"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Popular Toronto novelist Eden Baylee is...around the Cauldron

Eden Baylee is a name many fans Stateside and beyond will be familiar with. A Canadian (one of the first to appear around the Cauldron, if not the first),  Eden creates full time and took the brave decision to leave a promising career in finance to pursue a career as an author following a serious illness that caused a panoply of life-is-too-short reflections. 

She is an absolute delight to talk to - upbeat, positive, witty and fun, and for a music beast like your second favourite Wizard, meeting someone as passionate about music as I am was always going to be something to savour. 

I've read two of her pieces and there is no doubt she can write - crisp, clean, linear, unfussy prose that airport thriller readers and fans of, er, the saucy side of the industry would devour in a couple of sittings.  She's a natural for the spinner racks.

Throw a stick in any direction somewhere in Toronto and you'll hit a cool coffee shop full of artists and the bijou...and that's where I found Eden. Here's what she had to say.

Tell Wizardwatchers a bit about yourself, Eden?

Firstly, I want to thank you for having me on your blog, Mr. Wizard. It’s a real pleasure to be here. 

The pleasure is all mine.

As for myself … hmm … I’m a former banker. At the time I left, which was almost twenty years after I first started, I was developing fraud programs to catch bad guys. It was exciting and I made a living at it, but it wasn’t my passion, so I quit the job and have been writing full-time since January 2010. 

Whereabouts are you from?
I was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, so I’m French Canadian though I’ve been living in Toronto now for the majority of my life. 

Toronto is the most populated city in Canada and is extremely diverse. That’s one of the things I love most about it. 

Was becoming a full time writer a good decision? Do you regret it? What life changes have you noticed?

GREAT decision. I don’t regret it for one second. I knew it would not be easy, and I had realistic goals that did not involve becoming rich and famous. Sorry to break the news to any aspiring writers who think becoming an author is a license to print money! 

It’s a clichĂ©, but writing and putting out good work is not a sprint, it’s a marathon—one that lasts a lifetime. For me, it’s work I love, so the hours I put into it fly by and are worth it.
I believe happiness in life accounts for much of my well-being. I had cancer in my thirties and didn’t think I would live to see forty. 

When I made the decision to get out of banking to pursue writing, it was after a long period of soul-searching and emotional upheaval. Much of it revolved around my own unhappiness with what I was doing at the time. 

I don’t believe in regretting things I’ve done. I make peace with a situation and move on. Regrets are more for things we choose NOT to do, for whatever reason. This won’t be the case with me for writing anyway.

Tell us about your latest work.
I released my latest work July 31, 2015, my second novella for the Lei Crime Series of Kindle Worlds. 

Here is a summary of SEAL of a Monk:

The ancient jungles of Kauai provide the perfect setting for self-discovery. 
Despite the terror she experienced on her last trip, Lainey Lee returns to Hawaii to manage a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast.
Twenty-five women are under her care for ten days in a beautiful and remote location. Lainey expects to find inner peace, but four days into the course, one of the meditators disappears without a trace. 

Did the girl leave of her own free will, or was she lured away by a strange cult? Lainey is frantic to answer these questions. As her desperation grows, she finds help from an unexpected source—a retired Navy SEAL named Maximillian Scott.  

Now, Lainey has two mysteries to solve: what happened to the missing girl and the case of her own heart. Can she ever trust a man again? 

For those unfamiliar with Kindle Worlds, it’s a new arm of Amazon where writers can develop stories within an established world of known characters. 

Kindle Worlds Explained

The Lei Crime Series is based on the books of best-selling author, Toby Neal. They take place in Hawaii. I’ve developed my own character named Lainey Lee for the series. She’s a feisty divorcĂ©e who travels to Hawaii and encounters mystery, suspense, and romance.

Can we have an extract?

