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!
Thank you Eden, for sharing your story with us.
Before we launch into question time – could you tell us a bit about Eden Baylee, where you grew up, where you live now and your journey into the workforce…
Thank you Fiona for inviting me to appear on your website. I’m truly honoured. I was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It’s a French province, so I grew up speaking English, French, and two dialects of Chinese. Along with my two siblings, we lived with my grandfather in his house. My stay-at-home mom brought me up, and because my dad worked out of town four days a week, my grandfather was my strongest male role model. He was a carpenter and encouraged me to help him build things. I owe a lot of my fearlessness to him.
I moved to Toronto for University and have been here ever since. Though I did my undergrad with the aim to enter Psychiatry, I switched to Finance and became a banker. After twenty years working for one of the major banks in Canada, I left the traditional workforce in 2010 to write full-time.
I think it’s very courageous when a woman changes career for something completely different. I admire your courage and fearlessness!
What made you decide to transition from banking to launching a career in writing?
It’s been a lifelong ambition for me to be an author. Reading was a passion at an early age. I read Story of O before I was eleven and was so taken by the story and the words. Of course, it was erotica and corrupted me somewhat, but it opened that door in my mind that wanted to create. I wanted to write and make others feel like how I felt when I read that book. Writing took hold later when I entered high school. I had an English teacher who encouraged me with my writing, and it really boosted my confidence.
Another motivating factor was that I had cancer in my early thirties. It created a lot of uncertainty in my life and made me realize life is too short to continue doing something I wasn’t passionate about. It was difficult to jump into the abyss of a new career, but I did.
Ultimately, I didn’t want to regret that I had the opportunity to pursue writing but chose not to out of fear.
You are truly courageous and an inspiration Eden. What have been your biggest motivators?
So many things —music (I’m a huge audiophile), serendipitous encounters, fearless people, random acts of kindness, just to name a few.
I love that! Who would you say has been your biggest source of inspiration & why?
It’s not any one person. I can name a few writers I’ve admired for various reasons: Charles Bukowski for his brash honesty and brevity; John Fowles for his imaginative storytelling; John Steinbeck for his masterful prose; and countless poets who’ve inspired me to think differently about my writing.
Many musical talents have also inspired me with their lyrics and style – Paul Simon, David Bowie, the Beatles.
I believe inspiration can hit at any time if we are open to it. Whether it’s at an art gallery, a movie theatre, or an encounter with someone who makes me see something outside the norm, I am always ready to be “wowed.” It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s great when it does.
Tell us in 25 words or less how your friends would describe you?
This is a hard question! They might say: She is always open to trying new things and doesn’t mind making a fool of herself. She also has a wacky sense of humour.
Sounds like you’re an adventurous, cool chick! What advice would you give to women looking to transition into writing?
Plan ahead, manage your expectations, and learn as much as you can. Not everyone can leave a job to write full-time like I did. Every woman has to assess her own situation to determine how much time she wants to devote to writing. It’s a fine balance based on all the things most women must juggle day-to-day: a job, family, and most importantly, caring for herself so she can nurture her creativity.
If you want to earn a living with writing, you need to treat it like a serious job, not a hobby. This does not mean you have to be writing 24/7. Even if you can only give an hour a day to it, the most important thing is to build discipline. Create a daily schedule to write, edit, read, or research. It’s this routine that will create the foundation for your first paragraph which will morph into your first chapter, and eventually, into your first novel.
Know that writing is not a “get rich” scheme. It’s long hours and perseverance, and lots of self-doubt. On most days, my thoughts are the only things keeping me company. As such, do it because you love to write and not for any other reason.
Great advice. I will take that on board for myself also. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I’m assuming you mean about writing. If not, it was probably: “Don’t eat yellow snow.” **smile**
Seriously … advice for me means a few words that help me do something better, so I hope the following qualifies.
Annetta Ribken, my award-winning editor has improved my writing through numerous books, but the one thing she has done to help my writing can’t even be considered “advice.” When she hands back the first round of edits on my manuscript, she highlights certain passages with: “You can do better than this.”
It’s a kick in the gut, but she knows I’m not someone who needs a lot of hand-holding. I like her honesty even if we have to battle it out a little until I’m satisfied with the end result.
Sometimes I get lazy in my writing, and she pushes me to do better.
Hahaha too funny “yellow snow”.
Annetta sounds like an inspirational lady too. You certainly have an easy expressive style which inspires me. If you could live your life over, is there anything you would do differently knowing what you know now?
Of course, and anyone who says “no” is a damn liar! Everyday is a learning experience, so the years are made up of numerous lessons. One thing would be I wish I had more self-confidence as an adolescent. It may have pushed me to pursue writing instead of the more conservative and financially stable job of banking, but then … my entire life would be a different story.
So true. What is the most important lesson you’ve ever learned?
Be happy and laugh lots. Without happiness and laughter, life is simply existence.
Agreed! How would you define your style?
I’m a serious person most of the time, but sometimes I’m goofy and I don’t mind poking fun at myself to make others laugh.
What’s one thing people wouldn’t know about you?
Hard to say, I’m an open book, really … I was a nudist, not sure everyone knows that.
They do now! Hehehehe
Fun Lightning Round…
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Somewhere hot with sun and ocean.
What can’t you live without?
Love, laughter, kind words.
Favourite Actress and why?
Helen Mirren. She’s wickedly beautiful in every role.
Who doesn’t love Helen Mirren, she is so talented and gorgeous! How do you relax?
Hot yoga and meditation.
So many! Right now, a kale/fig/mint salad with pepitas, pomegranate seeds, and goat cheese.
Most guilty pleasure?
My vibrators, though I have no guilt around them.
You crack me up!!! What’s your favourite curse word and why?
Fuck—as a noun, verb, or any variation in the adjective or adverb form. It’s a versatile and powerful curse when properly delivered—with gusto!
Love it lol!
Thanks again for having me here, Fiona, much appreciated! I hope your readers enjoy the interview.
Thank you more Eden for the opportunity to read your book. I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want it to finish. It was suspenseful (is that a word? It is now), dramatic, engaging and colourful. It had me at the get go. A great read! I highly recommend it.
There you have it ladies…
For a chance to win one of Eden’s amazing novels:
1. add a friend to the mailing list to keep in touch with the latest stories/interviews and
2. send in your most favourite motivational quote for a chance to win.
It has been an absolute pleasure having you here Eden, I love your wit and frankness, you’re a ‘breath of fresh air’.
Our readers will no doubt have a good giggle and jump at the chance to get hold of one of your amazing e-books.
Thank you, EDEN xo!
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