Coffee Time Romance & More





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Good morning, Joe, and welcome to Coffee Time Romance. We have a cozy recliner for you to relax in and some delicious baked treats with hot coffee to enjoy. Why not slip your feet into the cozy slippers while the readers eagerly learn more about the remarkable and talented, Joe Cosentino.

Thank you so much! I actually do have a recliner in my study. So I am totally relaxed! I hope I stay awake. Hah.

Joe, why not begin by telling our readers how you begin your day?

Since I am a college professor/department head, I teach my students acting during the day. I love giving back to young people. And they say the most hysterically funny things (which I’ve used)!
Joe is going to tell us about some of his current releases. Why don't we begin with Paper Doll. Paper Doll is part mystery and romance. Could you share with your readers the insight on this story?

PAPER DOLL (Whiskey Creek Press) holds a special place in my heart, since it was my first novel (released in March). As a child I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. So 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, 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.

Readers begged for more, so I continued writing them. In PORCELAIN DOLL (coming soon 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 (coming 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 (just finished), 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.

Through the course of the books, Jana not only solves the mysteries, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us. As one reviewer wrote, she starts out as a wounded bird, and ends as tiger.

Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, I have a great deal of fun with the fashion, music, and various events and locations.
Do you write on schedule or when the inspiration strikes?

Generally I wake up at three o’clock in the morning with a terrific idea and jot it down on my night table. It drives my spouse crazy. Hah. Since I am a college professor, I write at night. My mother asked me, “Don’t you have anything better to do than write books at night?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother asked him that? Hah. I generally 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.

Joe, would you please tell us a bit about your other current releases, An Infatuation In My Heart novella 1 (February) and A Shooting Star In My Hear novella 2 (September) both from Dreamspinner Press?

AN INFATUATION began as a hit one-act play Off-Broadway, which I later expanded into a novella. The story follows nerdy Harold and hunky Mario from high school days through their thirties. 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. Harold’s devotion to his spouse is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. Stuart, Harold’s devoted spouse, is very much like my devoted spouse. 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. I also love that Harold and Mario come full circle at their high school reunion. I want to play Principal Ringwood in the movie!

A SHOOTING STAR brings us into the world of college theatre as freshman Jonathan is molded, personally and professionally, by the mysterious and tantalizing senior David. Like Harold in AN INFATUATION, Jonathan 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. 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!

Like AN INFATUATION, A SHOOTING STAR has been getting a great response from readers.
Where did you get the premise to write these stories?

I was 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 the troublemakers had become police officers, and the homophobes had come out as gay. AN INFATUATION was born.

After AN INFATUATION was released by Dreamspinner Press, readers told me they laughed, cried, and their lives were changed by reading it. I received numerous requests 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 SHOOTING STAR evolved. 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. There was the star student who got the leading role in every show. That student is David Star. 

A SHOOTING STAR is not the first time you’ve written about college life. Tell us about your Nicky and Noah mystery series (Lethe Press).

The Nicky and Noah mystery series from Lethe Press takes place at Treemeadow College, a fictitious white stone Edwardian New England college. Though the novel is a farcical, gay, who-dun-it, I again was able to think back to my college days and incorporate some of the people and happenings from days gone by. I was also able to use some scenarios, though grossly exaggerated, from my current stint as a college theatre professor/department head.

In DRAMA QUEEN (released in June) theatre college professors are dropping like stage curtains. With the inept local detective more interested in getting into Nicky’s pants than solving the murders, it is up to well-endowed Directing professor, Nicky Abbondanza to use his theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve the case, while he directs a murder mystery onstage. Complicating matters is Nicky’s intense crush on Assistant Professor of Acting, gorgeous Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murder (whose tenure application was not supported by the first victim).

In DRAMA MUSCLE (not released yet) Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition.
In DRAMA CRUISE (not released yet), 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.

The fourth book (not yet written), DRAMA ALOHA, will have Nicky and Noah putting on a luau show as muscular male dancers drop like hula skirts. As the series progressing, Nicky and Noah fall deeper in love, and the readers hopefully fall deeper in love with Nicky and Noah.

Readers love the humor, and trying to figure out who did it and why.

In addition to the ebook and paperback, DRAMA QUEEN has an audiobook performed by the versatile and very funny Michael Gilboe.

What’s next for you in terms of MM novellas?

Dreamspinner Press is publishing A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (an American travels to Capri Italy and embarks on a romance with his handsome third cousin) in November/December, and THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (gay fairytales) in February.

What are you writing now?

A new series of novels in a gay beach resort called COZZI COVE. Though I hide under a beach umbrella due to my fair skin, I love the beach!

Can you describe your writing place?

I have a cozy study with a large cherry wood desk, bookcases, and fireplace mantel. My window seat looks out over the woods. It’s the perfect place to write.

Name three things you look for in a companion?

My spouse is honest, smart, and he loves my stories!
You have had an interesting life, and appeared with some great actors. Can you let the readers know, of all the actors you were in contact, which did you find the most fascinating?
As an actor I performed with Bruce Willis (A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM on stage), Nathan Lane (THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT on stage), Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T Industrial), Holland Taylor (MY MOTHER WAS NEVER A KID ABC-TV movie), Charles Keating (ANOTHER WORLD on NBC), and Jason Robards (Commercial Credit Computer commercial). Each of them was incredibly smart, witty, and kind.

Is there anywhere that you would love to visit for at least a week?

I’d love to go back to Capri, Italy. It is gorgeous and magical. I wrote a novella taking place there called A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, releasing soon from Dreamspinner Press.

Do you have a particular food that you never grow tired of eating?

Almond butter and bananas.

Joe, is there anything else you would like to share?

I love hearing from readers. They can contact me at:

Thank you for being with us today. It was fun getting to learn more about Joe. I look forward to reading all your wonderful stories.

Thank you so much, and happy reading!






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