CHARACTER INTERVIEW ~ Drama King by Joe Cosentino #Interview #CharacterInterview #Excerpt

✨ Character Interview ✨

An Interview with Nicky Abbondanza
the leading character in Joe Cosentino’s novel, Drama King,
the 18th Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance

Nicky, thank you for interviewing today.

My pleasure. I’m my favorite topic. (smile)

Congratulations on the release of the eighteenth mystery in your award-winning and popular Nicky and Noah gay cozy comedy mystery series: Drama King.

Thank you. Please call me King. (smile)

Since the readers can’t see you, tell them what you look like.

Noah says I’m adorable. He should know. Noah’s adorable too. I’m tall with dark hair and long sideburns Noah loves to kiss, a cleft chin, Roman nose, emerald eyes, and a muscular body thanks to the gym on campus, which I call the chamber of horrors.


Noah says I have shrewd mind for solving mysteries and a huge heart.


I have another huge organ, which is just fine with Noah (smile).

Tell us about Drama King, the eighteenth mystery in your popular, award-winning series.

It stars me! (smile) In the novel, our theatrical troupe at Treemeadow College stage an original musical production of the King Arthur legends entitled, Knights in Tights.

As usual, hilarity and calamity ensues.

Of course, it’s a Nicky and Noah mystery novel! (Notice who gets top billing—in more ways than one?)  In the show within the novel, King Arthur (moi) and the gorgeous knight Lancelot (my Noah) are star-crossed lovers due to Arthur’s mail-order bride Guinevere (played by our best friend and department chair Martin). Martin’s long-suffering husband, Ruben, is Merlin who in the final moments of the show sets all right (or left), and King Arthur marries his beloved Lancelot. Our son, Taavi, is cast as Young Arthur. His wife Sloane, a transexual, plays the mysterious Lady of the Lake. Martin and Ruben’s son, Ty, is Arthur’s bastard (pun intended) son Mordred, and Martin’s sassy office assistant, Shayla, is cast as the cunning Morgan le Fay. Detective Manuello comes along for the ride as Pellinore, the knight with the Holy Grail (he found at a gay bar). Noah’s niece from Scotland, Lairie, plays the scheming Isolde. Our dog, Asterisk, and his husband, Tag, are cast as King Arthur’s dogs Cavall and Glassic. Ty’s girlfriend, Shinelle, is also back as stage manager.

Who are the new characters in book eighteen?

The Knights of the Roundtable are played by hunky newcomers to the series. Associate Professor of Musical Theatre Bernardo Anita is cast as Knight Perceval. The Latino’s muscular body, dark hair and eyes, and olive skin set his adorable graduate assistant Wang Fong’s heart aflutter. Wang (Knight Kay), a deaf performer, also enjoys the fact that Bernardo is a CODA (child of deaf adults). Theatre majors bodybuilder Nathan Masterson (Knight Tristan), wealthy Tevye Perchik (Knight Gawain), and Dracula lookalike Beau Babcock (Knight Bedivere) form an interesting love triangle. When play reviewers drop like knights’ tights, there are plenty of suspects—not to mention sweet romance. As Nicky would say, if you read this novel, you’ll have more fun than a Republican-appointed Supreme Court member taking away LGBT, workers’, environmental, women’s, and voting rights. You’ll also get to see how this popular series ends!

Who was your favorite new character?

Associate Professor of Musical Theatre Bernardo Anita is a fine professor, musical director, and Knight Perceval in our show. As a CODA (child of deaf adults), he has empathy for his deaf graduate assistant Wang Fong—who Bernardo just happens to desire.

Which new character do you like the least?

The McAfee family of play reviewers. They get theirs in the end (smile).

Which new character was the sexiest?

Theatre major Nathan Masterson (Knight Tristan), as an award-winning bodybuilder, has many hearts aflutter. Like all of the characters (and I mean characters), Nathan has quite a secret.

What makes the Nicky and Noah mystery series so special?

Me! I’m a legend in my own mind. 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 the conservative majority of the Supreme Court takes away LGBT rights. 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. 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? Even though I tell Joe everything to write.

