Name Eden Baylee
Where are you from?
A little about your self, ie your education Family life etc
Eden: I’m first generation born in Canada. I grew up speaking English, French, and two dialects of Chinese.
I moved from Montreal to Toronto for University and have been here ever since. Though I did my undergrad with the aim to enter Psychiatry, I switched to Finance and became a banker. After twenty years working for one of the major banks in Canada, I left the traditional workforce in 2010 to write fulltime.
I’m married to a wonderful man who is also my media designer, sometime beta reader, and the best cheerleader of my writing a woman could hope for.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Eden: This is a little crazy, but I’m really in love with mint! I’ve been eating the leaves for the last month and I can’t get enough of it!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Eden: I’ve written on and off since I was a teenager. I was never able to write and work full-time, so I had to make a choice.
Another reason for choosing this route was I had cancer in my early thirties. It created a lot of uncertainty in my life and made me realize life is too short to continue doing something I wasn’t passionate about. It was difficult to jump into the abyss of a new career, but I did. Ultimately, I didn’t want to regret that I had the opportunity to pursue writing but chose not to out of fear.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Eden: Every time I write, I’m a writer. It’s also how I refer to myself, much more so than as an “author.” The process of writing is what is important to me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Eden: I read my first book of erotica, Story of O, when I was eleven, and it really stayed with me. I always thought it would be wonderful to entice an audience into feeling like I did when I read that book.
My first book, Fall into Winter, is an anthology of erotica. The stories had kicked around in my head for years. They were a culmination of life experience, people I met, and places I visited. I enjoyed spinning fiction into reality, mixing in a dash of fantasy, and wrapping the stories into a cohesive, sensual collection.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Eden: I write in multiple genres, so my style will change depending on whether you read my erotica or mystery/suspense books. Regardless of the genre though, my stories focus strongly on the characters. Their journeys through love, hate, grief, vulnerability, and pain are what interest me.
Weaving interesting plots is important, but my main goal is to write character-driven stories that readers can relate to.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Eden: I have multiple titles, and the process is usually the same. I only come up with the title once the book is finished. It’s impossible to encapsulate an entire book in a title, but I try to draw on words that are seductive and meaningful to the story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Eden: Many of my stories involve the fragility of people. In my erotic writing, there is an overarching theme of love, romance, and sexual fulfillment, but the stories also speak to the insecurities that most of us feel. What unites all human beings is that none of us is perfect.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Eden: There is a germ of truth and reality in all my writing. It’s impossible not to draw on real life for inspiration.
For instance, I came up with the idea for my psychological suspense novel, Stranger at Sunset, after I returned from a trip to Jamaica. I stayed at a small resort with strangers and that trip inspired the plot.
As one reviewer put it, the story has an “Agatha Christie-esque” feel to it. I know what he means as Christie’s book, And Then There Were None is one of my favorites.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Eden: Usually both, but only to a small degree. I do take characteristics of interesting people I’ve met and put them in my books. Of course, the characteristics are altered so they are not necessarily recognizable. Personal events in my life probably inform more of my stories.
The main thing that fuels my books is my imagination. What most people call daydreaming—I consider as research.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? A mentor?
Eden: When I read fiction, I try to do it for pleasure without focusing too much on how a book can be improved, but it’s difficult to do. Every book, good or bad, has some merit for me as a writer. I either learn what I should not do, or I discover how I can improve my writing.
I also love reading poetry to learn how I can write more economically and still get the meaning of my stories across. Charles Bukowski is someone I admire for both his poetry and prose.
The best book on craft for me has been Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. It’s an easy read packed with helpful tips.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Eden: I’m reading Running on Emptiness by English author, John Dolan. It’s the fourth book is his Time, Blood, Karma series. He’s one of my favorite authors.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Eden: I discover new authors all the time. Since writing for the Lei Crime Kindle Worlds series, based on author Toby Neal’s bestselling books, I’ve read many new authors who are wonderful—Julie C. Gilbert, M. L. Doyle, Scott Bury, just to name a few.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Eden: I’m working on A Fragile Truce, which is book two in my series, following Stranger at Sunset. I just released my third Kindle World book called Charade at Sea, and I’m still promoting that as well.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Eden: The community of indie authors has always been a supportive group. Since I came on the scene in early 2011, I’ve received incredible help and advice from numerous authors.
