Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Author Interview & Audio Book Release: Joe Cosentino

Interview with Joe Cosentino
on the release of the audiobook of Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back,
performed by Chase Johnson, published by NineStar Press

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

For the Cozzi Cove series, I visited the gorgeous cove on the New Jersey Shore where I spent my summers as a kid. Sitting on the white sandy beach, listening to the sea gulls, watching the turquoise waves tickle the jagged rocks, and feeling the golden sun warm my skin, led me into the wonderful world of fictitious Cozzi Cove. Though many of the locations are real, it’s a place in my overactive imagination where nothing is what it seems, anything is possible, and love is always in the salty sea air. For the storyline of book one, I revisited a few of my one-act plays and intertwined and adapted those amazing, romantic tales into the stories of the guests in the eight bungalows at the gay resort I call Cozzi Cove.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Sure. Ex-football player, hunky Cal Cozzi is the innkeeper at Cozzi Cove. The regular supporting cast include Cal’s devoted husband Lance, a sexy young man named Michael who Cal meets in a surprising way, Cal’s jetsetter sister Taylor, New Ager Carla who owns the restaurant in town, Tommy the bald tattooed bartender who has had a crush on Cal since high school, and Connor the muscular maid with a libido who frequently enjoys hookups at the cove. Like most serials, each of the five novels (the last one not yet published) furthers the stories of the leading characters with lots of interesting plot twists and turns, and of course, a great deal of romance. A new set of guests come to Cozzi Cove for each book. They range from a gay romance author to a gay porn star to college students with secrets to a game designer who spots a merman on the cove. Once the characters started talking in my head, they often led me to new directions. For example, I hadn’t planned on Taylor and Carla getting together, but the characters insisted.

What drew you to the M/M genre in particular?

Since ninety percent of the world is heterosexual, most printed and filmed stories are the same rehashed tales about straight people. There are so many untold gay stories. I’m honored to have written numerous novels in the MM genre (not all yet published): my five Cozzi Cove novels (NineStar Press), eight Nicky and Noah comedy mysteries, three Bobby and Paolo holiday stories (Dreamspinner Press), two In My Heart coming of age stories (Dreamspinner Press), and various stories in Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press).

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

My five Jana Lane mysteries are published by The Wild Rose Press. Jana is an ex-child star making her movie comeback and solving murders along the way, including discovering who attempted her own murder when she was eighteen years old. Though Jana and her husband are straight, her agent and best friend are gay.

What is your favourite food?

Like Cal Cozzi, I like buckwheat blueberry pancakes drizzled with raw honey. My readers tell me they get ravenously hungry after reading my books since my characters eat so well!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Since I work during the day as a college theatre professor/department chair (like Martin Anderson in my Nicky and Noah mysteries), I write at night when my spouse is asleep and the house is quiet.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

Believe it or not, the New Jersey Shore is my favorite place to travel. When we can’t go there, I’m content to visit Cozzi Cove in my books, and now in the first audiobook.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Nicky and Noah, gay college theatre professors who solve mysteries, went to Alaska in Drama Cruise, Hawaii in Drama Luau, and Scotland in Drama Castle (not yet released).
Bobby visited Paolo in the magical Island of Capri Italy in A Home for the Holidays, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 1 (Dreamspinner Press). Those are a few of my favorite vacation spots.

Do you listen to music while writing?

Never! I need absolute silence, so I can live in the world of my books.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, the first of five novels in my popular Cozzi Cove series, was released two years ago to rave reviews, a TBR Pile Book of the Month Award, and a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. My readers told me they loved the catchy dialogue, gorgeous settings, captivating characters, and numerous shocks and surprises in the novel. Recently, I worked with the publisher, NineStar Press, on an audiobook. Here was my dilemma. Who would have the perfect masculine, sexy, and captivating voice for Cal Cozzi? And how could that same person effectively portray all the other twenty characters in the novel? I took to and heard a clip from popular audiobook performer Chase Johnson. Chase had an incredibly sexy, masculine voice, perfect for Cal Cozzi. He was also quite versatile in his character voices, and a very good actor. His diction was flawless, and his audiobooks were produced with fine equipment. Thankfully, I found my Cal Cozzi. Chase perfectly embodied Cal’s strength, honesty, and determination. When he read the descriptions of Cozzi Cove, I felt as if I were lying on a gorgeous cove at the beach. He connected with each of the other characters as well in terms of their personalities, passions, and secrets. Chase also portrayed the many humorous sections of the novel, keying into the timing and wit perfectly. After giving Chase my insights into the novel, he took it from there. I know you’ll agree that he did a terrific job. So, grab your Speedos, suntan lotion, and shades and head over to Cozzi Cove for a listen of a lifetime. I hope to see you there! And I love hearing from readers. Please let me know all about your trip to the beach at

