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Today’s Author Spotlight is with Joe Cosentino and we get an inside look at his newest book, Drama Muscle. The Author Spotlight will focus on a different author every few weeks – it may feature an experienced writer who has a long history of published books, or a new author who is destined to be a future star. You can keep in touch with Joe at the links following the interview!
Author Spotlight:Joe Cosentino
First off, I want to thank Joe for taking the time to answer these questions for me. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comment section below!
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
What is the title of your newest or upcoming book?
What publisher is this book being published by?
What is the publication date?
Drama Muscle by Joe Cosentino
Purchase links: Amazon
THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
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).
Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest 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!
What genre does it fall in?
Will you share a few words about your latest book, other than the usual blurb?
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. What dedication! I quickly noticed the link between bodybuilding and theatre. So I realized the second Nicky and Noah mystery would take place in the Bodybuilding Department at Treemeadow College.
Give us a little insight into your main characters! Who are they?
If you haven’t read Drama Queen (and you should!), the Nicky and Noah mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears: Treemeadow College. It is a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, and at the center is a touching gay romance between Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. Along the way, Nicky and Noah fall in love, as I’ve heard the readers fall in love with them. 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!
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
Yes. 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 #18 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 Les Mis after the Tony Awards, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery. In the current novel, Drama Muscle, Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out who is murdering musclemen in the Physical Education Department. Since I work out every day (yet see very little results!) and am enamored of the real bodybuilders who are so big they don’t even need to iron their shirts, Drama Muscle holds a special place in my heart. 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. The third book (Drama Cruise not yet published) takes us on cruise to Alaska for sights of glaciers and whales while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship. 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. Reviewers called Drama Queen hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit. Who am I to argue?
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. When and where is your favorite time/place to write?
Since I am a college professor, I write at night when a bit tired. Somehow the creativity flows unobstructed–for better or for worse. Hah.
What sort of book do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
I reread all the Agatha Christie mysteries and still love them.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?
After majoring in theatre in college I became a professional actor, working in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T industrial), Nathan Lane (Roar of the Greasepaint onstage), Bruce Willis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream onstage), Charles Keating (NBC’s Another World), Jason Robards (Commercial Credit computer commercial), and Holland Taylor (ABC’s My Mother Was Never a Kid TV movie). Moving on to playwriting and ultimately writing novels came next. Along the way I received two master’s degrees and became a college professor/department head (like Martin Anderson in the Nicky and Noah mystery series).
What does your writing process look like?
I have a cozy (no pun intended) home study with a window seat, fireplace with a cherry wood mantel (like Martin Anderson in the Nicky and Noah mysteries), a huge cherry wood desk, and cherry wood bookshelves. I start with character biographies, an outline, then plan out the clues/plot twists and turns/red herrings/and of course the surprise ending!
Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?
Obviously gay stories are part of my life. Also, there are still many untold stories about gay people. Go to the mall and look at the movie posters sans any gay characters on them. However, just as my Jana Lane series with its gay supporting characters has huge crossover appeal for gay people, the Nicky and Noah series with its straight supporting characters has a tremendous amount of crossover appeal for straight people. Besides, everybody likes a clever mystery, a sweet romance, and a good laugh.
One last questions…totally unrelated to books! I am a passionate foodie. Is there one thing in your pantry that you would be horrified for people to know that you eat?
Vitamins–like Nicky in my series!
Thankyou so much for answering my questions. I think my readers will enjoy learning more about you! Good luck in your future writing!