Over the past 12 years, I have read many articles and heard many people speak about why I write my books. Funny, none of the people making the statements know me or how my mind truly works. Ironically, I never chose to write erotica; erotica chose me. I wrote a few stories, posted them on the Internet and realized that there was a niche market that was not being met in the African-American community. With the exception of Erotique Noire, edited by Miriam Decosta-Willis, Reginald Martin and Roseann P. Bell, there was not much out there.
However, that is still not the main reason that I decided to continue writing erotica. The truth is, it was my readers—the thousands of women who e-mailed me in the beginning to thank me for helping them to realize that they are normal. So many women feel sexually oppressed and repressed their entire lives, believing that expressing their needs and desires or exposing their sensuality outside what society has labeled “proper” will shed a negative light on them. My books are not about pure sex; they are about life issues that are often swept underneath the rug. My books have dealt with incest, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, unplanned pregnancy, organ donation, multiple personality disorders and much more.
I cannot stop now. I can never stop, because that would mean letting down the young, newly married woman who fell into my arms crying at a book club meeting because she realized that she needed to seek help before she turned into a version of my main character Zoe from Addicted, a woman who is struggling with sexual abuse from her childhood. It would mean turning my back on the group of disabled women and men who attended a book signing, took photos with me, went to have them developed at a one-hour shop and then had me sign them. It would mean forgetting that my words do have an impact on some people, like the mother who told me at a signing that after reading Afterburn, she now gets up every single day and tells her teenage son that she loves him. No, I cannot walk away, nor do I want to.
Erotica is a specialty, no matter what some might think. It takes more than sitting down at a computer and churning out detailed sex scenes. That may work for a few books, but it could never last. True erotica is a journey. It is a mixture of clearly defined characters, a story line that has significance and, lastly, sex. I write my sex scenes last in most of my books. I am more concerned about everything else. I do not write for money. I do not write for fame. I write for the personal gratification that I receive from knowing that I have touched someone, helped someone and made a difference in someone's life. That emotion and knowledge is priceless.
I am now doubly blessed to be able to translate my efforts onto television with my series, Zane's Sex Chronicles, on Cinemax.
|Zane is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 10 titles; the publisher of Strebor Books/Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster; and the executive producer and screenwriter for Zane's Sex Chronicles on Cinemax.|