We’re so pleased to welcome author Joe Cosentino and the Drama Cruise audiobook tour. Joe chatted with narrator Brad Enright for his visit today, and there’s also a chance to win an audio copy of book one in the Nicky and Noah Mystery series, Drama Queen, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for entry details.
Welcome, Joe and Brad!
Do you love audiobooks as much as I do? What can be better than listening to your favorite book while walking, jogging, driving, doing housework, or “hearing” your spouse complain? The first-person narrative, humor, and theatrical style of my novels make them perfect as audiobooks. I’ve had quite a few of my books made into audiobooks, and I’ve worked with many audiobook performers. In each case, it was a thrilling and fascinating experience. My latest book to be recorded is my third Nicky and Noah mystery, Drama Cruise. You Nicky and Noah mystery fans are already on board with the series. Let’s take a minute to bring the newbies along on the cruise.
In the first novel, Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Favorite Mystery of the Year), college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains and Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. Next is Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), where Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors in the bodybuilding show on campus are dropping faster than barbells. In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are Nicky and Noah’s both sets of wacky parents and Nicky and Noah’s department head and his husband who are along for the ride.
Michael Gilboe did a fine job performing the audiobook of Drama Queen, and Chip Hurley was also terrific in Drama Muscle.
Luck was still with me when I found Brad Enright to perform Drama Cruise. Brad has a masculine, sexy voice that is full of emotion. His sense of humor matches with Nicky’s perfectly. Finally, Brad’s over twenty character voices, both male and female, will leave you in awe, as you wonder how one person can play all those roles. After Brad and I discussed the characters, humor, and emotions in the novel, he went to work on his state of the art audio equipment to create the audiobook. He was always open to my feedback and appreciated my comments and advice along the way.
Since some of you may not be familiar with Brad, who by the way is quite handsome, I interviewed him, so you can get to know him. The audiobook information and a giveaway offer follow. Enjoy!
Joe: Hi Brad, since we’ve spoken so much in private, with the release of our audiobook, I feel it’s time to finally share you with the public.
Brad: Share away. I’m ready to come out. Well, you know what I mean.
Joe: I’m onboard. As Nicky would say, “No pun intended.” What got you started in the audiobook field?
Brad: I remember the first audiobook I ever listened to, The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy narrated by the actor Richard Crenna.
Joe: A very heterosexual book.
Brad: Totally. Crenna spoke in Russian accents and created an image that even a young kid like me could visualize. That memory and experience stuck with me, and I wanted to do audiobooks from the very beginning.
Joe: What do you enjoy most about being an audiobook performer?
Brad: I love telling stories. Audiobooks allow the performer in me to be creative and explore the best ways to make the story come to life. It’s a completely different experience than reading the book or seeing the movie version. And since I will probably never write a book, this is the next best thing.
Joe: That’s good news. Less competition for me. (smile) Where do you record your audiobooks?
Brad: I have a sophisticated studio setup in my house where I record and edit the material.
Joe: Are you a fan of mystery novels? Humorous novels?
Brad: I’m definitely a fan of both. Who doesn’t love a good mystery or laughing, which is the best medicine? Drama Cruise gives the reader both of these experiences.
Joe: I’m flattered. But please don’t stop.
Brad: The mystery builds and builds in the book. And the humor is constant from chapter one.
Joe: No arguments here. In doing this audiobook for Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery, how did you key into my wacky sense of humor?
Brad: The emailed chats we had at the beginning and the feedback and notes you gave me helped me get to know you. Prior to recording, I read the book. So I was able to get a good feel for your humor, finding laughs on every page. Some of the humor is big, bold, and hilarious, and sometimes it’s more subtle. As the narrator, I appreciated the subtle humor most, because it gave me more insight into the characters.
Joe: I’ve never been called “subtle” before. I like it. But enough talk about me. Let’s talk about you. What did you like about working with me on this audiobook (smile)?
Brad: What I liked the most was the input you provided at the beginning and the feedback during the process. Yet you gave me the creative freedom to develop the characters and tell the story as I wanted. I appreciated that.
Joe: Aw, shucks. Keep going.
Brad: It’s a terrific story with colorful and well-crafted characters. My goal was for you to have as much fun listening to it as I did reading and recording it.
Joe: And I did, laughing like a maniac. Believe it or not, the ending surprised me, and I wrote it! And I loved all the character voices. How did you create the over twenty distinct character voices in this audiobook?
Brad: Some were easier than others. Aurora is a loud redhead who loves show business. I immediately thought of Kathy Griffin. Some were more difficult, like Nan Joy Hossahl, a black female with a thick Jamaican accent. I sought advice from other narrators, did some research, and spent a lot of time in the car talking to myself in different voices.
Joe: Good thing you weren’t arrested.
Brad: Hah. Actually, inspiration often comes in many different forms and at times you least expect it. The voice for Papa, for example, came to me after receiving a text from a friend quoting a line from The Godfather.
Joe: As a straight man, how did you relate to the two gay leading characters and their romance in this audiobook?
Brad: The fact that Nicky and Noah are gay and I’m straight didn’t impact the approach I took to telling the story. While reading and recording the book, I found their relationship very relatable to those I have had. They are best friends who laugh together, have arguments, and share their dreams and fears with each other like any two people in love. Nicky and Noah love each other and their passion leaps off the pages when they are together.
Joe: Thanks. As Nicky would say, “I’m as pleased as a priest at altar boy training.” Back to the interview. Which was your favorite character to perform in this audiobook?
Brad: Wow, that’s tough, since each of them provided so many good opportunities to perform to the hilt. All four parents were a treat. We can all identify with Nicky’s doting Mama and Papa or Noah’s eccentric Mom and Dad. I also liked Jeff Harrington. His hypochondria and reciting of his assumed illnesses and ailments offered a stream of funny ways to act sick, panicked, or debilitated. Pedro Santiago was also a favorite, particularly his funny lines and hysterical outbursts.
Joe: Which character was the most difficult to perform in this audiobook?
Brad: Captain Vessel was more challenging than I thought. My original vision of him was a cross between Captain Stubing from The Love Boat and Ron Burgundy from The Anchorman. However, as secrets are revealed about Captain Vessel, he became a much more complex character to play.
Joe: What’s next for you?
Brad: I plan on doing more audiobooks and tell more great stories that people love.
Joe: Sounds like a good plan. Thanks, Brad. I hope we get to work together again soon.
About the Book
Theater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theater professors are popping up everywhere, from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationers, before it is lights out for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, ribald, edge-of-your-seat, entertaining, third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!
About the Author
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle; the Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, The Perfect Gift; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). 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 Chair of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and his books have received numerous Favorite Book of the Month Awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.