How are the novels cozy?

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?

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. So are the plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning over like an anti-gay politician in the backroom of a gay bar during a blackout. No matter what is thrown in my path, I always end up on top, which is just fine with Noah.

For anyone unfortunate enough not to have read them, tell us the titles of the novels in the series.

The Nicky and Noah mysteries are Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV, Drama Oz, Drama Prince, Drama Merry, Drama Daddy (novelette), and now Drama King.

Joe is a college theatre professor/department chair like Martin Anderson in your series. Has that influenced your series, Nicky?

As a past professional actor and current college theatre professor/department chair, Joe knows first-hand the wild and wacky antics, sweet romance, and captivating mystery in the worlds of theatre and academia. The Nicky and Noah mysteries are full of them!

What do you like about the regular characters in the series?

I like my never give up attitude and sense of humor in the face of adversity. I’m genuinely concerned for others, and I’ll do anything to solve a murder mystery. I’m also a one-man man, and I’m proud to admit that man is Noah Oliver. Noah is blond, blue-eyed, lean, handsome, smart, and devoted. He 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. 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.

How about your and Noah’s parents?

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. My 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.

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?

Here’s my wish list: Matt Bomer as me, Neil Patrick Harris as Noah, Rosie O’Donnell and Bruce Willis as Noah’s parents, Valerie Bertinelli and Jay Leno as my parents, Joe as Martin Anderson (nepotism!), Nathan Lane as Martin’s husband Ruben, Wanda Sykes as Martin’s office assistant Shayla, and Luke McFarlane as any character!

Joe has other popular mystery series: the Player Piano Mysteries and the Jana Lane mysteries. There are mystery elements in his Found At Last series and Cozzi Cove series. One of the stories in his Tales from Fairyland Anthology is a mystery.

They’re great stories but Noah and I aren’t in them. Next question.

This novel has quite an amazing ending. Is it the last novel in the series?

As they say, all good things come to an end. At this point, I believe this is the end of the series. And what a great ending!

How can your readers get their hands on Drama King, and how can they contact you?

The purchase links are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site. I love to hear from readers via Joe! He tells Noah and me everything you say about us! So drop me a line via Joe’s web site:

Thank you, Nicky, for interviewing today.

My pleasure. I know you’ll laugh, cry, feel romantic, and love delving into this crackling new mystery with more plot twists and turns than a past Republican president, between bankruptcies and running illegal charities, ordering the insurrection on the Capitol. I’m more excited than a Moonie meeting his arranged wife to share this eighteenth mystery in the series with you. So put on your cape and crown, and head to the magical land of Camelot for murder, mayhem, and of course a happy ending (no pun intended)!


The 18th Nicky and Noah Mystery!
a comedy/mystery/romance novel by Joe Cosentino

Formats: E-book and Paperback
Release Date: October 1, 2023
Length: 230 Pages
Language: English
Heat Level: 2
Cover Art: Jesús Da Silva
Genre: Genre: MM, contemporary, mystery, comedy, romance, theatre, musical theater, college, Camelot, King Arthur, Lancelot, Knights of the Round Table, deaf, CODA


It’s summertime at Treemeadow College and the living isn’t easy. Theatre professors and adorable couple Nicky, Noah, and their thespian troupe stage an original musical adaptation of the King Arthur Legends entitled, Knights in Tights. Queens blissfully shout, “King me,” until critics drop like their scathing reviews. Once again in this novel, our favorite thespians will need to use their drama skills to catch the killer before their crowns spin—around their throats. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining eighteenth mystery in this delightful series. It’s a royal riot! So hurry to your seat. The stage lights are coming up in Camelot on a king on the down low who pulls his long sword out of a tight stone, knights of the roundtable craving a circle jerk, a half-fairy son with a daddy complex, more men in tights than in a Promise Keepers’ convention, and murder!

