When I began working on Leather Ever After I didn’t know what fairy tale I would end up choosing to pervert for it. Folks familiar with my writing know that my work often takes a turn for the dark, the less neatly wrapped up endings, and generally is just about as far from the dragons, magic spells and princesses as you can get. But, see the thing is I also love a good story, that’s why I’m so drawn to fairy tales to begin with.
I’m interested in connecting fairy tales to leather because at least in my experience, through leather we literally have the ability to create magic for one another weather for a scene, an evening, or in day-to-day life (depending on how those dynamics manifest themselves for us.) I know that kind of deep magic is what drew me in, it’s what gave me the freedom to build a life in this community filled with friendships, experiences, and possibilities that defy the definitions of what “normal adulthood” is supposed to look like. It sounds cliché but the world I’m lucky enough to live in is quite fairy tale like – which isn’t to mean it’s all sunshine and flowers (remember how dark and scary those fairy tales really are?!) but rather it’s full of good stories, love, and many lessons to be learned.
I knew exactly why I wanted to edit Leather Ever After, I even had all kinds of ideas for different stories (have you seen the examples I listed in the call for submissions? I really do want someone to write those stories ::hint:: ::hint:: ). Even though I knew why I felt this book was important and something I wanted to give to my community I had no idea what story I would be writing. I took the advice I’ve been giving potential authors and started flipping through my copies of Grimm’s Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson. There were the stories I was familiar with and I continued to have ideas for BDSM focused retellings, but nothing was really connecting for me until I found it…….. The Little Match Girl.
Not familiar with the story? The quick overview is that the story is about a little homeless girl whose dying on the streets and focusing on her hopes and dreams. I’m not going to give too much away about what I’m doing with the piece, but lets just say the story lends itself well to the genderfucking, gutterpunk leather writing that’s kinda become my trademark. In my retelling, our main character isn’t going to be much of a “girl” and well… you’ll have to read the anthology when it comes out to know the rest!
I’ve been so excited by the number of people who have expressed interest in contributing to the anthology, or who have already sent in their stories (this editor sure does love an early submission). I have however definitely had conversations with folks who said they would submit, except they aren’t fantasy writers. You don’t have to be a fantasy writer. Let me say that again, you don’t have to be a fantasy writer to submit to this anthology. I’m sure there will be stories in the book that are deeply rooted in that traditional fairytale magic of dragons, witches and secret potions, BUT that’s not all I want this book to be. For example . For example as I mentioned above, I’m working on a gritty retelling of The Little Match Girl that is full of queer genders and set in a contemporary city,
I believe very deeply that while fairy tales set in a fictional far far away place are about magic, the world we live in is full of it’s own sorts of magic, often the kind we create through Leather for ourselves and each other. I hope that writers considering submitting will take note, and not feel limited by, but rather inspired by the idea of having a great deal of freedom around the setting and style used for retelling a fairy tale with a BDSM twist. As always I’m happy to correspond with folks via email LeatherEverAfter@gmail.com if you’re struggling with making an idea come together, or have questions about something you’re planning on writing