Publisher: Dreamspinner press
Buy Links: Dreamspinner, Amazon
With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.
How I Came to write An Infatuation
As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto. I played all the characters—male and female. Hm, that explains a lot. Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me rather than committed me.
When I told my mother I wanted to be an actor, she said, “Take this knife and stick it through my heart.” I did it anyway, and acted on stage and screen with stars like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Jason Robards, and Nathan Lane. I always enjoyed improvisation as an actor, and I saw writing as an extension of that. So I decided to give playwriting a try. When I told my mother I wanted to write a play, she said, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that? Anyway, An Infatuation began as a one-act play. Hasn’t everyone been infatuated with someone? Think about your first infatuation. There’s nothing more powerful.
I was thinking back to my high school days, and how difficult it was back then for a gay teen before GLSEN, PFLAG, and Will and Grace. Lab partners, gym locker rooms, and club meetings were super important. At my high school reunion, I realized that all the troublemakers had become police officers, and all the homophobes had come out as gay. A story was born.
When the one-act play was a hit, I expanded and morphed it into a novella. While the situation is fictitious, Harold is based on me, and some things I went through in high school. I really admire Harold’s resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Harold’s devotion to his spouse is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. Stuart, Harold’s devoted spouse, is very much like my devoted spouse. Mario is a combination of many supposedly straight, perfect guys who gay guys so easily become infatuated with every day. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature in their special relationship. I also love that Harold and Mario come full circle at their high school reunion.
I know this story will tickle your funny bone and touch your heart, because it’s all of our stories. We’ve all had an infatuation, and this novel is a testament to that. Please email me via my web site and tell me about your experience with the book. Prop your feet up, and enjoy!
About the author:
Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer), 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 wroteThe 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 Porcelain Doll (the second Jana Lane mystery) and Drama Muscle (the second Nicky and Noah mystery). http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com