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Interview & Giveaway: Pushing the Envelope with Eden Bradley

Eden_color_smile-1Eden Bradley is a bestselling, award-winning author of erotic fiction. Her books have been published by Bantam/Delta, Harlequin Spice, Berkley Heat, Samhain, Phaze, and others. In addition to The Lovers, she has a second November release, Pleasure's Edge, written as Eve Berlin.

Eden, thanks so much for accepting my invitation to be interviewed here at Dear Author!

Thank you so much for having me! I'm thrilled to be able to talk about my latest releases-they're very different kinds of books. Pleasure's Edge (Berkley Heat), my debut Eve Berlin book, is more "classic' erotic romance, with a purely alpha hero. It's very romance-focused, even though it's fairly heavy BDSM. I don't think love and kink have to be mutually exclusive. While The Lovers (Harlequin Spice) is an erotic romance, the relationship dynamics are definitely something we don't often see in this genre. My Spice books are meant to challenge some of the "norms'.

As I said in my review of The Lovers, I've been a fan of yours since reading The Art of Desire. I would describe your work as dark, provocative, literary, and erotic. How would you categorize yourself as an author? How would you categorize The Lovers specifically?

I feel like I'm always evolving and exploring new ground, new sub-genres, so other than dark and erotic I'm not certain where I fit. I write mostly contemporary, but I've got my Midnight Playground vampire series from Samhain, and I took part in a multi-author post-apocalyptic anthology, the Wasteland series, which was really interesting. I write a lot of kink: BDSM, bondage, ménage, food fetish, tattoo fetish in The Art of Desire, which you mentioned. I like to explore some of the more extreme sexual practices, but I'm also just as interested in love. The one thread that runs through all of my work is my fascination with psychology. The more complex my characters are, the more interesting they are to me. I always want to know what makes people tick. Why are they damaged in some way? Why are they drawn to extreme forms of sex? What about their personal history creates conflict, especially within their relationships? That intense process of self-discovery through sex and relationships appears in all of my work. One of my editors once said I write women's fiction with a lot of hot sex, which I think may be accurate for many of my books. Although other than a handful of my short stories, they all include a strong focus on developing romantic relationships, as well.

The Lovers feels more "literary' in voice to me than some of my other books. I think it's dark, definitely a psychological exploration, and one of the more purely sensual erotic stories I've written. It's written in first person and reads a lot like women's fiction, with a strong sensual and sexual element underlying the whole story-‘that was my intention, anyway.

9781426874505The Lovers is a groundbreaking piece, in my opinion. As far as I know, it's the first f/f/m ménage novel released by a mainstream romance publisher. What inspired you to push this particular envelope, and why do you think you succeeded?

How I get story ideas remains a mystery, even to me. I was fortunate enough to find an editor who was willing to take a risk with this one. I felt that Audrey was a key element in Bettina's self-discovery process. In fact, it was Audrey's character that came to me first. Then I began to ask myself the "what if's'. What effect could this enigmatic, sensual sort of gypsy have on other people? What kind of person might respond most powerfully to her?

A big part of being able to contract The Lovers is that my editor at Spice, Susan Swinwood, is someone who is willing to take chances. Spice is a more "literary' erotic line-‘the only of its kind among the New York romance publishers, that I'm aware of-‘so Spice books are often a little different in tone and content. Susan is a bit of a visionary, in my opinion, someone who thinks outside the box, and some of my books are very much outside that erotic romance box, perhaps especially The Lovers.

I really enjoyed your use of the ocean as a metaphor for female sexuality, the exquisite eroticism of the f/f sex scenes, and the strong emotional connection between the women in The Lovers. That said, my favorite scene included Jack. Was it important for you to portray Audrey as a plausible love interest? How did you balance the three characters?

It was crucial for me that Audrey be believable as a love interest. I wanted the reader to experience Bettina's journey right along with her, and her interactions with Audrey are at the root of a deeply emotional and psychological process.

I don"t know that the characters are perfectly balanced because that's not necessarily how life happens. This story is-‘in my mind, anyway-‘more something that could happen in real life, and less a fantastical romance. But it was also important that Bettina's experiences with both Audrey and Jack be powerful and life-changing. Hopefully I've achieved that. While some of the story was written with a particular intent, a lot of what happened was organic. I hate to admit it, but I often have very little control over my characters-‘they're a bossy bunch.

