Friday, November 28, 2014

Eden Baylee - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Eden Baylee. She is the author of a psychological mystery/thriller and three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Poetry

Website: Eden Baylee
Author's Blog: Eden Baylee
Blog: Eden Baylee's Books
Twitter: @edenbaylee
E-Mail: eden (dot) baylee @ rogers (dot) com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write. Incorporating some of her favorite things such as travel, culture, and a deep curiosity for what turns people on, her brand of writing is sensual and literary.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

On June 30, 2014, she released her first novel--a psychological mystery/thriller set in Jamaica called STRANGER AT SUNSET.

Eden loves hearing from readers, so connect to her via her website at and all her social networks.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Stranger at Sunset. What do you have on the drawing board next? Rumor has it that we are going to read more about Dr. Kate Hampton. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thanks so much for having me on your great blog, James. I really appreciate all you do for authors. You are correct that I’m working on my next book. It’s called A Fragile Truce and is the second novel featuring Dr. Kate Hampton. It should release in 2015, though I don’t have a date yet.

As for a tease, I’ve included an excerpt of it at the end of Stranger at Sunset. I hope readers will want to read more about Kate following this first book. If you want to know what Stranger at Sunset is about, I recommend readers grab a sample of it or read the first couple of chapters available on Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.

You have a great following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

I have diverse interests and whom I follow on Twitter is a reflection of that. It’s where I socialize and learn about people. I’m a strong believer in forming relationships long before I do any promotion of my work. More often than not, I’m promoting the work of others whom I enjoy and respect. Reciprocation comes naturally for me, and that’s how I prefer it.

Building a following takes time, and it’s not about the numbers. I’d rather have 5K followers who are interested in me than 20K who are not. I don’t pay too much attention to those who follow me until we have an interaction.

The success of my books requires that I let people know about them, so social media is a necessity to spread the word of my work, but Twitter can’t just be a soapbox. Ultimately, an author’s success is dependent on readers buying their books, and Twitter and other networking platforms are but a small aspect of connecting to readers. Over the long run, the biggest factor in any book’s success is the writing quality and the ability for the author to continue writing.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

I have a mailing list that readers can subscribe to for new releases and author news, but my main connection is via my blog. It’s where I showcase my writing, author interviews, book announcements, and more. It’s difficult to find readers, per se. It’s easier to have readers find me, and the way to do this is to show them what I offer. Of course, I have to this via my social networks. I respond to all e-mails and comments on my blog too. It’s important to be engaged with readers as much as possible.

You do a lot of book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? When and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I don’t have anything planned at the moment as I’m in full-on writing mode, so any interviews will be virtual only. Videos of past book signings are posted on my blog. If readers want to keep up to date with any events, the best way would be to subscribe to my newsletter.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Thank you for the compliment, James. I use award-winning designer, JB Graphics from Toronto. ( He designs my covers, website, and any other artwork I need. I am involved in most aspects of the design, mainly because visual art interests me.

I have a specific idea of what I want to convey and a cover sets the mood for a book since it’s the first thing a potential buyer sees.

I don’t involve readers for my book covers. I think it’s fun when other authors do, but its not for me.

You have written several short stories. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work? Do you feel short reads are a product of our email and smart phone age?

Before Stranger at Sunset, I wrote flash fiction, short stories, and novellas. I continue to do so and have a collection of shorts with poetry called Hot Flash. Also, one of my shorts is included in an anthology called Allegories of the Tarot. As my shorts are written in multiple genres – thriller, humor, romance, erotica – they do give readers a taste for my writing.

I believe some readers’ attention spans are shorter, but avid readers will still read lengthy novels, even on their smart phones. It’s apples and oranges really. Despite that flash fiction and short stories have a lower word count than novels; they are not necessarily easier to write. If anything, they are sometimes more difficult because the author needs to be economical with words and still be able to tell a complete story.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I’ve run free and 99 cent promotions with varying degrees of success. For me, they are mainly “loss leaders,” in that they draw a reader’s attention to my entire catalogue. That’s the hope anyway.

I think it’s important to expose my books as much as possible. I’ve done giveaways on Goodreads of my print books, and that has resulted in exposure for my books as well.

Of course, all promotion, no matter how trivial, requires time and energy in order to get the maximum result. This will take away time from actual writing, so I’d say one obstacle is to always maintain a balance between the writing and promoting.

You are published in several genres. Does changing hats create any problems? Any tricks you can share with us? Which genre did you enjoy writing the most?

I read my first book of erotic fiction when I was eleven, and it definitely affected my psyche, so when I began writing, it’s what I started with. I’ve always enjoyed reading well-written stories about love, romance, and sex as relevant to the story. The genre, however, works best as short novels, approximately 25K – 35K words. I’d written eight of them and compiled them into two anthologies. (Fall into Winter and Spring into Summer). After that, it was time to move on.

I’ve been a reader of many genres, and mystery/suspense novels have always interested me. I also needed a challenge. Writing Stranger at Sunset was challenging because it forced me to plot. There are intricate threads in my book that will be carried over to the next two books since it’s the first of a trilogy. The transition to writing a full-length novel really tested me. It made me feel much more confident about my writing, more so than for the fact that I changed genres.

