Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Migrating to Lantoniou.com

Hey folks -

I have migrated this blog over to http://lantoniou.com where I'll continue to keep you updated with the latest on my comings and goings, book releases, and shopping opportunities.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This month, I'm turning 49. One year from 50, and one year from the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first "Marketplace" novel.  Of course, the world has changed in those 20 years - websites, for example! Smart phones! Electronic books!
There are other ways in which the world hasn't changed as much as we think it has. I was pondering this when I wrote the speech I gave earlier this month in Austin - for their 19th anniversary, since we're talking about important dates.  It's called "Leave the Myth. Take the Cannolli."  Here's an excerpt - there's alink to read the rest:
GWNN just turned 19, you say. In our scene, something that's 19 years old …is old! Old enough to join a TNG group, anyway. When you think of how many groups have come and gone in the past, oh, 30 years or so – that would be as long as I've been around – to make it almost to drinking age is a notable achievement. And yet, when you eavesdrop on our world, trying to find out what people value, what they're curious about, what they want, they tend to fall neatly into two parts. There's that group of us who always want the new shiny – whether it's the latest electrical toy, fanciest kilt or the most popular of new play techniques. What's hot now, or even better, what will everyone else want, tomorrow? 

And then there are the Back in the Olden Days folks, those who romanticize a past they have not experienced. Or, sadder, those who were around, but not only embellish their tales of decadence and derring-do, but begin, seemingly, to believe their own hype.

... Your first step is to realize that a story – whether true or exaggerated, blatantly fictional or merely doubtful, can get a vote in how you live your life. Just avoid giving it either a mandate or a veto. Just because that's the way some guy used to do it at the Manscape Bar in Des Moines in 1957 doesn't mean you need to do it today. Know what also happened in 1957? A black lady couldn't sit at a fucking Woolworth lunch counter and get a fucking sandwich, or sit in the first 4 rows of a bus. There's an old guard custom right there. Want to embrace that too? Then realize age is not equivalent to wisdom, or righteousness. more
I'll be finishing up my summer tour with a few more workshops and speeches. You can catch me the first weekend in August at Floating World, and Labor Day Weekend at the Northeast Master/slave Conference.   
Oh, and if you're interested in helping me celebrate my 49th birthday, check out the wishlist on my website, www.lantoniou.com.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Tour is Winding Down

Yep, that's me with the sexy new edition of "The Academy," which I'll be taking with me on upcoming book tours and presentations. If you are looking to buy new editions, make sure you see me in Texas, New Jersey, or  Washington, DC before the summer is over.

If you have older editions, bring them - I love signing well-loved books.
Where will I be?

July 20-22, Austin
I'm headed to Texas to join GWNN's 19th Birthday Bash as a keynote speaker, and presenting "Serious Players: Taking Responsibility for Your Choices." I'll also be doing a reading and booksigning while visiting the Lone Star State.

August 3-5, Edison, NJ

I'm returning to "The Floating World," one of the largest kink events on the East Coast. I'll be reading and signing books as well as presenting workshops.

August 31-September 3, Washington, DC
I gave the keynote at the Northeast Master/Slave Conference a few years ago, and am returning to this annual educational event solely dedicated to Master/slave relationships. I'll be giving a morning Q&A on Monday morning.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Off to Denver or to YOU ... Via Skype!

