When asked to participate in the EXCLUSIVE Anthology for Berkley Heat, I was very fortunate to be allowed to work with two incredible authors.
Since y’all get to hear about mememe all the time, I thought I’d introduce you to the two authors who are in the EXCLUSIVE anthology with me. Today, it’s Eden Bradley.
I asked Eden a few questions, and she was nice enough to respond. And there’s a juicy excerpt from her novella in the EXCLUSIVE anthology at the end of her interview, so be sure to take a peek!
Interview and excerpt after the jump
Tell me a little bit about yourself as a writer. What was your road to publication? How long did it take and what is your first published book?
I wrote my first novel in my early twenties (a long time ago!), but it was only about six years ago when it occurred to me that I could try to get a book published. I started out trying to write steamy category romance, but after 3 ½ books (and 3 rejections) I went back to what I really loved: erotica.
The first book I sold was, ironically, one of those steamy romances (it’s no longer in print), but a few weeks later I sold my first erotic story to Phaze, my e-publisher, early in 2005. Heatwave, a contemporary erotic romance, is still available there.
I kept writing, kept learning, and was fortunate enough to be mentored by some really wonderful authors along the way. One of the biggest gifts for me as a writer has been Romance Divas, a writer’s resource website and discussion forum, where I’ve been an administrator since 2004. This group has provided tremendous support, and I learned much of what I know about writing craft and surviving in the industry from the published authors there who have been so generous with their time.
In early 2006 I signed my agent, Roberta Brown, and my first New York sale happened very quickly. Within a few weeks my first two books, THE DARK GARDEN and THE DARKER SIDE OF PLEASURE, were in a bidding war. I ended up with Bantam, which I was thrilled about-and still am! I’ve now sold six novels to Bantam and one novella, as well as a novella to Berkley Heat. That novella is SANCTUARY, my story in the EXCLUSIVE anthology I’m in with you and Lisa Renee Jones. And I have to say, I was really thrilled and a bit star-struck when I found out I was going to share an anthology with you!
What do you think is easier about writing novellas for an anthology versus writing a single title? What’s harder about it?
I think novellas are their own particular challenge, but I love doing them. When writing shorter, everything must be very tight and concise. You can’t waste a single sentence-it all has to count. It’s very good discipline; it makes you really evaluate your work. Making shorter word count is usually easier for me, and since there’s just not enough room to truly develop secondary characters or subplots, I love being able to focus everything on the primary characters.
We like to talk about books here on my blog, and about what everyone’s reading? So what are you reading right now, and what upcoming books are you looking forward to grabbing as soon as they’re released?
I just finished a wonderful book, THE MEN’S GUIDE TO THE WOMEN’S BATHROOM by Jo Barrett. It’s funny and poignant and so true! I’d call it comedic women’s fiction, or maybe chick lit, which is mostly what I read. I’m not sure what’s up next. I have an Elizabeth Bear book sitting on my nightstand (brilliant sci-fi author!), or maybe I’ll get to Jina Bacarr’s NAUGHTY PARIS.
What do you do when you’re not writing? I know, we’re always writing, right? Heh. But seriously, what do you do during the downtime, when you need to step away from the computer?
I have a rather extreme shopping fetish-especially shoes, although a friend has recently introduced me to purses. I also love to lay out by my pool. I know, we’re not supposed to tan, but I’m a California girl! So maybe once a week I’ll lay there, and swim for an hour or two. I’m also a huge art geek, so I love to go to museums. If I want to spoil myself I’ll go get a spa pedicure with a girlfriend, or go out to a nice dinner with my boyfriend.
What’s your typical writing day like? Do you do a certain number of pages a day, do you set goals, or do you just sit down at the computer and whatever happens…happens?
I set weekly goals. Right now I’m on thirty pages a week, but it’ll have to go to fifty soon if I want to make my next deadline with enough time to really give it a good polish and edit without panicking. I try to write at least 5 days a week. I find if I take a break for more than a day I get off track and it’s hard to get motivated again.
Tell us about your story in the EXCLUSIVE anthology. What’s it about?
SANCTUARY is one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written! Maybe because there are scenes from my own life in there-I’m not saying which ones!
