Monday, February 2, 2015

Welcome Guest Author: Joe Cosentino

I'm pleased and excited to welcome my next Guest Author, Joe Cosentino. He's here to share an excerpt from his upcoming release, An Infatuation and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about his work. Joe's an interesting guy with a range to his career I had a lot of fun investigating. For a glimpse of him in action visit his website and click on the video link. You won't be disappointed.

Now, let's see what Joe has to say for himself:

Hi Joe, thanks for visiting with us today. Your career spans an impressive range of creative expression. Do you prefer one medium to another? If so, which one, and could you briefly tell us why?

When I told my mother I wanted to be an actor, she said, “Take this knife and stick it through my heart.” I did it anyway, and acted on stage and screen with stars like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Jason Robards, and Nathan Lane. You can see me on You Tube in the ABC-TV movie, MY MOTHER WAS NEVER A KID, about a third of the way through. As my students say, “You were cute when you were young!” Anyway, it occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give playwriting a try. When I told my mother I wanted to write fiction, she said, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that? Anyway, as I tell my students, whether you are painting a picture, singing, dancing, making a movie, acting, writing, or directing, you are storytelling. So for me, acting, writing, and directing are all equally as fulfilling. There’s nothing better than telling a story.

When writing, do you prefer to use real life locations, or ones you’ve created? 

I was born and raised in New Jersey, moved to NYC for a while, attended graduate school in VT, visited LA, and currently live upstate New York. So far those have been the locations for my books. As they say, write what you know about. I think it gives my writing a realistic flavor.

Which do you prefer as a reader?

As a reader I love books that take me places I’ve never been, however, that’s getting harder as my spouse and I take vacations to various locations in the US and in Europe.

What is it about this story you needed to tell?

I was thinking back to my high school days, and how difficult it was back then for a gay teen before GLSEN, PFLAG, and Will and Grace. Lab partners, gym locker rooms, and club meetings where super important. At my high school reunion, I realized things weren’t what they seemed back then. A story was born. It began as a one-act play, which I expanded and morphed into a novella. The story is personal and important to me. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature. I also love the theme of infatuation. Haven’t we all been infatuated with someone at some point in our lives?

Is there a scene or line in the book you ended up cutting but you really wanted to leave in?

No, it was the opposite. I kept adding and adding until I finally stopped myself and sent it to Dreamspinner Press.

What is the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while writing An Infatuation?

While the situation in the book is fictitious, Harold is based on me. I really admire his resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Harold’s devotion to his spouse, Stuart, is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. Those are pretty good traits. I hope I have them.

If we looked at your desk right now, what three things would we see?

Besides my teaching folders, you’d find three writing folders: Current Writing Project, Current Editing Project,  and Current Publicizing Project.

What can your readers look forward to next?

I am currently writing a sequel novel to my mystery/romance novel about an ex-child movie star PAPER DOLL (Whiskey Creek Press), entitled PORCELAIN DOLL. I am also working on an M/M comedy mystery series set in the world of academia. Since I am a college professor, I know that world quite well. Happily, nobody has been murdered at my college—yet. I am finishing the first three novels, DRAMA QUEEN, DRAMA MUSCLE, and DRAMA CRUISE.

I'm excited to know there's more of Joe's writing on the way. Here's a look at his February 4th release:

AN INFATUATION
a novella by Joe Cosentino
published by Dreamspinner Press and available for Pre-Order

Excerpt: 
One Friday afternoon I accidentally ran into my hero in the boy's locker room. I’d had enough of the big guys banging me into gym lockers, pushing me into cold showers, and hanging me from the gym ropes. So I was on my way to give Mr. Adoni a note from Dr. Dlorah excusing me from gym class for the remainder of the school year (due to my highly contagious disease being studied by my doctor in Guatemala, where he could not be reached for the next year).

The locker room smelled of an odd combination of soap, cologne, sweat, and desire. Mario was getting ready for football practice, standing at his gym locker without a combination lock on it. Nobody would dare to break into it (Except for me that one time I smelled his jock strap. Okay maybe it was a few times, but not more than ten.). Mario slid his T-shirt (red today) over his thick, black hair and threw it on the nearby bench. No longer harnessed by cotton, his arm, back, chest, and neck muscles swelled to full size. I was half hidden behind the adjoining row of lockers, wearing my usual green and blue flannel shirt and brown corduroy pants. Mario, who wasn’t looking in my direction, said something really beautiful to me that I will never forget.

“Hi.”


“Did you just? Oh. Hi. Hello. Good afternoon. Nice to see you. I mean, change with you.” I looked down at the floor (but cheated a bit) as Mario kicked off his boots, slipped off his jeans then threw them in the lucky locker. His red underpants (briefs) revealed ample manhood. This is better than the newspaper’s underwear ads!

“Good gym class today with Mr. Adonis, I mean, Mr. Adoni.” Did I just say that? “Harold High.”

“Hi.”

“High.” How can I get my pulse down to 260?

“Hi.” Mario reached into his locker for his sweat clothes.

Shouldn’t people be doing that for you? “Oh, my last name is High. Like a kite.” How can I stop my arms from waving like an airport flagger on speed?

“Mario Ginetti. Like nothin’ else imaginable.” Mario smiled, revealing a row of perfectly white teeth, and held the sweat clothes in his hands as if he was mortal.

“I know. I watch your body play.” Why can’t I stop talking? “I mean, I watch you play … football … on the field … in your football outfit.” I feel like Michelangelo with his David!

As Mario put on his sweats, I continued to sweat.

“I'm voting for your body … I mean I'm voting for you for president of your … our … the student body.” I need my jaw wired shut. “I’m your lab partner in Chemistry class. Ms. Hungry’s class … I mean Ms. Hunsley’s class.”

His olive-colored face glistened as Mario’s face registered recognition—of me! “I thought I knew you from somewheres. Hey, thanks for doing the lab reports.”

“It’s my honor … I mean my pleasure. It’s fine. If you need help putting up posters for your campaign, I can … ”

Having just tied the laces of his sneakers, Mario stood absolutely still. He looked at me as if he was staring into my heart and somehow knew what I was feeling. “I gotta take a wicked piss.”

Can I watch?

“Thanks for helping me out, Buddy.” He slammed the locker door and left.

He called me, Buddy! My heart was as soft and silly as putty that Mario held in the palm of his hand like his soap on a rope.

Author Bio:
Joe Cosentino is the author of the acclaimed mystery novel, Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press). 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 a musical theatre adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals), and 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 Porcelain Doll and Drama Queen. JoeCosentino.weebly.com. 

Contact Joe:
Website: https://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Dreamspinner Press author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_1330
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6
 

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