She grew in Canada, a country of four seasons, and the winters are extremely cold. As a child, she remembered liking the cold and playing in snow. Mind you, she was dressed in a snowsuit layered on top of so much clothes she could hardly move. Still, she used to play with her siblings, building a snowman, making snow angels, and throwing snowballs at one another.
Welcome, Eden Baylee!
What career did you plan during your education days?
I studied psychology while attending CEGEP (pre-university in Montreal) and did my undergrad in sciences. My intention was to go into medicine with a specialty in psychiatry. That never happened, and I ended up in banking for twenty years.
What languages you can speak and write?
I speak and write English, French, and German. I also speak a couple of dialects of Chinese but cannot write it.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
I don’t think there is any one thing. Life is a continuum, and it’s constantly changing. As a writer, I need to pay attention and adapt. That means keeping my senses open to what is around me—music, people, events, news, conflict, etc.
Anything can inspire me as an author, even negative news. Anything can spark an idea toward a work in progress or a new piece of writing. I just have to be open to it, so I can be aware of when it happens.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge so far has also been the most rewarding. When I first left my job after ten years to pursue a writing career, I moved to New York City and immersed myself in the scene there. Unfortunately, not long after, I was diagnosed with cancer. Long story short, I returned to Canada for treatment and had to go back to work once I got my health back.
What I initially thought would be two more years in banking to pay off debts ended up as another ten years. I had a lot of fears associated with leaving a secure job and potentially becoming sick again—unrealistic fears, but they paralyzed me anyway.
In the end, I took the leap because I didn’t want to regret that I had the opportunity to write full-time, but I chose not to do it.
Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
You can find all my published works on my website at http://edenbayleebooks.com
I have written several books of erotica, and my latest offering is a psychological mystery/thriller called Stranger at Sunset. It released June 30, 2014, and I’m actively promoting it now. I would be thrilled to share a snippet from it.
This is the Prologue from Stranger at Sunset.The body plummeted two and a half stories into the sea. It bobbed between crests before foamy waves swept in and yanked it under the surface. The tide rushed out dragging its new possession deep into the ocean’s dark belly. Swells curled and collapsed against the shore. The evening breeze whistled an eerie tune.
Despite how tightly his fingers gripped the large barrels, the binoculars trembled in the man’s hands. He now wished he had bought the more powerful Porro-prism model. This less expensive design darkened the image, especially against a pale orange sky reflecting the chopped glass of the water. While adjusting the diopter ring behind his right eyepiece, he bit down on his lower lip.
A silhouette met his lens, haloed by the glow of the setting sun. With his breath thickening the atmosphere, he pressed the eyepiece harder against his face to stop from shaking.
The woman stood naked with her hair pinned up, loose strands trailing down the nape of her slender neck. Her palms rested on the metal railing of the balcony. As she stared out at the churning sea, he zoomed in on her face, then moved his binoculars downward to her breasts, lingering there longer than he should have. Slowly, he lowered his gaze to her flat stomach. Firm thighs extended off the arc of round buttocks. A dancer’s body—willowy and muscular, but not too muscular, she was beauty and grace, and yet, what she just did …
A hint of dark pubic hair blurred past his lens. While he re-calibrated the magnification, she drifted out of focus. When he brought her back in view, her contemplative mood had changed. She moved a chair to the corner of the terrace. Gathering up a pile of bed sheets, she crossed the threshold into the room and scurried out of view.
He dared not avert his eyes. The light was fading fast, and night would soon fall upon the villa like a magician’s cape. With his elbows pressed to his sides, he loosened his grip on the binoculars and tried to flex his aching fingers.
She had to come back, right?
The doors leading to the patio were still wide open. Secluded in his dark corner of the island, he spied the room as if ogling a dollhouse with its front wall sheared off, scaled down to about the same size too.
The naked woman strolled back into his field of vision as a cramp sneaked up on him. A painful twitch stabbed his wrist, reminded him of old wounds. He dropped the binoculars secured by a strap around his neck to shake out both his hands. By the time he brought the lens to his face again, she had disappeared, no … wait, she popped up from behind the bed carrying two pillows. With an unhurried pace, she stepped out on the balcony and propped the cushions on the chair, even fluffed them before re-entering the suite. She closed the wooden French doors behind her.
The light in her room replaced the sun’s blush, a poor substitute given a set of floor-to-ceiling jalousies bracketed his view. He waited to see what she would do next. His breathing deafened his ears as if he were wheezing through a mask; adrenaline pumped in his veins. She moved in front of the window facing him. With hands on her hips, legs spread apart, she stood full frontal and stared straight at him. He shrank back and jostled her image.
Could she see him?
With his naked eye, he peeked in her direction. Nothing had changed. Motionless, she continued to stand in position. Unable to resist, he gathered his wits and raised the binoculars once again, adjusted the focus ring on her legs—those legs that seemed to go on forever.
