Leather Ever After, family, community and the fairy tale corn maze

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!