Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Joe Cosentino for stopping by today.
Title: DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery
Author: Joe Cosentino
Publisher: Lethe Press
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
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!
Recent Release Spotlight with Joe Cosentino
We are here today to talk about Drama Queen. What can you tell us about it?
I wanted to write a funny gay murder mystery series with larger than life characters, clues, red herrings, plot twists and turns, and a shocking ending. Since I am a college theatre professor/department head, and since theatre departments are havens of mystery, romance, scandals, and humor; I wanted to set my series in a college theatre department. I always loved movies like The Thin Man and television shows like Hart to Hart. I’ve read every Agatha Christie novel ever written, and every one of Armistead Maupin’s books. So everything came together and I created the Nicky and Noah mysteries. In Drama Queen, the first novel, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, theatre professors at the fictitious, Edwardian-style, New England Treemeadow College, have to uncover why their theatre professor colleagues are dropping like stage curtains while Nicky directs the college play production—a murder mystery. Though Noah is the top suspect, Nicky and Noah fall madly in love. Each of the novels is farcical in nature, but has a real mystery with likeable, interesting characters. Nobody has guessed whodunit yet! It ranked #18 in its category on Amazon Kindle. The paperback is also out now, and the audiobook releases in a week.
Tell us more about our main characters?
Readers tell me they are falling in love with Nicky and Noah as Nicky and Noah fall in love with each other. Readers also say they enjoy solving the mystery along with Nicky and Noah. Nicky Abbondanza is a thirty-five-year-old Professor of Directing who is madly in love with the sweet, and as yet untenured, Professor of Acting, Noah Oliver. Nicky has such amazing wit, perseverance in the face of adversity, and smarts. I love his sense of determination in not only nabbing the murderer, but also getting his man—Noah. Nicky also has no problem taking on the role of hero. Finally, he is a one-man man, and Nicky is proud to admit that man is Noah Oliver. Nicky has to flirt his way into some places to get certain information, so his handsome Italian-American features and dark hair, muscular body, and huge penis are definitely assets. Noah is blond-haired, blue-eyed, and adorable. Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues. Most of all, Nicky and Noah use their smarts, always a fine asset in amateur detectives.
What about Drama Queen makes you the proudest?
I love how the clues are laid out in the novel, but presented in such a way that people are shocked by the ending. The humor is also fun. I still laugh when I read it. Finally, I think it’s great that Nicky and Noah fall in love with one another and are committed (to each other) throughout the series.
If you could be one of your characters who would you be and why?
I patterned Martin Anderson, the theatre department head, after myself. I love his dedication to the college, paternal instincts toward Nicky and Noah, sense of theatricality, and his inquiring mind. I also like that he is happily married. We get to know his husband quite well in the third novel, Drama Cruise. I want to play Martin in the television series!
Drama Queen is the first installment in your Nicky and Noah mystery series. What else is planned for the series?
I’ve written the first three novels. In Drama Muscle, the second novel due in the fall, 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, the third novel, 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.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
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. If that publisher rejects it, immediately send it to the next one.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I just finished Chris Scully’s Nights Like These. The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux is next to be read.
Rapid Fire Time
- Chick Flick or Scary Movie? Chick flick, since she’ll probably have a gay best friend.
- Dragon or Unicorn? Unicorn. You gotta love the horn.
- Hunger Games or Divergent? Hunger Games, though I wish there were openly gay characters in it
- West Wing or Friday Night Lights? West Wing
- Winter or Summer Olympics? Summer
- 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future? 100 years in the future, maybe gays will have full equality.
- Paper or Plastic? Paper for the environment,
- Harry or Draco? Draco, love the white hair.
- Freddie Mercury or Adam Lambert? Adam Lambert of course.
- Kanye or Beck? Beck
What are you working on? What is next?
In addition to the next two Nicky and Noah mysteries from Lethe Press, Dreamspinner Press is releasing three of my romance novellas. A Shooting Star in the fall also takes place at a college theatre department, this one in Colorado. A Home for the Holidays in December takes place in beautiful Capri, Italy. The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland in the winter are funny and touching gay fairytales. My second Jana Lane mystery (about an ex-child movie star who solves murders), Porcelain Doll, should be released this fall as well. I am currently writing a new novel set at the beach, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back.
With the student actors and technicians sitting in the front of the theatre (obliviously texting on their phones), my student stage manager, SuCho, screamed for everyone’s attention, and for me to come to the front of the theatre house to give them my notes. This thankfully sent David off to his office in a huff.
After I had given my first few notes, I noticed Noah Oliver standing in the back of the theatre. Noah is tall and lean with curly blond hair, blue eyes, and the sweetest smile I have ever wanted to kiss in an Assistant Professor. While I teach Theatre History and Play Directing, Noah is our department’s specialist in Acting, and for good reason. Noah is a terrific actor, a creative and passionate teacher, and a wonderful colleague. More importantly, I have had a crush on him since the moment he made his entrance into our humble campus three years ago. Noah is single, gay, and seems to really like me. Why don’t I ask him out? Noah is twenty-eight years young. As a junior professor in my department in need of my vote for tenure this year, if I make a pass at him it could be considered attempted coercion on my part.
It was difficult for me to concentrate on giving my notes to the students since Scotty Bruno, my graduate assistant and Assistant Director of the play, was talking, laughing, and obviously flirting with Noah in the rear of the theatre. I had reason to be concerned. Scotty has bleached blond hair, contact lens turquoise eyes, ultra-white bonded teeth, and muscles as if sculpted by Michelangelo, housed in multi-colored, stuffed shorts and tank top (in winter) that were not unnoticed by Noah. Unless I was becoming nearsighted, I could have sworn that Scotty whispered something into Noah’s ear then handed Noah a box. What the heck is in it? Love letters? Condoms? My heart on a silver platter?
About the Author
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. Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Post a comment about Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery. We’ll pick the one that tickles our fancy the most, and Joe Cosentino will email you an ebook of his hit novella, An Infatuation from Dreamspinner Press, released in February.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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