Jen: Readers, please help me welcome Eden Robbins to Book Talk this week. Eden, will you please share a short bio with us?
Eden: EDEN ROBINS aka E. R. MITCHELL hears voices in her head. Her characters’ voices, that is. She loves creating new worlds and complex characters that always seem to find their way into one sticky predicament or another. She enjoys helping them get untangled from these situations, only to find themselves entangled in love affairs that will last for all time. With the success of her futuristic Tomorrow trilogy and After Sundown paranormal series Eden is happily and firmly entrenched in the wonderful world of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
Jen: Tell us about AFTER SUNDOWN: ILLUMINATION and where it’s available.
Eden: The third book in my paranormal AFTER SUNDOWN series, ILLUMINATION is currently available as an e-book, but I’m hopeful it will be available in print by spring 2010. This book, as well as print or e-book copies of the first two books in the series, Redemption and Salvation, are for sale at a bookstore near you, online bookstores and directly through my publisher’s site: www.cerridwenpress.com.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Eden: I’ve been writing since I was in grade school, but I didn’t know until after I graduated college and started a family that I truly wanted to be a writer. That epiphany came on the heels of the death of a family member. That death sparked an intense and undeniable creative motivation in me.
My very first story was Never Until Tomorrow. A book that later kicked off my futuristic TOMORROW series. I self-published that first story through iUniverse and was thrilled with what the whole process taught me. That story as well as two other stories in that series were later picked up by another publisher and re-released through them. The second book in that series, All Our Tomorrows, won a number of awards and helped propel me forward in my writing career.
The story that could be considered my real “call story”, however, was the very first paranormal romance I wrote. A ghost story entitled, Yesterday’s Promise. I loved creating this book, fell in love with the history of the area I wrote about-St. Augustine, Florida, and had a hard time letting go of the tragic, yet incredibly charming hero in this ghostly tale. I submitted my work via e-mail and within a week an editor contacted me and told me she wanted to publish it. I had made my first sale! I did the happy dance, of course, then floated on cloud nine the rest of the day, despite my family’s curious looks.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Eden: My daughter is a fantastic writer. She has the kind of voice that grabs a reader and draws them in right away. I’ve been supporting her efforts, helping her when she lets me (she’s very independent) and am proud of that fact that she too has the “writing bug”!
My mother co-wrote a true crime story years ago. That was something she wanted to do just for herself rather than to pursue a career as a writer. Though she’s not a full time writer, she’s creative in so many other ways that I can’t fit them all on this page. She’s also my full time cheerleader. Thanks mom!
Jen: How does your family handle the time that you write? Are they supportive or disruptive?
Eden: It depends on the day, hour or minute! LOL Most of the time my family is very supportive of my writing and encourages me to pursue my dreams.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Eden: Dark. Dangerous. Decadent. It’s my tag line, but I think it holds true. I like to examine the darker side of characters, I enjoy putting them in situations that are dangerous and suspenseful and I can’t imagine a story with a little bit of decadent heat. After all, what’s a little darkness and danger without the spice?
Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Eden: Not really. Well, okay. Coffee in the morning is a must to get my brain moving. Also chocolate close at hand as my secret stash and special reward for a good day of writing is something I enjoy. And more often than I’d like to admit I need to blast some hard rock so loud the speakers vibrate to get the creative juices flowing.
Jen: How many hours a day do you write?
Eden: As many as I can. I work a day job as well as being a single mom, so I write when the moments are available. That usually ends up being very early in the morning. A creative peak time for me, as it turns out, so that works out well. Generally I don’t limit my writing by hours. Rather, I like to accomplish a certain word count each day to feel productive.
That method was recently reinforced for me when I entered the November 2009 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) contest. Last month I vowed to write 50,000 words in one month. Over 170,000 writers entered this contest this year, from all over the world. Only about 3% on average each year reach the goal by the end of the month. I am very excited to say that I reached that goal and wrote close to 55,000 words by midnight November 30th under my new pen name, E. R. Mitchell! And if that weren’t enough to give me a kick in the pants, that story, more than half way written thanks to NaNoWriMo is my very first attempt at writing an Inspirational Paranormal tale. I’m thrilled to be heading in this new direction, a direction I didn’t know if I could handle. Now, after having completed that month long writing marathon, I know not only that I can do it, but that this new subgenre is the right one for me.
The annual NaNoWriMo contest is wonderful for anyone who wants to really push themselves to write a story, reinforce that they can write a story, or just help motivate them to get serious about writing for the first time or getting back into it. I loved the challenge and feel renewed in my writing because of it. The experience also reminded me that by just getting down a set number of words each day I feel productive in my career. What I write can be crap, but I always remember that crap can be edited. A page with no words at all can’t. Please check out www.nanowrimo.org if you’d like to learn more about this wonderful nonprofit project.
Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Eden: What doesn’t appeal to me should be the question.
Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Eden: I love to celebrate with my family. When a new book comes out or I make a new sale, I share my joy with them and they support me with lots of love and encouragement. Okay, a little chocolate plays in this scenario as well, but can you blame me? If you can’t eat chocolate then, when can you?
