Tag Archives: Black Heart

Zak Jane Keir’s Response to Acting Like an Erotica Writer

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called Acting Like An Erotica Writer. That post got some very insightful feedback, not the least of which came from the fantastic novelist, Zak Jane Keir. Ever the opportunist, I asked Jane if she would write a post for A Hopeful Romantic based on her insights, and fortunately for all of us, she said yes. Welcome, Zak!

Let’s be clear, it’s not about who you, particularly, are. It’s not about what you, particularly, write.  As writers, we all do our stuff as best we can, and enjoy it as much as we can, and if we’re asked to explain it or talk about doing it, we manage that as best we can, as well.

That I am sick to death of this fucking trope, and that I think it’s actually harmful to women, to feminism, and to the individual writers who’ve been fed to it (I doubt that many of the writers portrayed in this way are deliberately emphasizing their own ‘harmlessness’ to this extent), is not an attack on either any individual writer nor on the fact that some people ARE heteromonogamous, shy, ‘respectable’, gentle, parents, suburban or anything else like that. It’s fine to be who you are. It’s fine to write what you write.

There is a conflicting, confused desire for ‘authenticity’ from fiction writers; the old ‘write what you know’ advice which is often misinterpreted as ‘write about your own experiences’. That’s, obviously, a bit silly: if you think JK Rowling really has a wand to cast spells with, you’re probably a bit too dim to be let out of the house. Same goes if you think that Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell or Sara Paretsky have really murdered people in order to ‘know how it feels’. This doesn’t make it OK to make honking factual errors just because you’re writing fiction: the editors at Mills and Boon allegedly still giggle about the proposal submitted to them which featured an Australian sheep farm menaced by tigers. (Perhaps the author should have tried to insist that his/her novel was set in an alternate reality?)Zak's post

Just about every feature published (on or offline) about women who write explicit fiction hammers home the same message: the contrast between the writer and the writing. Mothers! Mumsy! Grandmas! They KNIT! They GO TO CHURCH! They wear cardigans and love their hubbies! They offer the hardbitten male journo a nice cup of tea and a home-baked cake! The trouble with the mainstream media’s absolutely frantic casting of female erotic writers as either sweet old dears or nervous virgins is that it perpetuates the idea that women don’t really like real sex. Because, actually, the idea of women liking sex, seeking sex, having sexual autonomy, is really scary and threatening to the status quo. Any media which is set up to cater to the idea of women’s autonomous sexuality gets stifled, compromised, belittled, mocked, and shut down. I speak from a degree of authentic personal experience: there comes a point, in creating, distributing and selling media, where you are confronted with The MAN who doesn’t get it. ‘Well, my wife wouldn’t like it, so it won’t sell.’ ‘’Yeah but you’re not a NORMAL woman, are you?’ ‘Yeah OK but you need to get advertising from companies that sell make up and clothes, so you can’t run that feature telling women that they’re sexy without doing any shopping.’

The fact that what a lot of women like, in terms of sexually-gratifying media, is not just dominant billionaire bastards proposing marriage to vacuous bimbos who are, invariably, much prettier than they really think is either left out of this mainstream portrayal of ‘Mummy Porn’ or noisily mocked as some sort of teeny-weeny subdivision of Peculiar Women. Because women are supposed to Respect the Cock, they’re not capable of regarding men as objects of desire or tools for their pleasure.

The writers who get featured in articles along the lines of ‘Nice Married Straight Suburban Mouse Who Knows Her Place Writes Silly Naughty Books’ are rarely asked about what they *actually* write. Because they might well say that their stories feature homoerotic shenanigans for the entertainment of women, or golden showers, or a female goddess accepting erotic sacrifice from a whole horde of powerful men, and that’s never going to be mentioned.

But if a female erotic writer lets it be known that she actually DOES some of this stuff, then, well, the world might end. Because women don’t do that. Really, they don’t, they can’t, it’s not possible. Not only would the sky fall in but men might have to consider women human.

About Zak:

Zak has been writing about sex and sexuality for over 20 years. She spent some time as a fetish/swingers club reviewer for Forum, and was involved in the founding of the now-defunct Guild Of Erotic Writers. She has been published in Swingmag, For Women, Desire, Forum and Penthouse in the past.

Links: Zak’s novel Black Heart is available in all ebook formats, check it out here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Heart-Zak-Jane-Keir-ebook/dp/B00EALIOAI

Her stories have also appeared in a variety of places, including the Nexus anthology Spanked http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spanked-Peter-Birch-ebook/dp/B00DOL0J58/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1391647749&sr=1-1&keywords=spanked+peter+birch



Zak Jane Keir’s Black Heart: No Virgins, No Billionaires, Lots of Heat

On Writing Black Heart

Zak Jane Keir Black Heart postWhile I still haven’t actually read 50 Shades of Grey, I read a lot of the hype and praise – and criticism – of it last summer, and I started thinking about how boring I personally find the whole trope of Vacant Virgin and Bastard Billionaire. I wanted to do something that was about as far away from the standard woman-discovering-true-sexuality-at-the-hands-of-a-master as I could get, and I had this initially vague idea of an older woman and a gorgeous young man. And I decided to make him a musician because I have always been a rock chick with a serious weakness for musicians. That led on to the idea of two musicians in the same band, both of whom lust after the older woman and also have a strong attraction for one another and similar sub/bisexual fantasies.

