Today I want to introduce you to erotica and erotic romance author Eden Baylee. This is also the start of a new 20 questions interview format on my blog modeled after Playboy Magazine’s popular Q & A feature.
Eden’s debut novel Fall into Winter is a sexy, brilliant read exploring taboo subjects such as threesomes and role playing. She writes about strong, independent female characters in their mid to late thirties taking control of their sexual lives. It is a hot and fascinating journey. I met Eden on Twitter (follow her @edenbaylee ), and she is one of the most supportive writers I know. The following frank interview delves into motivations behind her erotica writing and novel, where her inspiration comes from for her intriguing characters, the obstacles she has overcome as a writer and how she left her day job to pursue her writing dream. An excerpt from Eden’s book also follows the interview. Enjoy.
1. What is it about writing erotica that attracts you? What are you attempting to explore about sex and erotic themes in your debut novel “Fall into Winter?”
What attracts me about erotica is how it makes me feel when I write it. It’s a sensual experience for me, not an intellectual one.
I don’t write sex and eroticism as a commentary on sexual exploration. The overriding goal is to tell a good story that will entertain the reader. It’s fiction, after all, and I don’t profess to have credentials that make me more qualified to write about sex than anyone else. The only advantage I may have is a willingness to string my thoughts into words, and to do it with a modicum of skill.
2. How did your novel develop? Did you design it as a separate, but connected vignettes or did they come together independently over a period of time?
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.
3. In your introduction, you describe the tough decision all writers must face at some point — leaving the security and safety net of our day jobs and taking a chance on making it as a full-time writer. Tell us about your decision and journey.
I’ve never been able to successfully write and work full-time. About eleven years ago, I left my job the first time and moved to New York with the goal to write seriously and get published. The Internet was new to me, and the online market for erotica was starting up. Companies like Ellora’s Cave had just opened its doors. I thought I could get into the market while the getting was good.
Long story short, I got cancer and it derailed my plan.
The illness took a year out of my life, and when I got better, I was alone and in debt. I returned to work with the understanding that I would stay long enough just to pay off my debts. Who knew it would take me another ten years to work up the courage to finally throw in the towel? I was always afraid that if I left again, I would somehow get sick again. It was a ridiculous notion that had no basis in fact, but it paralyzed me to make a decision sooner.
This time, my situation is different. I have a support network, a 3-year financial plan, and I’m much stronger mentally. Despite that, though, I don’t forget the old saying “the best laid plans…”
4. Who is Eden Baylee? Why did you choose to write with a pseudonym? Tell us a little about your background and journey and how it plays out in your fiction.
Ha, George! I’m really a simple person, and I need very little to make me happy. I’ll admit that I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing much of what I’ve written about, but it’s my imagination that fuels the stories. Having learned about many different cultures through travel in my twenties, I draw upon that to write.
I chose to use a pen name because I intend to write in different genres, and it’s a good idea to differentiate identities. It was purely a business decision.
5. You wrote in your bio that you remember hiding under a blanket with a flashlight and reading an erotica novel at the age of 11. What was the book and who are some of your writing influences then and now?
The book was Story of O by Pauline Reage, a novel about BDSM that introduced me to a whole new vocabulary. I had never experienced anything quite like that book, and it left an indelible mark on my psyche.
As a child, I read a lot of the classics: Shakespeare; Dostoyevsky; Steinbeck. I’ve also read most of Freud’s works since I studied him extensively. I’m sure he somehow messed me up a little!
For the authors who inspire me to write erotica, I love: Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Charles Bukowski, John Fowles, and Vladimir Nabokov. Also, the poems of Leonard Cohen are beautiful and sensual.
6. In your novel, you feature strong, independent mature women who are reveling in exploring their sexuality. Was this your intention since it is area that is not explored enough in fiction?
Wow, I suppose when “thirty-somethings” are considered mature, then I’ve practically got one foot in the grave! I write about strong, independent (mature) women because I love them. At twenty something, and even at thirty something, few women I knew were comfortable enough with their sexuality to know what they wanted. Exploring my own sexuality early in life allowed me to be more open today.
More importantly, it enabled me to be accepting of others. What you may deem as “deviant behavior ” is someone else’s “normal.” What I may consider as “tame” is someone else’s idea of a “wild time.” I make no judgments on what goes on among consenting adults, and that allows me to write with an open mind.
Finally, as a strong, independent woman, (I won’t say mature, ok, George?) it’s important that I portray sex in a positive light. There’s nothing wrong with an adult woman who wants and enjoys sex, no matter what age she is.
I’ve chosen to write about women who are 30-40 years old because I feel they are so much more interesting as people, and not only because of their sexuality. Of course, this is just a generalization. Much of what makes anyone interesting is life experience, and though age is not necessarily the pre-requisite for it, experience does come with age.
