The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.
Rob Rosen, 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, has had short stories featured in more than 200 anthologies.
When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?
I'm a writer, I answer, proudly and with a broad smile on my face.
What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?
I have a 9-5 job, and a 5-9 job as well, my writing being the latter. I wish there were more hours in the day to be able to get on paper all the stories swirling around inside my twisted, little brain.
If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?
100% go for it if you truly love doing it, but be prepared for the rejections and be equally prepared for whatever efforts needed to rise above them. The lows might be low, but the highs are always higher.
Do you consider yourself successful? Why?
Absolutely! I always wanted to be a writer. I set my mind on being a writer and then followed through. Despite not having a clue what I was doing, I had initial success, followed up by more and more and more of it. When I first started writing, my acceptance rate for submitted work was less than 5%. Today it's more than 95%. And I still love doing it, still love to write, and that's the biggest success of all.
Describe your week in the wilderness. It doesn't have to be ideal.
My husband is a photographer, so my ideal week in the wilderness would be me swinging in a hammock between two giant, old trees typing away undisturbed and him snapping pictures to his heart's content.
What is your fondest memory?
Sticking with the literary theme, the moment I held my first paperback in my hand, my name stretched wide across the bottom, is my fondest memory. It's hard to describe the joy and satisfaction you feel when your dreams quite literally come true. Nine books later, all with my name on the cover, can't compare to that very first one. And, as an FYI, all of them are dedicated to my wonderful husband, Kenny.
How many times do you fall in love each day?
Literarily speaking, I fall in love every time I put two words together that sound just right, that aren't usually placed side by side. I fall in love when a sentence turns out perfect, when a paragraph ignites a spark in me, when a story is told that has never been told before, when a new character comes to life. In other words, I fall in love repeatedly and often.
What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?
Kate Bush tours the United States and sings in San Francisco! An end to homophobia would be great, but I think that'll take more than just my lifetime, so I'll stick with the dream of Kate's voice washing over me for now.
What is art? Is it necessary? Why?
Art is the creation of something out of nothing, something considered beautiful by the person who creates it. Art is what separates us from all the other entities on the planet. Without art, we can't dream of something bigger and better for ourselves.
What are you working on right now?
I'm the editor of Best Gay Erotica, 2015, the 21st edition, and the biggest most respected erotica anthology in my field. Putting together an anthology is a daunting task but extremely rewarding, especially getting the chance to work with other writers.
What kind of work would you like to do?
Some day I'd like to learn how to paint, to expand my artistic side beyond the written page.
If there were one thing about the Bay Area that you would change, what would it be?
A clean and homeless-free, well-run transit system. Good luck with that, though.
A night on the town: what does that mean to you?
Dinner, drinks, a concert, and a room at a hotel without a bed to be made or a meal to prepare.
What can you do with 50 words?
With fifty words I can create an entire universe!
If you got an all expenses paid life experience of your choice, what would it be?
An African safari and then six months to write about it.
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