Zane is the New York Times Bestselling Author of 31 titles. Zane is considered one of, if not the most, powerful African-‐American females in the publishing industry. As the Publisher of Strebor Books International, an imprint of ATRIA Books/Simon and Schuster, the third largest publishing corporation in America, Zane is responsible for acquiring and publishing 3-‐6 titles per month. Strebor has hundreds of titles in print and boasts such esteemed authors as The Honorable Judge Greg Mathis, New York Times Bestselling Author Omar Tyree, Entertainer Ray J, Essence Bestselling Authors Allison Hobbs, Earl Sewell, Danita Carter, Travis Hunter, Pat Tucker, and dozens of others.
Zane is more than an author; she is a “brand.” Known globally and translated into several different languages including Japanese, Thai, Danish, Polish, and Greek, Zane has established an audience previously unheard of for an African-‐American contemporary author.
Zane’s platform is the overall empowerment of the female in every aspect of life. She serves on the boards of many non-‐profit organizations and has delivered speeches about domestic abuse at various colleges and universities, including Kent State in Ohio. She has also delivered keynote addresses and speeches on Writing and Publishing over the years at various schools, including Yale University.
Zane Speaks out:
How did you feel once learning of your win for the Nate Holmes Honorary Award, and what did it mean to you?
I was extremely honored to have been nominated and to have won the Nate Holmes Honorary Award. It is great to be recognized for the amount of time, effort, and expense that I put in on a daily basis to assist others to achieve their literary dreams. I have always said that publishing and developing other authors serves a much greater purpose in my life than my individual writing career.
Out of the many roles you have what is the most challenging?
That is a tough one because I wear so many hats on a daily basis (publisher, author, scriptwriter, producer, businesswoman, mother). But it is dealing with the issues of those who email me for advice that I find the most challenging. I tend to carry the pain of others so when I get emails from people that are going through extremely traumatic experiences, they have a deep effect on me. I do the best that I can but I only wish that I could do more.
As a leader what do you feel has been the most effective thing in creating opportunities for others?
It is always good when people are coachable and open to learning more. It is true that unsuccessful people think they know everything already and successful people are constantly trying to learn and evolve. As far as writing, it is great when other people listen when I tell them about their frequent editorial and storyline mistakes and make a sincere effort to improve upon them. Unfortunately, many will continue to make the same careless mistakes over and over and, eventually, kill their own careers.
What’s in store for you in 2015?
That seems a lifetime away but I am sure that there will be much on my plate. As for 2014, Adicta (Addicted in Spanish) and The Other Side of the Pillow (my next novel) will both be released on August 5th. Addicted the movie will be in theaters on 10-10-14. I will be launching a stage play in early November. I am scheduled to be on my own reality show at some point this year, tentatively with air dates beginning in late June 2014. I have a trip to Hedonism in Jamaica in July. I have several upcoming appearances and speaking engagements, both in and out of the country. I am developing several other television shows and films, and I am commissioned to write several screenplays for others. I am the Executive Vice President of Original Programming for a new cable network about to launch. Last but not least, I will publish a book a week (by other authors) on average as I have done for the past decade. It never ends but I am passionate about all that I do so it makes it easier to deal with the workload.
We want to thank Zane for taking the time out to speak to AAMBC and we wish her nothing but the best in the future.