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Straight talk with Zane, Queen of Erotica

Zane, the local woman who has hit it big in erotica, talked with The Baltimore Sun recently about her remarkable career. She began by sharing stories with friends via the Internet, moved to self-publishing, and now has her own imprint with Simon & Schuster. She's one of the rare African-American women (others include Toni Morrison and Terry McMillan) to make the New York Times best-seller list for fiction. Here are some excerpts from the interview, which ran in the Unisun section:

You tap into women's most taboo fantasies. Does that get you into trouble? I never expected what I do to be accepted by everybody. I know that America is one of the most sexually repressed countries in the world. People fear that which they don't understand. It's very rare that I have a negative comment come to me. ...

What kinds of books do you read? Do you read erotica? Not really. My biggest reads are murder mysteries and science fiction and horror books. ... I read murder mysteries as a kid. V.C. Andrews. Stephen King was my favorite writer as a child. He has a talent that a lot of writers should aspire to and that's the ability to write something totally ridiculous and untrue and have people believe it and be scared of it.

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What do your children and your husband think about your books? My children know what I write about, but to my knowledge, they do not read my books. And I am actually happily divorced. My kids, they know what I do. ... I am open with my children when it comes to sex. I don't want them to go and learn from someone else.

What is your romantic fantasy? My fantasy is to find a man that can appreciate me, who mirrors me in many ways and who is not intimidated by me and who is as uninhibited as I am.

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