Growing up I was an avid reader. It was to the point that the local librarian called me by my name when I walked in the door. At this time I wasn’t reading non-fiction books (which is my life now), I wanted to escape from my little country life through urban fiction novels. I remember being in my high school cafeteria one day and my friend had a new book. I started reading it and after two paragraphs I was in love. Who was this mystery author? How had I missed out on all this magical goodness? Forget the other books I was reading, I needed to read all of her books immediately.
I remember going home, after checking my Myspace account of course, and looking up Zane. I had to know more about her. Afterwards I started reserving all of her books at my local library. Now lets remember that I grew up in a small town and the librarian knew me. So here I come strolling in as happy as can be to pick up my books and my little sweet librarian pulls my stack of reserved books. She takes the rubberband off the books and scans my library card. I’m attempting to make small talk so she will not notice the titles and scold me like a bible belt granny. But today she decides she wants to be focused on her librarian duties. As she scans each book she is looking at me over her glasses like I’m about to commit a reading sin.
I ran out of the library so happy, I was ready to read all of my Zane books. Two down…3 more to go. At that point I realized my life would never be the same. The sex ed they taught in school couldn’t compare to what I was learning in a Zane book. At that point I knew my life would never be the same. From that point on I looked at sexuality differently, it wasn’t just about abstinence-only it was so much more. Intimacy begins way before sex, why didn’t they teach us that in school? Why didn’t we learn about relationships? Why didn’t talk about boundaries? They used condoms in some of the stories, why couldn’t we talk about that? At that time I had never seen a condom, shouldn’t teens at least see one before they decide to have sex?
So to this day I am thankful for Zane. Thanks for providing a safe space for my imagination. Thanks for writing novels that encouraged people to learn about sex, intimacy, passion, pleasure, romance, dating, lust and marriage. You are the real MVP.