Monday, Monday *sigh* … but that means we get to see another author interview drawn from the fantastic list of people contributing to Dreamspinner Press’s Not Quite Shakespeare anthology.
My guest today is famous both as an author and an editor and has won awards for both. Welcome rob Rosen.
Have you ever visited the UK? If so where did you go?
I’ve been to London twice. Cool Ferris wheel. A little slow-moving, but nice. Also peed in a public urinal in the sidewalk. Guess the British are trying to shake that whole posh image thing. Cheers to them! But, in all honesty, I really love London, the whole cool vibe of it, all beautifully framed in centuries of history.
What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?
I liked the call for submissions and felt like I could add something unique to the anthology. I knew I wanted to write a sex scene in a maze, then found just such a maze in Northern Ireland. Then I Google mapped the entire area to get a sense of the place. In the end, I think I captured the look and feel for the location and hope the readers feel the same.
Could you tell me a little about it?
John finds himself at the Peace Maze, the gate watched by a young, handsome, redhead, Conan. Conan informs John that the park is closing in an hour, but that he should have enough time to make it through the maze and ring the Peace Bell in the center in that amount of time. Conan then comes to the rescue after John gets lost during a downpour, and, in the end, it turns out to be John’s best, not to mention sexiest, vacation ever.
Could you please tell me about your other work?
I’m the award-winning author of the novels “Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love”, “Divas Las Vegas”, “Hot Lava”, “Southern Fried”, “Queerwolf”, “Vamp”, and “Queens of the Apocalypse”, and editor of the anthologies “Lust in Time”, “Men of the Manor”, and “Best Gay Erotica 2015”. I’ve also has had short stories featured in more than 200 anthologies.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently in the process of choosing stories for Best Gay Erotica 2015, the 21st Edition, which I’m the editor of, and I’m finishing up my eighth novel, “Creature Comfort”.
My Not Quite Shakespeare story, “Best Vacation Ever”, snippet:
It was yet another crumbling, gray castle, this one on a rolling hillside, staring out at the tumultuous Dundrum Bay. The thick grass I stood upon as I gazed outward was impossibly green—which, sad to say, made two of us.
To be perfectly honest, the food in Northern Ireland wasn’t agreeing with me. The heavy sausages and even heavier Irish stew, the salty herring and, blech, Lough Neagh eel, the insanely dry potato and soda breads, plus the ever-present steak and Guinness pies, all of them were churning in my belly like the ferocious water in the bay down below.
“You don’t look so good, laddie,” I heard as I stood there, lost in queasy thought, the wind whipping over me, jacket billowing all the while.
I turned and forced a smile on my now weather-beaten face, my summer vacation proving less than expected. “No salads around these parts?” I asked the wizened man now by my side, a docent of sorts, dressed in traditional Irish garb.
He laughed. “Meat salad count?” I grabbed my stomach as he in turn patted my back. “Sorry, laddie.”
I nodded. “No worries.” I then pointed at the twelfth century Dundrum Castle to our side, or at least what was left of it. “Is there anything else around these parts worth seeing, something built recently, and not made of stone.” I wasn’t trying to be rude, really; I was simply in need of something prettier to look at all of a sudden, something not crumbling into the oblivion even as we spoke.
He squinted hyanked on his graying goatee. “I think I have just the thing for you,” he replied. “Close by, and none of it built before the nineteenth century, I believe.”
Which, for those parts, was brand-spanking new. “Nothing crumbling and gray?”
He grinned and shook his mop of white hair. “Nope, laddie,” he replied. “Most of it was lovingly made by Mother Nature herself.”
I pointed to the violent bay and to the gray clouds working their way across the wind-battered coast. “She seems mighty pissed at the Irish right now, if you ask me.”