Please introduce yourself and your book(s)
I’m author Joe Cosentino, winner of the Divine Magazine Readers’ Poll for Favorite Mystery Author of the Year with Drama Queen, the first (of 15) Nicky and Noah mystery novels. I’ve written 31 novels so far, causing my mother to ask me, “Don’t you have anything better to do than write novels?” Hm, I wonder if Stephen King’s mother asked him that. I am also a past actor and current college theatre professor/arts department chair. When my students found an old ABC-TV movie I did (My Mother Was Never a Kid), they said, “Wow, you were cute when you were young.” Thanks, students. As an actor, I worked in film, television, and theatre with stars like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Jason Robards, Nathan Lane, and Holland Taylor. As one book reviewer wrote, I’ve been able to use my background in show business to devilish and incredibly entertaining ends in my novels. My book series are the Nicky and Noah mysteries, Jana Lane mysteries, Player Piano mysteries, Cozzi Cove, In My Heart, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Tales from Fairyland, and Found at Last. My web site is http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Tell us about the characters and relationships in your stories
In my Nicky and Noah mysteries, college theatre professors/amateur sleuths Nicky and Noah are madly in love—with themselves and with each other. All the world is a stage for them, and they’re happiest when sharing that stage together along with their adopted son Taavi and their wacky theatrical troupe of friends. Jana Lane in my Jana Lane mysteries is a past child star on the comeback trail, personally and professionally. Jana’s husband Brian and sons are her anchors in the storm. She may be enticed by her male co-stars, but Jana realizes Brian is her soulmate. In my Player Piano mysteries, a young elementary school music teacher finds an antique player piano and unleashes the ghost of a tantalizing 1920’s playboy. This leads to an other-worldly romance as the couple solves murder mysteries. Nothing is what it seems at Cozzi Cove, a gay beach resort on a gorgeous cove at the New Jersey shore. Love is always in the sea air for guests, and romances cover the shore like foamy waves. In My Heart features two coming of age stories in retrospect, one from high school and the other from a college theatre department. Each story proves first love is the most touching, meaningful, and vibrant love we experience. Bobby and Paolo, as supported by their comical Italian-American families and eccentric friends, find eternal love over three cozy winter holiday seasons. Tales from Fairyland is my gay twist on some of my favorite fairytales, where Cinder dresses his stepsisters for the ball and finds love with the prince himself, Goldie is a handsome young man involved with three older bears, and Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones engage in an unexpected romance. Finally, in Found At Last, a young gay couple reunite older couples who were separated as youths due to homophobia in their families and in the military, proving love rekindled is love everlasting.
What lessons could readers learn about real-world relationships from your novel(s)?
My characters are real to me. They make me laugh, cry, feel romantic, and often shock me. They have taught me that whatever obstacles, problems, or worries come my way, two heads—and two hearts—are truly better than one. Like many of my characters, I am incredibly grateful to be in a marriage with a wonderful partner who supports, cherishes, and loves me. And he never guesses the identity of the murderer in my mysteries! A partner in life doesn’t need to be perfect. Showing up and standing by the one you love speaks volumes. Laughter truly is the best medicine. We laugh together constantly, which helps make our relationship work. Being together for many years doesn’t make a marriage stale. Instead, it gives the couple a shared vocabulary of emotions and experiences that only they can revel in and always enjoy.
What real-life relationship experiences, observations or insights have influenced your writing?
My husband and I love to travel. So it isn’t a mystery, no pun intended, that our trips to New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, San Francisco, Key West, Provincetown, Washington, DC, Alaska, Hawaii, Italy, and Scotland are reflected in some of my novels. Traveling puts a couple in constant connection as you share every moment of the experience together—minus the cumbersome real-world duties and responsibilities. You are free to fully enjoy and embrace the experience and each other often in gorgeous locations while eating wonderful food. I recommend traveling to any couple. What a wonderful path to explore the world, each other, and yourself!
Are there any relationship themes or topics you want to cover in future releases?
My books have covered various social and romantic themes, including the relationships of people in different age, race, gender, religious, and socio-economic categories. I also wrote about the recent “Me too” movement. One theme I would like to explore further is lost love getting a second chance, reconnecting with the one that got away. And I’m writing screenplay and teleplay adaptations of my books. So come on, producers, make me an offer! Thanks for reading!