Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Conversation with Novelist Eden Baylee

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Eden Baylee
with Eden Baylee

We are delighted to welcome novelist Eden Baylee to Omnimystery News today.

Though a published author in several genres, Eden's first mystery thriller is Stranger at Sunset (lowercase publishing; June 2014 ebook format), a psychological suspense novel as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice.

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Eden about her new book.

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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to Stranger at Sunset and tell us a little more about its lead character.

Eden Baylee
Photo provided courtesy of
Eden Baylee

Eden Baylee: Stranger at Sunset is the first of a trilogy, which features my protagonist, Dr. Kate Hampton. What appeals to me most about her is her sharp mind. I always write intelligent women into my fiction. In this case, Kate is also infused with an odd sense of humor and a warm, somewhat volatile personality. She is a force to be reckoned with, even though you won't necessarily know that right away.

I think both men and women will relate to her, but for different reasons.

OMN: We had a hard time pinning down a category for Stranger at Sunset. How do you categorize it?

EB: I've never been a fan of labels for anything, and that includes books. When I started writing full-time back in 2010, I wrote literary erotica. I have several books of anthologies and novellas in this vein. My latest, Stranger at Sunset is my first novel and considered a psychological mystery/thriller.

Labels give readers an idea of what to expect, and they help marketers promote books. As a writer, however, I've found labels to be restrictive, and I'm not one to be pigeonholed. Given the misunderstanding around erotica, I had to consider the most seamless way to move into a different genre without creating a whole new identity. It helped that I had written flash fiction and short stories in multiple genres previously, but I'm new to the mystery/thriller genre as a novelist.

Many books cross genres. Certainly, authors should be able to as well.

OMN: Give us a summary of the book in a tweet.

EB: I love it when readers give me headlines for my book, so here's one that combines my tagline with one from a reviewer.

Vacation can be a killer in STRANGER AT SUNSET ~ "A psychological mystery/thriller of literary quality."

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in the book?

EB: People I've known inspired the characters, though no character is an accurate portrayal of any one specific person. For some, I've adopted character traits of real people and enhanced them. For others, I've toned down the real-life personalities. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes!

For example, the antagonist, Matthew Kane has traits of someone I knew well. His nemesis in the book, Adam, is modeled after someone I've observed from afar. If these two men ever had to spend a day with each other in real life, they would most certainly kill one another.

OMN: How true are you to the setting of Stranger at Sunset?

EB: The setting of my book is based at a resort in Jamaica, where I have stayed. I took minor liberties with the description, but for the most part, it is accurate.

I enjoyed highlighting different parts of the setting throughout the book — from the people, to the landscape, to the history. No one who reads the book should say "Wow, that is completely inaccurate!” because I represented the setting and history as realistically as possible. It helps that I have been there, but regardless of this fact, there is no excuse to get things wrong unless you are a sloppy researcher or you don't care. In this Internet age, we are able to obtain information to create authentic settings even if we've never visited a place.

The setting is vital for my book because the theme of water is important. Stranger at Sunset takes place in an environment that would not normally lend itself to conflict. That's part of the mystery.

OMN: If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, to research the setting for a book, where would it be?

EB: My next book will take place in Asia, probably Indonesia, Thailand, and Hong Kong. I've been to these locations before, but it's been some years, and I'm due another trip. It's always best to have the sights and sounds of a place fresh in my mind when writing about it. Being there enhances the other senses as well and makes for a more sensual experience for the reader.

OMN: What are some of your outside interests? Have any of these found their way into your books?

EB: I'm a music snob and a fan of 60s and 70s rock, blues, jazz, and I write about music regularly on my blog. There is even a soundtrack available from iTunes, which is the companion piece to Stranger at Sunset. I play harmonica and guitar and both these instruments are present in my book.

I love good conversation, which to my mind is the exchange of ideas (not gossip about people or regurgitating current events). It's the best way to spend my time getting to know someone. You will always find scenes of conversation mixed with prose in my stories.

OMN: Tell us more about the book's cover and title.

EB: I like covers that are discreet, so you will never see full faces portrayed on my books. I prefer the reader to imagine what my characters look like, and I don't provide full details about characters' appearances in my stories. Beauty or ugliness is always in the eye of the beholder.

The cover of Stranger at Sunset can be easily understood by reading the prologue, readily available via the "Look Inside" option on Amazon. I love the "noir-ish" appearance of it, and less is always more for me. My covers represent my writing — spare, but with room to discover more along the way.

Stranger at Sunset wasn't my first title. I had several others including: Strangers in Paradise, Stranger at Sundown, and so on. I settled on Stranger at Sunset because there are several meanings the title can take. "Stranger" can be both a noun and an adjective, and it alludes to how we view others as well as ourselves. "Sunset" refers to the time when a pivotal scene takes place in the book as well as the name of the resort in Jamaica where the story takes place.

OMN: Complete this sentence for us: "I am a psychological mystery/thriller writer and thus I am also ...".

EB: I am a psychological mystery/thriller writer and thus I am also ... adept at analyzing your thoughts while meticulously planning your demise.

OMN: Do you enjoy watching movies?

EB: I love mystery thrillers and gangster films, many directed by David Fincher, the Coen Brothers, Guy Ritchie, and Quentin Tarantino.

Of course, I love the classic directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Mike Leigh. In film, I tend toward off-the-wall characters and storylines that are not linear. It's not all that different from the books I like to read.

OMN: Create a Top 5 list for us on any subject.

EB: Top 5 professions I wanted to be as a child:

• Assassin
• Photojournalist
• Blues guitarist
• Escort
• Gymnast

As you can see, I was always destined to be a writer. There was no way I could do all these things except in fiction.

OMN: What's next for you?

EB: As a full-time author, it's the next book in my series with Kate Hampton, entitled A Fragile Truce. Writing will be balanced with reading, researching, and promoting of my current books. Along the way, I hope to fit in sleep, travel, and some leisure time. Maybe I'll even sneak in a game of Scrabble.

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Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to become a full-time writer. She incorporates many of her favorite things into her writing such as: travel; humor; music; poetry; art; and much more. Stranger at Sunset is her first mystery novel, on the heels of several books of erotic anthologies and short stories. She writes in multiple genres.

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!

To stay apprised of Eden's book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at EdenBayleeBooks.com or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Stranger at Sunset by Eden Baylee

Stranger at Sunset
Eden Baylee
A Suspense Thriller

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?

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)

8 comments:

  1. I really appreciate being featured on your terrific site. Very honoured, and thank you.
    eden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was our pleasure to feature you and to discuss your new book!

      Delete
  2. Very nice interview! My compliments...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Billy Ray, thank you for reading and commenting, very kind of you ;)
      eden

      Delete
  3. You are everywhere these days, Eden. And that's a good thing. I wish you great success with your latest novel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dannie, thank you! And I appreciate your leaving a comment here. I feel very fortunate that Lance has added me on his site,
      eden

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Hehe, William, I was a goofy kid with a wild imagination ;) Thanks for reading and commenting, really appreciate it.

      eden

      Delete

 

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