7. Is there a lot of your characters Ella, Stella, Leah, Elena in you? Or were they based on people you knew or know?
You ask very intimate questions, George – I like this one. The answer is each female character has something of me in her, but I am certain that most women will be able to relate to these traits. At any one time, a woman can be one, none, or all of these. It’s what makes us so complex.
Ella is headstrong and fearless.
Stella has an adventurous spirit.
Leah is a career woman driven by success.
Elena is fiercely loyal, sometimes vulnerable, but never weak.
8. What for you is the toughest part of writing sex scenes?
Keeping it real. Essentially, if I’m a good storyteller, I can make you believe the impossible, but it’d be difficult to make you believe the improbable. My goal is to always respect the readers’ intelligence. I don’t like being taken for a fool when I read a book, so I will do my damnedest not to treat my readers that way. Given that sex is something most adults have experienced, it’s essential to write it in an interesting and arousing way, but always with the implicit understanding that it needs to stay real.
9. Your fiction also features intriguing daring, explicit language and imagery, and situations such as a MFM threesome and role playing. Do you revel in pushing the envelope and challenging conventions in your stories?
This goes back to the previous question. Keeping it real does not mean I write about a couple who’s been married 30 years having sex missionary-style in their bedroom. It’s nice but not all that interesting.
For erotica to be an arousing and sensual read, the element of sex has to be present in the story. The story itself has to involve people, and people have to be put into a situation. Weaving an intriguing situation is key, and word choice is a huge part of this.
I use explicit language if an explicit scene calls for it. I don’t think about pushing the envelope – I just want to tell a good story.
10. Are you intending to shock or educate or both in your fiction?
Neither, I’m writing only to entertain.
11. Do readers assume that your erotica comes from your real life?
Perhaps, and people can assume whatever they like. I don’t concern myself with what I have no control over.
12. What role does the change of the seasons play in your novel’s overall theme?
As my stories were initially written separately, I had to choose something to bind them into one book. I rewrote scenes in each of them to incorporate the “seasons” aspect. It also set me up for Spring into Summer which is my next anthology.
13. If you escaped to a deserted island and had only one book to take with you what would it be?
George, you’re killing me! How can I only take one book? I refuse to answer on the grounds that I will offend any author, living or dead.
14. In the first story in your book, music plays a key role in the story. What impact does music play in inspiring your work overall?
I love most types of music, and lyrics can have a profound effect on me. Sometimes it’s the combination of a well-told story and great instrumentation that inspires me, but the mood or sentiment of a song can also do it.
The simplicity of Miles Davis playing “It Never Entered My Mind” regularly moves me to tears, and I’ve listened to that song hundreds of times.
15. What is something about you that would surprise us?
I’m directionally challenged, and it’s been a great source of frustration for me most of my life. If I go anywhere unfamiliar, or even sometimes to a place I’ve been to several times, I have to map out the directions well in advance. My friends call me “Opposite George” as they know if I tell them to go north, they should go south, and east means west.
Sometimes it’s funny, other times, not. I make a lot of U-turns when I drive.
16. What advice do you have for other writers?
My mantra to myself: Keep writing. Be persistent. Believe in yourself.
17. How have social networks such as Twitter and Facebook impacted your life as a writer?
It’s enabled me to create a platform to give visibility to my work. More importantly, it’s connected me to a wonderful community of people—writers, filmmakers, bloggers, and artists who are incredibly talented. I love associating with individuals who inspire me to write and are there when I need to decompress.
18. When can we expect another collection of fiction from you?
Spring into Summer is scheduled for the end of this year.
19. What has been the response from readers and reviewers so far to your collection?
It’s been positive. People are extremely encouraging with their feedback.
20. Ultimately, what do want readers to take away from your fiction and where can readers find you?
The most important thing for me as a writer is to continue learning. Readers will not get the same old stuff from me in the next book. That’s the reason I’m putting out one more anthology before I start writing full-length novels. It’s of utter importance for me not to stagnate as an author. And to do that, I have to constantly challenge myself.
Readers can find me on my website www.edenbaylee.com.
From there, they can get to my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and any other links they need. I’m always available for a chat, so feel free to contact me.
Excerpt from “Seduced by the Blues”
John brought her upstairs to his private office, and they sat facing each other on a plush, velvety red couch. Ella surveyed the surroundings and found the room functional and cozy. The lighting was dim and the decor contemporary. There was a desk with a computer on it, and a stand with three guitars in the corner. The walls were bare except for a large black-and-white print of John Lee Hooker. The room had a sexy vibe to it, and it was comfortable—too much so. She couldn’t remember the last time a man took charge with her, almost forgetting that she had intended to make the conquest. For someone only in his twenties, he had an air of sophistication she had never encountered.
“Do you bring all your young women here?”
John looked at her seriously with his pale blue eyes. “I don’t bring women here. This is where I work.”
