With the book-turned-motion picture 50 Shades of Grey just days away from hitting the big screen, our minds turn to another author who’s been penning steamy novels for our pleasure. Zane recently sat down with MadameNoire.com to talk about her advice for writers, her success as an erotica writer, and the inspiration behind her New York Times bestseller Addicted, the film adaptation of which was just released on DVD this week.
“I really started Addicted as a short story about a woman who was married but was having sex with three other people. And then I thought about it and I said, ‘You know, I would really like to turn this into a full book,’” she said. “I just kind of got caught up with Zoe’s character first. The doctor in my story is actually based on one of my close friends, who’s a Black female psychiatrist in Atlanta. I remember when she first made the decision to go into psychology, she was afraid that she might not get a lot of patients because a lot of people in the African-American community don’t really want to seek out help when they need it. And so it was a combination of a lot of things and people,” she said.
The writer said she had no idea that the title would be such a runaway hit and lead to a career in erotic literature, especially since she’d never even read the genre before she set off to write Addicted.
“I don’t think anybody could have seen this,” Zane said. “But someone told me when I was a child that I was going to be the queen of erotica. If they had told me that a year before I started doing this, I would have laughed. I would have been like, ‘erotica?’ I never read any erotica, so when people said, ‘Oh you’re writing erotica,’ I said, ‘I am?’ I had heard the term, but I had never read any. So I think when people ask me why my work is different, a lot of it is probably because I’m just doing me. I just create very vivid stories that are very detailed in every aspect, and that includes the sexuality.”
As for her advice to those who want to follow in her footsteps, Zane says to stay focused on the goal.
“They need to stay centered on whatever they are trying to do. If they truly believe they’re walking in their gift, then they should feel that that’s their responsibility and their purpose in life,” Zane said before mentioning that her next title will be a book for aspiring writers. “I said that if I ever did it, I would do a very candid and honest book about writing and publishing, and that’s exactly what I did. I kept it extremely real.”
Want to know more about Zane’s rise to the top of the charts? She takes you back to her hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland, in BET.com’s new web series, #BLX. Watch the full episode below!
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(Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images)