Guest Author: Joe Cosentino on Drama Queen, Interview, Excerpt
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!
Joe Cosentino dropped by the blog today to talk about his recent release, Drama Queen, from Lethe Press. His books are fun, and so is he!
Hello, Joe. Thank you for stopping by to chat with me today.
My pleasure. I love answering your questions!
Great. Here’s the first. Is Drama Queen your first novel?
I wrote a straight (with gay supporting characters) mystery/romance series about an ex-child star, the Jana Lane mysteries. Paper Doll is out now. Porcelain Doll and Satin Doll should follow soon. I also wrote the well-received An Infatuation, an MM romance novella published by Dreamspinner Press.
Since you are a college theatre professor, is the series based on you, your colleagues, and students?
Do you mean if anybody at my college ticks me off, I kill him/her in the series? Hah. To be honest, I like my colleagues and students too much to murder them in my books. Martin Anderson, Nicky and Noah’s department head, is based on me. He’s a loyal, hardworking department head and professor who fully supports his faculty colleagues, office assistant, and the students in his department. Like me, he is also a little bit, well quite a bit, of a gossip. My knowledge of theatre is also very evident in the series. The other characters and the location came from my head. As my mother says, “How do you think up all these crazy things? Well, you always were a bit crazy as a kid.”
Nicky is described as having an enormous manhood. Does that help him solve the murders?
It doesn’t hurt. Hah. Nicky has to flirt his way into some places to get certain information, so his handsome face, muscular body, and huge penis are definitely assets. Even more, however, Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues. Most of all, Nicky uses his smarts, always a fine asset in an amateur detective.
Nicky is of Italian-American decent, like you. Is that a coincidence?
Not at all. I come from a very funny Italian family. I use that in a great deal of my writing. In later books, we get to meet Nicky and Noah’s parents, and they are a riot!
How many books have you written so far in this series?
Three: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and Drama Cruise. In Drama Queen, Nicky and Noah have to uncover why college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains while Nicky directs the college play production—a murder mystery. In Drama Muscle, Nicky and Noah have to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In Drama Cruise, 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.
Is Drama Queen available as an ebook and paperbook?
Yes! I am thrilled about that. This gives the reader an option to read it on a Kindle, Nook, computer, or with book in hand on the beach or in bed.
Will there be an audiobook coming down the line?
I sure hope so. It’s all up to God—and to Steve Berman!
Noah is eight years younger than Nicky. Does that present a conflict in their relationship?
Of course it does. Talk to couples, gay and straight, in this situation. People who say age is only a number are lying. Age always comes up. Thankfully, Nicky and Noah handle it, like everything else, with great humor, style, and love.
Do you see this as a TV series?
Yes! And I want to play Martin Anderson. Couldn’t you see Matt Bomer as Nicky and Neil Patrick Harris as Noah? This will give The Hardy Boys a run for their money.
Anything with Matt Bomer in it is worth watching! Thanks again for being on the blog today, Joe.
I left my students to their private discussion and joined my young graduate assistant seated on a red velvet bench in a turreted area of the lobby. As I dug into my sizable piece of cake, Scotty leaned into me like a cat facing a sardine, “Since it looks like the tech rehearsal will run late, I can teach your morning Theatre History class tomorrow.”
“That won’t be necessary, Scotty.” Just stick your finger down your throat then head to the gym as usual.
“With teaching your classes, assessing and updating curriculum, going to faculty meetings, advising students, writing your articles, advising the theatre club, and directing plays, I worry that you may get sick.”
You’d unleash the bubonic plague if it meant getting my job. I patted his shaved and oiled knee, and said a la Margo Channing, “I’m fine, Scotty. Just leave your notes on tonight’s performance in my office box tomorrow.”
“Am I too late for the party?” My knees dipped as Noah Oliver took off his coat and scarf and stood next to me. “Happy birthday, Nicky!” He winked at me.
Maybe we can adopt seven children, run away to the hills, and start a family singing act.
Scotty leapt from his seat like it was a pogo stick. “Have a piece of cake, Noah. No nuts!”
I beg your pardon?
“Thanks for remembering, Scotty.” Noah sat between Scotty and me and dug into the creamy wonder. Was that a familiar smile between Scotty and Noah?!
Scotty explained as if he was Noah’s husband, “Noah is allergic to nuts, Nicky.”
Hopefully not to mine.
Noah took me in with his baby blue eyes. Did I notice a look of lust in them? “How’s the show going?”
What show? Oh! “We’re all exhausted, frazzled, panicked, and certain of a great opening night.”
Noah squeezed my hand. “You’re an amazing director. The creative way you move your characters around the stage, how the elements of design compliment the story, and your unique vision is thrilling to watch. I expect nothing short of brilliance in this production.” Noah beamed with pride. “And you have some powerful student actors in the show.”
Scotty collected our empty plates. “Noah is a terrific acting teacher.” He gazed at Noah with pure adoration. “The students are lucky to have you.”
Since theatre is a collaborative art, I said, “Tyler’s execution of David’s scenic design is amazing, and as usual Tyler has been a total work horse. Ariella’s costumes have an incredible gothic look, but they’re light enough for the students to move around in them.”
Noah whispered in my ear, and I restrained myself from throwing myself on top of him. “Can I speak to you about something…personal?”
“Sure.” How about a June wedding?
Purchase the paperback from Lethe Press at: http://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p303/Drama_Queen%3A_A_Nicky_and_Noah_Mystery.html
Purchase the paperback from Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Drama-Queen-Nicky-Noah-Mystery/dp/1590214676/
Purchase the ebook from Smashwords at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/546002
Purchase the Kindle from Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Drama-Queen-Nicky-Noah-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00YCJSEJO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432850588&sr=1-1
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),The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press fairytale novella), and Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press).
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com