“Oh, so you brought me up here for business?”
“No, but sometimes it’s good to mix business with pleasure.”
She liked how he played with words. His calm intelligence turned her on.
“Why me, then?”
“I liked you from the moment I saw you, and when you asked me if I was at X-tasy to get laid … I must admit, I found that impossible to resist.”
Ella now felt embarrassed for saying it. “That was pretty forward of me.”
“Yes, it was, and to answer your question … I didn’t go there to get laid, but the night is still young.”
He leaned in to kiss her. Though she was used to being in control, she thought she might give up some of it—just for tonight.
He licked around her mouth and gently bit her lips. She liked that he was in no hurry. With his fingers tangled in her curls, John drew her in. Ella met his tongue with hers, wrestling with it and tasting the smoky-sweet combination of his martini and her scotch. He cradled her back and nuzzled behind her ears, sending chills up her spine. It didn’t take her long to feel hot moisture seep between her slit.
At that moment, she decided she had to have more of him and got up from the couch. Removing her jacket and hiking up her skirt, she sat on John’s lap facing him, kneeling with her calves spread out on either side of his thighs. She could tell he was surprised by her aggressiveness, but he was obviously turned on—the bulge in his pants proved it. Ella thrust against him in an erotic grinding motion. He groaned, and she pressed her lips on top of his. They battled inside each other’s mouths. John held her ass while she gyrated. He slipped his right hand down the front of her panties.
“Damn. Ella, you’re dripping.”
He penetrated her with his middle finger. She rode him and felt another inserted into her as his thumb worked its magic on her clit. He slid a hand underneath her bra, grasping her left breast. He squeezed till she moaned. Her nipples were already stiff when he pinched them.
Ella arched backward as John thrilled her by tonguing between her cleavage. She felt him growing bigger as she pushed her pussy toward him. Her breathing became labored as he continued to play with her. She shut her eyes and dug her nails into his shoulders—she was close.
“John, you’re up in fifteen!” yelled a voice from outside the door.
“Okay, Bill,” he said. “I’ll be right there.” His voice was composed.
“Shit! You’re performing tonight?” she asked in a hushed tone.
“Yup, in fifteen, like the man said.”
“You have to go.” Ella moved to get off him.
“No, no, not yet.” He didn’t stop touching her for a second. “We have a little pleasure to take care of first.”
John resumed stroking her in the same unhurried manner as before. Soon she felt the heat building again in her groin.
Ella held onto his shoulders and adjusted her position to allow his thumb more room to vibrate her swollen bud. She was amazed at how agile his fingers were within the confines of her underwear.
She sensed his arousal as she raised her hips before pounding down on him again. She hated to rush, but she couldn’t control herself even if she wanted to; she was on the verge.
“In five, John!” Bill called out again.
“Yup, no problem. I’m coming,” he replied.
Ella didn’t even flinch this time. She was too engrossed in how John made her feel to care about anything else. She bounced with full force before succumbing.
“John … I’m—” Slamming her ass on top of him, her pussy contracted repeatedly. Multiple waves swept over her, leaving her dizzy from the frenzy of her movements.
John kissed all around her neck until her convulsions subsided. When Ella finally stopped shaking, he withdrew from inside her. She watched as he took his fingers, soaked in her juices, and rubbed them on his lips before sucking each one into his mouth. Ella felt butterflies in her stomach at the sight of such an intimate gesture.
“Damn, Ella, I thought you were going to cut off the circulation to them.”
She was still breathing heavily when she dismounted him. “We can’t have that. You need them to play.”
“Yes, so true, and not just with my guitar.”
She was sweating from exerting herself and from the sheer bliss of her climax.
“John, time!” It was Bill again.
She looked at John, and they both cracked up.
“You were wonderful, Ella. Will you stay for the show?”
She heard the longing in his voice. A part of her wanted to, but she wasn’t sure. “You’ve got to go,” she said.
He pulled her in for another kiss, a lengthy one that left her tingling.
“To be continued?” he said, combing his fingers through his hair.
His words sounded more like a statement than a question. She saw him walk out the door, patting down the creases of his shirt and tugging at his crotch to shake off his unfulfilled desire. She, however, smiled and was quite content to bask in the afterglow of her orgasm.
- @DazedPuckBunny good for you LOL....I am abt to do the same....good night...or good morning:)) 5 hours ago
- @DazedPuckBunny oh yes...just a little more editing..and then I will crash....:) at least that's what I keep telling myself...LOL 5 hours ago
- RT @DazedPuckBunny: @GPWriter was pretty much thinking the same thing over here. I must to bed!! 5 hours ago
- doubts once seized me....fearful to show my words to anyone...dreaded poison darts of hate...but they never hurt as much as feared #poems 5 hours ago
- RT @DaNaLa13: Some people just draw you in and make you wanna soak in the beauty of their mind. 5 hours ago
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