Today we sit down with author and blogger Eden Baylee. She is going to share a bit about her work, inspiration and a little about herself.
I hope you enjoy this installment of 20 Questions.
Q1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was a teenager. I have always loved to read and found words fascinating, so writing was a natural progression. When an English teacher in high school encouraged my writing by giving me good feedback, it boosted my ego and made me think I could write for a living.
I ended up in finance instead. A combination of a life-threatening illness and dissatisfaction with my job made me leave banking after twenty years.
I now write full-time.
It’s taken me sometime to get here, but I’m finally here.
Q2) How long does it typically take you to write a book?
It depends. I’ve written many short stories and novellas. These can take anywhere from a day to a few months to complete the first draft. I’ve written one novel that took me a year from inception until the time it was available for sale.
Even though I am a full-time writer, there are many things that can affect the timing of when a book is released. Most of it has to do with my own comfort level around the readiness of the book. I won’t release it unless I think it’s as perfect as it can be.
And since perfection never happens, I tend to hold back publication longer than necessary. I’m learning to let go sooner as I write each book.
Q3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I’m not usually one to deconstruct my writing, but I’ll give a loose outline.
Mornings are reserved for social media, reading blogs and the daily news. I will usually write for my WIP after that. The writing is normally done in longhand on a legal pad, which I eventually transfer to an online WORD document by the end of the day. My days are long. They usually begin with early morning meditation, and I don’t go to bed until after midnight.
Some days, I devote my writing time to research if I find the words are not flowing as freely as I’d like. Regardless, I aim for 2000 words on a daily basis, and this does happen, although I can’t say each one of those words is good.
In between all this, I try to fit in a hot yoga class, 2-3 meals, and some time to spend with my husband.
Q4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
In the winter, I write while wearing a wool hat. I live in Canada, so this is not unusual. I don’t take it off for about five months, not even in the house. I feel it keeps all my good ideas in my head.
Q5) How are your books published? (traditional, indie, etc.)
Q6) Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Ideas can come from anywhere. Any new experience or encounter can produce that germ of an idea for a story. I don’t seek them out as much as I’m open to the possibilities.
Q7) If you don’t mind sharing, when did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book was Fall into Winter, an anthology of erotic novellas. I was 44 at the time.
Q8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m happiest when I’m of sound mind and body, and I nurture this with meditation and yoga. I also read and make time to spend with friends as much as our schedules allow. Most of my friends work 9-5 jobs so it’s not always easy.
Q9) What is your favorite book?
I can’t say I have one, as one does not quickly come to mind. I’ve always loved the writing of Charles Bukowski, particularly his poetry. His novel, Ham on Rye would rank as one of my top books.
Additionally, other books like: The Magus by John Fowles, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon have influenced my writing or made an impression on me at different times in my life.
Q10) What do your family and friends think of your writing?
I left a banking career to pursue something that would certainly not be as lucrative financially, but I knew that going in. My lifestyle has changed to accommodate my passion, but it hasn’t affected my relationships.
It’s a job, just like everyone else’s. Ultimately, they support me in that same way I support them to work and make a living.
Q11) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I’m a perfectionist in so many ways, and I thought writing would make me “less” of one since it’s a creative art. It hasn’t, really.
I amaze myself with how much I can contemplate a turn of phrase. I’m not sure if readers care that much about ‘how’ it’s said as opposed to ‘what’ is said. And yet, I still fret about it.
I know it’s important to be a good storyteller and not get too hung up on the wording of each sentence. I’m trying for a better balance of the two.
Q12) What do you hate most about the writing process?
Hate is a strong word. Let’s just say, I’d prefer if I didn’t have to sell my own books. As an indie, it’s a necessity. If I could write a book and hand it off to someone else to market, that would free up more time for me. Time is a valuable commodity, and we lose a lot of it when we have to navigate social media to find buyers for our books.
Q13) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I believe I have seventeen titles for sale. The forms range from short story to novel length books.
To choose a favorite would be like picking a favorite child! It cannot be done.
Q14) Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?
I’m no expert on the craft of writing, but I’ve learned so much from reading and following those who are. My best suggestion is to continue learning. Writing is an ever-changing discipline and it evolves, just as language evolves.
Q15) Do you get feedback from your readers much? How and what kinds of things do they say?
I read my book reviews, and consider them to be a reflection of how I’m progressing. I moved from writing erotica to mystery/suspense, so the feedback is different depending on the genre.
Positive feedback is always wonderful to hear. It’s a ‘pat on the back’ to say I’m moving in the right direction. Negative feedback is even more important to me. I don’t mean the trolls who say nothing of importance. I mean the reviews that are less than 4 stars and give constructive criticism.
They are what help me become a better writer, and I’m constantly striving in that direction.
Q16) What is your preferred reading audience?
As long as a reader likes my writing, I don’t distinguish between sex, age, or some other arbitrary criterion. I prefer enthusiastic readers, especially those who share the books they love via a review, or by word of mouth.
Q17) What do you think makes a good story?
I read to entertain or lose myself in another world. In the process, if I learn something new, then I believe I’ve read a good story.
Q18) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I’ve had numerous wish-list jobs. They have ranged from a spy to an assassin to a gymnast. Being a writer allows me to be all of those in my stories.
Q19) Where can we find your books?
As I write in multiple genres and have contributed to several anthologies, the easiest place is via my website at http://www.edenbayleebooks.com/.
Q20) Will you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite works?
Sure, and because I think most readers either like an author’s style or they don’t, here’s a short story I wrote sometime ago. It’s devious and a bit twisted, akin to many of my stories. I’m also a huge fan of the twist endings.
If the story captures a reader’s imagination, then they might be interested to try some of my books. I’ve linked to the story on my blog below:
About Eden Baylee:
Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.
She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ Spring into Summer, Fall into Winter, and Hot Flash.
In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called Stranger at Sunset. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii.
An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!
Connect with Eden:
To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.
For more information about the author, visit her website at EdenBayleeBooks.com or find her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow her on Amazon.com or Amazon.UK.