When I write, I don’t think about the genre so much. I am invested in the story and where it will take me. So long as it’s a great story, it transcends genre.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books, and interviewing other authors. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

Ha, James, you should ask yourself the same question! As an indie writer, it’s never just about writing.

Every day is a juggle to write, read, and promote.

I use my blog as my home base for much of it. From here, I create the social media that links back to me about my books and my interests. There are many things that need to be done to spread the word of a book before and after it’s written. Selling books is a huge part of being a full-time writer. It’s what pays the bills and allows me to keep writing, so it’s important to stay positive and persist.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

I don’t pay for reviews, but I will never say never. Reputable reviewers such as Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly provide honest reviews for a fee. They don’t guarantee a good review. Theirs is a service and they are a business, so they treat it as such by demanding payment. I don’t disagree with their model.

Within the indie writing community, taking payment for reviews is frowned upon because it carries a sense of conflict of interest. Yet … authors review each other all the time. That goes for traditionally published authors too. There is value for buyers when a big name author endorses a book. It’s a sticky subject, so everyone has to do what they feel is best for them. I don’t cast judgment. I also believe readers are not stupid. They can be duped once by a glowing review, but chances are it will only happen once.

My preference is to seek honest reviews from authors, readers, bloggers, etc. I’ve sent out over 700 requests to book bloggers/reviewers. Some get back to me, some don’t, but its part of the process. There is no quick and easy method unless you are gaming the system. If you want two hundred 5-star reviews within a week, I’m sure you can buy them. It’s just not something I would do. I also won’t enter into quid pro quo arrangements. Aside from the fact that I don’t have the time, I only support specific authors. These are relationships with individuals I care about, not just for the purpose of exchanging reviews.

What authors need to understand is that getting only 5-star reviews skews the authenticity of their reviews. Even some of the most respected authors have 1 and 2-star reviews. It implies that their readers are diverse, which is a realistic sample of buyers of books.

Many thanks for your time and energy, James. I really appreciate being on your blog.

Author's Book List
Stranger at Sunset
Vacation can be a killer.

Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot, Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Included in the mix are friends of the owners, a businessman with dubious credentials, and a couple who won the trip from a TV game show.

It is January 2013, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The luxury resort is struggling, not from the storm, but due to a scathing review from caustic travel writer, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.

Even though she is haunted by her own demons, Kate feels compelled to help. She sets out to discover the motivation behind Kane’s vitriol. Used to getting what he wants, has the reviewer met his match in Kate? Or has she met hers?

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/thriller as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice. As Kate's own psychological past begins to unravel, a mysterious stranger at Sunset may be the only one who can save her.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Summer Solstice
Can a pagan party ignite a woman's desire and heal her broken heart?

Cape Cod on the longest day of the year is the setting of SUMMER SOLSTICE. Ava Connors reluctantly attends a party thrown by her best friend and his lover, only to wonder if reality can ever live up to her own fantasies.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
A Season for Everything
A story about beginnings, endings, and the journey in between.

Claire Pelletier's life is changed forever when she meets an Oxford professor who teaches her an important lesson. Set in London, England, A SEASON FOR EVERYTHING is inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes, poets, and the belief that to everything there is a season.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Lottery
A most unusual lottery occurs in the Land of Smiles.

Westerner, Sierra Zhao, travels abroad and finds herself immersed in a culture with values very different to her own. Set in an exotic red-light district of Thailand, THE LOTTERY explores themes of sacrifice, friendship, and eroticism.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Unlocking the Mystery
A mysterious key provides the clue to a woman's heart.

Evelyn Sutton goes in search of a man after a box is left to her by the former owner of her house. A story within a story spanning fifty years from America to Ireland, UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY has been compared to 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Fall into Winter
These unique stories follow the journeys of four women from the chill of autumn through the biting cold of winter.

FALL ... Ella Jamieson trades self-control for a stolen moment with a younger man in "Seduced by the Blues." In "Act Three," Stella Christy is taken by surprise in her fantasy play with two men.

WINTER ... Leah Jones isolates herself to complete her latest book in "The Norwegian" but is soon distracted by a man from her past. Ten years after Elena Lee's torrid love affair, she returns to the land of Mozart in "The Austrian and the Asian" and wonders why she ever left.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Spring into Summer
With locations in England, Ireland, USA, and Thailand ...

These four unique stories span the quiet beginnings of spring to the burning heat of summer.

SPRING ... Life for Claire Pelletier is changed forever when she meets a professor who teaches her a most important lesson in "A Season for Everything." Evelyn Sutton goes in search of a man in "Unlocking the Mystery" and discovers the key to her own heart.

SUMMER ... With an open mind, Ava Connors attends a pagan party but wonders if reality can ever live up to her own fantasies in "Summer Solstice." In "The Lottery," Sierra Zhao sacrifices herself to numerous men to help a friend, fully aware of the consequences.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.


  1. Thanks for the spotlight, James. You provide a wonderful service for authors.

    Really appreciate it, eden

  2. Great post James, comprehensive as always :-)
    Looking forward to the second book Eden :-)

  3. Great interview, James. You've brought out things I didn't know about my favorite writer. Eden is one of the most interesting people.

    1. Dannie, so sweet of you to write a comment on James' excellent site. Thank you. Be sure to connect to him. He's terrific!