I was recently invited to be a special guest at a kinky book club in Arizona. I attended via Skype. It was a really nice experience - it gave me the opportunity to engage with readers, and the group was able to "afford" me by having me visit over the internet. 
If you are a smaller group that would be interested in a "Skype Chat" about my books, or a reading and Q&A, please contact me at Laura (at) Lantoniou (dot) com. 
Meanwhile, I am headed in person to Denver to attend Thunder in the Mountains, where I’m presenting two new workshops: 
  • SUBvert the DOMinant paradigm: Mistresses, masters and slaves, daddies and offspring, subs and doms; in a world that celebrates the erotic imagination, it’s funny how limited our relationship models tend to be. Wondering if there’s a style that suits your desires and needs? Then explore relationship types from other sub-cultures, history, and even pure fantasy. Free yourself from the constraints and labels we already know so you can better describe who you are, what you want and where you want to take your kink. Participants will be encouraged to describe how they see themselves and their relationships and add to what will be an ongoing exploration of identity and self awareness.
  • Serious Players: Taking Responsibility for Your Choices: “Real.” “Lifestyle.” “TPE.” “Old Guard.” “Edgeplayer.” Sometimes it seems everyone wants to be the badass of the kink community, the scary, absolute last word on perv cred. But if you truly want to live authentically, to be the rare hard case who really dies stand out from the crowd, you have to do the one simple thing so many people seem to ignore or evade…take responsibility for your choices. Unhappy and disappointed? Feeling betrayed and bitter? Wondering why you seem to pick the wrong people or get caught up in the same drama? Get off the internet and on your damn feet and stop blaming others for your situation.  Learn to examine your own patterns and mistakes and then stop the cycles that keep you stuck in relationship ruts. Figure out what you want from your partner(s) and learn how to say it without apology. The grow the fuck up and stand by your choices with open eyes. This is not a workshop for beginners whiners, but for those who want to move on and stop the whining!
If you're interested in having me visit your group, either in person or via Skype, contact me at Laura (at) Lantoniou (dot) com or click on Hire Laura to learn about my requirements.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Academy is Back in Print

The Academy is now back in print, and available as an e-book, thanks to the marvelous Circlet Press. Book Four continues the Marketplace saga, and gives readers a sense of The Marketplace's truly international reach.

“ In this volume, Antoniou, with a little help from her friends, creates a sort of Arabian Nights of the Marketplace, with individual stories woven into a larger tale full of political intrigue, difficult choices, and of course, searingly hot sex. There’s nothing else like this is in the world of erotic writing." -- Lori Selke

A little help from my friends, indeed! The Academy is different from my other Marketplace novels, because I've embedded short stories within the novel, to give distinctly different voices to the trainers who tell each other their stories. The trainers are voiced by guest authors Karen Taylor, Cecilia Tan, Michael Hernandez, david stein, and M. Christian

The lovely book  cover, created by my friend and cover artist Lochai Stine,  lets you know that this novel takes place in Japan, where a conclave of slave trainers are meeting, including Chris Parker, the lead character of the series. While the trainers swap cautionary tales and debate, moves are being made that may change the Marketplace, and even Chris' role within it. For an excerpt from the "The Academy," click here.

My long-time fans know that one of the "added benefits" of buying a new e-book edition of my books is that I add a new short story to the new e-book editions.   I've continued that tradition here, with a fun story called "Inside Straight" that features a young trainee off in search of an appropriate playdate for his Trainer.  (By the way, I also release the short stories from the previous e-book releases, so they're available for separate download - you can find them at the Circlet website, as well as through your favorite e-book sellers.)

I will have copies of the new edition, along with the first three books, at my upcoming readings, beginning in New York City at the Ravenous Reading: Gay Pride Edition, on Friday, July 6th. The monthly Ravenous Readings take  place the first Friday of each month at the Happy Endings Lounge on the Lower East Side. The reading begins at 8:00 and is free. Ravenous Romance is one of my publishers – check them out, and come to the reading!

I'll be headed West after that, to Denver, Austin, and the wilds of New Jersey.  Check out my calendar at the top of the page to see where I'll be.  And if I'm not getting to your part of the world soon enough, why not bring me there? Check out my "Hire Laura" page for details.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Awards, Readings, and More

My spring has been busy with writing, editing, and prepping for a summer of book signings and presentations.

I'm proud that my story about Chris Parker, The Man With the Phoenix Tattoo, is in a Lambda Literary Award-Winning Anthology. The story also won 2012 the John Preston short story award, given by the National Leather Association - International. You can buy it in "Take Me There: Trans and Gender Queer Erotica." 

The recognition that these two awards have provided have definitely inspired me and kept me writing.  I'm still at work on Book Six of the Marketplace, The Inheritor, and hope to have it wrapped up by the end of the year.

In the meantime, I've got another short story in a new anthology: "Demon Lovers: Succubi" edited by Deborah Teramis Christian. "One Drop" is the story of Joyce, who wishes her gentle, kind, and understanding lover had just a touch of kinkiness.  But when Joyce fantasizes of a more sadistic element to their play style, she is unprepared for the hideous, bloody glory of a demon who truly delights in violence and degradation.
I've also put the finishing touches on the first of what I hope will be several Marketplace "fan fiction" collections. The contributors include well-known erotica authors and first-time writers, but they all share a love of the Marketplace universe. Expect to see the anthology out by the end of the year.

