The Fast Five with … Zack Love
By Christine Duval
This month’s Fast Five features author Zack Love. Zack’s novel, Sex in the Title: A Comedy About Dating, Sex and Romance in NYC, has been described as “Entourage meets Sex and the City”. The novel takes place in the early 2000s and follows a group of 20-something males on their comical quest for love in New York City, pre-smartphone. At times hysterical and other times cringeworthy, if you’ve ever wondered why he didn’t call, here’s your answer. Discover Zack, his witty humor, and his books at http://zacklove.com. ♥
1. What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever written?
A man-on-man sex scene. I’ve never experienced such a situation myself and am not the least bit curious about homosexual encounters. So this was really just pure imagination, and I did wonder whether gay readers would think my depiction seemed realistic (although I don’t know if my book has even been read by any homosexual men). Ironically, I actually revised and trimmed it in the end, fearing that the longer and more explicit version would turn off the straight men reading the book. Good thing I considered all those readers who never picked up my novel. Meanwhile, so many female readers have gushed about that scene that I wonder whether I should have left it more detailed and explicit.
2. If you could collaborate with another author on a project, who would it be and why?
I’ve never collaborated with anyone on a project because I think that finding another writer who shares one’s creative vision, style and voice is really hard, but I suspect that if I ever did attempt a literary collaboration, it would be with an author who is sort of my female equivalent (i.e., she focuses on romantic comedy, witty humor, and literary fiction but from a female perspective), because she could probably portray female characters and dialogue far more deftly than I can.
3. What do you like most about being an author?
The freedom to create an entire universe from nothing.
4. How do you motivate yourself to write?
I don’t. The writing motivates me. Usually an idea takes hold of me and then won’t leave me alone until I’ve transferred it to the page.
5. What do you feel are the top three qualities one must possess to make it as an author today?
Note that ‘to make it as an author today’ does not necessarily correlate with being a great author by traditional standards. Today, authors can be high school drop-outs who develop some permutation of a successful story formula, and who invest in a good editor and cover. Today making it as an author is much more a business than an art, as I see it, so I would say the following are the most important (and I myself haven’t done all of these things, because I still write mostly for the art of it):
1. a story concept and compelling cover that conform to something that can be found in the top 100 bestselling books.
2. the willingness to stay on social media for hours on end, befriending blogs, interacting with fans, and otherwise self-promoting
3. the tenacity to keep churning out books until one of them succeeds in a big way (while building up a steady income from a backlist).
Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he tried to create a bachelor’s degree in women. With the bachelor portion of that degree in hand, he settled in New York City but – to afford renting his bed-sized studio – found himself flirting mostly with a computer screen and stacks of documents. Determined not to die a corporate drone, Zack decided to sacrifice sleep for screenwriting and eventually dreamed up a motley gang of five men inspired by some of his college friends and quirky work colleagues. And thus was born Sex in the Title.