About the Author:
Joe Cosentino is the author of Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), 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.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
Since I was a professional actor, I have quite an imagination. So I leave a pad and pen on my night table. During the night I wake up and write down enough ideas to fill a library of books. After I select the idea to work on next, I write a character biography for each character. That leads to the outline and eventually a first and second draft. After my spouse reads the second draft, I do a third draft, which goes to the publisher.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Constantly. Once they start talking to one another, I often have to deviate from the outline. Since I have a great deal of improvisational training as an actor, this is fine with me.
What drew you to the M/M genre in particular?
There are so many untold gay stories. Just look at the endless array of movie posters in the malls with no gay characters represented. Also, like most writers, I use a great deal of content from my own life in my writing.
Do you write in other genres besides M/M?
Yes, I have a straight mystery series (with gay supporting characters), the Jana Lane mysteries, about an ex-child star solving murders. The first novel is out now, PAPER DOLL (Whiskey Creek Press). I believe the next one, PORCELAIN DOLL (where Jana solves a murder while making a comeback film), will be published soon. I couldn’t resist making Jana’s agent, best friend, and greatest fan gay.
What is your favourite food?
Oatmeal with raisins, banana, walnuts, and cinnamon.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl. Since I am a college professor/department head (like Martin Anderson in DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery), I am busy during the day. My writing time is at night after my spouse goes to sleep.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I’ve already been through most of the US, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as to six countries in Europe. I’d like to take a river boat cruise through Austria, once they have same-sex civil marriage equality.
Do distant places feature in your books?
AN INFATUATION, my MM bittersweet dreams novella from Dreamspinner Press, takes place in New York and New Jersey, since those are my roots. DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery novel from Lethe Press, takes place in a fictitious Edwardian-style college community in New England. My fall release MM bittersweet dreams romance novella from Dreamspinner Press, A SHOOTING STAR, takes place in Colorado. My upcoming holiday romance novella from Dreamspinner Press, A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, takes place in Capri, Italy, one of my favorite vacation spots.
Do you listen to music while writing?
No, I need absolute silence to be with my characters.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
My latest MM romance novella is AN INFATUATION from Dreamspinner Press. Happily married Harold attends his ten-year high reunion and finds Mario, his high school crush, may be ready to deal with his own sexuality. The flashbacks from high school are hysterically funny, and the resolution is quite dramatic yet fulfilling. It began as a one-act play, which I expanded and morphed into a novella. While the situation is fictitious, Harold is based on me. 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. Readers tell me they laugh and cry at this novella, and fall in love with Harold and Mario. Since it released in February, I am very happy with the response. Many readers have asked for a sequel. While that isn’t in the offering, my next MM bittersweet dreams romance novella from Dreamspinner Press, A SHOOTING STAR, is another remembrance novella with humor.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
It doesn’t end after the book is released. There is promotion to do!
Is there anything you would do differently?
I wouldn’t worry about reader response and reviews. Thankfully they have for the most part been incredibly positive.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
I’ve read many MM writers like Jeff Erno and Armistead Maupin. I like Jeff’s sincere and likeable characters, and Armistead’s zany and unexpected plot twists. 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.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Write what tickles your fancy, and don’t worry about selling it. That will come later.
What are three words that describe you?
Funny, thoughtful, and chatty.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books.
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery from Lethe Press, released June, 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!
List of previous books if any
I am the author of Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), 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). My 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.
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Thank you, Joe and good luck with your books :)