Another project I've put to bed is a new novel that I hope will be out in spring 2013. Keep your eyes peeled for The Killer Wore Leather, a comedic murder mystery that takes place at the Mr. and Ms. Global Leather (and Bootblack) Competition. I've been reading excerpts from this book at events all year - and if you want to hear something from it, look for me at some of these upcoming events:

Friday, July 7th, New York City
I'm reading at Ravenous Nights, the monthly erotic reading that takes place the first Friday of each month at the Happy Endings Lounge on the Lower East Side. The reading begins at 8:00 and is free. Ravenous Romance is one of my publishers - check them out, and come to the reading.

Friday, July 13-Sunday, July 15th, Denver
I'm returning to one of my favorite leather events, Thunder in the Mountains, where I'm presenting two new workshops: SUBvert the DOMinant Paradigm: Alternative Models to D/s Relationships, and Serious Players: Taking Responsibility For Your Choices." I'm also joining a panel with some of the best-known kinksters in the scene, entitled "Reality Bites." And of course, I'll have books to sell.

July 20-22, Austin
I'm headed to Texas to join GWNN's 19th Birthday Bash as a keynote speaker, and presenting "Serious Players: Taking Responsibility for Your Choices." I'll also be doing a reading and booksigning while visiting the Lone Star State.

August 3-5, Edison, NJ
I'm returning to "The Floating World," one of the largest kink events on the East Coast. I'll be reading and signing books as well as presenting workshops.

Somewhere in there, keep your eyes out for some upcoming announcements about the re-release of The Academy: Book Four in the Marketplace, as well as a few other writing projects.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bland heroines and Rodgers and Hammerstein and what I write

This is a response to a piece by Remittance Girl on "Sleeping Beauties of the 21st Century" found here

Over my years of speaking to perverts (grin) I often shock the room by admitting that I did not like O as a character in the miss-titled Story of O. I find her to be so devoid of character and faceless that by the time they slip an actual mask over her face, it seems rather pointless. Passive doesn’t even begin to describe her; she is like a Real Doll with a limited vocabulary sound file embedded inside. I never got a clue as to whether she enjoyed what was happening, was curious about it, wanted more, wanted less, wanted out…she just endured, sometimes with mild distress, but never with anything like joy or despair, passion, anger, jealousy, frustration, humor, bitterness…just…nothing.

Frankly, I thought the book was a romance between Rene and Sir Stephen. The woman they share – or rather, the woman Rene gives to his half brother – is a courting gift of submission, not even the binding element of a threesome.

Perhaps the bland, featureless woman makes it easier for some readers to place themselves into that role. She has simple flaws, like Bella’s clumsiness, which can be appealing, and minor self doubts, which can be sympathized with. But she will be easy to step into as an identity character because so little of her is really fleshed out. The reader doesn’t need to put a whole life story aside to fantasize about living this life – all she needs to do is think, "Well, I can be clumsy. I am just like Bella. In fact, I also play the piano and speak Russian and make fanciful cocktails and have a doctorate in Bioethics. I am much more well rounded than Bella. Edward would love me even more."

A blank main character makes it easier for the reader to create her own Mary Sue story, which is what James did – she wrote a Mary Sue fan fic for Twilight, substituting kink for vampirism.

In the 60′s and 70′s a lot of (straight) porn was made where the “leading man” was, shall we say, not very conventionally attractive. (CoughcoughRonJeremyCough) The word was, the average straight man watching these movies – because only men watched them – did not want a *rival* on the screen fucking the ladies. If the leading man was ugly, any man could say, “I am much better looking. I could totally get all those chicks.” Fantasy acquired. Orgasm imminent.

I am not that kind of a reader or watcher; I don’t need to have a character subsumed for me to be able to identify with them; and I write for readers like me. This became clear to me when my agent asked me if I could write something “like” 50 Shades, and I realized my mind was blank. Every scenario I came up with wouldn’t work. Now, I see why. I was mentally rebelling against the woman-as-blank-slate part of the equation. I never liked the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” The lyrics gave me the creeps. But they would apparently make a great romance book.

You wait little girl
On an empty stage
For fate to turn the light on

Your life little girl
is an empty page
that men will want to write on