Zane Talks About What Inspired “Addicted,” Being A Preacher’s Kid, And What She Really Thinks Of Fifty Shades Of Grey

February 10, 2015  |  

Derrick Salters/

The DVD for Addicted comes out on DVD today, and what better person to talk about the film with than the woman behind the whole story? I had the pleasure of chatting with Zane recently about the story behind the making of her New York Times bestselling book, how she had never even read erotica before writing the novel, and which of her other books will be adapted into a film next. And you know we had to ask her about Fifty Shades of Grey

Check out our chat:

What Inspired Addicted

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.” 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.

And then I knew a lot of women who went through stuff when they were younger who never quite dealt with it. Everything that happens to us in our childhood is a direct reflection of who we become as an adult. I just kind of got caught up in that and then I created the Jason character, their love story from when they were teenagers, and it kind just of flowed from there. I wanted to make sure with the book that I spent time on the childhood so that it wouldn’t look like she was just jumping out there having sex with a bunch of different people. So yeah, that was the premise behind it. I really wanted to tackle a lot of different subjects in one, and also make it entertaining.

Her Thoughts On How The Film Turned Out

Well, I think the cast is phenomenal, and I think Billie Woodruff did an excellent job directing. For my first film, it was great. The only thing I would want from now on is to stick closer to the book. Addicted was a very complicated book and there was so much going on, so it really would have had to be a five-hour movie or miniseries to really encompass everything from the book. But what was important to me was that I felt that the overall message from the book resonated on the screen. It became a discussion topic. People were really talking about what was going on in their own lives, and a lot of men got caught up in their feelings, which is interesting, but I wasn’t surprised. I don’t know if anyone else saw that coming but me. I expected that.

Why She Says Some Men Were So “In Their Feelings” About The Film

There were men who had to walk out of the theater and had to go get themselves together because they got so upset about the movie. The William Levy character is the typical female mistress that a man would have. That was part of it. And then part of it was also that there were men who had been cheated on before and they felt the husband’s pain and betrayal. But a lot of it was the way that I shifted the typical female role into the male role. A lot of men didn’t realize what they were doing and how they were affecting these women by pretty much using them for sex while the women were wanting and expecting more. Yeah, a lot of men really got into their feelings, which is a good thing. I like that [laughs].

If She Could See Such Success For Herself When She First Started Writing

I don’t think anybody could have seen this…

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. To me, sexuality is a part of life. I don’t think people tone that down in their real life. Women don’t go to work, be successful, be go-getters, do all this stuff and then when they get into the bedroom, become church mice. So, for me, it’s all a part of the total characters of the book. But I never set out to write “erotica.”

What Her Father, A Preacher, Thought Of Her Work

Well, he saw Addicted. He thought it was a great tool for married couples to go see. He felt that the husband ignored what the wife was trying to tell him. So he felt that it’s a great session tool for people who may be having issues in their marriage. There are a lot of people who think they’re in a really good marriage, but their spouse would have a totally different story. Zoe tried over and over and over again to talk to Jason. She tried to get him to go to counseling, and he just felt like, ‘What are you talking about? We have everything.’ And that does happen a lot. I know quite a few people who when they try to talk to their mate, the mate would say, “What are you talking about? We have great communication, the sex is great, we have everything going for us.” They don’t want to face the facts.

Advice For Aspiring Black Female Authors

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. Ironically, my next book, which comes out on March 17, is a book on writing and publishing. I break down the entire writing process from start to finish in the first half, and then the second half I talk about the whole publishing thing, including, how to get a publishing deal, whether you can self-publish, how to market and build through social networks, niche marketing…you know, really everything you need to know. And then I finish up with several writing exercises to start your brain. It’s based on a boot camp that I’ve done before that people have found to be very helpful to them. So I finally did that book. I’m very proud of it. 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. I even break down how to write in different mediums. I’ve written for fiction, nonfiction, television and film. So I break down the whole process and even break down the difference between writing for a 30 minute sitcom and a 60 minute drama. I do it in a way that’s easy for everyone to understand. I talk about discipline, outlining, character development, so that’s definitely something everyone should check out. If they check it out at the library that’s fine [laughs].

The Next Zane Book She Thinks Will Get The Movie Treatment

Well, more than likely it’s going to be Afterburn. That’s my choice for the next movie because it has a topic that really resonates with both men and women. The male character is very dynamic, and the female character, Rayne, has a lot of issues that resonate with women. She’s getting ready to turn 30, but like a lot of women, she’s had extremely negative relationships, so she decided she’s going to give up on love and not put her heart on the line again. I know quite a few women who feel that way sometimes. So at the end of the day they have to decide whether or not they really want to be alone for the rest of their lives and never get married or have children. But they’re willing to take the chance because we all take chances in love. It’s a crapshoot. You’re totally reliant on that other person being on the same page and doing right by you. But deciding to be lonely forever doesn’t really make a lot of sense either because the men that hurt you, they go on and move on with their lives while you’re sitting there determined to sulk for the next 20 or 30 years. So I feel like that’s a topic that needs to be discussed.

Her Thoughts On Fifty Shades of Grey, And Fans Pitting Addicted Against It

I don’t know about comparisons because I’ve never read the book. But I’ve seen the previews and it actually reminds me a lot of Nine 1/2 Weeks, which is one of my favorite movies. But I’m very happy for the author. Her success is her success. I don’t think it detracts from anything I’m doing. As far as the comparisons though, one thing I can say is that it can’t be the first time that erotica has gone mainstream. My first New York Times bestseller was in 2001, and I believe hers was in 2012. And there are other people who have been successful at writing erotica as well. I just think that everyone should do them. But I haven’t read it so I really have no opinions one way or the other, other than seeing the trailer and it reminding me of Nine 1/2 Weeks. But I’m sure it’s going to do very well at the movies, there’s no doubt about it.


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