Interview with Eden Connor, author of Soft Sounds of Pleasure! Thanks for being with us today!
Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all? Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
I'm fifty-two, widowed, and have lived in the southern United States all my life. My writing is a reflection of two things, my geographic location and my addiction to current events. I read a news story and think: "How would that person react if…?" Then, I make up some facts not in evidence and stick those resulting characters in a town or city south of the Mason-Dixon Line and let 'er rip.
When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
I'm not typical, based on the answers I've seen other writers give to this type of question. I was content to be the person everyone came to when they needed their English paper checked for errors. I did and still do write in a journal. In 2001 lost my beloved maternal grandmother and my husband. A year to the day after my husband died, I lost my grandfather, and in 2005 I lost my mother. After that, I withdrew and tackled my TBR pile. Then I discovered and began buying e-books, one after the other, sometimes two and three a day. I narrowed my reading focus to erotic romances and erotica. From there, it was a short leap to deciding to try my hand at writing one. Why erotic romance? I think, looking back, they reminded me of the pleasure love brings, when I was drowning in the pain of losing loved ones. There's a reason the main character in Soft Sounds of Pleasure is a young widow. I had issues to work through, the social expectations placed on me as a young widow in a small town. Lila Walker is the result, and although her romantic life isn't a reflection of mine, a great deal of the rest of what happens to her is my way of presenting some of the things I faced.
When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
Any time I ever planned ahead, it was time wasted. The characters have a way of telling me the darndest things about themselves in the middle of a story. No amount of planning can take such revelations into account, so I just start with the initial scene my muse hands me and go from there these days. We're all happier for that decision; there's a lot less shouting inside my head. Arguing with people who do not exist gets you some odd looks. Trust me on this.
Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
Yes, I have a little folding laptop desk and it usually sits on my bed. I curl up in front of it and type away. It helps that my children have left home and no one is expecting dinner or clean laundry. Or conversation, for that matter.
Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?
Every character in my books is based in some way on someone I either know or have met, or someone I read about in the news. It can be as small as what kind of music they listen to, the way they dress, or as large as letting my actual mother-in-law have a walk-on part in soft Sounds of Pleasure as Joan Walker.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing or something that you have to do before you start writing?
I don't know if this is a quirk, but I cannot type. I failed typing in high school—yes, it was called 'typing' back then and not 'keyboarding'—and I've only gotten worse in the interim. I have to look at the keys and somehow, what I think in my head is not what comes out of my fingertips. I call my affliction "typing dyslexia", which is a term I made up to explain how I think the word correctly, but somehow, it gets tangled in translation, even though I am looking right at the keyboard. Thank heavens for Word's autocorrect function. If not for that, I doubt I could write for publication.
What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
I believe indie publishing has already redefined mainstream publishing, and will continue to do so for some time to come. If we've learned one thing from the explosion of indie literature, it's that the houses have been turning down some stuff the public wants to read. The success of indies proves, more than anything, that readers will find a good storyteller.
Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
Not yet. Those Devilish De Marco Men is just now gaining attention with the publication of Wildly Inappropriate. But please do write me.
What does your family think of your writing?
My daughter is supportive. She knows my characters as well as I do in many cases. My son is less so. I saw a post on his wife's Facebook page from one of her friends about Fifty Shades of Gray, something like, "What are we gonna read after this?" She never mentioned that her mother-in-law has an erotic romance series out (chuckle) Draw your own conclusions. I know I learned a lot from that.
How has being published changed your life, if any way?
Not much, other than I am pleased at how well received the series has been thus far. I'll keep writing.
What are you currently working on? We would love to know what is coming next from you.
The third book in the series, Eric's story, is open on my desk. I pretty well know the direction the final book in the De Marco series will take. I also have a military romance that needs a publisher, as well as a ménage story in progress. Dirty Secrets and Designer Heels is set in Charleston, South Carolina, where you can take my word for the fact that anything sexual that deviates from the 'norm'--meaning one man and one woman--is going to cause quite a stir.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Write. Write, and in the spaces in between writing and not writing, learn everything you can about your genre, your subgenre, and the craft of writing. Never take edits personally, make the change unless you have a solid reason to believe the editor is wrong. When you get to the editing stage, it's not about your ego; it's about your story and your readers. Then, let it go and start the next one.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Revising the book. The initial draft of Soft Sounds of Pleasure languished in my digital shoebox for a couple of years while I learned what I needed to know in order to fix it. Looking at the response the story has gotten, I'd consider those two years well spent.
What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
Hmm…tough one. I'm not too good at multi-tasking any more. I hold those who write, mother, look after a spouse, and work a full-time job in the highest esteem. I decided to work at writing full time and gave up some pretty dear things in order to do that. Cable television got the axe, as did my cell phone. Are those hardships? They were initially. Now I'm glad I don't have the interruptions or competition for my attention.
What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
Lora Leigh was the author I first recall reading in the new erotic romance genre. (I say new as opposed to older works like Sweet Savage Love and The Wolf and the Dove.) I wanted to write the kind of story she was writing and has written for years, after I read every one of hers I could find still being offered. Lauren Dane's Blossom, Georgia series probably could be said to have sparked the general idea of Those Devilish de Marcos, in that I figured I could write a series set in a small southern town, too. Larissa Ione's Demonica series taught me that I wanted to drag a reader under my spell and hold them there, as she does. Others will have to tell me how I'm doing on those goals.
Favorite flavor of ice cream: Butter Pecan
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite animal: Jeez, just one? I've lived with more dogs than cats, but those teacup pigs are calling me.
Favorite season of the year: Baseball season.
Favorite Author: I cannot name just one. The three ladies referenced above would start the list, however.
Favorite drink: Coffee.
Favorite food: Lobster.Favorite Halloween Candy: Those little bitty Hershey bars. Nuts optional, but much appreciated.
To enter to win a set of e-books, leave a comment below: If you could ask Eden any question, what would it be?
Soft Sounds of Pleasure: Silver Publishing | Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | All Romance
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