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

It’s an incredible high to hear your words spoken by a gifted performer in an audiobook. I’m lucky to have the best narrators for mine: A Home for the Holidays Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 1 (Joel Leslie), The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Joel Leslie), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Michael Gilboe), Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Chip Hurley), Drama Cruise the third Nicky and Noah mystery (Brad Enright), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Charissa Clark Howe), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Derick Snow), and now Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back the first Cozzi Cove novel (Chase Johnson).

Is there anything you would do differently?

Never apologize for my sense of humor. Readers love it, and I love sharing it. If someone is offended or can’t take a joke, it’s their problem.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Many readers tell me the Cozzi Cove series reminds them a bit of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books. Obviously, I am incredibly flattered.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

It’s important to write from the heart, find your unique voice, and enjoy the ride!

What are three words that describe you?

Hysterical, creative, driven

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

My own books, of course! My favorite writer is Armistead Maupin.

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are open for summer and love. Mario and Harold are brothers and college students who happen to look alike, but couldn’t be more different: Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. Josh and Greg, a wealthy older couple, are matchmakers for their son, Christopher. When it comes to Connor, the maid, packed with muscles and a roving sponge, anything can happen. Opposites attract as wild Tim with the secret past meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist. And what will happen when computer-game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman? Even married Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected. What secrets and passions lie in magical Cozzi Cove?

Praise for COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK: Book of the Month at The TBR Pile, Rainbow Award Honorable Mention, 3rd Place Best Fiction Book of 2016 on Urban Book Reviews

I loved this story. It carries you through the full range of emotions, from joy to sadness, from happiness to anger.  The characters are beautifully written….I look forward to a return visit to the Cove.” TBR Pile

Heartbreaking and heartwarming, sweet beginnings for some, sour endings for others, emotions jumping off the page as you turn eagerly to read more, welcome to Cozzi Cove. The author measured his scales to perfection in delivering the perfect balance of love, laughter and tears in this sexy, fun filled holiday romance entwined with some sadness. Summer magic waved its wand at all who visited and stayed at Cozzi Cove and I was one of those who wanted to stay.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

poignant and full of beautiful imagery. It's one crazy mix of characters, all weird and wonderful in their own way…It made me laugh out loud, cry and want to snuggle up with someone I loved. I couldn't have asked for more.” Divine Magazine

In true Joe Cosentino style, this book is packed full of drama! This cast of characters will have you laughing out loud one minute before ripping your heart out the next.” Joyfully Jay

Joe Cosentino has the amazing ability to combine heartwarming, feel good moments with droll, sometimes biting humor, along with insights into the frailties and peccadillos of being human.” “Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back is the very finest in literary fiction with a romance theme, yet it’s more than just that—it’s about human connections and empathy and finding a way out of the fear and inertia faced by so many. It’s also about courage and strength, about respect and coming to terms with all that life has to offer, and it’s about letting go. I loved this book and look forward to the next in the series. This is a highly recommended read, well-deserving of Five Stars.” GGR Reviews

Cosentino tells the stories of the guests and owners at Cozzi Cove as separate yet intertwining stories, a delivery style that’s genius. It’s a bit like watching segments unfold in soap opera fashion…While the story is rife with the humor and lighthearted romance I’ve come to associate with Joe Cosentino, it also addresses several serious topics associated with the gay community: homophobia, stereotyping and coming out.” 3 Chicks After Dark
This book is extremely well written and all the stories are equally compelling and cleverly crafted. There are moments when, just as you think you know what’s going on, the truth emerges and turns out to be something quite different….Cal’s guests are an amusing and heart wrenching mixed bag of people, all of whom I found irresistible in their own way….So many wonderful, poignant and often funny stories are told here….It’s a real roller coaster of a ride that’s finished off perfectly as the guests spend their last day at Cozzi Cove then check out to move on with their lives.” OptimuMM Book Reviews
Another brilliantly written book by this author. He makes you want to take your own vacation in Cozzi Cove. You could feel all the emotion and love flowing from the pages.” Books Laid Bare Boys

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press); In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries.. 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. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 2nd Place for Favorite MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015, and his books have received numerous awards including Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.



Post a Comment