LOS ANGELES — Joanna Angel embarked on a book-signing tour Tuesday night for her first novel-length work of fiction, “Night Shift.”
Angel read several passages of her new book and fielded questions from an audience attending the book tour at Barnes & Noble at the Grove in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District.
For Angel, the evening was special. Not only was it her first published book, but the day marked the first day of the novel being available in book stores. She was bubbly.
“This is my very first novel I have written,” she told the audience. “It is a choose-your-own erotic-fantasy fiction book. I always thought my first book would be a memoir, but being given the offer to write fiction instead was a whole different and exciting experience.
"Obviously, experiences in my life are in here, and people I’ve met during my adventures were put in the book. But, actually, it never happened.”
Angel said that the 300-page book took about four months to write after she received the word from publisher Cleis Press, one of the largest independent publishing company in the U.S. that focuses on erotic writing for all sexual preferences, that the book was a go.
For Angel, writing comes easy, only because she was exposed to it at an early age. And, she admitted, it has always been one of her bucket items to be published on the commercial level.
“I always loved writing,” Angel said. “I have been part of lots of different writing clubs and workshops. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.
For “Night Shift,” “I got an offer, and I said, yes. So, I thought about a number of adventures,” she said.
Angel, of course, is not just a porn star turned author. She’s a director, producer and CEO/owner of BurningAngel, the company known for bringing the force of tattooed women in porn. Many consider her a self-made adult star who helped catapult the “alt-porn” scene.
She started her business in a college dorm room at Rutgers University in 2002, and today the company has a network of websites, hundreds of DVDs to its credit and numerous industry awards, including Best Actress for a Comedy Release and Best Sex Scene for a Comedy Release at the 2018 XBIZ Awards. Those victories were for the Burning Angel/Exile release, “Jews Love Black Cock.”
Through the years, Angel also made her mark in the sex toys-and-novelties space, becoming a Fleshlight Girl and creating a BDSM line of toys with JT Stockroom.
At Barnes & Noble, Angel started reading several chapters of the book, but prefaced the introduction of the evening’s festivities by noting, “I am very excited to hear what you think.”
In a nutshell, the book is about a woman named Taryn. After graduating college with a degree in English and uncertain about her life pathway, Taryn winds up working the graveyard shift at a central Florida sex shop called Dreamz. The shop is slotted into a seedy strip mall on the side of a highway.
Chapter by chapter, Taryn elaborates on a cast of characters who enter through the doors of Dreamz — lumberjacks and truckdrivers, among the others. They surprise and delight with graphic agendas involving dildos and cross dressing, among other adventures.
“All of the endings are pretty happy,” she told attendees. “There are four main stories in the book, with Taryn discovering herself throughout each of the tales. A lot of people in the book are based on people I’ve met. I think the main character was how I was when I graduated college … particularly her innocence. There even is a chapter where the real Joanna Angel enters her life.”
Angel was uncertain if she’ll move on to a sequel or prequel, but there is one thing she simply doesn’t want to consider with “Night Shift” — “I don’t want to make it into a porn movie,” she said.
Angel continues her book-signing tour at Skylight Books on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles tonight at 7 p.m., followed by The House of Scorpio Bookclub in Brooklyn on Sunday; Bluestockings in New York on Wednesday; Atomic Books in Baltimore on Saturday, Feb. 24; Hustler Hollywood in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 1; and Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood, Calif., on Tuesday, March 13.