19th Oct 2010
Lit at Ladyfest Ten: Interview with Zak Jane Keir
We caught up with Zak Jane Keir to find out more about her work as a writer and editor, and what to expect from her Women’s Erotica Workshop as part of the Lit at Ladyfest Ten programme…
Tell us about yourself and your work?
I’ve been writing about sex and sexuality for 20 years (aargh! I keep forgetting how old I actually am…). I was on the launch team of For Women magazine in 1992 and later its editor, I also edited Women On Top magazine, co-founded the Guild of Erotic Writers and have written loads of articles and erotic fiction including a couple of novels. These days I write freelance for Filament, Foreplay and a couple of other magazines and have a little sideline selling badges, keyrings, etc.
What can we expect from your event at Ladyfest Ten?
Ah. We are working on it. Expect some visual thrills and interesting discussion of what turns women on and why they rarely actually get to see it.
One of the main aims of Lit at Ladyfest Ten is to promote and celebrate writing by women. What advice would you give to women finding it tough to carve out their own niche?
There has never been a better time to do what the hell you want and get it out there. You can write your own book and publish it via something like Lulu without needing vast sums of money to do so, you can use social networking media to publicise it.
What has your experience been as a woman working in your field?
There’s always someone with a reason why you shouldn’t do it the way you want to. They are usually wrong, but sometimes you don’t find out until it’s too late. However, working in an area of the entertainment media that’s often disapproved of, you often get the chance to do far more and learn far more than you might do in mainstream media, simply because most people in the porn industry are throwing stuff together on no budget and therefore if you have original ideas you often get let try them out if you can do so cheaply.
How important is sex, sexuality and gender to you and your writing?
Extremely. I think sex, sexuality and gender are central to the whole being-human thing, whether you embrace mainstream values or like to fuck around with them – even if you are asexual or get your kicks from repressing other people’s sexuality.
For our audience who might not be able to make it to Ladyfest Ten, what authors and projects are you into at the moment that they can investigate instead?
They should have a look at Filament and Foreplay magazines and check out Xcite Books. The last option is particularly recommended if they have previously been put off reading erotic material because they think it’s all sexist badly written crap!
Thanks to Zak for answering our questions, can’t wait for the workshop! The Women’s Erotica Workshop takes place on Saturday 13th November at Holloway Resource Centre. Have you booked your tickets yet?
Post by Alex Herod
(Photo courtesy of V J Kear-Minett)