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Eden: So many wonderful writers out there, so little time. If I had to name some-but not all, in no particular order they would be: Stephen King, Cheyenne McCray, Sherrilyn Kenyon, William Shakespeare, Patricia Briggs, Edgar Allen Poe, Jim Butcher, Jane Austen, Ann Rice, Christine Feehan, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Laurie Schnebly Campbell, Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber, Dara Joy, J.R. Ward, Connie Flynn. Linda Style, John Milton, Sue Grant, Catherine Asaro, Laurell K. Hamilton… okay I should stop here. I know, I know I’m getting carried away, but you did ask. A well written story touches me. These authors, through their work have touched me in a such a way that I’ll never forget them. They helped create one more step, one more inspiration to help me move forward in my writing career. Corny? Maybe. But absolutely, without a doubt, one hundred percent truth.
Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?
Eden: Generally I have a hard time letting go. I become attached to my characters because they’ve become my friends. I’ve had to make them my friends so I could get into their heads and write about them in a way that is real and true to who they are.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Eden: Free what?
Jen: What’s next for you?
Eden: No. You didn’t just ask that, did you? You did? Okay
As I mentioned earlier, I’m in the process of writing my very first paranormal inspirational. It’s destined to be part of, yes you guessed it, a series called THE FALLEN. The first book in the series, SECOND CHANCES. is what I wrote as part of the NaNoWrioMo contest. I plan to finish that work, polish it up and get it published as soon as possible. I’m very excited about this new effort and hope you will be too.
In addition to my new paranormal inspirational series, I’ve also recently completed my first official Urban Fantasy entitled, GOLD: HEART OF A WARRIOR. This tale, also written under my new pen name, E. R. Mitchell is the set up to the beginning of a continuity series. It’s a quirky mix of Greek Gods, demons, hunky immortal warriors and Pandora’s Box. The lead characters in this contemporary story are none other than Pandora (yes the Pandora who opened that dreaded box) and Philoctetes, one of the Goddess Demeter’s biggest bad ass Golden Warriors. If you enjoyed reading Milton’s Paradise Lost, liked watching the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Zena Warrior Princess and are getting into the fresh, new Twilight books and movies, this is the series for you. Everything from shape shifters to Aphrodite pop up at the strangest times in this tale, and believe me there’s much more to come in that direction!
Last but not least, I’ve opened my writing up in a whole new arena. I completed a nonfiction inspirational work this year entitled, DON’T GO BACK TO SLEEP! under my tried and true name, Eden Robins. This “wake up and live” project was years in the making and stems from the Monthly Garden essay and newsletter I’ve been sending out to folks since 2003. This newsletter started out as simply a message about life that I shared with friends. Whether it was a lesson I had learned or an experience that truly touched my soul, I felt the need to share it with those I cared about. And in time they shared it with others. My newsletter readership has grown to now reach out to over 15,000 friends around the world. Some of whom have encouraged me to put together a compilation of these life lessons I’ve included in each month’s newsletter. I wasn’t sure where to begin in this endeavor until events and people I knew and had yet to meet guided me in the right direction. It was then that I began to piece together a part of my life and the multitude of experiences and life lessons I’ve learned into a true work of my heart. DON’T GO BACK TO SLEEP! is book that I hope will help to heal and inspire others in their own lives, just as it’s healed and inspired me.
If you’d like a sneak peek of my latest works in progress under my new pen name E.R Mitchell, including a “taste of gold” please check it out at www.textnovel.com. GOLD: HEART OF A WARRIOR, is posted there as is a new, steamy, too hot to handle (and definitely over eighteen only), older woman and younger man tale I’m putting together and hope to sell to Ellora’s Cave entitled, LAB LOCK DOWN. Also, I’ll be posting a little tidbit of THE FALLEN: SECOND CHANCES on that site soon, so come on by, type in the title you’re interested in at the top of the page in the search box and check it out. I’ve also posted a preface about DON’T GO BACK TO SLEEP! under Eden Robins at the Textnovel site. Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think! I truly want to hear from you. In fact, I’m interested in setting up a group of “pre-readers” to let me know their thoughts on my work. Interested? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! 🙂
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Eden: Please look for me here:
My website: www.edenrobins.com or contact me directly at email@example.com
You’ll also find me “Tweeting” on Twitter and “Friending” on Facebook.
And once again, you can get a preview of my upcoming books at www.textnovel.com
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Eden: Absolutely! One thing, okay, maybe three. May I ask three questions?
First, one thing like to hear from readers is what tales stand out in their mind. What kind of plot takes you away from the here and now as you’re swept away into the lives of new characters and their stories? Can you give me an example of one of your favorites and why you like it so much?
Second, what would you consider an absolute taboo in the books you read? What is totally unacceptable in a story line, relationship or character and why?
Third, how would you define a hero? What makes someone a hero in your mind? And if you have a real life hero (man, woman or child) in your life, how has that person directly affected your reality?
Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to blog on Booktalk. I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions and I hope to hear answers to my questions from some of your readers!
Jen: Readers, Eden is giving away an autographed copy of Beneath a Christmas Moon. Her story, LANDER’S MOON, is one of the three Christmas tales in this collection. This contest is limited to US residents only. To enter, you must first leave a comment or question for Eden. Then to finish your entry, you need to either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The contest will end on Sunday, December 20.