Friday, June 7, 2013

The Killer Wore Leather: The Tour

The Killer Wore Leather
A Mystery

Many People Wanted Mack Steel...But Who Wanted Him Dead?
In Manhattan's Grand Sterling Hotel, home of the annual Mr. and Ms. Global Leather contest, last year's hunky but haughty winner lies dead on the floor of his suite, mysteriously wearing only a pair of frilly, bright yellow panties. Cormac "Mack" Steel made a lot of enemies during his year wearing the studded leather sash, not the least being his co-winner Mistress Ravenfyre. But she is not alone—there are over three thousand attendees from all over the world at this year's event, some of whom had very personal issues with the fallen leather world royalty.
Enter Detective Rebecca Feldblum, who must navigate a world of doms and subs, masters and mistresses, pups and trainers, leather, latex and lingerie, to discover who murdered the late Mack Steel—and hopefully do it before the weekend is over and everyone goes home.

A murder mystery with a fresh, funny take on the fetish underground." —James Lear, author of The Back Passage
Hailed as "fifty shades of funny," The Killer Wore Leather is a murder mystery only LAURA ANTONIOU could write. In addition to the million-selling Marketplace series of erotic novels, Laura's work has been translated into Spanish, German, Hebrew, Japanese and Korean. She resides in New York City.

Trade Paper
ISBN 978-1-57344-930-4
5 1/2 x 8, 416 pages


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From Whence Came the Characters?
by Laura Antoniou, author of The Killer Wore Leather

The quintessential bad question asked of most writers is where they get their ideas, and over the years various weary authors have resorted to the same bad jokes about the Sears catalog – maybe now they say "Amazon dot com." But part and parcel with the curiosity of where we find all those clever story ideas is the other question, where do we find our characters.
Both questions leave me sure that writers inhabit a parallel dimension – a dimension of time and space and a wondrous thing called "imagination." Add "living" and "reading other stuff" to imagination, and the only thing a writer needs to do is 1) avoid distraction, embrace discipline and get it all down in some format she can send to a publisher, and 2) get the story ideas and characters to stop streaming through her brain once in a while so she can sleep and talk about things other than her newest (or next) book.
Where do the characters who inhabit The Killer Wore Leather come from? That space between my ears, plus thirty years of bumming around the leather/kink/BDSM/poly/alt-sex/Zodian communities. OK, not the Zodians. I made them up. I can write about what goes on in making a leather contest because I have been there – as a producer, as a judge, as an MC, as an audience member. But even apart from my experience, I have real life connections with people in every other aspect of making these events, enough to know that every producer needs a Slave Bitsy. And every community has one.
When I set out to write the book, it had occurred to me to make the detective a straight woman. I did want to make this more "mainstream" than the erotica I'm known for, the Marketplace books. And lady detectives are popular. But that character never came together for me; using just my imagination plus research on the NYPD and homicide investigations kept coming up with a blank where I should have seen or felt a character emerging. There was too much I didn't know about her – what going through the Academy was like, how she rose through the ranks in NYC, why she wanted to be a detective, or even a police officer, how is the actual job done, where are the CSI labs and who does what and what are the ranks anyway…?
To make Detective Rebecca Feldblum, I had to step into some areas I was comfortable, to relax the level of anxiety over needing to research places I was going to have to research and stretch. So, she became a lesbian. And once I had that in place, I started to sketch in her past, including a girlfriend who left her for joining a fascist-patriarchal paramilitary cult – AKA the NYPD. And from there, I realized…what if that ex-girlfriend was really just sublimating a kinky identity? What if she was AT this event?
And then cackling and typing happened.
I also wanted Rebecca to have a new partner – because that's a THING in establishing stories – you shake up the existing pattern before it even exists. Originally, he was going to be a stereotypical NY homicide dick, all belly and wisecracks, like something out of Law and Order. Along the way, though, this felt silly and empty, and Detective Dominick DeCosta became  a stylishly dressed, handsome man gentleman of color from the South, charming accent and all. I kept the name, at first because I hadn't decided what else to call him. And then, HIS story came to me, and now I'll need at least one other book to start really telling it.
Sometimes, characters are slapdash fillers, the smarmy contestant with the firm handshake and whitened-tooth grin and practiced lines, the polite but dimwitted witness, the blustering domly dom and his wife of 7 years. Sometimes, they get a little more depth, but you don't see it until many pages have passed by. But in the end, they all develop voices in me and demand their own stories, and my only problem is getting them to shut up. Which is why there's always another book.


As an avid fan of the Marketplace books, I was not sure what to expect from a murder mystery at a leather convention. But, knowing Laura Antoniou and her amazing writing style, I dove right in. Right away I was stunned by the visual and theatrical array of activity that should have gotten lost in the shuffle but didn't. Laura puts her vast experience to excellent use in this novel, highlighting all of the characters that can be found at a leather convention. The spiteful contestants, the questions that would drive any organizer out of their mind, the flamboyant and colorful characters and the ones you just want to kill, like our murder victim. I am still reading and am loving every moment of it. 

Slave Bitsy is a character that sticks in my mind a lot. We all need one. Those people behind the scenes that take no crap and are the cogs that get things done. I keep thinking I should get one for around the house. lol.  Boi Jack and Boy Jack were two others that made me smile. I had only ever read boi once before and never really understood what it meant. Now (I think) I do. (Step in here any time Laura) Boi is a girl who is acting as a boy. I think...anyway, I loved the character dynamics and the movement of the story. It never stopped. 

The humor is another thing that really struck me. Every possible person you could meet at a convention is there. Every element of the leather community is there. Doms, Dommes, slaves, Daddies, boys, bois...leather and lace, they are all ready for the action to see who will be the new Leather champions, and to find out who murdered the last one. lol. Gold star for whoever did it!

I am eager to get to the part Laura is describing about the detective and the actual investigation. So if you are looking for a mystery that is choc full of humor, knowledge about what really goes on at leather conventions ( I have always wanted to know!) and just a plain great story, then don't miss this seriously funny and captivating read. (Just don't plan on sleeping or getting your deadlines completed on time!)

Okay...back to sneaking a read when I should be finishing my deadlines. 

5/5 Funny, amazing, fantastic and whole lot of sexy!


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