Day one in the woods.
Late afternoon.
Heavy footsteps and shouting faded behind her sometime ago, but she kept up the grueling pace. The forest fell silent except for the thrumming in her ears as her legs pounded the ground. Every time she tripped on vines or underbrush, she scrambled up and kept running. Her shoes sank into the damp earth, jagged edges where erosion had split the soil like decaying flesh. The terrain changed quickly and often. No time to adjust her speed. She dared not look behind her.
Distance offered safety.
Tenderness in her right ankle worried her, but the adrenaline pumping through her veins kept her going. Fear trumped logic that told her she had to stop. 
Snapping twigs and shoving branches out of the way, her peripheral vision blurred while her surroundings flew by. She blinked back tears and her face stung. Several minutes later, her legs turned to stone pillars. Her lungs were on fire. On the verge of collapse, she slowed down but swerved abruptly to avoid running into a low-hanging branch.
A dry gasp forced out a sudden, sharp cough when she stopped. She clamped her hands over her mouth while the sound echoed like an explosion around her. A flurry of activity hit her senses. Her own heartbeat thumped in her head along with a cacophony above her. She glared up at an open patch of sky to see a flock of yellow birds funnel upward like a tornado. They chirped loudly in unison as if admonishing her for destroying their peace.
She struggled to regain her breath, rolled her aching shoulders to expand her lungs. Ahh … she forgot about the fifty-pound weight on her back. She released the hip belt and dropped the pack to the ground. Relief. While running, she considered unbuckling the sack and discarding it. Crazed as she was at the time, she couldn’t do it. It would’ve been suicide.
Squatted beside her bag, her almond-shaped eyes flittered back and forth for any movement nearby. Scampering sounds came from behind trees like kids playing hide-and-seek. Were they small animals? Or large ones? Every strange noise alerted her to danger, and there were so many she had never heard. 
Crouched down, a different perspective met her view, all of it foreign to her—dense, tropical forest with no clear path, no posted signs. The boughs of conifers loomed over her like giant arms. Were they pines? She couldn’t be sure, never paid much attention to plant life in the city. 
She was in deep trouble. 

What is your personal favourite creation?
Wow, this is like choosing a favourite child. Not easy. And I don’t even have kids.

Over 70 5* reviews and rising

I think I’m most proud of my novel, Stranger at Sunset, which is the first of a trilogy with my protagonist, Dr. Kate Hampton. 

UK Readers - BUY Eden's Work HERE

US Readers - BUY Eden''s Work HERE

It’s also the first full-length novel I’ve written. That in itself was not easy for me, as I’m a writer of flash fiction and novellas primarily. 

Going from a maximum of 30K words prior to writing Stranger at Sunset to 70K was tough as hell. 

I’m an economical writer, not particularly verbose in either writing or speech. The discipline to write a novel is different than short pieces. My brain hurt at the end of it, like it had been rewired. 

It was completely worth the pain, though. 
Stranger at Sunset takes place in Jamaica at a resort next to Goldeneye, which was once owned by Ian Fleming of James Bond fame. 

Goldeneye - Ian Fleming's old residence

I think your readers might enjoy it, and it’s on sale for the summer at 99 cents. It’s a sexy, psychological mystery/thriller. 

Now you are a pro, does the need to make money to survive transcend the need to write  “artistic” or uncommercial work?

I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive, but I do understand the question.  Ultimately, I don’t chase a trend. 
The truth is, trends come and go, and I need to be true to myself otherwise my writing will not ring true. Readers are intelligent, and they know an author’s voice once they get used to it. It’s not to say that one cannot change a style of writing, but if I were to suddenly write zombie stories – it would be the most sad-ass excuse for fiction ever. It’s not something I have interest in, though it’s extremely popular and commercial right now.

My writing is steeped in reality and the motivations of people – sometimes these motivations are dark, sometimes they’re sexual, and sometimes they are both. 

With these elements as my foundation, I’ve written erotica, romance, thriller, mystery and suspense. These genres suit what I enjoy reading and writing.

