Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Life of a Romance Writer by Aziza Eden Walker

Yes, it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. And yes, I LOVE my job.

Ankara Press recently asked me to reflect on how This Crazy Paradise came about. I think they’re a bit suspicious because  a) Onele is a psychologist turned romance writer, just like me and b) because I live in paradise (a writer’s paradise, you see.) Hence the title of my latest book. They think I might have written an autobiography in disguise.

Wait, there’s more: I met my partner, and the father of my child, at an Erotica party. And yes, he was dressed as a flasher (to Onele’s disgust). And yes, I wanted to write love stories rather than do therapy. And yes, he had insomnia. You’ll have to read the book to see how it all pans out.

Let me explain. There’s a whole bunch of truth in every book I write. It’s all true. I’ve twisted it and turned it on its head and used it in new ways and the characters (who are and are not us) have run away with it and made it their own. But there’s stuff in there that he said to me (yay) and that I did (eek) and it’s all wonderful. I write in celebration of this crazy paradise we live in.

None of it is perfect, but boy, what a ride.

I’m unable to write about a place I haven’t been to. The West Coast of South Africa is one of my favourite spots – windswept, pristine beaches - very romantic. Even so, my research involves looking up all those finer details on the internet! Club Ithaca doesn’t exist, but if you ask Google you may come up with its real name…  And there is a windmill, I just turned it into a tavern!

The thing I like most about the writing process is the beginning. Not the plotting so much (of which I do some, but could probably do more – my editor will agree!!) The best part is when you’ve opened the story, so to speak, and it gets its own life. The way it surprises you. The way my heart beats faster when they fight, or finally get it together. The way it all unfolds. 

Oh, and I love seeing the cover. The cover rocks!

Ankara asked me how I plan my writing day, which made me smile. There is no plan. Right now I am typing this while my son is paddling up a river in front of me with a buddy (I told you, paradise.) I wrote large parts of This Crazy Paradise in a tent, which I love doing. Sometimes with a torch. I write whenever I can and however I can, because I miss it if I don’t.  My heart is in it.

At the end of last year my son had minor surgery. One of those moments where you sit anxiously outside the theatre for an hour. I decided to plot my next book for Ankara in that time. Because I think life is about choosing love above fear. That’s how I became a romance writer.

(By the way, I was an actress once – and knew a rather hunky actor like Andile too … check out The Seeing Place to get the full story on that one!)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Meet Eden Walker writer of Hot, Humorous & Heartfelt Romance

What is the last romance novel you read?

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes – what a lady. Not sure this one counts as romance though (the hero is a gruff cross-dresser and the book is all about emotional and physical abuse?! Only Ms Keyes could pull this off.)

What type of Romance / what genre do you write?

Hot, humorous and heartfelt! I write both African romance and erotic romance.

Are you published yet? If so, with whom?

Yes, with Ankara Press and Tirgearr Publishing (City Nights series).

What do you love most about writing?

The way it has nothing to do with me. I just show up and the characters do the rest. It’s very relaxing, awe-inspiring and amusing. Oh, and I do the research! That’s not that relaxing! But interesting. For example, recently I’ve needed to work out which are the one-way streets in Denpasar, Bali!

And what is your biggest challenge as a writer?

Not getting overwhelmed. Just opening the document, taking baby steps, trusting.

Do you have a playlist while you write?

Absolutely not. I find music very disturbing – I can’t hear the book then. But it’s cool if the kids are playing in the same room, or even clambering over me! I’ve developed persistence!

What was the inspiration behind your last book?

My hero (One Night in Venice). I had this vision of a very sexy, artistic man whom everyone thinks is arrogant and aloof – but really, he’s wounded – and as he falls in love, this very young student is the catalyst for turning it all around for him. So I liked that, that she’s just going about her business, being plain and ordinary, and suddenly she does this extraordinary thing for someone else, and in the process for herself as well, and her life becomes extraordinary. As does theirs, together. God, I love romance!

What is your proudest achievement as a writer?

You know, it’s having taken a chance. It was saying “I’m going to try that.” “I can do it.” Then, it was finishing the book. I was helped, I really do believe that. It was such fun. I discovered a whole new avenue of joy. And originally I wanted to make money! Plus, write somehow.

What advice would you give someone who tells you they want to write?

GO FOR IT. Nike: Just Do It. Then do it again. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you and never give up.

If you could give your life / dreams / goals a hashtag, what would it be?

#loving it

What keeps you motivated to write?

My life feels so incomplete without it. It’s like this jewel I’ve discovered, a beautiful place I can go to again and again. I’ve tried doing without and I just get grumpy. It’s worth ignoring any fears you might have about it, any judgement or self-criticism, and just getting on with it. Enjoying it is the best way forward. Silence those inner voices. But learn from any critique you might get. That’s very important, to grow.

What is your writing schedule like - do you write every day / a certain time of day?

It’s best if I prioritise writing, otherwise it falls off the map. So I write in the mornings, and more throughout the day or night when I can.

Tell us about the first love story you ever wrote.

This Crazy Paradise is about a psychologist who gets divorced, falls in love, and becomes a romance writer. That’s my life, right there. Not the first story I published, but the first one I wrote (I published it second).

What is the best part about being part of ROSA?

Romy Sommer, who’s a brilliant organiser as well as writer! And the sheer kindness of strangers. I love it, thank you.

What’s your latest news?
One Night in Venice comes out on 27 September and is #32 in the scintillating City Nights series from Tirgearr. It’s an erotic romantic suspense.

Special Offer!
E-mail me at and I’ll send you a free digital copy in the format of your choice (first 3 respondents). If you like it, please remember to review it!

Connect: You can also follow Jana aka Eden Walker on Twitter, Facebook or her blog.