Interview Roulette: Rodney Ross

Today Rodney Ross is playing Interview Roulette!


  1. We all know about those big prizes such as the Nobel and Pulitzer and Academy Awards. If someone invented a new prize that you were a shoo-in to win, what would it be? Probably the ‘Getting ‘er Done’ Award. I am notorious for, once handed a chore or assignment, to setting everything aside and completing it. I do not fuck around with too much analysis, because that tends to dilute. I do not do things in fits-and-starts, because it dissipates energy. I don’t 2nd guess or follow-up the assignment with questions, because I’m smart enough to intuit the point of the project. I can be one lazy SOB but, of everything I am in life, procrastinator is not of them. When I am handed this Award, rest assured I will immediately polish it, locate it on a bookshelf and direct a tasteful light toward it.
  2. You get to spend a day with a character from any book—but not one of your own. Who do you choose? This dates me horribly, but probably any one of the three gals from Jacqueline Susann’s ‘Valley of the Doll’s. Anne Welles, the cool and sleek New Englander, and I would stare down fools; that half-nuts Nelly O’Hara and I would snatch an over-the hill diva bald-headed in the ladies room; and I would coax Jennifer North NOT to off herself or, before she did so, to least give me eye make-up tips and the minks she’d acquired.
  3. Which Disney character most closely resembles you? If I don’t soon keep my hands out of the cupboard, Ursula.
  4. What’s your writing style—slow and steady or full speed ahead? Slow and steady…but I re-write, tweak, refine, proofread and streamline as I plod along, so when I am finished with the manuscript, I am truly finished with the editing process. Which means I will be circulating my newest work sometime this Fall to publishers and agents.
  5. Are you a nervous cleaner? (And if you are, will you come hang out at my house?) My nerves are worked by many things. Parents who place the toddlers on ledges for photo ops; assembling, dis-assembling and cleaning my food processor; and celebrities who beg for privacy when their self-created world goes awry come to mind. None of those compel to clean. They compel me to drink. Or perhaps I have interpreted the question improperly. Do I GET nervous WHEN I clean? Rarely. Once, after a Summer pool party, when I found discarded underpants and, a few feet from there, then a cock ring, I became anxious that I might next find a severed penis.
  6. What is your favorite mythological creature? The Satyr. I will leave it at that.
  7. What is your superpower? Judging from my vivid dreams, flying, but this seems to be a common gift enabled by REM sleep. In what I laughingly call my real life, I seem to have been bestowed an aptitude for multi-tasking…not only for myself, but for others. Little tickles me more than to organize the To-Do Lists of friends and family, down to the irritating inclusion of a lil’ square box that can be checked or filled in with a suitable blue or black pen when said chore has been completed.
  8. What is your most dreaded household chore? Cleaning the litterpans. Your favorite? Demanding as payback, often due to an unfulfilling orgasm, that my husband cleans the litterpans.
  9. Which would be your preferred vacation choice: a luxury hotel, an apartment in a historic building, or a tent? I can easily eliminate tent. The concept is abhorrent. I want chocolates on my pillow at turndown, not crickets. Strange shadows on the canvas at night…the futile attempt to sustain a campfire…plus taking care of #1 and #2…the callout of “Let’s go camping!” is a language I never learned. An apartment in a historic building shares some of the same potential worries: a creaky elevator…frightening hallways out of ‘The Shining’…antiquated fire escapes and policies. I will opt for luxury, and may I choose? The BEST accommodations I have ever known were at the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris or The Savoy in London. Either will do nicely, especially if someone else is paying.
  10. Describe a hobby one of your characters likes to engage in. Unwarranted criticism of others.


Book blurb:

The mid-40’s are that time in a gay man’s life when his major paradigm shifts from sexy to Sansabelts.

But when Barry Grooms’s partner of twenty years is killed on Barry’s forty-fifth birthday, his world doesn’t so much evolve as it does explode.

After navigating through the surreal conveyor belt of friends and family, he can’t eat another casserole or swallow much more advice, and so, still numb, he escapes to Key West, then New York. He embraces a new mantra: Why the hell not? He becomes so spontaneous he’s ready to combust. First, he gets a thankless new job working for a crazy lady in a poncho, then has too many drinks with a narcissistic Broadway actor. Next, it’s a nude exercise class that redefines flop sweat, and from there he’s on to a relationship with a man twenty years his junior, so youthfully oblivious he thinks Karen Carpenter is a lesbian woodworker.

Yet no matter how great the retreat from the man he used to be, life’s gravity spins Barry back to the town where he grew up for one more ironic twist that teaches him how to say good-bye with grace.

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Author bio:

Author Rodney Ross lives in South Florida.

‘The Cool Part Of His Pillow’, his debut novel, was the 1st Place Winner in the GLBT Fiction category from both the Indie Excellence Awards and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Silver Medalist in the 2013 Global EBook Awards; Honorable Mention in the 2012 Rainbow Book Awards; and was a 2013 nominee for a Lambda Literary Award.

Other works include ‘Bended Knee’, a short, bittersweet contemplation of same-sex marriage; and a non-fiction contribution to the ‘The Other Man: Twenty-One Top Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, Heartbreak and Moving On’. A trio of essays from this book are being adapted into a play by Chicago-based playwright Bernard Rice. Rodney’s work is one of the three.

Past achievements include an optioned screenplay and play, both currently unproduced. Other screenplays earned Honorable Mentions or runners-up citations in the Monterey County Film Commission, FADE-IN and the LGBT One-In-Ten Screenwriting Competitions. Ross was also cited as ‘Most Creative’ in the Key West Mystery Fest Writing Competition.

He is a producer of the documentary ‘Los Bomberos’ (The Little Firemen’).

He is in the final editing phase of his second novel.

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