Fifty Shades of Grey for hipsters

Written by Sara Carter. Posted in RETAIL EDGE

webnightshift frontback copyJoanna Angel is an adult entertainment pioneer and has penned columns before, but now the multi-faceted star tries her hand at a full-length book with “Night Shift.”

As a college student, Joanna Angel, used writing as a means to figure herself out. After all, most early-20-year-olds don’t really know themselves, even those that go on to be hall of famers. Joanna, a member of both the AVN and XRCO Hall of Fame, is a renown adult entertainer and feature entertainer, helping mold the “alt porn” genre.
But before the accolades, Joanna enjoyed channeling her emotions into entertaining stories. She continued to hone her writing skills, writing XXX scripts ranging in length from a paragraph to 50 pages. All that practice was prep for the 300-page novel that is “Night Shift,” a choose-your-ending erotic fantasy published in February about a woman who works at an adult store in Pasco County, Florida (a stone’s throw up the road from the SE office), called “Dreamz.”
SE Magazine got a chance to speak with Joanna Angel about her brand new literary foray.

JoannabookSE: You got your BA in English from Rutgers—have you hung onto any of your writing from your college days? What was your writing specialty then?
Joanna: I don’t have any of my writing from my college days. It’s all stored away on floppy disc drives and notebooks I’ve thrown away. I don’t regret it; I had some very immature and embarrassing emotions in my early 20s that I have no desire to revisit. My writing specialty for a while was poetry, and then that poetry turned into “prose,” a term I don’t think anyone outside of college uses. The writing more or less morphed into anecdotal short stories.

SE: What went into your decision to write a choose-your-own-ending book? What does the writing process for that look like as opposed to a more “linear” plot?
Joanna: As much as I would like to take the credit for that idea, the publishing company I am signed with (Cleiss Press) suggested that format. It excited me and I immediately started thinking of concepts that complemented it. Before writing the book I had to make a map that wrote out the characters and what paths they’d be taking. It had a lot of lines and squares and circles and arrows!

SE: How did you know the Pasco County (Florida) area so well? What did your research into the book’s setting look like?
Joanna: I have done several appearances at strip clubs and adult stores in the area and I always felt the people there were interesting to say the least. The research for my book entailed a lot of Googling, reading Yelp reviews of various places, reading message boards and blogs written by swingers, crossdressers, sex educators and even college kids. I also bugged my friends and peers at all hours of the day and night with random questions.

SE: You’ve obviously made a name for yourself as an “alt porn” entertainer—would fans of yours particularly find this book enjoyable? Who did you have in mind reading your book as you were writing it?
Joanna: There’s definitely a lot of dorky humor and pop cultural references in the book I think a lot of my fans would appreciate, especially the more well-educated ones. When I do appearances I seem to attract a bizarre mix of college professors and bikers. I guess if I had to sum this up in a terrible tagline, I feel like this has potential to be a Fifty Shades of Grey for hipsters.

SE: You’re an AVN and XRCO Hall of Famer; not asking you to rank, but what kind of pride do you get from publishing a book?
Joanna: I am proud of all of my accomplishments. I spent a good 12 years working my ass off to get into the Hall of Fame but I’ve also been a writer basically since I was 13 years old. I am so damn proud of this book. The fact that it exists is still incredibly surreal to me and I’m filled with warm fuzzies and want to cry every time someone tells me they enjoyed reading it.

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