Hiya guys, Joe Cosentino stops by today with his new release Drama Queen, Joe answers a few questions for us and lets us have a peek at an excerpt, so enjoy the post! <3 ~Pixie~
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!
While Scotty stared at us with an inquisitive look on his face, Noah led me to a window seat in a corner of the theatre lobby. White snow fell softly outside the window behind us like cotton bits in a glass ball. I could tell something was bothering Noah, and it hurt me that he was hurting.
“I don’t want to take advantage of our friendship.”
Take advantage! “What’s wrong?”
“It’s about my tenure application.”
I thought back to the neurosis, prayers, nightmares, and sheer terror before my tenure decision. “Noah, anybody lucky enough to get a tenure track position nowadays goes through the jitters stage. It’s not fun, but it’s part of the game. I read your application. It’s very strong. All the students and all the faculty in the department like you.”
His head dropped to his chest. “Not everybody.”
David, the self-prescribed technical theatre god, strikes again.
“I went to David’s office while you were giving notes.”
Tongue firmly in cheek, I said, “And the two of you had a cozy little chat about your promising future at Treemeadow College?”
Noah let out an I Love Lucy, “Hah!” then continued. “After complimenting David on the set design for the show, I mentioned my positive student surveys, and my supportive evaluations from Martin as department head.”
“And when you asked if he will support your tenure, David said he’d have to think about it.” I sneered. “That’s what David said to me when I applied for tenure.” I felt my jaw, hands, and knees clench in unison. “His was my only no vote, which I will never forget.”
“I fared worse than you. David came right out and told me I am too easy on my students, and that like most gay men I am too weak to be a dynamic lecturer.”
“That’s a lie. And against the law in this state.”
Noah’s magnificent lips pouted. “David told me that he wouldn’t support my tenure if I gave him a thousand dollars.”
“He’s never supported anyone for tenure. He has voted against every new course and program modification proposal in the department. He even voted against having a department holiday party. But David’s is only one vote.”
Resting his warm hand on my grateful shoulder, Noah said, “Nicky, David is running for department head.”
“He won’t win against Martin.”
Slumping back against the window seat, Noah said, “There are only seven tenured faculty members in our department. David can be very persuasive.”
“Ariella may be David’s wife but she’s her own person, and she likes you a great deal. And I doubt Jackson Grier would support David since David voted against Jackson’s tenure too.”
“I heard Jackson and David arguing in David’s office tonight before I went in to talk to David about my tenure. Jackson slammed the door and left in a huff.”
“What were David and Jackson arguing about?”
Noah’s shrugged. “I heard David criticizing Jackson’s movement and stage combat choreography for the show. Then all I could get were the words, ‘fresh start.’” Soft lines surfaced on Noah’s handsome face. “David could be making deals, offering his support to faculty if he becomes department head and if they vote against my tenure.”
I stood and lifted Noah to his feet. “Come on, young man.”
He looked like a school boy at a fire drill. “Where are we going?”
“Where everyone in our department brings all of our problems.”
A delicious line formed between Noah’s eyes. “Is Martin here at this hour?”
“My bet is yes.” I pushed Noah in front of me, and said grandly, “To the Wizard of Theatre Arts.”
Q&A with Joe Cosentino,
Author of Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel published by Lethe Press
Hello, Joe. Thank you for stopping by to chat with us today.
My pleasure. I love answering your questions!
How do you find the time to be a college professor/department head and do all this writing?
I write in the evenings. Being a little tired helps loosen my creative energies and flow. Plus my spouse has gone to bed, so the house is quiet.
Where do you write?
I have a terrific home study with a window seat, fireplace with a cherry wood mantel (like Martin Anderson in Drama Queen), a huge cherry wood desk, and cherry wood bookshelves.
What is your writing process?
I approach my writing in the same way as acting. I start with character biographies and ask questions about each character. Who do they love, hate, fear? What do they want? What is standing in the way of them getting what they want? What was their history? Then I get them talking to one another and the magic happens. I write an outline, but I deviate from it constantly. My spouse reads my second draft then I write my third draft.
How do you get your ideas?
I go to sleep at night with a pad and pencil on my night table. When I wake up in the morning, my head is full of ideas. Since I was an actor, playwright, and director, it’s not a surprise that many of my ideas are theatrical in nature. As a college professor, it also isn’t too surprising that many of my plots have to do with the wacky world of academia.
Which authors do you read?
I read Agatha Christie, Armistead Maupin, Jeff Erno, Alex Sanchez, and countless others. I like authors with great plots and a sense of theatricality who transport me into their unique world, and make me love their characters. I try to emulate that in my books. Many readers have told me they love the humor, mystery, romance, plot twists and turns, and surprising endings in my books. They also tell me they love falling in love with my characters. So do I!
What did you learn about reviews from An Infatuation?
An Infatuation got generally rave reviews from review sites, bloggers, and readers. I learned to concentrate on those and not read the few negative ones. Writers (like everyone else) need to be supported and encouraged, not torn down. We don’t do it for the money, we do it for the love of literature and our readers. We put our hearts out there to be embraced not stamped on.
What advice do you have for unpublished writers?
Write every day. When you have a story you think is perfect, ask someone you trust to read it. Then after doing another draft, email it to a publisher with an open submissions policy who publishes the kind of story you’ve written. Is that publisher rejects it, immediately send it to the next one.
Is it hard to write comedy?
I’ve always had a funny mind. I can hear almost anything and see the humor in it. I think I get this from my mother. For example, for Christmas one year my parents bought me a sweater and my sister a house. When I asked my mother if I was an orphan, she replied, “Orphans don’t have sweaters. Appreciate what you have.”
Why do you write gay fiction?
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.
What do you mean when you say you write theatrically?
I write a great deal of dialogue, and my novels are quite cinematic.
How do you feel about straight women writing and reading gay romance novels?
Bravo for them!
How can your readers get their hands on Drama Queen, and how can they contact you?
The purchase links for Drama Queen are below, as are my contact links, including my web site. I love to hear from readers!
Joe Cosentino is the author of 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), and Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery.