It’s a great pleasure to welcome Joe back to the blog today, to convey to us an Interview with Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, the leading characters in Joe Cosentino’s Drama Pan, the 12th Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel. So, lets jump straight in…
Nicky and Noah, you have made a big splash with book twelve in your series!
Noah: Nicky makes a big splash most nights.
Congratulations on the release of the twelfth novel in your award-winning and popular Nicky and Noah gay cozy comedy mystery series.
Nicky: Thank you. Noah and I are cuter by the dozen.
Since the readers can’t see you, tell them what you look like.
Noah: Nicky is quite the hunk.
Nicky: And Noah is always honest.
Noah: He’s tall with dark hair and sexy long sideburns, a cleft chin I love to kiss, Roman nose, emerald eyes, and a muscular body thanks to the gym on campus.
Nicky: I call it the torture chamber.
Noah: Best of all, Nicky has a huge heart. And something else that is huge.
Nicky: And Noah likes that.
Noah: It sure doesn’t hurt. Well, not anymore. (He blushes.)
Nicky: Noah is tall, with silky golden blond hair, true-blue eyes, milk and honey skin, and a body I love to hug all night long. And Noah always cares about others. Especially me. And I adore him.
Tell us about Drama Pan, the twelfth novel in your popular, award-winning series.
Nicky: In Drama Pan our merry theatrical crew at Treemeadow College create our own musical version of Peter Panentitled, Every Fairy Needs a Big Hook! Enter the belligerent Couture family of avant-garde technical designers as guest artists. In no time the Coutures are hung out to dry by a mass murderer. For the twelfth time we thick as thieves thespians (Try saying that three times fast while eating peanut butter) use our drama skills, including playing outrageous characters, to catch the killer before we get thrown to the crocodiles.
Noah: I know you’ll laugh, cry, feel romantic, and love delving into this crackling new mystery with more plot twists and turns…
Nicky: …than a congressional hearing to impeach a treasonous ex-president. I’m more excited than a Republican governor taking Democrats off the voter rolls to share this twelfth novel in the series with you.
As usual, calamity ensues in book twelve.
Nicky: Of course! I, Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Play Directing, do double duty (Try saying that three times fast wearing dentures) as Mr. Darling and Captain Hook.
Noah: Nicky’s loving and loyal husband, I, get the title role of Peter Pan.
Nicky: Noah slept with the director. (smile)
Noah: Our witty and wild best friends Martin Anderson, Theatre Department Chair, and his husband Ruben camp it up as a tiger of a Tiger Lily and swarmy Smee the pirate respectively.
Nicky: Our stagestruck son Taavi tries to steal the show as Michael Darling, and Martin and Ruben’s cocky son holds his own as John Darling.
Noah: Martin’s sassy secretary Shayla plays Mrs. Darling.
Nicky: And my longsuffering detective Manuello hits the ground as Nana and the Crocodile.
Noah: Nicky has his hook full as technical dress rehearsals for the show get off to a start more rocky than Captain Hook’s boat, and Taavi and Ty fall unrequitedly in love with the same person.
Who are the new characters in book twelve?
Noah: Graduate assistant and technical director Jax Jun insists the play violates his “religious freedom.” Santino Thirio, senior theatre major and stage manager, pumps his muscles while pumping others to invest in his dream to become a producer.
Nicky: Twink Tripp Taleb, the sophomore theatre major playing Tinker Bell, has his fairy dust aimed at Santino. Oscar Romero, tall and brawny sophomore theatre major with the loud singing voice playing the Merman, has his fins in the water over Tripp.
Noah: All of the actors are exasperated over the avant-garde technical aspects of the show, none more than Tiara Moore, junior theatre major playing Wendy.
Who was your favorite new character?
Noah: New character, Nicky.
Nicky: Oh, Oscar Romero, the student who plays the Merman, wearing a g-string and fins. He has a song in the show called “What’s Between My Legs.” His affection for the student playing Tinker Bell is really sweet.
Noah: My favorite is Nicky.
Nicky: New character, Noah.
Noah: Oh, adorable Tripp Taleb, wearing a jockstrap and fairy dust glitter as Tinker Bell. His big number in the show is “Tink the Twink.” Tripp starts out on the wrong path but finding his true really does conquer all.
Which new character do you like the least?
Noah: Lighting designer Antoine Couture who tries to trap Tripp’s Tinker Bell and take his fairy dust.
Nicky: I’ll go further than Noah.
Noah: You usually do. (smile)
Nicky: All of the Coutures! The family of technical designers are egotistical (I wouldn’t know about that. smile), arrogant, predatory, and opportunistic. It’s great fun to watch them get the hook.
Which new character is the sexiest?
Nicky: Dark-eyed muscleman Santino Thirio, our student stage manager who knows how to work a lighting board—and work everyone around him.
Noah: Oscar Romero, our nearly seven-foot-tall Merman in a g-string and fins. His heart is as big as his fins, but nobody is as sexy as Nicky.
Nicky: Except for Noah.
What makes the Nicky and Noah mystery series so special?
Nicky & Noah: Us!
Nicky: Actually, it’s a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning “faster than a conservative politician appointing an anti-gay judge.” At the center is the touching relationship between Noah and me. You watch us go from courting to marrying to adopting a child, all the while head over heels in love with each other.
Noah: Reviewers called the series “hysterically funny farce,” “Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys,” and “captivating whodunits.” One reviewer wrote they are the funniest books she’s ever read! Another said Joe is “a master storyteller.” Who am I to argue?
Nicky: Even though Noah and I tell Joe everything to write.
How are the novels cozy?
Noah: Many of them take place in Vermont, a cozy state with green pastures, white church steeples, glowing lakes, and friendly and accepting people. Fictitious Treemeadow College (named after its gay founders, couple Tree and Meadow) is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery with its white Edwardian buildings, low white stone fences, lake and mountain views, and cherry wood offices with tall leather chairs and fireplaces.
Why do you think there aren’t many other gay cozy mystery series out there?
Noah: Most MM novels are erotica, young adult, dark thrillers, or supernatural. While that’s fine, I think we’re missing a whole spectrum of fiction. In the case of the Nicky and Noah mysteries, they include romance, humor, mystery, adventure, and quaint and loveable characters in uncanny situations. The settings are warm and cozy with lots of hot cocoa by the fireplace. The clues and red herrings are there for the perfect whodunit.
Nicky: So are the plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning over “like an anti-gay politician at a truck stop after midnight.” No matter what is thrown in my path, I always end up on top.
Noah: Which is just fine with me.
For anyone unfortunate enough not to have read them, tell us the titles of the first eleven novels in the series.
Nicky: Let’s see how fast I can do this. Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of the Year), Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Fraternity. Take it, Noah, while I catch my breath.
Noah: Drama Castle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Dance (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, and Drama Christmas.
What do you like about the regular characters in the series?
Noah: I love Nicky’s never give up attitude and sense of humor in the face of adversity. He’s genuinely concerned for others, and he’ll do anything to solve a murder mystery. He’s also a one-man man, and I’m proud to admit that man is me.
Nicky: Noah makes the perfect Watson to my Holmes. (I always thought Holmes and Watson were a gay couple.) Noah also has a large heart and soft spot (no pun intended) for others. Finally, like me, Noah is gifted at improvisation, and creates wild and wonderful characters for our role plays to catch the murderer.
Noah: I think it’s terrific how Martin and Ruben throw riotous zingers at each other, but they’re so much in love. You don’t see a lot of older gay characters in books nowadays. Of course Martin’s administrative assistant, Shayla, thrives on her one-upmanship with Martin, and he thrives right back.
Nicky: And our kids, Taavi and Ty, fit into our thespian crime-solving group perfectly.
How about your parents?
Nicky: They’re hilarious. I love Noah’s mother’s fixation with taking pictures of everything, and his father’s fascination with seeing movies. I also love how Noah’s father is an amateur sleuth like me. As they say, men marry their fathers.
Noah: Nicky’s parents’ goal to feed everyone and protect their children is heartwarming. His mom’s gambling addiction is also a riot. Both sets of parents fully embrace their sons and their sons’ family, which is refreshing.
I’m sure Joe has been told that the books would make a terrific TV series.
Nicky: Many many times. Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do The Nicky and Noah Mysteries. Come on, TV producers, make your offers! Joe has written a teleplay of the first novel and treatments for the remaining novels!
How would you cast the TV series?
Noah: Here’s my wish list: Matt Bomer as Nicky, Neil Patrick Harris as me, Rosie O’Donnell and Bruce Willis as my parents, Valerie Bertinelli and Jay Leno as Nicky’s parents, Joe as Martin Anderson (nepotism!), Nathan Lane as Martin’s husband Ruben, Wanda Sykes as Martin’s office assistant Shayla, and Joe Manganiello as Nicky’s brother Tony.
How can your readers get their hands on Drama Pan, and how can they contact you?
Nicky: The purchase links are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site.
Noah: Nicky and I love to hear from readers via Joe! He tells us everything you say about us!
Thank you, Nicky and Noah, for interviewing today.
Nicky and Noah: Our pleasure.
Noah: So take your seats, everyone, and throw the fairy dust. The stage lights are coming up in Never Land on a lad who won’t grow up without Viagra,
Nicky: a pirate with a huge hook,
Noah: a twink called Tink,
Nicky: a Lily who’s a tiger,
Noah: a Merman perplexed at what’s between his legs,
Both: and murder!
About the book
It’s spring break at Treemeadow College, and Theatre professors and spouses Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, their best friends Martin and Ruben, and their sons Taavi and Ty are sprinkling on the fairy dust in an original musical extravaganza of Peter Panentitled Every Fairy Needs a Big Hook! Pirates shout more than “Yo, ho!” when a family of visiting technical designers, the Coutures, drop like yesterday’s fashions. Once again, our favorite thespians will need to use their drama skills to catch the killer before they get the hook. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining twelfth novel in this delightful series. So take your seats and believe in fairies. The stage lights are coming up in Never Land on a lad who won’t grow up without Viagra, a pirate with quite the hook, a twink called Tink, a Lily who’s a tiger, a Merman surprised at what’s between his legs, and murder!
The Darling’s white nursery was lit only by the three lamps, one at each bedside. Wendy, Michael, and John knelt at their beds singing their nightly prayer with Big Ben and the London Bridge watching over them outside the nursery window. Suddenly, the three children were hung from the ceiling like bandits in the old West.
“Stop!” Remember me? It’s Nicky Abbondanza, PhD, Professor of Play Directing at Treemeadow College and Vermont’s theatre armchair Sherlock Holmes. My last name means ‘an abundance,’ which is certainly true in my case. An expression in my Kansas hometown is ‘hung like an Abbondanza,” given the fact that I have a nearly foot long penis—flaccid—which it has been constantly during tech week. For any of you who aren’t insane enough to direct a play, tech week is the time when the technical elements are added to a production, and any director worth his weight in Playbills yearns for a straitjacket and a long commitment to a mental institution harboring no thespians, which of course doesn’t exist. So here I sit front row center in the college’s ruby (like the color of my eyes) theatre with electronic tablet in hand contemplating how to begin my suicide note.
Why am I in the college’s theatre during spring break week—a time when students are generally away getting STDs and unwanted pregnancies? My younger brother Tony arranged for the award-winning Couture family of technical theatre designers to be visiting artists at Treemeadow for the Theatre Department’s spring extravaganza. So my best friend, Theatre Department Head/Professor of Theatre Management Martin Anderson, went right to work writing an original musical production of Peter Pan called Every Fairy Needs a Big Hook! After rehearsing much of spring semester, we finally hit tech week before opening night.
Outside our Edwardian-style campus, trees are budding over the low white stone wall and walkways surrounding the campus. A rainbow array (no pun intended) of flowers peeks out from behind the university’s white stone entrance, where the bronze statues of Harold Tree and Jacob Meadow, the gay couple who founded the university, have again become a resting spot—and relieving spot—for multicolored birds of many species. The calm, cool spring air ripples in the surrounding lake and brush over the bordering majestic mountains. However, inside the theatre, we are feeling anything but calm or cool.
“Why are the children dangling from the ceiling like track lighting?”
That was the renowned Jules Couture, avant-garde set designer, taking center stage. Jules, in his fifties, small, wiry, with an enormous nose to match his huge ears, looks like an aardvark in heat.
“Because your flying apparatus is even more temperamental than you are, Jules.” Jax Jun, theatre graduate assistant and technical and musical director for our show, locked eyes with Jules. In their techie black turtlenecks and chinos, the two men looked like beatnik renegades from a 1950’s funeral.
Jules ran a shaky hand through his dark hair and narrowed his gray eyes. “There is nothing wrong with my flying equipment.”
“Except that it ejaculates prematurely.”
No pun intended.
Jules groaned. “My family and I cannot work like this, Nicky.”
I can relate.
Jax’s exotic jade eyes widened. “None of us would have to ‘work like this’ if I were designing the show.”
Jules snickered like a Republican president pardoning his cohorts in crime. “The Coutures have designed shows to rave reviews from our native France to Italy to London and throughout the US on our way to Broadway.”
“Your avant-garde style may work in some venues, but it’s out of place in this show and at our university,” replied the graduate assistant.
Jax scratched at his thin dark locks. “A set that looks like a teeth-whitening commercial, turning Never Land into outer space, and the revealing Merman and Tinker Bell costumes are against my religious freedom!”
I cleared my throat, which unfortunately didn’t clear my head. “Can we discuss this another time, gentlemen, since the children have hit the roof—literally?”
Praise for the Nicky and Noah mysteries
“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his plot-lines will have you guessing until the very last page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat.” Divine Magazine
“a combination of Laurel and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote…
Loaded with puns and one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still has a surprise in store for you.” “the best modern Sherlock and Watson in books today…I highly recommend this book and the entire series, it’s a pure pleasure, full of fun and love, written with talent and brio…fabulous…brilliant” Optimumm Book Reviews
“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” Urban Book Reviews
“Every entry of the Nicky and Noah mystery series is rife with intrigue, calamity, and hilarity…Cosentino keeps us guessing – and laughing – until the end, as well as leaving us breathlessly anticipating the next Nicky and Noah thriller.” Edge Media Network
“This is one hilarious series with a heart and it just keeps getting better. I highly recommend them all, and please read them in the order they were written for full blown laugh out loud reading pleasure!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite MM Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery novel. He is also the author of the remaining Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan; the Player Piano Mysteries: The Player and The Player’s Encore; the Jana Lane Mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Moving Forward, Stepping Out, New Beginnings, Happy Endings; the In My Heart Anthology: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the Tales from Fairyland Anthology: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland; the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Anthology: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The First Noel; and the Found At Last Anthology: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando. His books have won numerous Book of the Month awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college theatre professor/department chair residing in New York State.
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com