I already had a ‘universe’ to work in, because I wrote a novella about five years ago called The Master’s Voice, which featured Ricky and Malorie, a couple of switches who run a sex shop and their friend Natasha, a dominatrix. I’ve also written a few short stories set in that world, and I felt as though I had a place to start, although Rosa, Daniel, Gary and Kester were all new characters. I think initially I was considering Rosa as someone who had left the fetish scene to marry some man who turned out to be a loser, or too vanilla, and then she would decide for some reason to go to a club for the first time in years and see Daniel on stage, but that seemed a bit too unoriginal. Also, Rosa was starting to come alive in my mind, and she just wouldn’t have done something like marry a bore; I wanted to make her back story more interesting than that, and also for her to have a reason for leaving the scene that wasn’t actually about having a broken heart or ‘falling in love’ and wanting to give up kinky stuff for the sake of Mr Right.

I’ve been ‘out’ on the fetish scene for years in real life, and I remember what it was like before the Internet was such a big part of all our lives – and also what the early days of online kinkiness were like. People did get terribly paranoid about the possibility of being outed as perverts, even though it was getting less and less of a newsworthy thing by the turn of the century, and also it was very easy for rumours to get a bit out of hand. I had a lot of fun dredging up my own memories of fetish clubs in the past, as well as going to some of the newer ones in the name of research for the present-day scenes.

One other thing I was determined to do was keep away from the concept that everyone is in, or aspires to be in, a monogamous heterosexual relationship. So there are maid-and-mistress relationships that don’t involve any actual genital sex; threesomes, a bit of gender ambiguity, lots of bisexuality and plenty of bondage and beatings.


Rosa’s has tried to put her kinky days behind her, and built a new life as the landlady of a popular pub. But the past isn’t easily forgotten. It seems like her beautiful new barman Daniel really needs a strict Mistress to take him in hand, and it’s Rosa he has a deep submissive crush on.

Natasha, Rosa’s new best friend, wants to help her rediscover her inner dominatrix, particularly now that legendary fetish club The Scarlet House is about to relaunch.

But Rosa’s previous ventures on the scene ended badly, and Daniel’s relationship with the drummer in his band is closer than he’s letting on. It seems like everyone’s got a dirty little secret deep inside…

Maybe I am a goddess, she thought. Maybe I could be. Up here, adored, admired, all eyes on me and on my… victim? My prey? I could get so addicted.

His buttocks were already marked with stripes from the cane: three distinct strokes, perfectly spaced. They quivered slightly as he shifted his feet, presumably growing impatient for the next anticipated hit. Out there, in the darkness, she could hear the muted roar of the audience: chattering, whispering, encouraging, and she raised the cane again. It felt good in her hand; thin and whippy and just the right length. Her face felt hot in the black leather mask, and her nipples were hard. Down came the cane with a whoosh and a crack, and his whole body jerked, but he didn’t attempt to straighten up.

Zak Jan Keir Black Heart PostTMV coverThis one was a good bottom, obedient and respectful. He appeared to have plenty of self respect as well, and she liked that. She could be remote and cool and untouchable with the grovelling ones and the snivelling ones, but a little bit of personality, a touch of cockiness, those things appealed to her a whole lot more. Another swish, another impact. She’d laid five hard ones on his arse now, and there was one more to go. She licked her lips, drawing out the pause, making him wait for it, making them all wait for it. He wriggled, beginning to squirm, and she realised he was rubbing himself against the whipping stool, that his cock must be hard and in need of relief.

She wondered what was going to happen about that. Would it be considered her responsibility? Did she want to do anything about it? She didn’t want to take him home with her and though she knew that other people sometimes made use of the toilet cubicles for a more direct and immediate release of sexual tension, she didn’t think it would be at all appropriate for her to do so tonight. They were all supposed to perceive her as wholly out of reach, the one who gave nothing away, no matter what rumours they might have heard. That was why she covered herself almost completely in PVC and leather; skintight trousers tucked into high boots, a waistcoat over the corset that pushed her breasts up and out but still concealed all but a tantalising glimpse of cleavage and long, soft leather gloves as well as the mask.

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About Zak:

Zak Jane Keir has been writing erotica on and off for over 20 years. She has had work published in Forum, Erotic Stories, Fiesta Digest, Penthouse and others. Her published novells incude The Switch and Cathouse And The Castle (out of print, completely unavailable) along with a self-published novellas The Master’s Voice and The Libido Lounge