Please welcome first-time guest Frank Anthony Polito. Frank is here in support of his cozy mystery Rehearsed to Death, the second book in his Domestic Partners in Crime series which just came out on May 23.
One lucky commenter will win a copy hot off the presses. See details below.
Take it away, Frank!
Hello! Since this is my first-ever guest post on The Wickeds, and since I’m relatively new to the world of cozy mysteries as a writer, I thought I’d introduce myself. My name is Frank Anthony Polito. I’m the author of the “quozy” (queer cozy) series, Domestic Partners in Crime, published by Kensington. I live in the Detroit suburb of Pleasant Ridge with my real-life domestic partner, Craig, and our two rescue dogs, Clyde and Jack, who both make appearances in my cozy mysteries.
As of this writing, there are two novels in the series: Renovated to Death and Rehearsed to Death (on sale May 23, 2023). The books feature a queer millennial couple, Peter “PJ” Penwell and John Paul “JP” Broadway, who renovate old houses as part of their hit TV show “Domestic Partners” and, of course, help solve a murder in their quaint little Michigan town.
Long before I was a writer, though, I had dreams of being a famous actor. I studied Theatre at Wayne State University, which is where I met Craig, and together we moved to New York City in our mid-20s. Sadly, my biggest claim to fame was working as a glorified extra in the movie “One True Thing” in a scene where I served salad to Meryl Streep. (She was suuuper nice!) But once I realized my acting career was never going to take off, I decided to try my hand at playwriting. After receiving my MFA from Carnegie Mellon, I was given the opportunity to adapt a play that I’d written, based on my own life growing up as a gay teen in the totally awesome ’80s, into my first novel, Band Fags!
But back to Domestic Partners in Crime…
When my editor approached me to write the cozy series, Craig and I were once again living in Michigan, after leaving New York City in 2013. When we first moved back, we chronicled our home-buying experience on the hit HGTV show “House Hunters.” This is what sparked the idea for Renovated to Death, since Craig and I thought it would be super fun to have our own HGTV show on which we renovate our 1924 Craftsman Colonial. (Almost 10 years later, we’re still not finished!)
But for book 2, I wanted to show another side of the couple and their lives. Since JP is also an actor, and PJ started his writing career as a playwright, in Rehearsed to Death they are on hiatus from their TV show. They use their time off to return to the world of the Theatre, when they produce a play that PJ has written, and JP is the star.
One of the fun things about being a cozy mystery author is incorporating your other skills/talents/hobbies into the world of your main character(s) and sharing with your readers a glimpse into this other world. While I haven’t done any acting or had a play of mine produced for quite some time, it was a lot of fun to dive into the backstage drama of the story…and to kill off the diva director, who may or may not be based on an actual Theatre director whom I once worked with, once upon a time.
How about you readers? Have you worked on your own home renovation projects and how did it go for you? Or…have you been involved in any sort of theatrical productions, be it community-based or professional? Please share your stories with me in the comments for a chance to win a copy of my latest cozy, Rehearsed to Death. One winner (sorry, from US or Canada only) will be chosen within 2 days of this posting.
About Frank Anthony Polito
Frank Anthony Polito is an award-winning author and playwright. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon and a BFA in Theatre from Wayne State.
Frank resides in Pleasant Ridge, MI with his partner, Craig, and their two dogs, Clyde and Jack. Readers can visit him at www.frankanthonypolito.com
About Rehearsed to Death
Peter’s first play is having its world premiere at Pleasant Woods’s community theater. His handsome one and only, JP, has the lead. Rehearsals have begun. And New York City’s award-winning, hotshot helmer, Xander Sherwood Deva, is directing. Unfortunately, the controlling, arrogant, poison-barbed, egomaniacal diva has everyone on edge. No wonder he finally pushes someone over it . . .
Xander is found strangled to death in the same extra-long, imported cashmere scarf he’s been brandishing like a boa ever since he arrived. In the name of making art, he’s burned a lot of bridges and made a lot of enemies but which one wanted to bring down the curtain on him?
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BUY LINKS FOR REHEARSED TO DEATH