Focusing In On: Rob Rosen and the Men of the Manor Anthology
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Rob Rosen here today to talk about the Men of the Manor Anthology, and sit down for another great author interview. Rob has brought along a great contest to enter.
Contest: a pdf format copy of Men of the Manor. Leave a Comment below with your favorite historical era or book, make sure it has an email address where you can be reached. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contest ends 9/21.
Men of the Manor Anthology
Edited by Rob Rosen
The country estate, masters and servants, mystery and intrigue,
sex and money. All go hand in hand in these turn-of-the-century
tales of what goes on behind the manor’s closed doors. Does the
master lure the butler to the phonograph room for a romp
behind the sofa, or does the stable boy have a tryst with the
footman while the lord longingly watches on? Does the aristocrat
drop his foppish manners when the butler helps him undress?
And do the classes exchange more than pleasantries when the
lamps are dimmed and the ladies retire for the evening?
Rob Rosen has gathered the hottest stories of romance and sex
between wealthy aristocrats and the hard-working estate staff,
all with a pre–World War I backdrop, including the fashion and
art and the latest inventions of the day. War is years way, the
estates are huge and sprawling, the fashionably elite have too
much time on their hands, while the toiling underclass are always
on the lookout for a means to a brighter future — no matter
whose bed they end up in. Think Downton Abbey and Upstairs,
Downstairs, but with enough sex to make the town vicar blush.
Men of the Manor: Erotic Encounters between Upstairs Lords and Downstairs Lads
by Rob Rosen
It is also in paperback.
My Interview with Rob Rosen on all things Men of the Manor….
STRW: Pre WWI era, why that setting?
Rob Rosen: It was during this time that manors, and hence servants, were commonplace. After WWI, and as a result of it, this way of life quickly began to vanish. Since the collection is about masters and servants, the timeframe I picked seemed to make the most sense. Plus, it offers a glimpse into an era that’s both intriguing and so vastly out of sync with our own.
STRW: You seem to have all the genres covered: Mystery, Romance, History…a kind of Downton Abby for Lords and Lads. I love the idea for this collection. How did that all come about?
Rob Rosen: Well, you already hit the nail on the head. Downton Abby is still a huge hit, and so a collection like the one I’ve put together seemed ripe for the picking. Cleis Press readily agreed with me, and, voila, Men of the Manor was born. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of stories about the haves and the have-nots, and the struggle between the two classes that results.
STRW: Historical fiction is one of the hardest genres in my opinion to write. So many things have to be accurate for the time frame, including dialog and laws. How did that play into the authors chosen to write the stories or did it?
Rob Rosen: Those things were actually secondary in my decision process. I simply chose the best stories, the hottest ones, but the ones that were highly literary as well. Still, you’re correct; the dialog did have to ring true, as did the social mores of the time, the dress, the way a manor is run. Fortunately, the authors in this anthology are all superior writers and were all adept at keeping with the theme.
STRW: Saucy lads and naughty lords…just the thought makes me gleeful. Any particular Lord come to mind when this subject matter popped up? Lord Darcy? Lord Byron, for example?
Rob Rosen: Not really, no. In fact, the lords and masters in the collection are all strikingly different from one another. Some are caring and some cruel, some seeking the sex out, some chancing upon it. Yet all are well-aware of their power over their servants, and all the servants, in turn, are aware of their places in the house, which is what makes the inevitable sex that much more illicit, steamier, sexier.
STRW: Do you see this as a one time collection or something that could be repeated with additional authors?
Rob Rosen: I’d love a sequel! But, hey, only time will tell. Fingers crossed that Men of the Manor will be a big enough hit to merit one.
STRW: I think I may have asked you this before but what do you find sexy?
Rob Rosen: Literarily speaking, I find unexpected encounters sexy, when the characters find themselves in situations they never saw coming. Men of the Manor is chock full of just such unexpected encounters, of masters of the house suddenly finding themselves, sexually speaking, with the help and vice-versa, and then having to deal with the ramifications. These kinds of scenarios make for great plot twists as well.
STRW: If this collection runs the gamut of the social structure of the time, does it do the same fiction wise? From serious angst to lighthearted comedy?
Rob Rosen: For sure! In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. A well devised anthology gives the reader the full spectrum of human emotion. So while some of the stories are deep and/or brooding, several are also lighthearted, romantic, sweet. And a couple are downright whimsical in nature.
STRW: I won’t ask favorites, that’s not fair. But do you have a favorite historical novel or movie that you love to watch over and over again?
Rob Rosen: Hands down, Tea with Mussolini. But who doesn’t love a movie starring Cher and Judi Dench? In terms of novels, I’m a huge fan of Gore Vidal. I’ve read all of his historical novels: the Narratives of Empire series. I even got to meet the man and shake his hand!
STRW: What’s up next for Rob Rosen?
Rob Rosen: There’s, thankfully, lots coming up. My next anthology, the renowned Best Gay Erotica 2015, will be out in December, followed by Warlords and Warriors early next year. And in February, my eighth novel, Creature Comfort, will be released.
Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, “Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love”, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated “Divas Las Vegas”, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, “Hot Lava”, “Southern Fried”, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated “Queerwolf”, “Vamp”, and “Queens of the Apocalypse”. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, “Good & Hot”. He is also the editor of “Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages” and “Men of the Manor: Erotic Encounters between Upstairs Lords and Downstairs Lads”. Please visit him at his website.