Oct 152017
 

The complete manuscript is now with the publisher, along with the bibliography and a variety of other paperwork. Right now, the biggest problem is getting the art I want. I know the images I want to use, but finding high resolution (300DPI or better) scans is hard enough. The real struggle is getting the rights. Figuring out if a given image is in public domain is far more complicated than it ought to be. Images published between certain dates are probably public domain, if they haven’t had their copyright renewed. But finding out who has the proper rights to an image published decades ago, by a company that has probably long since dissolved, is very difficult. Some of the pieces I would like to use have been located in public domain archives, which only require proper credit to use. Others I’ve located are available, but cost money, and I as the author would have to pay for it. I am convinced that this book would benefit greatly from an authentic piece of vintage fetish art on the cover, instead of a piece of stock art, but it remains to be seen what the art department will come up with for the cover.

It’s too early to make any precise predictions, but it looks like it will be released in the summer of 2018. I’m already thinking about a book tour on the west coast.

Last month, I visited San Francisco for the Folsom Street Fair, and got to see Wicked Grounds, Mr. S Leather, Leather Etc, and the Citadel BDSM club. I wanted to see the Armory, but this was well after Kink.com had left. More to come on another post, with pics.

Aug 282017
 

A lot has happened recently. I have officially signed a book deal and my book will be published sometime next year, probably the summer. This is the fruition of twelve years of research, writing, submitting, presenting, and networking.

Right now, I am working on cutting the 120,000-word current draft to under 100,000 words. Most of that 20,000 words were a couple of chapters that I freely admit were a bit weak, and that material may appear on the blog or in other work. The rest of the words to cut are mostly overly long quotes and some redundancies.

I am also sourcing images. I had always assumed that publishers would pay for licensing of images, but this is not the case. The author has to do it. For a while, it looked like this work would be without images, but I’ve found some of the images I want to use for free in the public domain. There are other images I would like to use, and I’m debating whether it is worth paying for their licenses.

I will be updating this blog as I continue this work with my agent and publisher. In the months to come, you can expect to see a new title, cover art, and more.

I will also be in San Francisco for my first Folsom Street Fair in late September. If anyone there recognizes me, please say hello.

Jun 262017
 

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but there have been important developments.

The first is that I have signed with an agent to represent this project, with the working title of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. (Title borrowed from William Blake.) This is actually my second agent, but I broke it off with the first agent a while back. The new agent sounds pretty enthusiastic and optimistic about the book, as both a commercial trade book and an academic reference.

I’ve been researching historical images at GettyImages, though I don’t know if this will be an illustrated book. I think it could have a strong visual appeal, but illustrations would require a lot of extra work and money to source the images and get their rights.

I’m also thinking about another book project,. One possible topic would be looking at heterosexual male submissives, which I see as an under-examined quadrant.

Second, I will be presenting on the history of female-dominant/male-submissive BDSM at the Enclave femdom conference in July. My first trip to the US since last year.

Apr 232017
 

Our Lives, Our History: Consensual Master/slave relationships from ancient times to the 21st century, the anthology on the history of consensual Master-slave relationships I edited, with the help of slave david stein, won the 2017 Geoff Mains Non-Fiction Book Award from the National Leather Association. It feels great to be recognized, and I also want to extend recognition to all of the contributors and to Master Taino’s Training Academy.

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Jul 282016
 

After several years of my work as editor for Master Taino’s Training Academy, the anthology on the history of consensual Master/slave relationships is finally done and soon to be in print. The official launch will be at the 2016 Master-slave Conference on Labor Day Weekend.

The anthology includes essays from TammyJo Eckhart, Raven Kaldera, Laura Antoniou, Master Taino, slave david stein, Andrea Zanin and many others. I hope this will become a classic to go on shelves next to Leatherfolk, Different Loving, and Coming to Power. Amazon purchase link to come.

Our Lives, Our History front cover-72dpi Our Lives, Our History back cover-72dpi

Jun 242015
 

After about 163 queries to literary agents over four months, 40 of which resulted in rejections, one finally said he wanted to represent my book. We had a couple of phone conversations in which we talked about background and changing my proposal, and he sent me a copy of his agreement.

Unlike the previous agent, this included provisions for breaking off the agreement if I wasn’t satisfied. My friends who know about the writing business looked the agreement over for me, and were okay with it. After my usual anxious waffling, I put the printed, signed agreement in the mail. It should reach the agent in Toronto by the end of this week.

I have no idea what’s going to happen next. The agent says he will start showing my current draft of of the manuscript and a new version of the proposal to American publishers in July. I definitely want to keep revising the manuscript, as I’m running the chapters through my writer’s workshop. I have yet to look at certain research elements, such as Robert Bienvenu’s thesis.

I will continue blogging on this site.

May 152015
 

I will present at Cornucopia in Nanaimo, BC, on May 23rd.

It’s been a while since I posted anything here, though I’ve been posting to my Pinterest board and have a queue of daily posts set up on my Tumblr. Most of my work on this project has gone into trying to get a literary agent for the book, via cold emails of my query or proposal.

I thought I had an agent for a while, attached to a major NYC firm who wanted to see my complete manuscript within hours of receiving my proposal. After a while, she said she wanted to start showing it to Canadian publishers. While this was exciting, I wasn’t sure how this procedure went. I asked her if this constituted her being “my agent”, and later asked for some kind of formal agreement. She sent me a one-page agreement which included words like “irrevocable” and did not include anything about getting out of the agreement. The sample agent agreements I had read all had some kind of escape clause. When I asked about this, she said that was their standard agreement, and they never had problems releasing a client. After wavering a bit, I pressed ahead and asked for some kind of addition to the agreement. In case something happened like no publisher deal after a year, and I could be released. Instead, she said she would “step aside” and let somebody else handle my book, as I obviously didn’t trust her at this early stage.

This was baffling. I didn’t expect a major NYC firm to operate on a handshake deal or refuse to include an escape clause. I’ve worked on and off in creative fields for many years, and it is important to make clear the ownership of material, and for the creator to retain as many rights as possible. Getting dumped by this agent is probably for the best, but it does put the project back to the beginning.

Mar 022015
 

After literally ten years of work in writing, researching, and ordering obscure books via inter-library loan that have probably put me on some kind of watch list, I now have an actual complete first draft that is ready to show to potential publishers and agents. It weighs in at about 112,000 words. Likely I will have to trim that down for publication.

It feels good to be done, and weird to move onto the next phase of this project, which is trying to sell it to somebody. On Wednesday, I sent a proposal to an agent I’ve contacted before. I sent more cold proposals to agents I researched on the net. This is a whole new realm with new challenges, and I have no idea how this will work. Self-publishing is an option, but I would like to try conventional publishing first.

“Done” needs a certain qualification. I would like to cover Japanese sadomasochism, but I have yet to find good resource material in English. There’s also a gap like the early 20th century, but there may not be any research available. The current draft is intact, but certainly can be expanded upon.

I will continue updating this blog with interesting finds, ongoing research, and progress on acquiring an editor or publisher.