Horizontal louvers interrupted his view of her body as he slanted the lens upward, advancing an inch at a time. He paused at her navel, swallowed hard, paused again when his lens reached her breasts.
Blood pumped in his ears as he moved up the curves of her collarbone to her long neck. When he met her eyes, he expelled a bellyful of relief. She wasn’t looking at him; she was looking through him. Her almond-shaped eyes trapped him in irrational fear of discovery.
Like a leech, he clung to her to draw out her secrets, imagined the pulse at her neck racing, wondered how it would feel to pull the pins from her hair, to touch her porcelain skin. Only a tiny squint betrayed her otherwise stoic expression.
As if she could read his mind, she turned away and broke the spell. When she faced him again, the mischief in her eyes had disappeared. She cranked the window handle, tilting the slats in unison against one another, narrowing his view with each turn of her wrist. He held his breath with one last image of her—a lowering of her chin before the light vanished from the room.
A shiver crawled up his spine despite the warm night. He lifted the strap of the binoculars from his neck and placed the heavy lens on a table beside him. The glowing numbers on his Luminox watch showed it was not yet half past six. The dusky sky would fade to purple and then to black within minutes. Without thinking, he lit up a cigarette, watched the smoke curl around itself as it rose into the air. A chorus of crickets joined an orchestra of noisy night critters. From some deep crevice of his mind, he recalled a myth about crickets, their nocturnal mating call a foreshadowing of death. He knew the details of the lore once but was in no mood to scrape his numbed memory for it now. The irony, however, was not lost on him.
As he listened to the sounds of the night, he took another puff and butted out. He needed to quit; smoking no longer calmed his nerves. From his back pocket, he pulled out a device and tapped one of several pre-programmed numbers.
With the cell phone pressed to his ear, he waited for an answer.
What are your forthcoming writings?
Stranger at Sunset is the first of a trilogy and my next book is called A Fragile Truce. I’m in the process of planning it and book 3 right now.
What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
I can tell you it’s not sleep! I don’t do enough of it, but I’m getting by.
I would say: reading, listening to music, exercise, and spending time with friends.
How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
For me, quite a bit. I’m influenced by travel, so I like writing about places I’ve been. People interest me, and a lot of who I am goes into my protagonists. I use real people I’ve known as jumping off points to create other characters.
I think it’s impossible not to share parts of oneself in what we write. The challenge is to blur the lines. If I’m a good writer, you won’t necessarily know what is real and what is fantasy. And that’s the way I like it.
Is a high level of imagination important to have for an author?
Having a good imagination is important, but not just for authors. It’s a result of staying curious about all that life has to offer and then using that curiosity to be creative.
I think imagination is a huge asset for writers of fiction, probably less so for non-fiction authors.
Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
I was born in Montreal, Canada, and have traveled in North, South, and Central America, as well as Europe and Asia.
There are too many things to love of every place I’ve visited to name them all here. I think the most common, yet fascinating thing I’ve found all over the world is that people are essentially the same.
They love their families, enjoy good friendships, and they love to laugh. There’s something really comforting about knowing how we are connected, even though we all look different, speak different languages, and have different belief systems.
Your favorite time of the day?
I like the night-time, but lately, I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier, and enjoy writing during the wee hours before the birds wake up.
Your zodiac/ sun sign?
Your favorite color and why?
Red and black. For me, red is vibrant, sensual, and sexy. It conjures up images of the things I love in life—sun, red berries, spicy wine.
Black is actually the absence of color, but I’ve always loved its neutrality. It’s the color of 90% of my wardrobe since I was a teenager. It complements every other color, plus it’s sexy, of course.
Your favorite food?
I’m a foodie through and through. I love all kinds of cuisine, but I’ve always said if I were stranded on a desert island and could only eat one type of food, it would be East Indian cuisine, just not too spicy!
Fortunately in Toronto, we have a large Indian population, and there is a wide variety to choose from.
What comes to your mind when you think of India?
It’s the place I must visit before I die. I was in Nepal years back but did not have enough time to go to India as well. One day …
Sun or Moon – sun
Laughter or Smile – laughter
Morning or Evening – evening
Coffee or Tea – Chai tea
Mountain or Sea – sea
Long Drive or Short Drive – short drive
Silence or Conversation – both, and it depends with whom
Water or Fire – water
Air or Earth – air
Mars or Jupiter – Mars
Tulip or Rose - tulip
Red or Blue – red
Left or Right – left
Glance or Stare - glance
State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote:
Life is a handful of short stories pretending to be a novel - Anonymous
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/edenbaylee (@edenbaylee)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/edenbaylee
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4563150.Eden_Baylee
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Eden-Baylee/e/B004Z8Q6UQ
Music playlist for Stranger at Sunset – sold via iTunes http://bit.ly/1kdQdDX