An Amazing Interview with Eden Baylee!
We're sitting in lounge chairs, sipping afternoon cocktails while overlooking the Caribbean Sea at our Sunset Villa in Jamaica, the tropical resort where Eden's latest book, Stranger at Sunset takes place.
Avid Readers: Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Eden: Firstly, thank you for hosting my interview, so lovely of you! The first time we spoke, your readers knew me as an author of erotica who wrote novellas and short stories. My current book, Stranger at Sunset is different in two respects. It’s a departure in genre -- a psychological mystery/thriller, and it’s also a full-length novel.
Avid Readers: As authors, we’re sometimes accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?
Eden: Ha Ha! Touche! Too many to count some days. I talk to each of my characters, and I’m a silent observer when they talk amongst themselves. I make up conversations in my head all the time. It’s how I come up with most of my dialogue.
Avid Readers: How many plots do you include in one of your books?
Eden: That really depends and is based on the complexity of the story. With Stranger at Sunset, thereis one over-riding plotline, which is: How will the owners of a resort in Jamaica save their business after a scathing review? In addition to this are secondary plots, which have more to do with how characters will resolve their differences.
In my short stories, there were not enough words to cover more than one central plot, with a minor sub-plot.
Eden: In a word—Quiet. I usually get up between 7 and 9, take care of social media/networking/reading blogs/emails before noon. After that, I write, and that can be writing for guest blogs, my blog, and my upcoming book. Somewhere in between all this, I find time to eat, meditate, and exercise. I usually go to bed between midnight and two in the morning.
If I end the day with at least 2000 good words toward my book, I’m happy. Not very exciting, but I love it.
Avid Readers: What do you do to relax?
Eden: I love water. In the summer, I have access to a lake and water sports – swimming, kayaking, canoeing. I also have a boating license, but I prefer non-motorized vehicles. I enjoy being alone in the middle of a still lake. It’s the perfect place to dream and think up plot lines.
Avid Readers: What is your favorite season?
Avid Readers: While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?Eden: Yes, I lived the life of my main character, Kate Hampton, while I wrote the book. I had to crawl under her skin to be able to write her and speak as her. Actors call it method acting, a technique to create in themselves the thoughts and feelings of their characters in order to develop lifelike performances.
As a writer, I tried to do the same thing by connecting to Kate. It forced me to draw on personal emotions and memories, which allowed me to write realistic scenes and have her behave in a way that was plausible.
Avid Readers: What are your expectations for the book?Eden: Stranger at Sunset is the first of a trilogy. I hope the storyline and writing attracts new readers, so they follow the series. Because I’ve switched genres, I need to allow time for readers to discover me. So far, I’ve received positive reviews, so I’m encouraged.
On a less serious note, selling millions of books wouldn’t be bad either! Dream big, right?
Avid Readers: Is there a message in Stranger at Sunset that you want readers to grasp?Eden: First and foremost, the book is fiction and should be entertaining. It’s the same feeling as spending two hours at the theatre, or going to a concert—you want to feel like your time was not wasted, that you enjoyed the experience because it connected you to something interesting, new, or enlightening.
Beyond this, the theme of the book speaks to intolerance of its many characters. I call the book a psychological mystery because it addresses the perceptions of others as people. Human beings are extremely complex, and what is seen on the outside is not always indicative of our true selves. Most of us live our lives filtered by what society and others think of us. Laws and morals dictate our behavior.
In Stranger at Sunset, I explore what happens when we are not bound by these restrictions.
Avid Readers: Do you have a specific writing style?
Eden: I’m not someone who deconstructs my writing, but readers seem to know my voice. My main purpose is to create a story that is engaging and will keep the reader interested until the final page. As I’m a lover of conversation, many of my stories contain scenes with dialogue.
I stay away from too much description of setting and characters’ physical appearances because these passages bore me in books I read. I prefer to use my imagination to visualize a place and what a person looks like. This keeps me engaged much more than when I’m spoon-fed all the details.
Avid Readers: How did you come up with the title of Stranger at Sunset?
Eden: It wasn’t my first title. I had several others including: Strangers in Paradise, Strange Encounters, and so on. I settled on Stranger at Sunset because there are several meanings the title can take. “Stranger” can be both a noun and an adjective, and it alludes to how we view others as well as ourselves. “Sunset” refers to the time when a pivotal scene takes place in the book as well as the name of the resort.
Avid Readers: Some lightning round questions! Any writing rituals?Eden: I wear a wool hat in the winter to write to keep my brain from freezing up. I live in Canada, it’s damn cold here!
Avid Readers: Pen, pencil, or marker?Eden: I love pens, pencils, highlighters, and sticky notes.
Avid Readers: Introvert or extrovert?
Eden: Introvert, though nobody believes me, but it’s the truth.
Avid Readers: Your favorite cuisine?Eden: East Indian, closely followed by Thai and French.
Avid Readers: Any last words?Eden: Yes, thank you for all you do to help promote authors. You are always gracious and I’m fortunate you were able to offer me some space on your site.
Want to Win 1 of TWO e-book copies of Stranger at Sunset! ??? Just be the first two commenters with the answer to this question correctly and tell us what format you would prefer:
What word in the title can be both an Adjective and a Noun?
Thank you again Eden for visiting An Avid Readers Haven!