Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Eden Baylee Interview
12/10/2011 10:29:58 PM
Best selling author of literary erotica, Eden Baylee discusses her works and the writing life!
LTS: As this blog is about ‘All Kinds of Writing’, I’ve featured authors of epic fantasy, science fiction, YA paranormal romance, historical fiction, literary fiction, and even poetry, but never had I showcased the works of a writer of erotica! Today’s guest blogger is the lovely and talented Eden Baylee, best selling author of Fall into Winter. I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Eden. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
EB: Thanks so much for inviting me on your blog, Lorna. When not writing, I enjoy spending time with friends and good conversation. It gets me out of my own head space which I tend to be in much too often sometimes.
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
EB: I’ve always written and have kept journals since I was a teen. As for writing stories, however, that was something I did in school and really enjoyed. I thought it would be great to make a living as a writer, but my practical side pushed me toward a different vocation.
Honestly, I don’t have life-long dreams, though becoming published has been very satisfying. My wish really is to continue writing and to become better at it.
LTS: Your debut novel Fall into Winter is a compilation of four novellas. Do the stories feature the same characters, or is each story very different with a new protagonist in each?
EB: Each story is different with a new protagonist. The common link is that two stories take place in the fall, and two in the winter – thus the title. Aside from that, they are completely independent stories.
LTS: You are the author of ‘literary erotica’. What is the difference between erotica and literary erotica?
EB: I consider “literary erotica’ to be a style of writing that incorporates eroticism as an element in the story. In many erotic works, you will find lots of sex with barely a comma to tie the sex scenes together. It’s basically heavy on sex, short on plot.
My stories always have a plot and characters that readers can relate to, not unlike any other genre. The sex may or may not be prevalent, but it is always relevant to the story. I don’t write sex for the sake of it.
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open Fall into Winter?
EB: Of course! The four stories incorporate my love for several things: music, travel, sex.
“Seduced by the Blues” is about a younger man and an older woman with music as the backdrop.
“Act Three” is a playful story about a threesome with one woman and two men.
“The Norwegian” tackles lost love that returns in an unexpected way.
“The Austrian and the Asian” transports the reader to the Austria Alps for a reunion of old lovers.
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide to self-publish and would you recommend it to other authors?
EB: I self-published because I got numerous rejections from traditional publishers who said they liked my work, but it wasn’t for them because of “a, b, or c.” I’m not the most patient person at the best of times, and I was learning from these rejections that although I could write and had great stories—I was basically throwing darts at publishers hoping to find the bulls-eye. It could take awhile, and I didn’t want to wait.
Yes, I do recommend self-publishing to other authors, with the caveat that you need to be a self-starter and take control of it all—from the editing to the cover design to the promotion of the book. Of course, you can hire professionals to do it too, and I’d highly suggest at least a professional editor and designer if you can.
LTS: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
EB: Persist, persist, persist. There’s probably great works that are not published because authors gave up on them. Conversely, there’s a lot of bad writing out there because persistent authors pushed their work forward.
LTS: Becoming a best selling author is tough enough! To become a best selling author when you’re indie is a HUGE accomplishment! When and how did you discover Fall into Winter became a best seller? What was your first reaction?
EB: Thanks for the compliment, but I think “best seller” is a bit of a misnomer sometimes. Every site has its own criteria for what denotes a best seller. Mine was on Smashwords following a blog tour I did as part of the Indie Book Collective. The tour gave my book a lot of visibility and subsequently helped me to give away many free copies as well as sell them.
Of course, I was thrilled to see it at the top for a short while. That’s never a bad thing.
LTS: What is the most challenging part of writing erotica?
EB: Ha! The sex, of course. There are only so many ways to do it, and only so many words to describe the body parts involved. Despite that there are more synonyms for the male genitalia than any other word in the English language, there’s no way I’m calling it a “throbbing python of love” unless I’m writing comedy.
In my case, with four stories in one book, it’s important that the sex scenes are not interchangeable. Each needs to be unique and written in a way that is fresh, arousing, and sensual.
LTS: I’m curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
EB: I write everyday, and that’s my only rule to myself, really. It could be writing for my upcoming book, a separate project, or for my blog. If I were to write only when it struck my fancy, I’m afraid I might never get out of bed!
LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
EB: Pantser all the way. I’ve never been one to plot out in advance. Sometimes, I write in freehand or talk into a tape recorder when I don’t have my laptop handy, but once I start typing, I make changes anyway. My writing is very much “in the moment” as my fingers hit the keys.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
EB: Not everything I do is with the intent to improve my ability to write, but they help calm my mind, which in essence helps me in all aspects of my life.
I meditate twice daily – an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.
I do hot yoga as often as I can, though I’ve only managed once a week in the last while.
I always have a cup of tea when I’m writing, and most of the time it gets cold before I even get to it.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
EB: Seriously, I just plow forward. There’s really no other way to put it for me. I remember those cold wintry days when I had to get up and go to my day job.
What I do now is a piece of cake by comparison, but it requires discipline just like anything else. The few times I’ve been stuck are when I was extremely tired because I had not slept. That’s when my 3-step plan comes into play: a hot shower, masturbation, and a nap. After that, I’m good as new.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
EB: I really love the works of Charles Bukowski and his simplicity in storytelling. Some of his poetry is erotic, but many not. His stories have some erotic elements in them, but it’s not what draws me to him. His writing moves me, and it’s raw like the man was. He was a bit of an asshole, somewhat of a misogynist, and drank like a fish, but he was real. He’s the one person I would have loved to have a scotch with if he were alive today.
LTS: What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
EB: I’m reading several indie authors at the moment, along with a debut novel called Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. I acquired the latter from a book event I attended, and it came highly recommended.
As for indies, it’s important I read the writers I talk to regularly, and who’ve appeared on my blog in interviews. It gives me greater insight into who they are.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from erotica into other genres? Can your fans expect a second volume to Fall in Winter in the near future?
EB: Spring into Summer is my follow-up erotica anthology due out in spring of 2012. It will have the same format as Fall into Winter, only the stories will take place in my favourite seasons of the year.
After that, I’m switching gears and writing full-length novels – thrillers with erotic elements. It will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.
LTS: Thank you for taking the time to share in your works and your writing experiences, Eden!
EB: Thanks so much for having me on your site, Lorna. I really appreciate it!
For more information about this author and her novel, check out:
Follow Eden on Twitter: .edenbaylee
Where to buy the book: http://edenbaylee.wordpress.com/book-2/
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