Interview with Joe Cosentino, author of PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery

Interview with Joe Cosentino, author of PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery

published by The Wild Rose Press


Beverly and Tamara: Welcome to SSLY. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Joe: My pleasure. I love the site!

Beverly and Tamara: Thank you! Joe, tell us a little about yourself.

Joe: After majoring in theatre in college, I became an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. That got your attention! Actually each of them was incredibly professional, smart, and funny! I’m a college theatre professor now, and my students love seeing my past work. When they saw my 1982 ABC-TV movie, My Mother Was Never a Kid, they said, “You were cute when you were young.” Thanks, guys. Anyway, it occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give writing a try. After writing some plays, I knew my novels would include show business in some way, 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 novels would also be page-turning mysteries with clever plot twists, engaging characters, romance, and lots of clues leading to a surprising conclusion. Since coming from a funny Italian-American family, I also knew humor would play a role in my novels.

Tamara: What do you HAVE to have when you are writing?

Joe: My spouse needs to be in bed so there is no noise in the house. I have a beautiful cherry wood study with a fireplace, huge desk, bookcases, and window seat (just like Martin Anderson, the college theatre department head in my Nicky and Noah mystery series). My mother asked me, “Don’t you have anything better to do than write at night?” I wonder if Stephen King’s mother asked him that?

Beverly: LOL. When did you start to write?

Joe: When my acting work began to dry up, I wrote plays which morphed into writing novels. Readers kid me I write books faster than they can read them. My colleagues at my college joke that if they tick me off, I will kill them in my next book.

Tamara: What do you think are the qualities that make up a “hero”?

Joe: Brian, Jana’s husband, is the perfect hero in my Jana Lane mysteries. He is strong, patient, loving, warm, and understanding of Jana’s career as a movie star—and even her attraction to her leading men. Play Directing Professor Nicky in my Nicky and Noah mysteries has such amazing wit, perseverance in the face of adversity, and smarts. I love his sense of determination in nabbing the murderer. Nicky knows what he wants and how to get it. He is genuinely concerned for others, and he wants to help them. He also has no problem taking on the role of hero. Finally, he is a one-man man, and Nicky is proud to admit that man is Noah Oliver.

Beverly: Can you describe your favorite character?   And which of your books is he/she in? How do you come up with your characters?

Joe: As a child I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. So I created Jana Lane, a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll the secret behind that attack is exposed. In Porcelain Doll from The Wild Rose Press, 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. I love the 1980’s! I had great fun writing about Jana’s mansion, wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyles. I was also able to incorporate some of the music, films, television shows, Broadway shows, and political and social events of the era, including the AIDS epidemic. The early reviews have been amazing, for example: “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

Tamara: What are the hardest scenes for you to write? Suspense? Sex? Dialogue? And why?

Joe: Since I was an actor who loved improvisation and a playwright, dialogue comes easily for me. I hear the voices in my head and type what they say. I’ve read hundreds of cozy mysteries, so creating plot twists, clues, red herrings, and shocking yet justified endings is a great deal of fun. Sex scenes are the hardest. How many ways can you describe people making love? My scenes are generally sweet and warm.

Beverly: What writer, if any, influenced how you write?

Joe: Of course Agatha Christie is the queen of murder mysteries. Armistead Maupin has an amazing flair for writing eccentric, loveable characters with engaging and realistic dialogue. Mary Higgins Clark blends mystery and romance so beautifully.

Tamara: Who is you ideal woman, real or fictionary? Ideal man?

Joe: I’d love Brooke Shields to play Jana in the Jana Lane Mysteries on TV. As a former child star herself, Brooke seems to have matured into a beautiful, kind, socially conscious, nonjudgmental, talented woman—just like Jana Lane. Matt Bomer would be a perfect Nicky in The Nicky and Noah Mysteries on TV. He is handsome, strong, honest, has a great sense of humor, and is devoted to his husband and child.

Beverly: What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done?  Or would like to? What?  We are all about the love!

Joe: I met my spouse when I was twenty-one, so I didn’t go to bars or date a great deal. I also don’t drink, smoke, or take drugs. I know, I’m boring. The wildest thing I’ve done is overdosed on tofu.

Tamara: What are your favorite types of heroines? Do you like the damsel in distress who needs saving or the kick-ass variety? Why?

Joe: Jana Lane in my Jana Lane mysteries is perfect because as one reviewer said, she starts out as a wounded bird, and ends as tiger.

Beverly: What was your worst date ever?

Joe: When we were dating, I tried to make onion soup for my now spouse. It took so long he fell asleep.

Tamara: LOL. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you? (you have food, water, shelter, all the necessities, so nothing mundane)

Joe: My spouse who takes care of me, a TV executive so I can pitch The Jana Lane Mysteries and The Nicky and Noah Mysteries, and my mother who would say, “See? I told you not to get on that boat.”

Beverly: What is your “guilty pleasure”?

Joe: Seeing Broadway shows, which is getting quite expensive.

Tamara: What dream or goals have you yet to realize?

Joe: I want to come full circle and play Simon Huckby, Jana’s amazingly resilient, old world Hollywood, incredibly funny and loyal agent in The Jana Lane Mystery TV series, and Martin Anderson, the theatre department head, in The Nicky and Noah Mystery TV series. Hear that TV producers!

Beverly: Okay, you’re a guy.  What is the dumbest dare you’ve ever done?

Joe: Daring my students to come to class on time. It still didn’t work.

Tamara: If you were a color what would you be and why?

Joe: When I was a kid I had red hair, so red has always been my favorite color. One Christmas my mother asked me what I wanted as a gift, stating her concern that I return all of her gifts. I replied, “A red shirt.” She answered, “I don’t like red, I’ll get you a blue one.”

Beverly: What is your dream car and why?  What color?  Me, I desperately want a Metropolitan Nash, hot pink and white.  LOL!  My own Barbie car!

Joe: As you know red is my favorite color. Subaru is my favorite car, since I need the all-wheel drive on the snow.

Beverly: Gotcha! Nothing better than AWD in snow!

Tamara: What can we expect for you in 2016?

Joe: The Jana Lane mysteries continue from The Wild Rose Press. 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, 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. Ragdoll is next, where Jana stars in a television murder mystery TV series and once again life imitates art.

The Nicky and Noah mystery series from Lethe Press began with Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015 winner for Best Mystery, Best Humor, Best Crime, Best Contemporary), where 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 murder. Drama Muscle followed, where Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why bodybuilders are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. Drama Cruise comes later in 2016, where 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.

My MM romance novellas are published by Dreamspinner Press. They are An Infatuation (Divine Magazine Readers’ Choice Award 2nd Place for Best MM Romance), A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland.

NineStar Press published my novels Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and the upcoming Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, both taking place at the New Jersey shore.

Tamara and Beverly: Impressive! Okay. We are SSLY so I have to ask. Who loves you?

Joe: My spouse, my family and friends, and hopefully my readers. I love them!

Tamara and Beverly: Now for some quick fun questions:

Bikini’s or thong? Thong, but not on me.

Coffee or Tea? Herbal tea—vanilla roibus.

Blonde, brunette or red-head? Red-head, or ginger as they coyly say in Great Britain.

Tits or ass? Ass, but not mine.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla with cherries.

Kinky or Sweet? Sweet, like my books.

Fast or slow? Slow, except for when I write.

Public or private? Private by the fireplace.

Top or bottom? I like to cuddle.

Joe: Thank you for the wild interview. I hope everyone reads PORCELAIN DOLL. I love hearing from readers. They can contact me at

Beverly and Tamara: Thanks for visiting with us Joe!

Now, take a peek at PORCELAIN DOLL!

PorcelaincoverIs 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?


Two days later, Jana stood in her entrance hallway welcoming two men into her home. Wearing a lime blouse and teal Capri pants, Jana stood at the doorway with her mouth agape.

This is the most gorgeous man I have ever seen in my life.

Jason Apollo, thirty-four, with sculpted features and a perfect muscular body, smiled sweetly. Though one of the biggest box office movie stars, he had a sensitive, boyish quality that turned Jana, and everyone else, into putty. Jana stared at his sparkling blue eyes and thick blond hair. “It’s nice to meet you, Jana. I’m a fan. I’m Jason Apollo. I play the detective in the film.” His huge pectoral muscles peeked out of his open flannel shirt. Tight jeans and hint of a southern accent completed the perfect picture.

Jana’s knees dipped. “It’s very nice to meet you, too, Jason. I’m Jana Lane.” Did I purposely forget Otley?

Jack Capello, fifty, craggy-faced, and thin with yellow teeth and black fingertips, brought her back to reality. “Can we come in?”

“Of course.” Still unable to take her eyes off Jason Apollo, Jana ushered them into the hunter green and pale peach sitting room. She had seen Jason’s picture on television and in the newspaper, but having not seen any of his movies, Jana was taken aback by his almost supernatural beauty and boyish charisma. She was also surprised at his height, not much taller than hers.

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

Praises for PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery:

Paper Doll is a superbly crafted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters that will engage you and elicit some very emotional responses as you are completely caught up in the events that unfold in these pages. Everyone has secrets and the people in Paper Doll have them in spades!” Fresh Fiction

“Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery” “The story gripped me from the start and there were enough twists and turns, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, to keep hold of me until the end of the book.” “Great book, can’t wait for book 2.” Readers’ Favorite

ASIN: B01BA2705Y

Released: March 16, 2016

Pages: 260

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Paperback: 978-1-5092-0603-2

Digital: 978-1-5092-0604-9

Heat Level: Sensual, PG-13

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) (winner Best Mystery of 2015 Divine Magazine), 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: