Sep 182013
 

So excited that Leather Ever After is getting  fun coverage in USA Today! Check us out in the “Happy Ever After” Book section! You’ll see Leather Ever After and get a peek at a few literary items on my bucket list! Click here and scroll down to the bottom!

Once upon a time, in a dungeon far, far away the kinkiest writers in the land were summoned to pervert beloved fairy tales with tales of dominance, submission, bondage and surrender. In these stories twisted princesses take control of submissive princes, witches play with power and fairy tales come to life in our homes and dungeons…. Get your own copy today! 

Feb 192013
 


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It’s hard to believe that the NYC release of Leather Ever After was almost a week ago!  Last Wednesday definitely goes down on the list of best gigs I’ve had the honor to organize, and I couldn’t have asked for a better night to bring this anthology out into the world! Leading up to the event I decided I wanted to do something nice for the contributors who were participating, and I embroidered handkerchiefs for each of the readers that connected to their story.  Can you figure out what stories they correspond to?  You’ll 31452_10200149925007018_1007438660_nhave to read the book to figure it all out!  Thankfully the contributors all thought my crafting was sweet – Lee Harrington even started flagging with his new hanky! 

The reading itself was absolutely fantastic. Bluestockings bookstore was PACKED PACKED PACKED which was especially amazing since it was a wednesday night!  We had a great audience who were ready to hear some great stories.  The NYC release event which was sponsored by Lesbian Sex Mafia  featured readings from Laura Antiniou, Karen Taylor, Mollena Williams, Lee Harrington, DL King and Hosha- talk about a KNOCK OUT LINEUP!  I feel so lucky as an editor that these folks are amongst the contributors and that they were willing to come out and do a release event.  Finding a date this crew could all be together was tricky (which is how we ended up with a release event on a Wednesday night) but the NYC release event  really was (ready for it? ) a fairy tale come true ;)

 

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Nov 212012
 

As you might have figured out by now, I tend to always be busy with one thing or another and although Roving Pack has released I haven’t really slowed down at all. One of the projects that has been keeping me incredibly busy has been my newest anthology Leather Ever After which is a collection of BDSM focused retellings of fairy tales!

I started working on it in the late winter and it’s been a lot of fun. The book contains the stories of some of my favorite kink writers and together the book is really smart, dirty and really organically showcases a lot of the diversity in Leather communities.  I’m also downright giddy that Laura Antoniou wrote the foreword for the book! I came up in leather reading The Marketplace and to think over a decade later that she’s someone I consider a buddy and that she was willing to introduce the anthology is incredibly special to me.

Thanks to the hard work of the contributors (and some tetras with my own schedule) I was able to get the manuscript completed early and sent off to Ravenous Romance right before I left for my Europe Tour nearly a full month ahead of the planned publication schedule!  This means that now as I’m just starting to actually recover from jet lag I’ve had exciting bits of news and pieces of the anthology appearing in my inbox back from the publisher! It’s a little bit hard to believe how smoothly things have gone, and how quickly the book will be with us! We’re looking at an ebook release before the end of the year and the print edition very early in 2013!  Don’t worry I’ll keep you all updated as I have more solid dates about when you can get your copy!

Over the long weekend I get to be curled up in my cozy little office going through the copy edited manuscript! I love this part of the book process where everything really comes together and solidifies into something that looks like a *real * book! I also got to have my very first peek at the cover art!  I shared it with all of the contributors last night, and I’m really excited that now I can share it with all of you!!!!!

Oct 192012
 

With Roving Pack being so freshly released and my tour to Europe only a couple of weeks away the novel is still dominating a lot of my attention but since last weeks national release event I’ve been able to put a little more of my focus on my new anthology Leather Ever After. I haven’t talked about the book here on the blog nearly we much as I want to and I hope to start changing that. Leather Ever After offers kinky retellings of fairy tales- and believe me there is a ton of perverted source material in the original writings!!

Right now I’m in the final stages of working with writers on edits and revisions and the book is actually starting to take shape. This is one of y favorite times in working on a book where I can actually watch it go from separate individual pieces into something cohesive. It’s this point in the creative process where I can watch the stories weave in and out of one another and the book actually come together. To add to the excitement this week I got a very special email. My buddy the legendary Laura Antoniou whose work I came up in leather reading agreed to write the foreword to Leather Ever After and delivered it to me this week!  Keeping the brilliant things she wrote a secret is really hard but it will be worth it – you’re going to have the book in your hands early 2013!

In many ways Leather Ever After is a purely fun anthology and in other ways for me at least it’s an incredibly powerful piece of community. It has been through leather that I have been able to build my strongest friendships, my family, and also to find and understand myself (more on that in a couple upcoming blogs). Despite the way leather has defined so much of my private life, I have until the last year really struggled to find my place within the community.  Although I’ve been in the leather community for over a decade it wasn’t until last winter that I organized my first kink event – Queer Memoir: Leather, which I wrote about in more detail here on Leatherati.  That event was a total game changer for me, over 100 leather folks from different corners of our community came out and as I commented on my reflective blog“ for the very first time in a large group of other leather folks I didn’t feel the (for me) awkward presence of posturing. Instead, I felt very much at home and as though I truly belonged. ‘This is my family. I found it all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good’” What I didn’t say in the blog because it was all still falling into place was that it was at Queer Memoir: Leather that I was approached by the publisher. As a writer there’s something pretty magic about someone saying they want to work with you and within a week of conversations Leather Ever After was born and a call for submissions preparing to go live in the world.

For me it feels right on such a core level that this new book came about as a direct result of that event which was so personally transformative, and so deeply about leather family and community. Since then Leather Ever After has really been a big of a fairy tale come true- I received an overwhelming number of incredible submissions to the book and narrowing them down into the final selection of pieces was difficult but the result is a really powerful anthology that takes the theme in a variety of dark and brilliant places.
Last weekend was a great big family adventure weekend for me.  My Uncle was down from Boston to celebrate the release of Roving Pack and on Saturday, he was able to join Daddy and I on our annual family trip to the pumpkin patch! I’m not a big fan of Halloween itself (too loud, too drunk, too scary) so for me the annual pumpkin patch trip really is the Halloween Holiday! One of the best things about the Queens County Farm Museum where we go to celebrate every year is that in addition to pumpkins and apple cider and cows and chickens and other farm animals is that they have a corn maze!  It’s loads of fun and includes all kinds of activities like assembling your map with puzzle pieces you find within the maze and riddles and things.  It’s also themed.  This year, the theme was ONCE UPON A TIME!!!!!  THE CORN MAZE WAS FAIRY TALE THEMED!!!!!  I nearly fell over I was so excited and couldn’t stop thinking about Leather Ever After as my little leather family made our way through the maze and it was definitely some awesome inspiration as I sat down to do anthology work this week!

 

 

Sep 102012
 

Last weekend while Kestryl and I were upstate at a cabin with our dogs on an afternoon stroll through town I found a book of postcards that were all vintage drawings of fairy tales!  It was a really fun little find and I’m now merrily decorating my home office with little fairy tale snippets to inspire the editing process and celebrate the new book that’s getting ready to be born!

One of my goals for September (and moving forward) is to start blogging more about Leather Ever After, this doesn’t in anyway mean the blogging about Roving Pack will slow down, quite the contrary I already have a couple of blogs in the works and I know as the official release is only weeks away there are so many different things I want to share with folks here.  That said, I also have this other book swiftly chugging away towards an early Winter 2013 release! Not only do I want to make Leather Ever After feel like some unloved fairy-tale step child ; ) that never gets blogged about, I’m actually really really excited about the book itself, I’m so grateful to Ravenous Romance for giving me the opportunity to put together such a fun book, and I’m really looking forward to sharing more with the community about its process of becoming, and want to be more intentional and explicit about sharing that in my blogging.

This weekend I made some massive and substantial progress on the anthology by finalizing my decisions (and notifying writers) about which stories would make it into the book!  I’ve been reading, and rereading, and rereading again every story that was submitted and so finally reaching the difficult conclusion of what fit for Leather Ever After feels like an incredible accomplishment.

I take my job as an editor incredibly seriously. Choosing the stories that will appear in a collection is never easy. The reality is not every story sent in can go into a book, not every story is a good fit but I never for an instant loose sight of the fact that behind that story is a writer who worked very hard and sent it off with fingers crossed hoping my book would be its home.  I see editing as a tremendous honor that people felt hailed enough by an anthology idea that they would spend hours, days, weeks and in some instances months focusing their creativity and writing a story that they then entrusted me to read.

It’s really exciting to me to witness the directions people went with the theme. The diverse perspectives on fairy tales that people took, and what this book is becoming is something I’m so excited about, and incredibly proud of.  Not every story I accepted is hot, not every story even has sex as a major focal point. One of the things I was really committed to was that this book would be Leather focused not erotic— which of course isn’t to say there aren’t some stories so hot and sexually charged your knees might threaten to give out as you read. Mostly though, when selecting stories I was most interested in the portrayal of power, and the ways in which the writers artistically wove their retelling to include kink while making substantial use of the fairy tale itself particularly in message and in symbolism, though I also had an eye for stories that turned an old story on its head in a way that I hadn’t anticipated.

Leather Ever After is a very different project than editing Kicked Out (my only other experience with curating an anthology).  Leather Ever After is significantly more playful, and the sort of space I’m holding as an editor both for my writers and the future readers feels less like holding and trying to stop the bleeding of a stabbed artery.  The most obvious difference this time around as an editor also is that this is not my first book, so I’m blessed to feel more solid and confident in what I’m doing. I feel like I have a solid community behind me from the very beginning, which is really vital to me as an editor. With Kicked Out I was learning as I went each step of the way, and building much of my community as I went. The process and end result (Kicked Out) is a book that I’m more proud of than just about anything else I’ve done in my life, but it feels good this time around, nearly four years later to have much of that community solidly in place.

Professionally on the heels of Kicked Out I’d been nervous about being so out as a pervert in my writing. Needless to say I got over that as the leather emerged as a key theme within my novel Roving Pack. I knew that when the opportunity to edit Leather Ever After was in front of me, that the time was right to do an explicitly kink focused book.  Leather has been a vital force in my life for over a decade. Now feels so right, and I feel so ready to be entrusted with the honor of editing and organizing a book like this.