Saturday, November 24, 2012

Laura Antoniou: Upcoming ERWA Chat Event and Interview


Live Chat with the Pros

What:  BDSM focused Live Chat hosted by ERWA

Featuring:  Award winning author & editor Laura Antoniou

When: Thursday, December 6th, at 8:00pm EST
(5:00pm PST; 1:00am GMT)

Where: ShadowWorld chat server, channel, #erachat

Directions: Follow the link above. On screen you'll see 'Connect to ShadowWorld IRC'. In the Nickname box, key in your name. Leave the channels box at #ERAChat, and click 'Connect'. A chat text box will appear at the bottom of your screen. Those who prefer a modern interface with way-cool functions, follow the details at ERWA Chat Info:

Laura Antoniou is the author of the popular Marketplace series of BDSM-themed erotic novels, She has also edited the groundbreaking Leatherwomen anthologies, and several other collections of fiction and non-fiction. Her work has been translated into Spanish, German, Hebrew, Japanese and Korean. In 2011 Laura won the NLA (National Leather Association) Lifetime Achievement Award, and the prestigious John Preston Short Fiction Award for her short story, "That's Harsh". Read about Laura Antoniou at:

If you want to know what publishers/editors want (and don't want), and how to make your BDSM manuscripts stand out, don't miss this opportunity to Chat with the Pro, LauraAntoniou.

The Slave (The Marketplace, #2)

The Interview:

1.     How did you get started writing erotica?

That's a tricky question. I usually say when Masquerade hired me to write The Catalyst in 1991. But really, I have always written things that were erotic to me – going back to my early teens, when fantasy, science fiction and vampires figured heavily in my imagination. Even though my sexual experience was theoretical, erotic images of power, ritualized and thoroughly purple in prose, were clearly evident.

2.     What inspired your series about The Marketplace?

I had fantasies about slavery since before I really understood the concept. So, even as a kid, I looked for books about slaves and owners, fiction and non fiction. The first one I remember was an award winning children's book titled Greek Slave Boy, recommended for children 7-11. Later on, of course, I found more adult reading, and the sexually explicit examples of "real life" slave trading organizations and societies, such as John Preston's Network, as depicted in his Master books, and Ann Rice's little kinky island from Exit to Eden – let alone her fantasy version in the Beauty books. The problem with these other books though, even when I found them hot or diverting, was that I am essentially one of those annoying readers who expects my literary worlds to look as though they were fully realized and functioning. And a universe of perfect bodies, pale skins, limited scales of orientation and identity plus many other much smaller examples of a mono-culture, made me itchy. Unlike Preston's world, I wanted to follow the adventures of female, trans, straight and bi characters. Unlike Rice's worlds, I wanted people who tried and failed, characters who wanted more than heterosexual monogamy and were prepared to pay a price to get what they really wanted. So, you might say I was inspired to write the story I wanted to read.

3.     Open one of the books from the series (your choice) and let us know what is happening.

The scene I opened to was about a slave trainee, fondly remembering how she was roughly and selfishly used once in the past, and how wonderful it made her feel in the moment – "like a real slave," she thinks. Then, she also recalls how later on, the encounter made her feel cheap, and that she didn't know what or how her feelings changed, or what that meant.
Not all of my characters 1) get what they want, 2) really want it to begin with, 3) are very good at thinking things out, and 4) sail through life with an amazing set of coincidences and luck.

The Trainer (The Marketplace, #3)

4.     What is your favorite thing about writing BDSM fiction?

I get to work at home and write about the thing I love best – how humans use and misuse power over other humans. And I get attention and a little money for it.

5.     Pizza, cheeseburgers or a veggie plate?

Pizza from Amore, the place two blocks away from me, that serves the best slices in Queens. I used to say a cheeseburger deluxe plate from any decent diner, or from Donovan's Pub in Jackson Heights, but these days I can only manage a few bites of a good, hand formed cheeseburger. sigh

The Academy

6.     Tell us about the naughtiest, sexiest scene you ever wrote. (Lay it on-we like it spicy.)

Wow, I tried to think of the naughtiest/dirtiest/sexiest, and hit a complete wall of question marks. I mean, how can I judge? I have spent pages writing highly detailed sex scenes that didn't do more than make my wrists ache from the typing, and I once wrote a scene about how to set a formal dinner table that made me, ah, need to take a break for some private time. I can say the scenes I love best range from the brutal – two Italian scouts ruthlessly using and tormenting a slave in The Marketplace – to the enthusiastically romantic – a scene between two characters who had clearly been wanting each other for 800 freaking pages and then finally get to have some. That one was in The Reunion. I am also fond of the cartoony rough sex/rape scenes in my gay male novel Musclebound – non-consent is not especially welcome in today's BDSM-friendly "romantic" world, so getting it re-released as an e-book was tricky! But I find it hot, especially since I usually imagine it illustrated by The Hun.