A rainbow pierces through the white fog over the emerald trees in the forest of Camelot. Mentor magician Merlin (try saying that three times fast with chapped lips) discovers baby Arthur abandoned on a tree stump. The child cries. Merlin waves his hands. In a puff of smoke, baby Arthur transforms into Young Arthur. A thick haze continues to envelope Merlin and his student. They choke, clutch at their throats, and gasp for air before disappearing inside a cloud of smoke.

“Stop!” Did you miss me? I knew you would. Nicky Abbondanza here, Professor of Play Directing in charming Treemeadow College in charming Vermont in not so charming America. I’m beginning my eighteenth cozy adventure, which will ultimately end in cozy murder—five of them. How do I know? This is a Nicky and Noah mystery novel. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 If this is your first Nicky and Noah mystery, where have you been all my life? My seventeen previous cases were spinetingling, knuckle-biting, entertaining extravaganzas—starring me! Since I’m a college professor, I’ll do a quick review for any Nicky and Noah mystery virgins or readers suffering from a senior moment—or seventeen. Let’s start at the top (pun intended) with me. I am the best-looking man in Vermont. Well, in Treemeadow. At Treemeadow College. Okay, I’m not all that hot, but I’m tall, with jet black hair (thanks to Noah dying it), big muscles (since Noah refuses me dinner until I work out at the campus health club—better known as the torture chamber), emerald eyes (from contact lenses Noah ordered online), and a Roman nose (that Noah loves to kiss). I’ll add the footnote (pun intended) that I have a foot long penis—flaccid. Thanks to Noah, it isn’t flaccid very long (pun intended). Not to brag, but my erection would make a porn star bottom leave the business and become a priest (bad analogy). I’ve directed numerous live plays and musicals, a bodybuilding competition, a murder mystery dinner theatre cruise show, a luau show, two movies, a model runway show, and a television pilot. Not to mention—but I will—as an amateur sleuth, I solved seventeen murder mystery cases. But enough about me—since Noah is elbowing me in the ribs. I’ll tell you about my perfect husband. Noah Oliver, Professor of Acting, is my golden-haired, azure-eyed, milk-and-honey-complexioned Adonis and the love of my heart (and currently the pain in the side). Noah (42), and I (49-grr) met here at Treemeadow College — named after its original founders, megabucks gay couple Tree and Meadow—during our first case, Drama Queen. Noah and I got off to a rocky start—since he was my prime suspect! We became engaged in our second caper, Drama Muscle. Noah and I were married in Alaska at the close of our third case, Drama Cruise, and we adopted our son in Maui at the culmination of our fourth mystery, Drama Luau. I solved a slew of other mass murder mysteries (try saying that three times fast wearing a nightguard) here at Treemeadow College (Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV, and Drama Merry) and a mini-mystery (Drama Daddy), causing the college’s Admissions Office to add a mortician to their staff. We travelled to Scotland in Drama Castle, Key West in Drama Oz, and San Francisco in Drama Prince. Along the way, my family grew (as did my expenses) when our son, Treemeadow sophomore theatre major Taavi Kapule Oliver Abbondanza (20), married his wife, Treemeadow sophomore theatre major Sloane Thomas Kapule Oliver Abbondanza (22), and they adopted thespian-in-training Nicky Noah Thomas Kapule Oliver Abbondanza (6 months). We all live happily (and chaotically) with our dogs, Asterisk Oliver Abbondanza and his husband Tag Tucker Oliver Abbondanza, in the honey-colored Victorian home graciously supplied to us by the college (to make up for Noah’s and my low salaries). Noah, Taavi, and I wear dress shirts, dress slacks, and blazers. It’s an Abbondanza Oliver thing.

