As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto.
Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me (rather than committed me-hah).
Eventually I became an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite
stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, and Jason
Robards. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that
writing is storytelling, so I decided to give writing a try.
I like playing and writing engaging characters who I want to spend time with. If
acting or directing, I do improvisations with other actors to flesh out the
backgrounds or back-stories of the characters. When writing I let my characters
talk to one another and see what happens!
Also, by having read hundreds of them, I’ve learned a great deal about mystery
writing. I write mystery novels that drop lots of clues leading to the murderer.
I also incorporate many other characters with secrets into the story. I create
an entire world of suspense above and beyond “who done it.” When a reader
finishes my books, he/she should be satisfied that the various parts equaled the
whole, rather than the author pulling an ending out of the hat. When I read a
great novel, I feel as if I am the leading character, going through the story
and experiencing all of the emotions right along with him/her. A terrific
mystery lays out all the clues and culminates with only one possible ending,
unveiling various secrets along the way. I don’t appreciate mystery novels,
where authors lay out clues then arbitrarily pick a murderer.
So I knew my first novel would be a show business story, since show business has
always been such a huge part of my life. As an avid mystery reader, it was clear
to me that my novel would be a page-turning murder mystery with clever plot
twists, engaging characters, romance, humor, and lots of clues leading to a
In my mystery/romance novel, PAPER DOLL (Jana Lane mystery #1), I share my love of
and moviemakers with my readers. I have always been fascinated with ex-child
stars like Hayley Mills, Shirley Temple, Patty Duke, and Brooke Shields. My
heroine, Jana Lane, is an ex-child star who has lost her self esteem as an
adult. Through the course of the book, Jana not only solves the mystery of her
past, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an
important message for all of us.
At the beginning of the first novel, Jana has lost the courage she had as a
child. Throughout the novel, she finds the old Jana Lane and recaptures her
confidence. I love Jana’s determination, wit, and compassion for others. Since
she was a child movie star in adventure films, as an adult Jana uses the skills
she learned as a child to investigate and solve the mystery of who attacked her
then and who is after her now. Along the way, she uncovers amazing secrets about
everyone in her life.
I also admire Jana’s love and devotion for her husband, Brian, while at the same
time she finds herself infatuated with her producer, Rocco. Her honesty in this
love triangle is humorous and totally realistic.
Jana’s best friend Jackson was the most fun to write because he is so funny,
smart, charming, and devoted to Jana (and her husband). I also like that Jackson
is a gay activist back in 1980 when it wasn’t so popular.
Jana’s agent, Simon, is my favorite character for five reasons. He is amazingly
resilient, old world Hollywood, incredibly funny, loyal to Jana, and most
importantly, I want to play him in the movie version!
Jana’s sister, Tamara, was hardest to write since, unlike most of the other
characters in the book, Tamara does not have a sense of humor. Tamara is a
tortured soul with a secret and painful past. She loves her sister yet at the
same time envies her. It was difficult for me to get into her mindset, but once
I did, I believe I represented her well.
Since the novel takes place in 1980, I have a great deal of fun with the current
events, fashion, and music of the time period.
Jana continues to evolve, and solve mysteries, in the next two Jana Lane mystery
novels, PORCELAIN DOLL and SATIN
DOLL, coming soon. The wonderful thing about a series is you can watch the
characters grow and change through time. It’s like meeting up with an old friend.
Next, I am using my background as a college theatre professor for a new comedy
mystery series premiering this summer by Lethe Press: the Nicky and
Noah mysteries, beginning with DRAMA
QUEEN. Following will be DRAMA
MUSCLE and DRAMA CRUISE.
After that, come on movie producers, let’s turn them all into movies!
About PAPER DOLL
Jana Lane was America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the
studio lot at eighteen years old. Now she’s a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and
mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Jana’s
flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present.
Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the
California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of
visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a
romance with the son of her old producer – Rocco Cavoto – the devilishly
handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and
personally. Can Jana uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves,
including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future?
About Joe Cosentino
Joe Cosentino is the author of AN INFATUATION (Dreamspinner Press), PAPER DOLL,
the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), DRAMA
QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer),
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 PORCELAIN DOLL (the second Jana Lane mystery) and
MUSCLE (the second Nicky and Noah mystery). Connect with Joe at his
Website | Facebook |
Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon
Joe also wrote a popular MM Bittersweet Dreams ebook novella from Dreamspinner
INFATUATION. Below is the information. Have you ever had a powerful
infatuation? What were the circumstances? How did it begin? How did it end?
Write a paragraph about it in the comment section. The Fresh Fiction staff will
select the entry that tickles their fancy the most and provide the author with
your email address. Joe Cosentino will then email you the ebook novella of AN INFATUATION!
About AN INFATUATION
With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario
will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it
was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until
homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both
married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold,
a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the
two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life
ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his
Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation
with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past
and the future.
8 comments posted.
It's unfortunate, but I've never had a powerful infatuation. I'm fresh out of college, so I'm more obsessed over getting a job than finding a boyfriend...Though does celebrity crushes count? xD
(Lisa L. 1:05pm March 24, 2015)