In this story, Devin Delaney has never thought of herself as kinky. But when her best friend takes her to an urban BDSM nightclub in San Francisco, she meets Shaye Vincent. He’s beautiful, mysterious, commanding-and supremely kinky. Shaye takes her on a journey into the dark side of sex, reminding Devin of the secret fantasies she’s always tried so hard to ignore. But she can’t ignore them anymore; Shaye is bringing every single one of them to life. When he takes her to Sanctuary, an exclusive and elegant BDSM club in a mansion on Nob Hill, her fantasies shift into overdrive. Life with Shaye is exciting beyond her wildest dreams, but can she accept this side of herself? And can she find love in this sensually extreme lifestyle?
What other books of yours would you like to tell us about? What do you currently have released or what’s coming up for you?
My debut print book with Bantam, THE DARK GARDEN, a BDSM-themed erotic novel, is available now, and I have several books coming out this year. My second book from Bantam is THE DARKER SIDE OF PLEASURE, a three novella erotic anthology, which will be out on September 26th. I also have a short story, SILENCE, an erotic ghost story, appearing in Maria Isabel Pita’s anthology, BEYOND DESIRE, on September 19th from Magic Carpet Books. And, of course, my ebooks are available at www.Phaze.com .
Where can readers find you? Please provide urls to your website, blog, chat group, myspace?
(c) 2007 by EDEN BRADLEY
He was beautiful.
Even in the flashing club lights, she could see the honeyed shade of his skin. His hair was a short, spiky shock of brown tipped with blond, as though he’d recently been in the sun. His close-shaven goatee, a few shades darker than his hair, made him look purely devilish. It was too dim and he was too far away for her to see his eyes. They seemed dark, glittering. He looked back at the desperate, wild crowd and gave a crooked grin and a saucy wink, as though he were very much aware that he was performing. And then he pulled his shirt off over his head.
She only had a moment to take in broad, muscled shoulders and tight six-pack abs before he turned around and started to pick up some items scattered around the floor: a crop, the two paddles he and the other man had used, a variety of multitailed whips; Devin wasn’t sure what everything was called. All she knew was that this man made her entire body surge with need.
If only he would turn around again.
When he did, he looked right at her. Even among a crowd of hundreds, she knew it immediately. He looked at her and gave that small, cocky smile he’d given to the crowd of revelers before. But this time it was for her alone.
He moved forward, toward the front of the Ring, until he stood right in the middle of it. He stopped there and stared at her, locking his eyes on hers. Her stomach filled with butterflies. She couldn’t believe he was looking at her, but the line of his hot gaze was perfectly clear.
She licked her suddenly dry lips. Her nipples went hard beneath her tight, stretchy top. His eyes seemed to instantly travel there, to almost caress her skin before his gaze returned to her face.
That self-assured smile again, quirking just one corner of his mouth. Unbelievably sexy. He had a pair of heavy, black tribal designs tattooed around each bicep, those armbands she loved so much on a man. Sexy enough that lust sang in her veins, thrummed through her limbs.
The tattoos, the wicked goatee, him standing in the middle of this place, shirtless, he was the ultimate bad boy. She’d never been so attracted to a man in her life. The hot flood of music and the colored lights only seemed to add to the sensual aura as he stared her down, daring her somehow.
He beckoned with his head, his grin quirking a little more. Yes, daring her to join him in the Ring.
She couldn’t do it, of course, no matter that every cell in her body screamed at her to go to him, to have this man touch her.
And then he walked right up to her, right up to the railing and put his hand out to her. She noticed then another tattoo on the inside of his left wrist, some sort of Chinese symbol done in heavy black lines.
She offered her hand to him before she had a chance to think about it. He took it in his, turned it, and laid a soft kiss in the center of her palm. A wave of lustful heat rushed through her body.
He leaned in and yelled over the music, “I’m Shaye. Tell me your name.” God, he was talking to her. His deep voice boomed over the noise of the club.
“Come play with me, Devin.”
She pulled back and saw that evil grin on his face. He had perfect white teeth. His eyes were a dark and smoky hazel up close, with long, thick lashes.
“No, I…I can’t.”
“Of course you can. Just say yes.”
He still held onto her hand. His was large and warm, the contact like an electrical current running up her arm and straight to her sex. But she couldn’t bring herself to do what these people did in the Ring.