Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Lowdown with... Zak Jane Keir

Zak Jane Keir is a veteran writer specialising in sex and sexuality. She has written a lot of non-fiction in the past but now prefers to concentrate on erotica in the form of short stories and the occasional novel. She also edits anthologies and runs Dirty Sexy Words, a “celebration of erotic fiction”, which hosts reading slams and runs bookstalls.

1. Tell us three things about yourself. 
I am a Morris dancer, and I have written an erotic novel (under my other name, Sallyanne Rogers) about Morris dancing. I have been writing, professionally, about sex and sexuality for over 25 years and I’m still not bored. I recently starred in a spanking-and-rope-bondage porn film with a mate of mine. This link is pretty NSFW but if you feel like clicking it, go ahead because I will get 50p.

2. What was the first thing you had published? 
The first thing I had published. Hmm. I think it was an interview with Screaming Lord Sutch that I did in 1983. It was published in a long-defunct South London fanzine. The first piece of fiction I had published was a fairly derivative short story, the title of which I have now forgotten, in a top shelf magazine in 1991. It was about some puritanical anti-porn campaigner who goes to a Funny Little Village In The Middle Of Nowhere and ends up getting shagged by a mysterious woman who is a sort of pagan goddess.

3. Which piece of writing are you proudest of? 
It tends to change all the time, depending on what I’ve just finished, or what I’ve just re-read, having forgotten about. I’m very proud of the new anthology, Silver Desire, which is all about women over 50 having sexy adventures. I edited and curated the whole thing and wrote a story for it, about an aging groupie, which I’m pretty happy with. I’m quite invested in that book because I’m 51 myself and I don’t think much of the way society and culture portray older women’s sexuality as either disgusting or ridiculous.

4. …and which makes you cringe?
A ludicrous, earnest, pompous and utterly na├»ve feature I wrote for the same fanzine as the Sutch interview. It was all about homosexuality and I thought I was ever so open-minded for writing it. OK, this was 1983, around the time of the Sun’s vicious, bigoted attacks on Peter Tatchell, and there was a lot of prejudice around still, but let’s say I’m quite glad that piece was published under a never-used-again pseudonym and I think the only copies of the mag in existence are in a box under my bed.

5. What’s a normal writing day like? 
I wouldn’t say I have a writing day as such: I tend to write in snatches, often in the evenings, because I’m a single parent and I have other part-time jobs that have to be fitted in as well. But a day at home (as oppose to one that involves attending a day-job meeting or working on one of my other schemes) usually involves a lot of bashing the keyboard, interludes for cups of tea and cigarette breaks. Sometimes I go for a jog round the park at the end of the road if I am feeling stiff and achy.

6. Which piece of writing should someone who’s never read you before pick up first? 
Probably A Dice Evening, a short story in my collection Sticky Fingers & Warm Leatherette. It’s about a group of people playing Truth or Dare and getting up to various filthy things with one another. Or given that your blog readers mostly prefer horror/paranormal, they might be better off with Whose Woods Are These in Sticky Fingers or maybe Her Midnight Roses in Inked, the tattoo erotica anthology. Woods is about a bloke who finds a spooky woman in the woods and strange things happen, Roses is about a kind of succubus-therapist with tattoos...

7. What are you working on now? 
My memoirs. I don’t know, yet, whether the publisher I have been talking to will definitely want me to go ahead: I’m currently working on getting the first three chapters sorted so I can submit them. If it does happen, it will be mainly about interesting stuff that happened such as the pre-internet days of fetish clubbing and working on porn mags, and becoming an erotica writer, rather than just listing all the people I had sex with. I’m also fiddling with a new erotic novel and all I can really say about that at the moment is it’s sort of about rope bondage and Brexit.

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