This includes blogs like yours, Fiona, to help give unknown authors a voice. Book bloggers, readers, and enthusiastic fans who want to spread the word of books have also been amazing.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Eden: My latest was Charade at Sea. In it, I wrote about a couple of things I knew very little about: Boat cruises and Stolen Valor. Despite it, I got excellent feedback from beta readers and I only had to make a few changes. So, in answer to your question, Fiona—no.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Eden: I have always loved to read and found words fascinating. Writing was a natural progression in that vein. When an English teacher in high school encouraged my writing by giving me good feedback, it really boosted my ego and made me think it was something I would want to do.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Eden: A Fragile Truce is the continuing story of Dr. Kate Hampton from Stranger at Sunset.
She is a brilliant psychiatrist, but she should probably see one herself! We learned what she was capable of in book one. This next book explores her past, particularly her relationship with her father and how it intersects with a love interest.
It’s a psychological suspense with elements of sensuality, mystery, and surprise.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Eden: Everything about it is challenging since I’m indie and do it all on my own. Writing, marketing, selling all takes time, so it’s a juggle to prioritize. Regardless, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Eden: I’d say Charles Bukowski. He writes honestly and with brevity. I’ve learned a lot from reading his poetry and the way he coins a phrase.
I’ve read most, if not all his books, and Ham on Rye is one of my favorite novels of all time.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Eden: Not as much as I like. I go to NYC annually to meet with book buyers and do a reading if possible. I wish I could see the settings where my books take place. For example, it would be wonderful to experience Hawaii firsthand, where the Lei Crime books take place.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Eden: All my covers are designed by JB Graphics.
Here’s his website: http://www.john-beadle.com/
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Eden: Sitting my ass in the chair and writing it!
No matter how vividly and easily the ideas swirl around in my brain, it’s never that clear when it comes to committing the thoughts to paper.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Eden: I learned that the more I write, the better I become as a writer. I know this because when I go back to read some of my earlier work, I think “Ack! Why did I write it like that?”
I’m critical of myself, as I think most writers are. Each book should improve my skills for storytelling, timing, characterization, etc. If it doesn’t, then it means I haven’t been paying attention.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Eden: Writing is not easy. Do it because you love to write and for no other reason. Persevere and you will succeed.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Eden: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are the lifeblood of what I do. When you buy and read one of my books, it helps me to keep writing. When you review one of my books, you share your thoughts with how I can improve. When you recommend one of my books to a friend, it lets me know I’m moving in the right direction.
Overall, your support, however you are able to give it, is never wasted and always appreciated.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Eden: Oh wow, this is going waaaaay back now, probably The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Eden: I love dry, English humor, but fart jokes will crack me up too! Crying usually involves any horrendous, inhumane act, which takes the lives of innocent people.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Eden: I’ve met the Dalai Lama, but we did not have a chance to speak at length. He has an amazing presence and is someone I greatly admire.
His wisdom and views on the world, given his own life in exile is something we can all learn from.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Eden: Wow … I’ve never given this any thought. Ultimately, a head stone is just a marker. My name and date of birth and death are enough.
Once I’m gone, I’m gone.
Fiona: Other than writing, do you have any hobbies?
Eden: I do hot yoga 3-4 times a week. I also love to cook and enjoy quality time with friends.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Eden: I don’t watch TV shows. I watch the news, but that’s about it. I prefer film and see them when they are on Netflix or available online.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Eden: Currently, I’m in love with mint as I mentioned earlier. There’s a terrific salad with kale, mint, pepitas, pomegranate seeds, figs, and goat cheese that I cannot get enough of.
I love red and black, and the combination of the two colors. You can see this on my book covers too.
I’m an audiophile and love most types of music. Classic rock is what I listen to the most.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Eden: A photojournalist, undercover agent, femme fatale, belly dancer. They all sound interesting.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be on your blog, Fiona. Your generosity toward authors is very much appreciated.