Now and again I like my romance steamy, and Eden Baylee does a lovely, tasteful job with that. I was interested to hear her latest book was a departure from romance, a suspense called Stranger at Sunset.
I invited her to share about her new book on the blog, and as a special treat, she's going to give away several ebook copies to people who comment below, so if you'd like a chance to try it, please just say hello in the comments section!
Welcome Eden! I just had a couple of questions for you:
One big question: what made you switch genres from romance/erotica to mystery?
Though my first books were erotic/romance anthologies, I've written short stories and flash fiction in multiple genres including: thriller, mystery, and suspense. Given that, it was not a huge leap to write Stranger at Sunset.
I read different genres, so I enjoy creating in multiple genres too.
In actuality, changing genres was not as challenging as writing a full-length novel. I've never had to plot my short stories. With Stranger at Sunset, I knew I had to be more diligent with planning, but it wasn't easy. I struggled to outline because I’m a natural ‘pantser'. Because Stranger at Sunset is the first in a trilogy, I’m trying to do it differently for the next two books by spending more time planning.
My impatient nature dictates that I start writing the second I have an idea, but I know that whatever is not planned upfront will need to be worked through in final edits. And that can be very painful.
What can readers expect from your suspense novel?
Stranger at Sunset is inspired by a real place I stayed in Jamaica, and many of the characters are based on people I’ve met. Parts of it are sensual and there is an element of romance as well. The motivation behind the book is to arouse a mysterious, uncertain atmosphere, eliciting a sense of conflict, suspense, and anticipation in the reader.
I have a large cast of characters, and the story exists because of them. There is tension between them in a place where you would not normally have any: a tropical resort in sunny Jamaica is the antithesis of conflict, and yet, that is exactly what happens because of some volatile relationships and personalities.
Stranger at Sunset is suspenseful as it keeps the reader slightly off balance. The protagonist, Dr. Kate Hampton, was a complicated woman to write. Some readers did not like her. Others loved her. I am quite thrilled she elicited such diverse reactions. To me, it means I created someone evocative, which is a great compliment to me as a writer.
With Stranger at Sunset, readers can expect a moody, atmospheric story with a focus on moral conflict. I use unreliable narrators to drive the psychological tension in unpredictable ways. What I'm exploring are the characters' motives and how they see the world, which may be different from how you and I see it.
The book has been compared to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, a huge compliment for me as I loved that book!
Thanks so much, Toby for this opportunity to be on your terrific blog and to share with your readers! Comment below to have a chance to win an ebook copy in your preferred format!
Stranger at Sunset (summary)
Vacation can be a killer.
Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot, Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Included in the mix are friends of the owners, a businessman with dubious credentials, and a couple who won the trip from a TV game show.
It is January 2013, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The luxury resort is struggling, not from the storm, but due to a scathing review from caustic travel writer, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.
Even though she is haunted by her own demons, Kate feels compelled to help. She sets out to discover the motivation behind Kane’s vitriol. Used to getting what he wants, has the reviewer met his match in Kate? Or has she met hers?
Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/thriller as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice. As Kate's own psychological past begins to unravel, a mysterious stranger at Sunset may be the only one who can save her.
Available in e-book and print
Stranger at Sunset is her first mystery novel, on the heels of several books of erotic anthologies and short stories. She writes in multiple genres.
An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!
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