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Welcome Joe Cosentino

A big welcome to Joe Costentino. I'm interviewing him today as part of his blog tour for his new release A Shooting Star from Dreamspinner Press.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
I started as 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 began with playwriting and morphed into fiction. My novels are full of comedy, romance, mystery, and drama—just like real life. As someone who read every Agatha Christie novel, I enjoy writing two mystery series: the Nicky and Noah comedy mysteries from Lethe Press (premiered with DRAMA QUEEN), and the Jana Lane romance mysteries from Whiskey Creek Press (premiered with PAPER DOLL)

Can you tell us about your new release? What inspired you to write it?
After my Bittersweet Dreams novella, AN INFATUATION, was released by Dreamspinner Press, I received numerous requests from readers begging 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. In A SHOOTING STAR new college theatre major Jonathan meets the gorgeous, muscular, tantalizing, and mysterious upper classroom and theatre department star aptly named David Star. As David grooms Jonathan for college life and for stardom, Jonathan falls deeply in love with him. This leads Jonathan on an inner and outer journey, where he learns some shocking secrets about David, and about himself. As a remembrance story, the novella begins with Jonathan having just received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Film, as he thinks back to the person who was responsible for his win.

Are there any characters that you write, that are based on you, or people you know?
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. 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!

Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about them?
I generally wake up in the middle night with a great idea, and jot notes down on the pad on my night table. I write extensive character biographies and an outline. My spouse reads the second draft, and the third draft goes to the publisher.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things (or people) would you want there with you?
My spouse for company, my do-it-all neighbor to build a hut/gather and cook food, and Zeb Atlas to look at (hah).

What are your writing and personal goals for 2015 and beyond?
I will be editing for release: A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (a winter holiday novella taking place in Capri, Italy) from Dreamspinner Press, THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TAKES FROM FAIRYLAND (gay fairy tales novella) from Dreamspinner Press, PORCELAIN DOLL (the second Jana Lane mystery) and SATIN DOLL (the third Jana Lane mystery) from Wild Rose Press, DRAMA MUSCLE (the second Nicky and Noah comedy mystery) and DRAMA CRUISE (the third Nicky and Noah mystery) from Lethe Press. I plan to finish writing CHINA DOLL (the fourth Jana Lane mystery) and DRAMA ALOHA (the fourth Nicky and Noah mystery. Looks like I’ll be really busy.

What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?
I am working on a new gay romance novel set in the Jersey Shore, COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK. Here’s a snippet:
“Cozzi Cove has always been home for me,” Cal said, kissing Lance’s neck.

Lance rested his head on Cal’s shoulder, “Wherever you are is home for me.”

“I remember playing with the sand-crabs here as a kid. This was my favorite place on earth. My parents had to drag me back to New Milford every Labor Day.”

A slight gust of wind flew off the bay. When Cal’s robe parted, Lance kissed Cal’s wide pectoral muscles. “The only place I want to drag you is back to bed.”

Cal laughed. “As enticing as that sounds, the guests will be here soon.”

Do you get emails asking why characters didn’t get together and whether you’re going to write more about them?
It’s funny you ask that, because many readers asked me to bring back two minor characters from AN INFATUATION and tell their story. I did exactly that in COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK.

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Can you tell us about your pets?
I’m allergic to cats and dogs. When I visit my family in New Jersey, their dog immediately jumps onto my lap. When I push her off, my mother says, “I don’t know why you don’t like the dog. She likes you. You hurt her feelings.”

If you were able to quit your day job and write full time, would you, and why/why not?
No. I love my job as a college professor/department head. My students teach me as much as I teach them. They help my writing.

A SHOOTING STAR
by JOE COSENTINO
the second novella in the In My Heart series from Dreamspinner Press



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 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.

e-book $3.84

Purchase Links:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6803
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014LNRXU6
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ashootingstar-1870418-149.html
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-shooting-star-joe-cosentino/1122590987?ean=2940150803107

Excerpt:
As an Italian-American, I subscribed to my mother’s theory that if someone doesn’t want you to see something, he will hide it in a locked vault covered with cement. So I inadvertently took a quick look at my roommate’s things on the other side of the room. He was incredibly neat. Numerous theater textbooks and play scripts lined his bookshelf in alphabetical order. The bulletin board above his desk displayed artistically arranged programs from various comedy, drama, and musical college productions listing the same male lead in each show: “David Star”.

“Do you always look at other people’s things?”

I nearly got whiplash as he entered the room.

Stammering like a kid caught masturbating by his parents, I said, “I… w-was… ad-m-miring y-your… r-room.”

Though it was a fall September day, he took off his scarf (violet) and rested it on a tall coat-rack, which held scarves in various colors like a department store window display. He was taller than me, with a chiseled, handsome face, and straight, shiny black hair, which fell down his thick neck. I admired his perfectly sculpted muscles, housed in a turquoise designer dress shirt. But what captivated me the most were his piercing crystal-blue eyes—and the enormous bulge in his skin-tight, designer beige pants.

“What’s your name?”

“Johnny Falabella.”

He looked at me like a surgeon examining a tumor. “No, it’s not.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s Jonathan Bello.” He opened a bureau drawer, pulled out a bottle of hair gel, and tossed it to me. “You should gel your hair.” He opened his closet, revealing a multitude of color-coordinated shirts and slacks, and lay some on my bed. “And you can wear these.”

I looked at his perfectly pressed designer clothes. “Where did you get all these things?”

“They were gifts, mostly.”

“You must have some generous friends…. Sorry, I don’t know your name.”

I’m David Star.” He took a bow.

Looking back at his play programs, I said, “You must have starred in every play at the college over the last three years.”

“Guilty as charged.”

“What happened to your last roommate?”

“He went to LA over the summer break and started auditioning. He got cast in a new TV sitcom. I hope it takes off. It’s called Cosby.”

“At the orientation session, they said freshmen are housed with other freshmen. How did I get a senior for a roommate?”

His eyes twinkled. “Just lucky I guess.”

“Do you think it was some kind of an administrative error or something?”

“Or something.” He added matter-of-factly, “I asked for a freshman roommate.”

About the Author:
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).

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6

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Tags

WIPs aka the to do list

The Harp and the Sea
One Word
Comes a Horseman
A Mage to Forget
Double Exposure
Dragon's Price
A Sword to Rule
A Wind of Roses
Finding Home
Dreamcatcher
A Year and a Day
Tempus Institute
Jazz Detective
V'lante
Solitaire
Aurora
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