We now come full circle from Drama Queen to Drama King, which brings me to the backstage wing at our college’s burgundy theatre during summer break. Why am I directing a show during the summer? With the extra mouths to feed (including our best friends Martin and Ruben who often visit for dinner with their son Ty), Noah and I decided to produce a summer stock show at the college. Since we already had the tunics, tights, forest set, and palace setting from our previous production of Robin Hood (Why the Merry Men Are So Merry) in our Drama Merry caper, we decided on an original musical adaptation of the King Arthur stories. Noah and I got right to work, arm wrestling over who would play King Arthur. Asterisk, our gray and white bearded collie (5), and his husband, Tag (5), a cream-colored Yorkshire terrier, placed their molars around Noah’s ankles at the appropriate time to make me the winner. This minor act of doggie terrorism secured Asterisk and Tag the roles of Cavall (Arthur’s dog) and Glassic (Cavall’s husband) respectively (but not so respectfully). With the role of King Arthur out of reach, Noah quickly grabbed my family jewels until I gave him the role of dashing knight Lancelot. Taavi and Sloane rapidly claimed the roles of Young Arthur and Lancelot’s mother, the mystical Lady of the Lake, with the caveat that Nicky Jr. would be cast as Baby Arthur—if I ever wanted to see my grandson again. My best friend and department chair, Professor of Theatre Management Martin Anderson (primeval), his husband Ruben Markinson (equally primeval), and their adopted son, Treemeadow sophomore theatre major Ty Wilde Anderson Markinson (19), offered to play the roles of Guinevere, Merlin, and Arthur’s son Mordred. When I balked, Martin and Ruben opened their bank books in front of me like an altar boy unfastening his robe before a priest. This garnered the Anderson-Markinsons their desired roles—and my funding for the play. Next, author Martin hit his computer faster than a past Republican president losing an election he had tried to rig and then staging an insurrection. The result? Knights in Tights, an original musical based on the King Arthur legends, by Martin Anderson, directed by Nicky Abbondanza, and starring yours truly and my witty, wacky, and wild (try saying that three times fast with two tongue rings) Treemeadow theatre troupe. Speaking of which, Martin’s office assistant, antagonist, and lesbian thespian confidant Shayla Johnson (age a mystery even I can’t solve), claimed the role of Mordred’s mother, the fairy enchantress Morgan le Fay. As Shayla said to Martin and me, “To show you fairies how a real fairy makes magic.” Oblivious Detective Jose Manuello (56, the highest number he is able to count to), realizing an Abbondanza production kills them every time (literally), pleaded with me until I cast him as Pellinore, the knight who finds the Holy Grail. Manuello’s wife, Ariella, our costumer, guffawed at this bit of casting, since according to Ariella, “My husband couldn’t find my G-spot if there were neon road signs in my vagina.”

I cast the remaining roles from our pool of Treemeadow faculty and students—literally camping out at our pool on campus. Tall, dark, handsome, and built Bernardo Anita (30), Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre, became our show’s musical director and knight Perceval. Adorable, lean and cut Wang Fong (22), Bernardo’s Graduate Assistant of Musical Theatre, signed on as choreographer. Wang, a deaf performer, also took on the mime/dance role of knight Kay. Senior theatre major and amateur bodybuilding contest winner Nathan Masterson (21) was cast as knight Tristan. Stocky, dreamy-eyed senior theatre major Tevye Perchik (21) agreed to play knight Gawain. Theatre major Beau Babcock (21) flicked back his velvety black hair, batted his crystal blue eyes, and unleashed his long molars when cast as knight Bedivere. Rumor has it Beau rivals me in the family jewels department (more on that later). Lairie Naughton (24), stage name Lauren Nightingale, Noah’s gorgeous niece from Scotland, arrived at our door for a visit—after Noah’s letter to her mentioned we hadn’t yet cast the role of Isolde, Tristan’s tricky temptress (try saying that three times fast while sucking on something hard). Shinelle Jones (19), sophomore theatre major and Ty’s girlfriend, signed on as our show’s stage manager—to manage Ty. Then I filled the bit roles and technical positions faster than the Republican Supreme Court majority removing women’s, LGBT, voters’, workers’, and environmental rights, and we began rehearsals. So here I am during tech week, also known as “They shoot directors, don’t they?” week in the theatre wing—wishing I could take wing.

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

“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“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

About the Author

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, Drama TV, Drama Oz, Drama Prince, Drama Merry, Drama Daddy, Drama King;
  • 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.

Find Joe Cosentino on the Web

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