Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I've been writing since I was eight years old, but it was only about 7 years ago that it occurred to me to try and get published. I contracted my first e-book in 2005 with Phaze, and that story, HEATWAVE, is still available. It's been a whirlwind ever since! I currently have e-books with Phaze and Harlequin Spice Briefs, and am in print with Bantam, Berkley and Magic Carpet Books.
I was born in Hollywood and have always lived in California, moving between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. I 'm currently back in Southern California and think I'm here to stay. I love the warm weather! What else? I love rock music, have a terrible shoe habit, and get through my deadlines by eating far too much chocolate. This year it's chocolate-covered peanut-butter pretzels-I can eat an entire bag in a day if I'm not careful!
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Well, I sort of am one or two of my characters! There are definitely parts of me in all of them. But if I had to really be any of them, I'd be Rowan from my debut Bantam novel, THE DARK GARDEN. She's smart, utterly competent, and bravely faces her demons to find love.
Who or what influences you when you write?
My mood is very heavily influenced by music, so I choose my playlist carefully when I write. I have a romantic playlist, an angry playlist, several sad playlists.I love sad, moody music, anything that makes me feel. Several authors have been enormous influences on my writing voice, including Tanith Lee and Anne Rice, although I think that while I've learned from them and loved the tone of their books, I've taken what I've found in their work and developed my own voice.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Almost every day is a writing day for me. I've had one book after another contracted for the last couple of years, so it's rare that I take a break. And I find that if I miss more than a day or two, it's hard for me to get back into the habit of writing.
Most days go something like this:
I get up late (I'm a terrible insomniac and am never asleep before 1AM, sometimes 2AM). I sit down in front of my computer first thing with a cup of Earl Grey tea with plenty of sugar. While I'm waiting for my brain to kick in, I sift through my email. I have several accounts-one for personal email, one for business, and one just for Romance Divas, a writer's resource website and discussion forum where I've been an administrator since we opened in November 2004. During the day I'll set up interviews and book signings, do some blogging (although not nearly as often as I should-I'm a terrible blogger but am trying to get better!) critique for my critique partners, pay bills, play with my dog. There are a million little tasks in promoting my work, so there's almost always something to attend to. Sometimes I get up and do a little housework mid-day if my house is lucky. I'll make some phone calls to friends, family, my agent, maybe go grocery shopping, which is one of the few times I get out of the house. Oh-and I may even change out of my pajamas! I usually start to write in the late afternoon, and will often write until ten or eleven at night, and it's not entirely unusual to find me still working at midnight.
One or two Sundays a month I try to get together to write with a bunch of writer friends at a local coffee house. In truth, we don't get much writing done, but we do brainstorm quite a bit, and that face-to-face contact with other writers helps me survive the isolation of being a full-time writer.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My next release from Bantam is FORBIDDEN FRUIT, coming out in October, a sensual tale of a complex relationship, and a woman's exploration of her fantasies involving food.
Here's the blurb:
Sometimes the forbidden.
One taste is never enough.
For university professor Mia Rose Curry, it was all academic: her course in alternate sexuality was a safe, socially-acceptable way for her to talk about the things she desires most-but has never let herself experience. And while students crammed into her class to learn about fetishes, bondage, voyeurism and much more, Mia kept her own raging desires, and her most private fantasies, carefully under wraps.until one man dares to make her secret passions a brazen reality.
Jagger James is everything Mia wants and everything taboo: he's gorgeous, daring.and a student. Yet Mia can't help imagining his hands, his lips, his skin...all the while drawing closer and closer to this forbidden fruit. She soon discovers how much Jagger wants her, demanding she abandon every inhibition with him. Now, they are about to take a dangerous step, tempting each other's flesh, savoring every touch and breaking every rule-knowing that this dazzling, sensual feast is only a taste of something more.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
Right now I'm finishing my sixth book for Bantam, currently titled A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN, and I have to tell you, this is the first time I've discussed this book publicly!
This story is very different from anything else I've done, and from what I've seen on the shelves. My heroine, Valentine, is a high-class call girl-and yes, it is a romance! I wrote this book in first person because I felt the best way for my readers to get past what she does for a living and empathize with her was to put them right into her head. She's very human, vulnerable, and I hope my readers love her story as much as I do.
Once that's done it's onto my next book, which will be about Shibari, the Japanese art of rope bondage. I'm excited to get back to a story involving power play, one of favorite subjects! Both of these books will be out in 2009.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
I realized just the other night that Sawyer on Lost is my perfect kind of hero. He's a bad boy, which I love, dark and full of angst, but when he loves, he loves fully, and will sacrifice anything for the woman who holds his heart.
Of my own heroes? It's impossible to pick a favorite; I love all the men I write. Like Sawyer, they all have a little bad boy in them-or a lot, like Tristan Batiste, my hero in THE ART OF DESIRE, my story in the HOT NIGHTS, DARK DESIRES anthology, which was just released on May 20th. He's a tattoo artist with a dark past, a little angry, a little sad, and when he falls, he falls hard. And since I love tattoos on a man, his tattoos don't hurt, either! That and his sexy New Orleans drawl just make me sigh.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I have an idea for a women's fiction book-something very serious, very subtle, completely character-driven. Think Oprah's book club sort of book. I have no idea when I'll have time to write it, or if that would even be a good direction for my career, but I think it would be interesting-and different for me-to take on a book with no sex in it. I would love to be able to write chick lit, which I love to read. I have two ideas fully outlined, but I'm just not funny, so those outlines will die a long, slow death in the bottom drawer of my desk.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I do outline. For a number of years I considered myself a hard-core pantser, but now that I sell on proposal, I have to outline to sell a book. This was excruciating at first, but I've come to realize the advantages of sitting down and brainstorming a book before I begin to write-partly on my own and partly with my critique partners and a few trusted writer friends. It gives me the chance to think through my character motivation, to really get to know my characters and what drives them, which ultimately makes for a better book.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I don't belong to a group, but I do have two critique partners. One I've had for 6 « years-Gemma Halliday, who writes hysterical chick lit mysteries. I am totally superstitious about sending anything out without her reading it first. She knows my voice better than anyone, and can always tell me when I get off track. My other crit partner is Lillian Feisty-an incredibly talented erotic romance writer. They each look for different things when they read my work, so I get a really well-rounded view between them. They are people I trust utterly.
I also have a couple of beta readers, just to get an overall opinion and to point out plot holes.
I think having someone else read my work is invaluable. I'm just too close to my own writing to be capable of being completely objective. I think that's probably true of all writers.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I love to hear from readers! They can find me on the Internet at my website: www.EdenBradley.com At my blog: http://edenbradley.blogspot.com/ Or on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/edenbradley Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King