7.     What is your favorite dessert?

I like things made with vanilla and/or cinnamon flavors. Chocolate is never on top of my list when offered a choice; to tell the truth, I like homey, comfort things like cheesecake and bread pudding, or fruit and pumpkin pies. But what really pleases me these days is a fine cheese plate, maybe with a little dried or fresh fruit. Mmmm. Cheese.

8.     Sometimes writing about sex can be tough. What is the hardest scene you ever wrote and why? 

The sex is usually easy! When I create characters, I know what they like and want, so putting them together is more like performing arithmetic than creating something completely original. I do sometimes find myself sitting back and thinking, "what haven't I written about because I personally don't find it erotic. Some of my readers will. I need to work that in somewhere." And often, I need to sort of fake it when writing like that. A lot of people think I sort of hold my nose for heterosexual scenes – actually, I don't. I like any assortment of people, for me, it's all about the acts and the character connection, and some of my hotter scenes are the ones that appear very straight! But it's REALLY tricky to write about something kinky I actually don't even like, maybe I even, uh, hate it…and make THAT sexy. Writing about violet wands was tricky that way. And if I ever do more with electrical play, it'll be a real case of typing while trying not to sneer.

The Reunion (The Marketplace, #5)

9.     What would you tell a newbie erotica author to help them succeed? 

I'd tell them to define what success is for them, first. If they said, I want to quit my job as a CPA and earn a living writing erotica, I would suggest they keep the day job. If they said they want to see their work  in e-book format with a cover featuring shirtless hunks and or well endowed babes, I would say, go for it. These days, it's all a matter of figuring out what exactly you want out of writing. I know very few erotic authors who actually make anything close to what they'd get slinging espresso at Starbucks – I certainly don't. We spend a lot of time self-marketing and doing jobs publishers used to do, and we write stories for $25 a shot. I can churn out a short story in a day. If someone looks at me like I'm crazy because I am willing to work a full day for $25, then I don't think they are suited to the world of erotic writing. Because you don't actually write a story every day.

But if they want to write for good reasons like telling their stories, sharing their fantasy worlds, having the pleasure of seeing their work distributed, and maybe even getting a little financial reward now and then? I'd encourage them to read – a lot. Not more erotica, but anything they can gets their hands on. For idea, for knowledge, for style and structure hints, and to continually stretch their imagination.

I'd advise them to recruit two important people – The Number One Fan and The Friend Who Reads Closely. The number one fan is there to boost ego and soothe wounded pride – "everyone on Goodreads is a douchbag! Besides, Laura Antoniou says NEVER reads the reviews." The close reader is there to beta-read your work, and send you suggestions, questions, feedback, and maybe even corrections – and they can do it without the loss of your friendship.

And I'd advise them to go to writing workshops, readings and any place where they can meet and socialize with other writers. There's nothing like being with people who understand the voices in your head and the annoyances of the publishing world and the combination of ego and terror that go into putting your work out there for all the world to see. Besides, maybe someone is putting together an anthology and you can sell them a story for $50. It can happen.

10. What are your current writing projects?

I just finished editing the first ever Marketplace fan anthology, which is being typeset as I …type. This year I also finished The Killer Wore Leather, my first comedy murder mystery, which is coming out next year from Cleis. I am very excited about both of these, because they not only represent firsts, but they show the effort I have been putting into making myself more available and attractive to a wider reading audience. Right now, I am working on The Inheritor, book 6 of the Marketplace series, and that will keep my focus for some time, as it is long overdue. I am also shopping around a paranormal book, because, well, everyone else is. And I know my take on vampires and werewolves and other things that go bump in the night and then kill you deader than dead might be a tad different from the sparkly, cuddly world I don't like. Oh, hey – look at me once again writing the book I'd rather read…

Laura Antoniou
Proud member of the Middle Aged Guard; been there, done that, made the t-shirt. (And you can buy one through!

Thanks Laura for being on the blog today!

Mark your calendars for the ERWA chat and come and 

hang out with Laura and the wonderful crew from 

ERWA! If you are an erotica writer or aspire to be, 

there is no better place to build your support network.

Have a great day! 



  1. This is an awesome interview! I guess my stuff falls into the shirtless dude on the cover category, lol, but I really enjoyed reading an interview with an author who clearly puts a lot of thought and care into her writing.

  2. She really does. These books are a wonderful foray into a BDSM wonderland. Love them!


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