Today I am having a heart-to-heart chat with Eden Baylee, writer of erotica and contemporary erotic romance. Before I ‘interrogate’ her with a number of questions which have been burning inside me ever since I finished reading her first collection of erotic novellas, Fall into Winter, let us take a look at her Amazon author profile: “Eden Baylee writes erotica, provocative stories incorporating all her favorite things: travel; culture; and sex. Sometimes there’s romance, sometimes not. Sometimes there’s a happy ending, sometimes not. What is consistent are the multi-dimensional characters who grow and change as the stories progress. Sex is the backdrop, but a very important element in their evolution. Eden left a long and distinguished career in banking to become a full-time writer. She lives in Toronto.”
Junying: Eden, welcome to my virtual world. First of all let me tell you that I absolutely love your work. Although I am not an expert in the genre of Erotica and have not read that many in my lifetime, I fell in love with your Fall into Winter, head over heels:) Can you please tell me how you began your writing and what attracted you to this particular genre?
Eden: Junying, I’d like to thank you for having me as your guest author. You have a lovely virtual home I’m thrilled that you enjoyed my book and appreciate your extremely kind words.
I’d say writing grew out of my love for reading. I read my first book of erotica —Story of O by Pauline Reage when I was eleven. It was a BDSM novel that introduced me to a whole new vocabulary. My first erotic story was for a high school English assignment. I would never have written it for any other teacher, but Mr. H was cool, and I had a slight crush on him.
I love erotica because it’s sensuality wrapped in words. When I read it, I feel aroused like listening to a great piece of music, eating a delicious dessert, or taking a hot shower.
Writing itself simply appeals to my love for wordplay. I enjoy satire, alliteration, puns, and I’m always playing several games of Scrabble at any one time.
Junying: That is beautifully put, Eden. While I was reading your book, I did find that you have such a mastery of words that they came alive in my mind, with vivid images and sexy sensual scenarios. I heard from one of your radio interviews that you went to Canada at a very young age and you could not speak any English. As you may know, I was from China and came to England as an adult. I am interested to learn what it was like to be uprooted as a child and to go and live in a completely different country. What was it like in Canada for an immigrant back then? And have you seen any changes over the years?
Eden: Ha, I was actually born in Canada, though in the part that has wanted to separate from it! I grew up in the French-speaking province of Quebec—Montreal to be specific. My parents emigrated from China. I couldn’t speak English because I never learned it at home when I was growing up. I was raised in part by my paternal grandfather who spoke a dialect of Chinese called Toisan, and that’s all I knew until I walked into my first day of school. To make matters worse, I was enrolled late. I never went to kindergarten, and I was almost seven by the time I started. In those days, we didn’t have play dates or much interaction outside of the family, so I didn’t know there were other languages.
By the time I began school, I was a sponge ready to soak up any new intellectual information. I caught up pretty quickly.
I am fortunate that I embraced different languages early in life. To this day, my mother does not speak English or French, and that’s very sad for me because I think she’s missed out on a lot. Language opens up a whole new world. Without it, immigrants like my parents have survived, of course, but to do so, they created, for lack of a better word, “ghettos,” and many never moved beyond them. It makes Canada a multi-cultural and diverse country which is wonderful, but it’s not always inclusive of each other.
I do think everyone should be able to speak the language of the country they live in—it’s one common factor that can unite people.
Junying: I totally agree with you there about the need to speak the language of the country we live in and shared language uniting people, and I apologize for my slight error regarding your country of origin Canada and China, they do sound similar, right:)?
I understand that you gave up a career in banking to devote to full-time writing. What, if any, brought you to make that life-altering decision?
Eden: I’ve never been able to write and work full-time successfully. About eleven years ago, I left my job the first time and moved to New York with the goal to write seriously and get published. The Internet was new to me, and the online market for erotica was starting up with companies like Ellora’s Cave opening its doors. The timing seemed perfect.
Long story short, I got cancer and it derailed my plan.
The illness took a year out of my life, and when I got better, I was alone and in debt. I returned to work thinking I’d stay just long enough to pay off my debts. Unfortunately, it took me another ten years to work up the courage to throw in the towel. I was always afraid that if I left again, I would somehow get sick again. It was a ridiculous notion, but it paralyzed me for a long time.
Now, things are different. I have a support network, a 3-year financial plan, and I’m a hell of a lot stronger mentally. If I get sick again, I’ll cross that bridge. Until then, I write.
Junying: Oh Eden, I’m so sorry to hear about that. Cancer of any kind is a terrible disease and I’m so glad that you have beaten it. Now my admiration for you has been elevated even higher, if that’s possible:). Apart from being a fabulous word champion, your fighting spirit, strength and courage no doubt will inspire those who know you and read this blog.
Now back to your book Fall into Winter. How did you come up with the stories? What inspired you to write this book?
Eden: Well, I knew I wanted to write short stories, but I didn’t know at the time it would be packaged as an anthology. I had originally written each story to be sold separately and pitched them to multiple publishers without success. When I decided on self-publishing, I wanted to give readers a taste for my style of writing, so it made sense to do it this way.
As for inspiration, I’m not one to deconstruct my work, and it’s hard for me to pinpoint what sparks any story or idea. Most of my best ideas come to me when I’m taking a shower. It’s usually when my very tall and handsome muse pays me a visit.
Junying: Ouch, I can just about picture that shower scene, but you forgot to mention if he was dark too . It seems to me that there is some truth in that romantic notion and as authors, we definitely need muses in our lives, preferably as sexy as your muse, Eden. You are one lucky lady!
After your book has been published, how do you market it? Which aspect of promotions do you enjoy most? and the least?
Eden: I’ve experimented with different media but will only continue with what works best for me. Interviews like this are fantastic for exposing authors and their work. I love Twitter and I blog regularly. These two things have taken up the most time, but they are my connection to readers and the author community, so I won’t give them up.
What I like least about promoting is the time it takes away from writing. My second book is taking longer to get out because I’m still in promo mode for Fall into Winter. It’s a balancing act. Each day, there is an opportunity to learn something new or to improve on how I do things.
Junying: I am totally with you, Eden, and I’m sure that many authors will share your view. As much as I enjoy all the social media out there, and I would not have dreamt of giving up an opportunity like this to talk to you, we need more time to write, most definitely!
What are you working on now? What can we, your fans and readers, expect from you in the next five years, talking about long-term plan?
Eden: Spring into Summer is my second book, and it is also an erotic anthology with four stories – two that take place in the spring, and…you guessed it, two in the summer. I hope to have it out by year-end. After that, I’m switching over to full-length novels—dark erotica.
Wow, five years is a long time because I live very much from day to day. I’ll just be thrilled if I can continue to produce good books, keep myself out of trouble, and earn a living from my writing. I don’t need millions, just a couple of million will do. Isn’t that what all authors make?
Junying: Ha, I thought authors dominate the Riches’ list – just look at J K Rowling and Stephen King:) That was the optimistic and slightly unrealistic part of me speaking, I hasten to add:)
I did pause a moment before asking you the question of five-year plan, so typical Chinese governmental official talk:). Like you, I take each day as they come, enjoying what we do and continuing to create stories and entertain our readers.
Thank you so much for spending time with me, Eden. I have no doubt that your writing career will go from strength to strength, and your books will reach many more readers, who will enjoy having their senses aroused and their lives enriched. I wish you all the success in the world, as you surely deserve it!
Eden: The pleasure was all mine, Junying! I’m so happy we had this opportunity to chat.
For more information on the author and her other writings, go to her website here: Eden Baylee.
Go on, have a treat to yourself and that special person in your life !