The Lovers is part dreamy fantasy, part melancholy realism. Bettina's journey was, at times, difficult for me to read. Was it difficult to write?

Oh, I love that description! I'm at my happiest when I suffer through my own stories-lol! I love when my characters can make me feel, even make me cry, and Bettina's story absolutely did that. It was difficult to write because there are bits and pieces of me in there, as there are in most of my characters, especially my female protagonists. But that's one of the best parts about the writing process for me. It can be cathartic, my own little journey of self-discovery.

Although m/m and m/m/f ménage has found an audience, f/f and f/f/m are almost unheard of, even in digital publishing. To quote Carina Press editor Angela James, "it doesn't sell." If a (largely) heterosexual female readership isn't interested in this type of material, why write it?

I wrote the story that had to be told, the one in my head, the characters demanding it of me. I know that sounds a little silly, but I swear that's how it happens for me. Yes, writers can be a bit schizophrenic, and those voices in our heads can get loud!

My agent shopped the proposal to several editors before it found a home at Spice. She was very much behind the idea, so I trusted her when she said we'd find someone to buy it, and luckily, she was right.
M/m is a huge seller in erotic romance, and I write a lot of that, too, for Samhain, my e-publisher. But this was a niche that needed to be explored, in my opinion. Research has shown that being with another woman is one of the top female fantasies, and I believe that female sexuality can often be quite fluid, so I figure it's only a matter of time before f/f stories become more popular in erotic romance. They're already a big seller in the literary erotica market. We'll have to wait and see how The Lovers sells, but I love this book, the feedback has been extremely positive so far, and I'm very hopeful.

You're a popular, prolific author in print and digital. Many of your ebooks feature m/m/f ménage. How is writing f/f/m different from m/m/f? How is it the same? Will The Lovers appeal to your established readership? Why or why not?

Writing two women together is more sensual. The female body is so much softer, and the way sex happens is different-‘the mechanics, as well as the psychology, the emotional process. Men and women simply are different, and that's not a bad thing. Those differences will always be apparent during sex, when people are their most primal selves. The commonality is that ultimately, sex is sex. Pleasure is pleasure, no matter the source. And those intimate connections always make us question ourselves on some level, no matter who the other person is, or what sex they are.

I hope The Lovers will appeal to my readership. While my e-books run very heavily to m/m/f and m/f/m ménage, I think my e-book readers are an adventurous bunch, and many will be ready to try something different. Those who followed me from my Bantam books will be used to me approaching unusual material, as I did in my novel A 21st Century Courtesan, in particular (there is a f/f /f sex scene in that book). And because I've always written a lot of BDSM and other extreme material, my readers tend to be fairly open-minded. I think erotic romance readers are becoming more open in their story choices in general, although I understand some may reject this book outright because of the f/f sex. I certainly hope readers enjoy The Lovers, and that those who may not normally read a book with f/f sex scenes might consider giving it a try.

Do you think society's views about sexuality are changing? Will the next generation of romance readers be more open to sexually fluid characters?

Absolutely! I've seen an enormous progression in people's views on sexuality in the last twenty years or so. I believe we are becoming more open on a cultural level, that as women, we are becoming more accepting of our desires, and especially the fluidity of female sexuality. What women read can be a reflection of those changes, and can also inspire growth and change.

I would love to read another erotic, well-executed f/f or f/f/m story. Are you planning to write one (please say yes!)? Do you have any influences or recommendations?

Anne Rice's work, (Exit to Eden and her Beauty series both contain f/f sex), has had an enormous impact on my writing in many ways. I've also read a lot of the Best Women's Erotica volumes, and a number of the anthologies from Cleis Press. They put out some wonderful erotica, and their anthologies give me a chance to discover new authors, which I love.

Currently I'm working on Eversong, the fourth book in my Midnight Playground series for Samhain, and am about to write a f/f/m sex scene-‘a first for my e-books other than a touch of it in my Wasteland anthology story, The Breeder. Hopefully my editor will like it. I love writing f/f sex, so we'll see how readers accept it. That will largely determine how much more of it I write, so fingers crossed!

Thanks so much for joining me! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you again for having me!

I always love to hear from readers. They can visit my websites, and , or my group blog for more information about my books, or to contact me with comments and questions.

