Interview with JOE COSENTINO + New Release: PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane Mystery

I’m  happy to host Joe Cosentino on my blog today. I love the concept of his novel, and what a fabulous cover!

 

  1. Where did you get the idea to write PORCELAIN DOLL?

As a child I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. I remember my parents dragging me out of the movie theatre kicking and screaming at the third showing of The Parent Trap. So I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Paper Doll gives us that back story. In PORCELAIN DOLL, it is 1982 and Jana is thirty-nine years old, living in a mansion in Hyde Park, New York. Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo. The other suspects include Jana’s James Dean type young co-star, her older John Wayne type co-star, her children’s Eve Harrington type nanny, the film’s gossipy makeup and hair artist, a local reverend trying to stop the film’s production, and Jason’s agent. Through the course of the books, Jana not only solves the mysteries, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us. As one reviewer wrote, she starts out as a wounded bird, and ends as tiger.

  1. Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

As a child I had terrible insomnia. Believe it or not, what put me to sleep was reading cozy mysteries. So I read hundreds of them, and love writing novels full of plot twists and turns, hidden clues, romance, humor, and a surprise ending. I set the Jana Lane mysteries in the 1980’s because I love the music, hair styles, clothing, and decadence of that era. I was also able to incorporate some of the music, films, television shows, Broadway shows, and political and social events of the era. Since I was an actor, as one reviewer said, I use my background in show business to devilish ends.

I have another mystery series, the Nicky and Noah comedy mysteries published by Lethe Press, which take place at an Edwardian style college. In Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015 winner for Best Mystery, Best Humor, Best Crime, Best Contemporary) theatre college professors are dropping like stage curtains. With the inept local detectives, it is up to Directing professor, Nicky Abbondanza to use his theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve the murders, while he directs a murder mystery onstage. Complicating matters is Nicky’s intense crush on Assistant Professor of Acting, handsome Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murders. In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In Drama Cruise (not released yet), 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. The series is so entertaining that both gay and straight readers seem to love it.

  1. What was the most difficult thing about writing PORCELAIN DOLL in particular?

Writing a series is more difficult than writing a standalone novel. On the positive side, the leading characters are so real to me, each book is like visiting with old friends. I love Jana and I enjoy every moment with her. On the negative side, for continuity I need to keep a notebook full of information on each character and the various repeat locations—i.e. every room in Jana’s Hyde Park mansion.

  1. Do you have another occupation, other than writer?

I’m a theatre college professor/department head, like Martin Anderson in my Nicky and Noah mystery series. So I write in the evenings. My mother asked me, “Don’t you have anything better to do than write at night?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother asked him that? Hah.

  1. What actors would you like in the main roles if PORCELAIN DOLL were made into a movie?

Since they were also child stars, Brooke Shields or Jodie Foster would be interesting as Jana. Perhaps Ben Affleck as Brian and Matt Damon as Jason. It would be fun to see two close friends in real life vie for Jana on screen. I want to play Jana’s funny agent, Simon.

  1. Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

No review. I’ve been lucky to get mostly good reviews. Here are two examples for PORCELAIN DOLL: “Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980’s in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion.” Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine

“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews

The positive reviews fuel my writing. What a gift it is for a reader to post a positive review on Amazon or Goodreads or a blog site, relating how something I’ve written has moved them, made them laugh, made them cry, think about something new, or changed their life. As for the few bad reviews, I don’t read them. I can’t imagine why anyone would continue reading a book after chapter one if he/she doesn’t like it. Just put it down and read something else. Why attack a book someone has poured his/her blood, sweat, and tears into? Why not do something constructive instead?

  1. What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on an island with?

The head of CBS, so I could pitch The Jana Lane Mystery Series.

 

Interesting stuff, Joe! Thank you for sharing. Now, Joe has a question for readers…

 

In SATIN DOLL, Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the ex-professional football player detective. In CHINA DOLL (not yet released), Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. In RAGDOLL (not yet released) Jana stars in a TV murder mystery series and life imitates art. What would you like to see Jana do in the following Jana Lane mystery novel?.

Porcelaincover

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:

Is art imitating life in 1982? Jana Lane, ex-child star, is doing a comeback film about murder. When a crew member is killed on the set, it looks like Jana could be next. Thickening the plot is Jana’s breathtakingly handsome and muscular leading man, Jason Apollo, whose boyish, southern charms have aroused Jana’s interest on screen and off. Will Jana and Jason stop the murderer before the final reel, or end up on the cutting room floor in this fast-paced whodunit with a shocking ending?

 

Excerpt:

As Jana sat waiting for Jack to call for action, she looked up at Jason’s encouraging face. She again was taken aback by his incredible beauty.

Reverend Charlton and Gloria reentered the study.

Jack called for quiet and action. Jana and Jason played the scene, where the detective notifies her of her husband’s death. Jason delivered his lines with warmth, vulnerability, and obvious affection for Jana. In turn, Jana listened then reacted with deep emotions, conveying shock, loss, fear, and hysteria while being comforted by the man she trusted. Jana clutched onto Jason with such force, her fingernail accidently tore a hole in his jacket.

“Cut!” Jack hollered.

While the wardrobe woman repaired Jason’s jacket, Jana noticed Reverend Charlton step out of the study again, this time with Ryan O’Halloran.

After the two men returned, and the jacket was mended, Jack called for slate and action for take two. Jana and Jason did the scene two more times. Each take was more realistic and heart-wrenching than the next, and each appeared as if it were the first time Jana was given the sad news.

After the third take, Jack shouted, “Cut! It’s a wrap. Ryan, let’s move on to the next location.”

Jana wiped the tears from her cheeks.

Jason placed his hand on the side of her face. “You’re amazing.”

“You’re not so bad yourself, partner.”

“You make me better,” he said with adoration in his true-blue eyes.

They shared a smile as again people hurried around the room like ants after a picnic.

Suddenly, Jana heard a loud crash followed by a scream. Leaping from her chair, she followed the horrified gazes of the others in the room to Ryan O’Halloran lying motionless on the floor with a Fresnel tungsten shuttered light next to his head, and blood dripping from his scalp onto the hardwood floor.

 

Praise for PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:

Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980’s in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion.” Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine

“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews

Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), An Infatuation & A Shooting Star & A Home for the Holidays & The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (NineStar 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 Satin Doll the third Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), China Doll the fourth Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), Drama Cruise the third Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015.

 

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

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3 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Interview with JOE COSENTINO + New Release: PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane Mystery

  1. Ashantay Peters

    I enjoyed your interview and excerpt. Best wishes for a successful series!

    Like

  2. coryellsusan

    Nice interview! I agree that writing a series has its difficulties and rewards, as well. Sounds as if you are doing a great job of writing yours!

    Like

  3. Wow, Joe, what an interesting background and day job you have to fuel your writing. As you already know from our twitter friendship, love the cover!
    Kimberly Keyes
    https://facebook.com/kimberly.keyes.romance

    Like

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