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. Today our Author Spotlight will be on Joe Cosentino. 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?
A SHOOTING STAR
What publisher is this book being published by?
What is the publication date?
Shooting Star by Joe Cosentino
On the eve of the best night of his life, winning an Academy Award, Jonathan Bello thinks back to his one great love, David Star.
Flipping back the pages of time, Jonathan recalls his handsome, muscular, and charismatic college roommate. Since Jonathan was a freshman and David a senior in the Theatre Department, David took Jonathan under his wing and molded him, not only as an actor but as a lover. With every wonderful new adventure, David left his joyful mark on anyone with whom they came in contact, but Jonathan soon uncovered David’s dark past, leading to a shocking event. Undaunted, Jonathan celebrates the captivating man who will always hold a special place in his heart.
A Dreamspinner Press Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Shooting Star by Joe Cosentino is one of Dreamspinner Press’s Bittersweet Romances. Which means that while you will get a sortof happy ending, there is also a touch of sadness as well. So, keep that in mind if you only read truly ‘happily ever after’ romance books!
In Shooting Star, we meet Jonathan, who is a freshman theater major. His roommate David Star is a senior theater major and a truly wonderful actor. He takes Jonathan under his wing to help turn him into a star. Jonathan is overwhelmed and can’t help falling in love. However, David isn’t quite the man he portrays himself to be and Jonathan’s love may not be enough to fix him.
David seems like a fascinating character with his exotic meals, fancy clothes and unique mannerisms. A bit unrealistic at times but he definitely caught my attention. The more you learn about him, the more you want to know. As the story moves along I find myself torn between disliking him and pitying him. You are given glimpses of of life that hint at his underlying emotions but you never really understand him completely.
Jonathan is a bit mousy and unsure of himself. He gets overwhelmed quickly by David’s personality. It’s frustrating that he doesn’t see what’s right in front of his eyes because he’s blinded by David’s personality. While part of me understood his awe and love struck attitude, a bigger part of me was annoyed at how he let himself get walked all over.
The book reads more like a play rather than real life. A beautifully written play but the situations and mannerisms and secondary characters don’t seem quite real to me. It was, however, a story that really grabs you and tugs at your emotions. The writing is smooth and almost poetic at times. For me it resembled real life that was embellished a bit and Jonathan mentions in the last scene that the facts may have been a bit skewed. Definitely a unique and enjoyable story.
THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe 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 A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella), The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press short stories novella), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press), and Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press).
Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest book?
On the eve of the best night of his life, winning an Academy Award, Jonathan Bello thinks back to his one great love, David Star. Flipping back the pages of time, Jonathan recalls his handsome, muscular, and charismatic college roommate. Since Jonathan was a freshman and David a senior in the Theatre Department, David took Jonathan under his wing and molded him, not only as an actor but as a lover. With every wonderful new adventure, David left his joyful mark on anyone with whom they came in contact, but Jonathan soon uncovered David’s dark past, leading to a shocking event. Undaunted, Jonathan celebrates the captivating man who will always hold a special place in his heart.
What genre does it fall in?
Will you share a few words about your latest book, other than the usual blurb?
After my Bittersweet Dreams novella, AN INFATUATION, was released by Dreamspinner Press, I received numerous requests from readers for a second novella in the In My Heart series. Since AN INFATUATION was loosely based on my high school days through adulthood, I thought back to my days as a theatre major in college, and A SHOTING STAR was born. Like most college theatre departments, mine was full of comedy, romance, mystery, and of course drama. The flames of love were kindled and hearts were broken while we put up play after play for delighted audiences who never knew the personal secrets behind the stage curtains.
Give us a little insight into your main characters! Who are they?
Like Harold in AN INFATUATION, Jonathan in A SHOOTING STAR is loosely based on me, though I haven’t won an Academy Award—yet. He is ingenuous, funny, warm, gullible, and has an open heart. As is the case with Stuart in AN INFATAUTION, Barry, Jonathan’s loyal scene partner in A SHOOTING STAR, is loosely based on my spouse. Similar to Mario in AN INFATUATION, David in SHOOTING STAR is a combination of a number of young men I met as a theatre major in college and as a young actor. They were gay, bi, closet-gay, or straight. Each was handsome, muscular, charismatic, sensuous, and almost other-worldly like Greek gods. Though they appeared to hold the world in the palm of their strong hands, they each had a secret weakness. The acting professor, the hysterically hypochondriac Professor Katzer, is a lampooned version of an acting professor I had in college who has since passed away. I want to play him in the movie version!
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
Yes. The second Bittersweet Dreams In My Heart novella. AN INFATUATION was the first.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. When and where is your favorite time/place to write?
I have a beautiful study overlooking the woods with a window seat, cherry wood mantel fireplace/desk/bookcase. Since I am a college professor, I write in the evenings while everyone is asleep.
What sort of book do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
Jeff Erno’s WE DANCED. It was very touching.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?
After college 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. Morphing into writing plays and now novels seem like the perfect progression. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give writing a try. After writing some plays, I knew my novels would include show business in some way, since show business has always been such a huge part of my life. As a college professor/department head in the theatre department, I have access to young people who help stimulate my imagination.
What does your writing process look like?
I write a plot summary and biography for each character. Sometimes I write an outline and other times I wing it. I show the second draft to my spouse for his notes. The third draft goes to the publisher.
Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?
Go to the mall and see poster after poster of movies with no gay characters in them. I wonder how this affects gay teens. There are so many untold gay stories–and many of them are in my head! I also have a gay comedy mystery series, the Nicky and Noah mysteries, premiering with DRAMA QUEEN published by Lethe Press. Finally, I also have a straight (with gay supporting characters) mystery romance series, the Jana Lane mysteries, premiering with PAPER DOLL from Whiskey Creek Press. DRAMA MUSCLE (Lethe Press) and PORCELAIN DOLL (Wild Rose Press) are slated for release in 2016.
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?
Prunes, you can probably figure out why.
Thankyou so much for answering my questions. I think my readers will enjoy learning more about you! Good luck in your future writing!