Interview with Jana Lane, the leading character in SATIN DOLL
a Jana Lane mystery by Joe Cosentino, published by The Wild Rose Press
Hi Manic Readers, this is Joe Cosentino, author of the Jana Lane mystery series. With the release of the third Jana Lane mystery, SATIN DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), I let my leading character, Jana Lane, out of my head for an interview. Since you can’t see Jana, I’ll tell you, that’s her on the gorgeous Jana Lane mystery book covers. Welcome, Jana.
Thank you for letting me out. It’s great telling you what to write for the Jana Lane mysteries, but sometimes I need my space.
Jana, as a kid, I loved watching child stars like Shirley Temple and Hayley Mills, always wondering what it would like to be in their small but talented shoes. Since you were America’s most famous child star, can you enlighten us?
After acting on Broadway with my father in Sweet Nothings at five years old, my agent Simon Huckby discovered me. From ages six to eighteen I did all those movies opposite my father: Daddy’s Girl, The Girl Detective, The Cowgirl and the Bandit, Jungle Girl, School Spy, The Pirate Princess, The Cutest Scientist and many more. In addition to acting, singing, and dancing lessons, I learned how to ride horseback, dive off a cliff, wrestle a bear, steer an out of control motorboat, body surf, identify various chemicals, interrogate criminals, and throw a tomahawk.
And in each movie you saved little Timmy from every evil fate, and the audiences adored you. What was it like going to movie premieres, as you arrived in a limousine and were led on the red carpet into the theater?
I remember camera flashes going off in many directions all at once. Hundreds of people called out my name. I felt like God’s special child.
And inside the theater, when you saw your face on that screen as large as a billboard?
I felt totally loved and protected, until it all went away.
When you were attacked at the studio lot in 1960.
And I left the business for many years.
You went to college, got married, bought a mansion in Hyde Park, New York, and had children. Then in 1980 you were attacked again. But this time it was different.
I somehow summoned up the lost courage I had as a child and used the skills I had learned as a child star to figure out who attacked me in 1960 and again in 1980 and why. In the process I uncovered a web of secrets about everyone I loved.
And you turned the tables on the murderer.
That last scene is my favorite part of PAPER DOLL.
And your reviews were amazing. “Paper Doll is a superbly crafted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters that will engage you and elicit some very emotional responses as you are completely caught up in the events that unfold in these pages. Everyone has secrets and the people in Paper Doll have them in spades!” Fresh Fiction
“Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery (Paper Doll)” “The story gripped me from the start and there were enough twists and turns, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, to keep hold of me until the end of the book.” “Great book, can’t wait for book 2.” Readers’ Favorite
They liked me. They really liked me.
Good one, Jana. Since I was an actor, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards, I used my insider Hollywood knowledge to write the next Jana Lane mystery, PORCELAIN DOLL, where you make a comeback film in 1981, His Obsession.
I loved making that film.
And you were nominated for an Academy Award.
But even more importantly, I again used the skills I learned as a child star to discover who was being murdered on the set and why.
Not to mention your heart was set aflutter by your co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo.
And the reviews were amazing.
“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews
“Murder, mystery, and suspense are high inside of this brilliant masterpiece by Joe Cosentino.” “Every page fills the readers with intrigue.” “Edge of your seat mystery that lures readers instantly.” “Once you read it, you can’t put it down.” Danielle Urban Universal Creativity Inc.
I noticed you avoided talking about Jason Adonis.
Good observation, Joe. And now in SATIN DOLL, my family and I head to Washington, DC, where I play a US senator in a new film, Madame Senator, and I become embroiled in murder and corruption at the senate chamber.
Tell us about some of the people you encounter in SATIN DOLL.
There are some familiar faces from the first two novels like my old world, loyal, and hysterically funny agent, Simon Huckby, who produces the AIDS benefit I host at the Ford Theatre.
I want to play Simon in the movie version.
Good luck with that, Joe.
Thanks. Go on.
My best friend and lawyer, Congressman Jackson Mitchell and his partner Adam, host my family at their rustic home on a lake. And there are some new faces too like Senator Maxmillion, the Republican majority leader of the Senate, and Benjamin Topower, Maxmillion’s wealthy super pack contributor. And there is Senator Cassie Castle, the Democrat senator touted to run for Vice President.
Everyone asks me if Cassie Castle was patterned after Hillary Clinton.
Cassie is a smart, strong woman who is deeply involved in protecting the environment, women’s rights, gay rights, education, and creating jobs, like her father before her. She is also quite charismatic. So in some ways she’s very much like Hillary.
And in some ways she is different. For example, Cassie is dating the Republican majority leader of the Senate, and Cassie seems to wear her heart on her sleeve.
As an actor and college theatre professor/department head, Joe, you generally write about the world of show business. What caused you to venture into the world of politics?
Hey, who’s asking the questions?
Right now, I am.
