We’re so pleased to welcome Joe Cosentino to TNA today, with a character interview he conducted with Ben the bear from his latest novel The Naked Prince. Joe’s also offering a giveaway. Here’s what you need to do to enter, and what you could win:
Post a comment below about why you love fairy tales. The one that we think wins the glass slipper will receive a gift e-book of Joe Cosentino’s hit novella AN INFATUATION from the author.
I am happy to have with me today, Ben the bear from “The Golden Rule” in Joe Cosentino’s new novella from Dreamspinner Press, THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND. Since the readers can’t see you, what do you look like Ben?
I’m average height, the youngest of three brothers. I’m really muscular since I build cottages. My latest job is building a new wall for Humpty Dumpty. I have dark eyes and hair—lots of it, all over. That and the fact that I live at the base of Bear Mountain causes everyone to call me a bear.
Have you been lucky in love?
I had a relationship with the Huntsman. He broke things off when he became infatuated with nimble jack who can jump over or on pretty much anything. But everything changed for me when I met Gideon.
What does Gideon look like?
Gideon looks amazing. He has long, curly, golden hair. That’s why my older brothers, Bo and Butch, nicknamed him Goldie Locks. I love Gideon’s blue eyes and lean, smooth body.
How did you and Gideon meet?
Gideon’s parents threw him out his cottage for being gay. He walked around in the woods and came upon a cottage—mine. He’s a spunky one. Since my brothers and I weren’t home, Gideon ate our food and slept in my bed. He hasn’t left since.
So it was love at first sight?
Hardly! When I found my bowl empty and Gideon naked in my bed, I became enraged. At first Gideon and I hit it off like Snow White and her stepmother. Once we started working together, eating together, and living together, things changed. We fell in love. But it wasn’t a smooth yellow brick road journey. We had quite a few…misunderstandings.
Tell us about that?
You’ll have to read the story, “The Golden Rule.”
Why haven’t we seen gay fairytale characters in mainstream fairytales or movies?
Good question! Joe Cosentino wondered that himself. As a kid Joe’s older sister read him fairytales in bed every night before sleep. When he could read, he read them himself. Joe was entranced by the riveting stories of peasants becoming princes and princesses and finding true love. The stunning locations, wonderment, humor and tragedy, and happy endings filled his young mind like wood in wood pile. Joe wanted to be a character in those stories, live in those palaces, dine with the charming princes, and bring happiness to everyone in the kingdoms. Later as an adult, he wrote musical plays based on fairytales for professional theatre companies: Princess and the Pea, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Aladdin, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. But here’s where I came into the picture. Joe recently reread many of his favorite fairytales, and he was upset to see no openly gay characters in any of them! So he asked himself, ‘Why aren’t there gay people in fairyland? Why can’t a peasant boy fall in love with a handsome prince (or a bear)? Wouldn’t a homeless blond boy seek refuge in a house with three hunky bears (like my brothers and me)? What was Pinocchio’s growing appendage really all about? Did Jack enjoy his time with the Giant more than Jack ever let on? Could the Snow Queen be a handsome prince with a heart of ice? What’s the good of fairy dust and fairytales without any fairies?’ As if by magic, I and the other characters in The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland were born in Joe’s mind in four humorous, romantic, adventurous, touching, and gay tales. How lucky are Gideon and I to star in one of them!
What are the stories about?
“The Naked Prince” is a different take on the Cinderella story. Cinder, a poor and beautiful young man who designs clothing, makeup, and hair for his stepmother and stepsisters, offers his clothing and slippers to a naked stranger in the woods who turns out to be none other than me, Prince Charming. Will Cinder and I confront our manipulative mothers, bring equality to the kingdom, find ourselves, and find one another? I can give you a hint. We are still living happily ever after together in Fairyland. In “The Golden Rule,” when he is caught with nimble Jack, eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden is thrown out of his home in Fairyland by his homophobic parents. With nowhere else to go, he breaks into the home of three men living on Bear Mountain. Bo and Butch enjoy having a young roommate, but Ben isn’t convinced. Will Gideon and Ben make vinegar or honey? “Whatever Happened To … ?” takes place on Christmas Eve. A reporter living on Andersen Lane interviews a celebrity for the Queen Newspaper series, “What Ever Happened To … .” Friction ensues between the celebrity with the growing appendage who can’t tell fact from fiction, and the reporter who has a thing for giants. Eventually a romantic spark is lit between the two as Christmas Day arrives, and they realize they have more in common than living in Fairyland. Finally in “Ice Cold,” after losing their families during the great ice storm in the northernmost kingdom of Fairyland, young Gaelen and Kieran pledged their love for one another. When Isidore rides into Frost Village on his elaborate sleigh, Kieran follows the handsome prince to his castle in Arctic Kingdom, where Kieran becomes Isidore’s bewitched slave. This leads Gaelen on an amazing adventure to find his true love and melt his frozen heart. All four stories are terrific, but I like mine and Cinder’s best.
Who is your favorite character in THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND, besides yourself?
Gideon of course! He’s so sweet, warm, and wonderful. And he’s all mine! It was my lucky day when I found him inside my cottage in the woods.
Will you be starring in more of Joe Cosentino’s books?
This is it for Gideon and me. However, all of his books are great. If you haven’t yet, also check out AN INFATUATION (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll Award for 2nd Place Best LGBT Romance of 2015), A SHOOTING STAR, and A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS from Dreamspinner Press. If you like mysteries, don’t miss out on DRAMA QUEEN (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll Awards for Best Mystery, Best Crime, Best Humorous, and Best Contemporary Novel of 2015) and DRAMA MUSCLE Nicky and Noah Amazon bestselling mysteries from Lethe Press. And Joe told me he is working on a new series about a gay resort at the New Jersey shore, COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK and COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD coming soon from Nine Star Press. I wonder, is the New Jersey shore anything like Fairyland? Joe tells me it is quite different, but there are lots of young blond guys there.
How can your readers contact you and Gideon?
Joe will get any messages to us. He loves to hear from readers. It gives him a break from hearing from characters like me and Gideon. They can contact him at his Website.
Blurb: Cinder, a poor and beautiful young man who designs clothing, makeup, and hair for his stepmother and stepsisters, offers his clothing and slippers to a naked stranger in the woods, who turns out to be none other than Prince Charming. Follow Cinder and Prince Charming in this twist on the classic Cinderella tale as they discover their inner strengths and find their very own happily ever after.
Enjoy The Naked Prince and three other reimagined tales from Fairyland, each with a unique spin on stories we all know and love, including The Golden Rule, where eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden, after being thrown out of his home in Fairyland by his homophobic parents, breaks into the cottage of three burly men on Bear Mountain.
In Whatever Happened To…?, friction ensues between a celebrity with a growing appendage and a reporter who has a thing for giants.
And in Ice Cold, young Gaelen must save his love, Kieran, after a handsome but evil prince freezes Kieran’s heart and bewitches him into being the prince’s slave.
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law