by Cyrus Webb
Canadian born author Eden Baylee is one of those intriguing individuals who has allowed her passion for writing and ability to tell a great story speak on her behalf. The result? Readers are gravitating to her, and through her gift she is able to reach people literally all over the world.
I had the opportunity to talk with her earlier this year on Conversations LIVE, and I knew her journey was one that readers of any profession would enjoy and appreciate. What has been the difference in her story and that of so many others who seem to get stuck in a rut? Talent coupled with persistence. In this conversation she talks about both and what you should be expecting from her in the New Year.
Eden, thanks for taking out some time to talk with us about your literary journey. What surprises you the most about the success you have had already?
Thanks Cyrus for your kind invitation to speak with you, and I appreciate your words about success. My erotica anthology, Fall into Winter launched Feb. 2011, so I'm just beginning to get some traction for it from the work I've done in the past months. I have a long way to go yet.
I feel success is not just about sales. It includes continuing to write and challenge myself, and making strong connections to people who've enriched my life. Of course, I've also learned an incredible amount about the book industry and publishing. These things are what I use to measure my success.
Many people have mixed emotions when they hear the term erotic or erotica. How would you best describe what you write and what led you down that path?
Erotica is a genre that touches all my senses, so I enjoy spinning words onto a page to enable readers to feel the same. I love being turned on as it makes me feel alive, and who wouldn't want to feel that?
The mixed emotion surrounding the genre may come from a misunderstanding of what it is. Erotica is not just about pounding sexual images into the reader's mind. There has to be connection to a story, and the sex needs to be relevant. To make it an enticing read, you must ask: Who are these people? Why are they having sex? Why are they having this type of sex? If you get no answers, then why would you want to read farther? Erotica is strongly built on character-driven plots, and this is central to ensuring the reader cares about the sex.
Reading a book with page after page of sex would be like watching a 2-hour movie that is one long car chase. It might be exciting for a bit, but it'll get boring very quickly.
I had the privilege to talk with you on Conversations LIVE earlier this year. I'm curious what is normally the reaction when you are out promoting yourself and introducing yourself as an author? Is it still something you are getting used to?
Yes, I'm still getting used to calling myself an author, and I usually don't. I say I'm a writer, and that moves the focus to what I do rather than who I am. It's a subtle difference, but it works for me. I'm an introvert and can be extremely shy, so although I push myself for the sake of promotion, it's really not my favorite thing to do.
All individuals in the creative community know what it is like to hit a snag or experience a setback. How do you deal with those challenges, and what keeps you motivated?
I'm very disciplined with a dogged determination, and the answer for this can be found in what my mentor said to me.
Kate Austin is a multi-published erotica writer to whom I was lamenting about the rejections I'd received from publishers. Her response was "Sometimes persistence is even more important than talent and you've got both." I'll never forget those words, and I feel very fortunate she helped me establish a strong work ethic early on.
I think you would agree that one of the largest support systems for writers today can be found through social media. How have they helped to keep you active in talking with fans and meeting new readers?
I completely agree with you, Cyrus. Writing is a solitary profession, and some days, it can seem a bit lonely with just my words and thoughts to keep me company. My social interaction in real life is limited as I work from home most days. Social media has helped me create a wonderful network of professional friends who've become personal friends as well. Twitter, Facebook, and my blog, collectively, have helped to get my work out there. Wonderful radio programs such as yours have brought greater visibility to authors by literally giving them a voice.
By maintaining a presence on these networks, it's allowed me to reach authors, readers, filmmakers and other interesting people I never would've connected with otherwise.
Can you tell our readers what is next for you?
I'm working on my second anthology of erotica entitled Spring into Summer. As with Fall into Winter, it will contain four novellas—two that take place in the spring and two in the summer.
After that, I will change course and write full-length novels. They will have erotic elements, but will be thriller/suspense stories à la John Fowles, one of my favorite authors.
What advice do you give for aspiring writers or those looking to break into the industry?
My mantra to myself: Keep writing. Be persistent. Believe in yourself.
Thank you so much, Cyrus for letting me share about my work. Your generosity to the author and artist community is unparalleled.