Speaking of erotica, you were known as an erotica writer when you started. With your latest are you moving away from that genre towards the mainstream?

I don’t consider erotica ‘out of the mainstream,’ but it has its challenges. I’ve been reading good erotica since I was eleven. Story of O was my introduction. 

I read the classics, and my definition of erotic writing is not “insert body part A into body part B, with ooh-ing and ahh-ing in between.”  An erotic story happens long before the sexual act and the orgasm. 

I loved writing erotica. It goes back to the motivations of people I spoke of earlier. I wanted to explore why two or more people may want to connect. The foreplay leading up to the sex is so much more important and arousing than the sex. I’m not particularly great at writing sex. What interests me happens before and after it. 

I will not say I’m never writing erotica again, but I always had a feeling it would run its course. I’ve loved mysteries and suspense novels with an erotic slant, so this seemed like the natural progression for me. 

What’s your favourite a) book  b) film  c) CD/band

Oh god, so hard to choose! So I’m giving 3 for each ok? Pretty please.  **BIG toothy smile**

Oh, go on then!

The Magus by John Fowles

The Shadow of the Wind

Ham on Rye 

Straw Dogs 

Midnight Cowboy

Godfather 1 and 2 

Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic CD

Pink Floyd

and Eric Clapton

You are a big music fan. Have you seen any decent bands lately?

Yes! I just saw Peter Frampton for the first time. I’ve loved him since I was a kid. 

He played with Cheap Trick in Toronto recently. I was familiar with all the music, and Frampton was (swoon) breathlessly good. I cried. 

You can read all about my experience at the concert on my blog: 


I write about music every Monday. It’s one of the great pleasures of life for me to share music that I love. In many ways, it helps me rediscover an artist or a song all over again. 

You can read all my music posts here too: http://edenbaylee.com/category/musical-mondays/
It’s a great way to start off the week for me!

Who is your hero/heroine? Invite them for dinner – what would you eat?
Wow. What a question! 
I would have loved to meet Charles Bukowski, only because he was such a surly old bugger. 

I’d cook — something East Indian and spicy, basmati rice, a side of saag paneer and garlic naan, red wine. 

The Laguna in Nottingham - one of the best Indians in the UK, and stubbornly
lacking in pretension. Eden and Buk would love it here (Ed).
And afterward, we’d split a bottle of Scotch and talk books and life until the early morning.

 What next for Eden Baylee?
I’m enjoying the summer because it is much too short. I’m also working on book 2 of my trilogy. It follows Stranger at Sunset and it’s called A Fragile Truce, which funny enough, was a title I nabbed from a Rolling Stone cover in reference to The Police

I NEVER have a title to a book before I finish it, but somehow this one jumped out at me right after I completed the first book...Karma!! … so I’m rolling with it ha ha.

Eden, thanks for coming. It's been a pleasure and I wish you and your readers all the best for the coming year and beyond.

Thanks again Mr. Wizard for having me around the Cauldron So appreciate it.

Contacting Eden






“If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.”  (Charles Bukowski, Factotum)


  1. Love that extract Eden! It's good to meet you and I shall go check out your work as I like the sound of your mystery and suspense novels with an erotic slant. Terrific last quote there as well in a brilliant as ever interview Wiz :-)

    1. Hi Georgia, lovely to meet you and thanks for commenting here. I hope you enjoy the books, and I do agree with the Wiz's final quote.

      I must watch the film as he has recommended too.

  2. Great interview; best of luck with sales, Eden.

    1. Hi Mary Ann, great to see you again, thank you for your support! Hope life is treating you well. xo

  3. Oh gosh! I loved this interview. Ate it right up. Eden on a platter!!!! What I love most about Eden's work is her abilty to tell a great story with out having to over-word it. She has a way of telling a tale that you can visualize but she gets right to the meat of things. She takes you by the hand and takes you there. There is a real gift in that. She is a great discovery of mine so I must must must take ALL the credit. Hahahaha.

