Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer), 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 Porcelain Doll (the second Jana Lane mystery) and Drama Muscle (the second Nicky and Noah mystery).
And now from the author himself:
As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto. Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me (rather than committed me-hah). Eventually I became an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give writing a try.
I like playing and writing engaging characters who I want to spend time with. If acting or directing, I do improvisations with other actors to flesh out the backgrounds or back-stories of the characters. When writing I let my characters talk to one another and see what happens!
Also, by having read hundreds of them, I’ve learned a great deal about mystery writing. I write mystery novels that drop lots of clues leading to the murderer. I also incorporate many other characters with secrets into the story. I create an entire world of suspense above and beyond “who done it.” When a reader finishes my books, he / she should be satisfied that the various parts equaled the whole, rather than the author pulling an ending out of the hat. When I read a great novel, I feel as if I am the leading character, going through the story and experiencing all of the emotions right along with him / her. A terrific mystery lays out all the clues and culminates with only one possible ending, unveiling various secrets along the way. I don’t appreciate mystery novels, where authors lay out clues then arbitrarily pick a murderer.
So I knew my first novel would be a show business story, since show business has always been such a huge part of my life. As an avid mystery reader, it was clear to me that my novel would be a page-turning murder mystery with clever plot twists, engaging characters, romance, humor, and lots of clues leading to a surprising conclusion.
In my mystery / romance novel, PAPER DOLL, I share my love of movies and moviemakers with my readers. I have always been fascinated with ex-child stars like Hayley Mills, Shirley Temple, Patty Duke, and Brooke Shields. My heroine, Jana Lane, is an ex-child star who has lost her self esteem as an adult. Through the course of the book, Jana not only solves the mystery of her past, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us.
I was also 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 were 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. A story was born: my MM romance novella AN INFATUATION.
While the situation is fictitious, Harold is based on me, and some things I went through in high school. 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 is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. Mario is a combination of many supposedly straight, perfect guys who gay guys so easily become infatuated with every day. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature in their special relationship.
Next, I am using my background as a college theatre professor for a new comedy mystery series premiering this summer by Lethe Press: the Nicky and Noah mysteries, beginning with DRAMA QUEEN.
After that, come on movie producers, let’s turn them all into movies!
You can find out more about Joe and his books (listed below) from http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
- ‘An Infatuation’ released from Dreamspinner Press February 4, 2015
- ‘Paper Doll’ (Jana Lane mystery book 1) released from Whiskey Creek Press March 5, 2015
- ‘Drama Queen’ (Nicky and Noah mystery book 1) released from Lethe Press summer 2015
And now more about the books themselves…
Paper Doll, a mystery / romance novel from Whisky Creek Press, e-book $4.99, available from http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1292 and http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Doll-Jana-Lane-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00THKODUC)
Jana Lane was America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now she’s 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. 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. Can Jana uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future?
An Infatuation, a romance novella from Dreamspinner Press, e-book $4.99, available from:
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.
You can subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com. You can also sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything (see this blog’s right-hand side bar).
You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.
For anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.
If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.