him. When an arsonist appears to have targeted Skylar, their paths keep crossing. Always up for a challenge, Skylar works to win Aiden over, and he agrees to a date. Soon enough they can’t stay away from each other. Despite hiding their relationship away from the ever-present paparazzi, they’re happy together until a jilted fan joins forces with the arsonist to sabotage their future.

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2015Excerpt

(Lead in– Skylar ran into Aiden, who was serving champagne, at the premier party for The Executives. When there’s a fire at the sound stage near Skylar’s, he spots Aiden again. Not having been introduced, he refers to him as “Mr. Champagne”.)

“…” refers to edited dialogue for length

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It couldn’t be… could it? Skylar looked again to make sure he was not mistaken. This time Skylar saw the flicker of recognition in Mr. Champagne’s eyes before he turned back to continue talking to his chief. As Skylar stood there, trying to decide his next move, he watched Mr. Champagne grab an ax from the side of the truck, put on his helmet, and disappear into the building. That was it. Maybe it was the sheer hotness of that guy just grabbing his ax and walking into a smoke-filled building, or maybe it was the memory of that rock-hard body, but Skylar knew he had to know more about him, fan or not.

“…..”

Mr. Champagne walked out of the building, which was now almost smoke free, and headed toward the fire engine. As he removed his helmet to wipe the sweat off his face, Sophie knew immediately why Skylar was so interested. It was the hot serving guy she had seen him flirting with at the party.

“Is that the guy?” asked Sophie, motioning toward the firefighter.

Skylar moved to block her from Mr. Champagne’s view. “Yes, that’s him, and would you please stop being so obvious?”

“Are you going to talk to him?” she asked.

Getting annoyed at the constant string of questions, Skylar just glared at Sophie and said, “I might. I haven’t decided yet.” Then, motioning toward the soundstage, he said, “But will you please meet me on set? I’ll be there in a second.”

“Okay, fine, but I really think you should talk to him.” At Skylar’s second glare she said, “I’m leaving, I’m leaving. See you in a few.” Sophie walked off down to Soundstage 5.

“…”

Turning back to Mr. Champagne, who looked slightly busy trying to get the hose latched onto the truck, Skylar tried to be patient. But after a few more minutes, Skylar felt he had waited long enough. It’s now or never, he thought as he started toward the fire truck and the sexy fireman.

“Hey,” said Skylar as he walked up behind Mr. Champagne.

Mr. Champagne turned around. Upon seeing it was Skylar, he said, “Hey,” and then he immediately turned back to his truck to finish tying in the hose. He had no time for the disappearing actor.

Okay, what the fuck? Not sure exactly how to take that reaction, but not wanting to back down, Skylar continued, “I saw you a few minutes ago, talking to your fire chief, and I thought that I recognized you. Didn’t you work The Executives premiere party the other night?”

Aiden paused for a second, then turned back and replied, “Yeah, that was me.” And then, unable to stop himself, Aiden said, “Although, I must say, I’m surprised you remembered me. If I’m not mistaken, you were more than wasted that night.”

“You can say that again,” Skylar agreed. “….” “Yet, I do remember you, so I believe that proves that I did have some clarity that night. But I have to admit, if you introduced yourself to me, your name was lost someplace between six and eight gin and tonics.”

Aiden looked at him for a second before responding, “Actually, I didn’t find it necessary to introduce myself. I was just serving champagne to the party guests.”

Well, damn! Skylar, a bit taken back by the chill in the fireman’s voice, said, “Okay. I only thought that you might have because in my experience, most fans introduce themselves right away. Forgive me, I didn’t mean to assume something so simple.”

Aiden turned all the way around, looked Skylar straight in the eye, and said, “Actually you’re still assuming, if you think I’m a fan. Truth is, until that night, I didn’t know who you were.” He paused before finishing with, “Sorry about that.”

Skylar, a bit insulted yet somehow intrigued, stood there for a moment, taking all this new information in. Then he smiled, held out his hand, and quietly said, “No apology needed. Let me introduce myself. My name is Skylar Murphy.” And you are certainly going to know me now.

2015About the author

S.A. Ozment was born and raised in North Carolina. From day one, she had stars in her eyes and by the time she hit high school she wanted to move to NYC and sing on Broadway. The fates (her parents) had other ideas, so she was hustled off to college and four years later, she was an accountant and had pushed those dreams aside.

For many years, on her time off, S.A. worked with different actors as a forum manager/social media promoter. Today, she is again an accountant by day but still finds time to promote a few actors (some officially, some not so officially) at night.

In 2013, she was laid off from her accounting job of twenty years. While looking for another job, she had free time to do other things. She had always loved to tell stories and therefore, she decided to use some of her experiences and write a book.  Once the writing bug hit her, there was no stopping it. She has just finished her second book and is beginning a third.

Most nights, you can find her curled up in the recliner with her laptop either writing or working on some type of promotion. unless “The Walking Dead” is on, then she will be found in front of the television.

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You can reach S.A. Ozment at saozment@gmail.com

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