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Kristina Laferne Roberts: Shaping Urban Erotica and Pioneering Publishing Ventures.

Kristina Laferne Roberts, better known by her pen name Zane, is a powerhouse in the world of contemporary literature, widely recognized for her unique contributions to the genre of urban erotica. Born in Washington DC and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, alongside her brother Deotis and sisters Charmaine and Carlita, Zane was immersed in a family deeply rooted in intellectual and creative pursuits. Her father, J. Deotis Roberts, was a prominent theologian and author, while her mother, Elizabeth Caldwell Roberts, was a dedicated elementary school teacher.


Zane (Source: aalbc.com)
Zane (Source: aalbc.com)

Zane's academic journey began at Spelman College in Atlanta, but she soon transferred to Howard University to major in chemical engineering. However, life had different plans, and Zane found her true calling in writing. While living in North Carolina and working as a sales representative, she began writing erotic stories at night after her children had gone to bed. These stories quickly gained a following on the Internet, leading her to self-publish "The Sex Chronicles" before securing a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster.


Zane’s work not only captivated readers but also captured the attention of the entertainment industry. Her stories were adapted into the Cinemax program "Zane's Sex Chronicles" and later, "Zane's The Jump Off," which premiered in 2013. Her literary influence extended to the big screen with the release of "Addicted" by Lionsgate in 2014, a feature film based on one of her novels.


Beyond her success as an author, Zane has made significant strides in the publishing industry. As the publisher of Strebor Books/Atria Books/Simon and Schuster, she oversees the publication of 36–60 books a year by other authors, demonstrating her commitment to nurturing new talent and diversifying the literary landscape.


Zane's prolific writing career includes several bestsellers such as "Addicted," "The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth," and "Nervous," among others. Her books have been translated into multiple languages, including Japanese, Swedish, and Greek, showcasing her global appeal. Impressively, Zane has sold more than two million books since April 2000, consistently featuring on the Essence Magazine bestsellers list and achieving the remarkable feat of holding three out of the top five fiction sellers simultaneously.


In addition to her writing and publishing endeavors, Zane is the executive producer of the DVD "Sock it to Me," based on a story from "The Sex Chronicles." She also ventured into retail with Zane’s Endeavors Books and Gifts in Baltimore, a bookstore that aims to offer more than just books but a vibrant cultural hub.


Zane’s impact extends beyond entertainment and business. Her work is recognized in academic circles, notably in sociologist Shayne Lee's book "Erotic Revolutionaries," where Lee highlights how Zane’s narratives provide safe spaces for black female characters to explore their sexuality without judgment.


Zane's journey from an aspiring engineer to a celebrated author and influential publisher is not just a testament to her talent but also her tenacity and visionary approach to both writing and business. As she continues to expand her horizons, Zane remains a seminal figure in shaping how erotica is perceived and consumed in the modern era, making her a true icon in both literature and entrepreneurship.

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