    Great post. Adore Eden's pashion for music and real life existance. Humanity. I agree, the act of sex is much less interesting than the before and after. I so get that. Hum, this girl knows what she is talking about and it comes across in her stories.

    So sorry about the cancer. That makes us warriors and you do it up proud Eden. I am in awe of your togetherness, your style, and ability to tell a fictional story that feels authentic.

    Oh and thanks for Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic. That song is a feel good for me!

    Can't wait for Fragile Truce. Fab title!

    1. Brenda, I connected with the Wizard because of your interview, so kudos to you for bringing me across the pond! Thank you for being such a pedant. You have an incredible eye for words and mis-words and repetitive-words, so it's a great compliment that you like my work. xox

      Warriors unite sooner or later, and I knew that about you early on, Brenda. Strong women just gravitate to each other. So happy we are friends in this crazy business!

      Thanks for your support and incredibly warm presence on the interwebs.


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  4. Mr Green, Wiz, Green Wizard ... you may have more pen names than me! Thanks for the opportunity to share with you and your readers. It was great fun to answer your questions and chat.

    Love the final quote you used and I will definitely watch the film even if I can't imagine Dillon in the role of Buk.

    And ... The Laguna looks exactly like a place where I'd love to eat. Good food trumps good decor anyday!

    Many thanks again for your time and care in putting together such a comprehensive interview. Really honoured.

    eden xo

    1. You're welcome, Eden. Great fun. And thanks to Brenda for introducing us, though I spotted you on ASMSG (or whatever) on many occasions - you have a nice brand!

      Nah, just the two pseudonyums. Wiz Green is my publisher name (I run a business) but I write under my real name :-D

      Always a delight to meet someone new with similar interests - Floyd and Bukowski in the same interview! And I've never seen Toronto's skysscape before yesterday. I have been to Canada - Halifax, in NS. Toronto is on my bucket list - especially for Woodbine racecourse - but I have heard great things about the city in general.

      Anyway, enough natter! Off to Twitter. Best of luck and speak soon. Mark xo

    2. Yes, huge thanks to Brenda for the intro. She's a doll. And I cannot believe you made it all the way to Canada to go to Halifax, but not Toronto. It's only a short plane ride away and there is much more to do. Next time. It'd be great to meet up! Thanks again for the interview.

    3. I'm already looking forward to some of that great Toronto Indian food :-) Be warned...I like it eye-wateringly hot ;-) #lagunasunrise

    4. Ok, here are just a few places to whet your appetite http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_indian_restaurants_in_toronto/

      Many different regions too. Great for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Hurry up and book your plane ticket! eden

  5. Wow what a great interview - I'm heading straight over to Amazon to investigate Eden's work now. What an inspiration, I love hearing about people who are brave enough to pursue a happy life rather than sticking with the more conventional path :D

    1. Hi E.L.,

      Thanks so much for your comment here on Mr. Wizard's great blog. I'm not sure bravery had much to do with it as much as fear -- fear that I'd one day wake up and still be working in a job I didn't like -- miserable, unhappy, and by then, I'd say ... uh oh... now it's too late to do anything about it. I should have jumped 20 years ago when I had the chance. I really did not want this to happen, so I took a leap.

      It hasn't been easy, but it is pursuing a passion , and I feel very fortunate I've been able to do it,


  6. Cool interview and interesting author.

  7. Hi Toinette,

    So cool to meet you, thanks for commenting too :)

  8. Great interview Eden - I'm a big fan of Charles Bukowski - that would be a very interesting dinner guest indeed ;-)

    1. Christoph, so great to see you here! It would be something to gather with a few of us -- you, me , Buk, Wiz, Brenda, and select others for a feast! A dinner to remember! xox

      Thanks for commenting, hon, really appreciate your visit.


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