I’ve always found politicians like Maxmillion and Cassie fascinating. How they can speak to someone and make him/her feel as if he/she is the only person in the room. I also marvel at Cassie’s will to serve others and to make the world a better place. The issues I am concerned with are Cassie’s issues, so I am clearly on the liberal bent. However, I believe all the political characters in the story are treated equally in showing their good points and bad.
As in the first two Jana Lane mysteries, you are tempted by a handsome and muscular man, this time ex-football player Detective Chris Bove.
Can you blame me?
Frankly, no. And your husband, Brian, goes through a major personal event.
That part of the story still brings tears to my eyes when I read it.
Your comic banter with Jackson, and with Bove, still make me laugh.
And you wrote it!
With your help.
Since it’s 1983, I get to dance to songs like “Flashdance…What A Feeling” and “Maniac.” I also wear layered hair, shoulder pads, and lace gloves, which I love!
And you also experience historical events like Karen Carpenter’s passing, the still new AIDS epidemic and the devastation it caused when ignored by our political representatives, and dangerous proposed legislation by conservatives like the Protect the Children Act, which was a disguise to try to make gay people second class citizens. And like in all the Jana Lane mysteries you are a champion fighting for funding for AIDS research, protecting victims when nobody else would.
I’ve always believed it is our duty to take care of the less fortunate who need our help.
There is also a sexy young senator in the book, Senator Sancho Ramirez from New York. Like everyone in the story, Sancho has secrets that are eventually revealed.
I love that about my books. Readers get a complete mystery with each novel full of revealed secrets, plot twists and turns, and a white knuckle ending leading to a shocking conclusion.
What’s next for Jana Lane?
You tell me.
In China Doll (releasing late May), you head to New York City to star in a Broadway play, co-starring the gorgeous Peter Stevens, and you’re faced with murder on stage and off.
And after that?
RAGDOLL, where you’re offered the leading role in a new television mystery series. And again life imitates art.
How do you think up all these terrific storylines and surprise endings?
You’re in my head helping me out.
Don’t you have another mystery series published by Lethe Press?
Yes, the Nicky and Noah comedy mystery series.
No need. That series is quite different from yours.
The series takes place at an Edwardian style New England college. In DRAMA QUEEN (Divine Magazine’s Best Mystery of 2015) theatre college professors are dropping like stage curtains. With the inept local detectives, it is up to Directing professor, Nicky Abbondanza to use his theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve the murders, while he directs a murder mystery onstage. Complicating matters is Nicky’s intense crush on Assistant Professor of Acting, handsome Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murder. In DRAMA MUSCLE Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In DRAMA CRUISE (not released yet), Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship.
And there are also my MM romance novels and novellas: IN MY HEART (AN INFATUATION & A SHOOTING STAR), A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (Dreamspinner Press); and the Cozzi Cove beach series: COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK and COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD (NineStar Press).
But I’m your favorite, right?
We should get back to work on the next Jana Lane novel.
You’re a stern taskmaster.
Tell the readers how they can contact us.
At http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com. Joe and Jana signing off for now.
Enjoy my books!
SATIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery by Joe Cosentino
published by The Wild Rose Press
Murder, corruption, and scandals rock Washington, D.C.… America’s most famous ex-child star, Jana Lane, is playing a US Senator in a 1983 film. Just as she and her family arrive in DC, two Washington power players are murdered, and Jana is caught in the web of intrigue and political scandal. Jana falls under the spell of the breathtakingly handsome detective assigned to the case, ex-professional football player and food aficionado, Chris Bove. Will Jana and Bove uncover the murderer’s identity and shocking secrets before Jana and her family become the Capitol’s next victims?
Wild Rose Press to purchase SATIN DOLL
Jana felt goosebumps as she looked over at the dias for the presiding officer—a rotating senator elected by the majority/Republican party. Her eyes spanned the one hundred desks in a semicircle, where senators sat by order of seniority with the majority leader (Josiah Maxmillion noticeably absent) and minority leader (Ben Stevens present) sitting front and center on each side.
The meeting resumed. Jana stood in awe and listened as senators took to the floor, yielding and accepting time to and from one another, making their case for or against the vast expense of taxpayers’ dollars.
After ten minutes had gone by, Jana realized she had left her notepad in Cassie’s office. Wanting to write copious notes about her meeting with Max and about the senate debate, Jana hurried through hallways and around corridors. Again flashbacks from her nightmare rendered her unable to move, but she commanded her legs to obey and miraculously found her way back.
Upon entering Cassie’s office, Jana noticed Cassie’s secretary and Lenore were not at their desks. Probably on their lunch breaks. Since Cassie’s office door was open, Jana peeked her head inside and gasped at the sight of Tamaya Stormcloud, lying motionless on the Persian rug, surrounded by a pool of blood.
Post a comment below about why you love a good mystery. The one that tickles our little gray cells the most will win an e-book of PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery, from the author. myBook.to/PaperDoll_JC
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, and China Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and the upcoming Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart anthology (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). As an actor, he has appeared in principal 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 Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com