BET caught up with Zane, author of a number of steamy reads including “Addicted” and “Dear G-Spot,” to talk about the success of her erotic-themed TV show, “Zane’s Sex Chronicles,” and the grind behind the success.
Your television series, “Zane’s Sex Chronicles” had a successful first season and is gearing up for its second. What lessons have you learned that you plan to carry over to the new season?
Zane: I learned how to be a producer. There are so many things that go into being a producer, but I’m glad to have that experience because now I can handle anything that comes my way. Because I had written all of the scripts, I have learned to be more realistic when it comes to the budget. And I learned that it’s a huge undertaking to have to deal with so many different types of people at one time. But I’m very, very happy with everything and the way things turned out.
People are pretty familiar with your work. Do you experience problems when casting for the show or do people become apprehensive when they read through the script?
Zane: No, because they understand from the first time they come to the audition just what the show is all about. There’s none of that. They realize that while the story is erotica-based, there is an actual storyline. There’s a whole group of characters that have been really developed. Even without the sex, the story would still be there. So there are a lot of people that wouldn’t normally do that type of stuff that are chomping at the bit to do this because it’s real acting. The first year, we had over 900 people show up for the audition.
In addition to producing the show, you also own your own publishing company, and still manage to write your own novels. Where do you find the time?
Zane: I don’t sleep much. I usually write late at night. I’m in my office now, working on the publishing side. I do all the acquisitions for the imprint; we’ve done 15 books so far this month. We have about four or five books going to press and six to gather for an advanced reader copy, so it’s a lot of work; but for me I never feel like I’m really working because I’m so passionate about what I do.
How do you keep coming up with fresh ideas?
Zane: I think that for me, I’m always asking, what is something that I would want to read? What would be important to me, what would get my interest? So when I’m writing, it’s really a form of self-entertainment. Like, if it’s something that makes me sad, then it’s probably going to make the readers sad. If it’s something that makes me laugh, then it’s probably going to make the audience laugh. I always write about what I’m passionate about. The book I’m currently working on deals with homelessness because a lot of people are ending up homeless right now. So to me it’s a no-brainer to have one of the main characters end up homeless and explain how he got into that situation. I’m also tying the whole health care reform issue into it because he’s actually homeless because he spent his last dime in this recession trying to save the life of the woman he loved. Her prescription medicine was expensive and she didn’t have the proper health care. So rather than see her suffer, he spent his last dime in an attempt to make her comfortable in her last days. It’s about writing about what grabs me. Of course it will be sensual, but my work isn’t about the sex, which a lot of people don’t get. It’s about people and life in general.
What advice do you have for the wannabe writer?
Zane: The greatest advice that I can give to the aspiring writer is to realize that this is a game of perseverance and determination. No two writers have ever had the same journey to success. If they’re really determined, they’re going to have to hang in there because no one can keep it from them. With that said, not every writer becomes a success. I know plenty of writers who are awesome writers that for whatever the reason – bad timing or it’s not the right market – didn’t succeed. The most important thing is to try. Every ‘no’ will eventually lead to a ‘yes. ’