I want to welcome you to another episode of Watch Out. Take a seat and stay a while. This week I bring you not only a friend, but an amazing and talented author by the name of Eden Baylee. If you have not heard of Eden I recommend you stay and find out more.
Watch Out: Eden Baylee
SC:For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
EB:Sure, and thanks for having me as your guest, Savannah. I’m the first-time published author of Fall into Winter—a book of contemporary erotica written as four novellas, two take place in the fall, and two in the winter, thus the title.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, I was a banker for twenty years—the last ten of it spent as a fraud consultant.
SC:Can you tell us a little about your current release?
EB:The stories of Fall into Winter were initially written to be sold separately, but I decided to put them together into one book. Though common elements unify them, each is unique and stands alone. The themes include: younger man, older woman; ménage à trois (MFM); past lovers; and second chance at love. It’s a very diverse collection, and I’m extremely proud of it.
SC:You’ve decided to take the self publishing route. What would you say is the more difficult aspect of self publishing?
EB:I wouldn’t call it “difficult,” but I would say it’s challenging if you don’t have the time, energy, or personality for it. You basically need to “do it all” so it’s important to be organized. I consider myself the CEO of a publishing company—I just happen to be publishing my own book. Like other publishers, I hired out professionals for the most important aspects—editing and cover design. And as with most authors, I also did my own marketing and promotion, and continue to do so. For me, this model made sense because I write full-time, and I wanted a specific look and feel to my book. The only way I was going to get that was to do it myself.
SC:Would you recommend self publishing to others?
EB:Yes, if you’re anal-retentive like I am. Seriously though, it’s been great for me, and it can be extremely rewarding. It’s helped to establish me as a writer, allowed me to organize an incredible book launch, and now I’m traveling to promote my book. When I first started, I was eager to be published traditionally, but after awhile, I grew tired of trying to fit my writing into someone else’s template of what erotica should be. I have strong ideas for stories, and instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole, I drilled my own hole.
I can also be extremely impatient because I treat writing as a business. Just as I would not spend years holding onto a losing investment, I will not spend years submitting my work to traditional publishers to be rejected. I’ll change direction and try something else. I have not ruled out traditional publishing, but it’s important to stay flexible and know there are other options.
SC:What is the one thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
EB:I love power tools—drills, saws, and the like. I refuse to use a manual screwdriver if I can use a power one—even if it’s just to put in or remove one screw. I think I would have made a good carpenter.
SC:What are you currently reading?
EB:The Book of Eros. It’s a book of short stories and poems collected from the Yellow Silk magazine and a gift from my sister-in-law for Christmas.
SC:Some authors when they write they need total quiet. Do you write with music or a TV on? If you do, does it help the creativity flow?
EB:I need silence, but ambient noise is fine. I can get easily distracted, so I’ll also wear earphones plugged into my computer without any music playing. Sometimes even the noise of my nails on the keyboard can bother me.
SC:What is the one thing that surprised you in this industry?
EB:The warmth of writers. I expected life as a writer to be very insular, and it is in many ways, but I’ve also found writers to be incredibly supportive of one other. I am now part of a network of pre-published and published authors, and have learned so much from just reading about their experiences. I’ve learned more from them than any book I’ve read on writing and publishing. It feels great to be connected to a community of writers all over the world.
SC:Do you think authors have pressure to conform to trends so that they can get their work out there and be published?
EB:Yes, there is pressure to conform, but no one is holding a gun to their heads to do so. There are many paths to take. If the most important thing to you is to be published traditionally, then you must follow the submission guidelines of each publisher. That’s the way it is.
Each publisher is in it to make a profit, and they know what sells for them. If your product doesn’t fit their mold, then it’s unlikely they will buy it.
If, however, you really believe in your book, and you’re willing to take a risk that others might like it too, then walk off the beaten path. Create your own trend by self-publishing or continue to find a publisher who “gets” your work.
For me, my writing was always the most important thing, no matter how it was published. All writers have to decide what is most important for them.
SC:If you were not an author what would your dream job be?
EB:Photographer. I love taking pictures, and did a lot of it when I traveled more extensively. It allowed me to capture moments I would never have been able to otherwise—certainly not with words. You know what they say about a picture…
SC:How important do you think marketing is to an author?
EB:Very important, if you want readers to buy your book. If you don’t, then I suppose it’s not important.
SC:If you could pick a song to represent your stories what would it be?
EB:Love this question as songs did inspire each of my stories, so I must give you four—Please!
“Lovin’ in my Baby’s Eyes” – Taj Mahal
“Walk on the Wild Side” – Lou Reed
“And the Healing has Begun” – Van Morrison
“I Don’t Want to Talk About It” – Rod Stewart
SC:What is the biggest misconception you think people have about authors?
EB:Once an author writes a book, he/she will be rolling in the dough. This could not be farther from the truth. The number of writers who make it to that level are few and far between. Though all writers aspire to “make it big,” myself included, I’m ultimately a pragmatist. If I can earn enough money to write full-time for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy woman.
SC:If you were stuck on an island, what 3 things would you need to have with you?
EB:Ha! I had a hard time with this one as I rarely deal in hypotheticals. I’ll assume there’s plenty of food on this island, so I’ll just consider some luxury items.
Solar-powered laptop with an unlimited iTunes account and WiFi – takes care of my need to read, write, and listen to music.
Power tools – to build a proper shelter.
Lip balm – I really hate chapped lips.
SC:Is there one specific genre you would like to be well known for?
EB: Currently, I write erotica, but I won’t close the door on another genre. It’s more meaningful to me that people know me as a good writer regardless of the genre.
SC: Describe your writing in 3 words.
EB: Meticulous, sensual, emotional.
SC: What advice do you have for new writers out there?
EB: Just do it. Don’t just talk about. Don’t just think about it. Someone who has written the worst book is still more of a writer than someone who has written nothing.
This may sound harsh, but it took a long time for me to get here. Perhaps if someone had said those words to me twenty years ago, I would have taken my writing more seriously.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
EB:Visit my website at www.edenbaylee.com and you’ll get everything you need and probably more.