Eden has generously donated a copy of The Lovers and a copy of A 21st Century Courtesan. If you'd like a chance to win, let us know in the comments. US only please.

Do you have a question for Eden or an opinion about any of the topics covered in the interview? Are you a fan of ménage romance? Would you be interested in reading f/f or f/f/m? Why or why not?

Guest Reviewer


  1. Edie
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 04:15:19

    Boo to US only! ;P

    I love f/f, and am currently working my way through Radclyffe’s work now. Wish there was more available.
    re the e-pubs, I’m not sure how they are coming to the conclusion that it doesn’t sell, I don’t think any of the big three have that wide of a selection to draw conclusions from. ie. I can only think of four off the top of my head at Samhain, and one fits the category very loosely.

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  3. ChrisQ
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 05:16:16

    I have to admit, I’ve never read f/f or f/f/m, not that I’m oppose to it, I just haven’t thought to pick one up. But my daughter is DYING for more f/f reads. I’ll have to pick this one up.

    What a great interview, very insightful. Congrats on your releases this month!


  4. Sabrina
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 07:25:10

    Time to explore and see how a f/f/m would be, thanks!

  5. Valerie
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 07:30:23

    would love to try out The Lovers:)

  6. Marcia G
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 08:18:29

    I would love to become an Eden Bradley fan!

  7. Jeannie Lin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 08:19:17

    Hi Eden!
    Great interview. I haven’t read The Lovers yet, but I’ve been a long time fan of yours. I don’t usually seek out menage or BDSM stories, but your literary voice and psychological exploration of the characters always draws me in to stories I wouldn’t normally read. It’s interesting hearing that Anne Rice’s erotica was a huge influence on you. Those were some of the first erotic stories I read–and it felt so dangerous doing so. :) Maybe that’s why your voice immediately resonated with me all the way back in Dark Garden.

  8. Marie
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 08:25:09

    I haven’t read any of Bradley’s work before, and both books look interesting. Sign me up!

  9. Ammy Belle
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 08:30:29

    OMG I would so want to win this! This would be awesome! Thanks so much for the contest! ::D

    apereiraorama @

  10. KTT
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 08:40:14

    This sounds very intriguing…I’ve never read f/f/m, but now I’m curious!

  11. Katherine
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 09:25:28

    I have The Lovers at the top of my TBR list. I am looking forward to reading a f/f/m book. Winning a copy would be sweeeet!

    I stumbled upon Eden’s books via the Harlequin ebook site, found the Spice Briefs and was intrigued by the description for Night Moves. Holy hotness!!!! An amazing story packed into 24 pages. I am now working my way through Eden’s backlist.

    My question for Eden may be in poor taste – sorry – but how do you come up with material for the sex scenes? What/how do you research BDSM – via other authors? Hooking up with the local scene in your town? I understand how to research background for historicals, etc., but I’ve no idea how you research erotica.

    Thanks for letting me explore new worlds, Eden.

  12. Cathy in AK
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 09:30:37

    Great interview. I’d love to read Eden’s work.

    As a writer of f/f, among other things, I’m always happy to see more out there. I don’t write erotic, but I’m betting there’s room on the shelves for all heat levels : )

  13. LibrarianLizy
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 10:21:49

    I bought The Lovers after I read the review, and I really enjoyed it. I would love to read more of Ms. Bradley’s work.

    I’ve always been interested in f/f/m relationships, and to some extent f/f relationships, which I is why I read The Lovers.

    I think that if there is a market for m/f/m erotic romance, then there is a market for f/f/m. I’m new to the erotic romance world, but I enjoy menage stories and would like to read more f/f/m.

  14. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:06:20

    Edie-I love f/f, too! There are a few f/f stories available as e-books currently, but I do think we’ll see a trend in that direction soon. Author Kirsten Saell writes quite a bit of f/f-she may be one of the Samhain author’s you’re already familiar with.
    Thanks for the congrats, Chris! I hope your daughter enjoys THE LOVERS. :)
    Good luck with the giveaway, Valerie!
    MarciaG-I’d love for you to become an Eden Bradley fan, too. *G*

  15. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:17:44

    Jeannie-thanks so much for your comments. :)I love the darkness of Anne Rice’s voice-her work *is* a little dangerous, which I love.
    Marie-I hope you’ll try one of my books.:)
    Ammy-best of luck in the contest!
    KTT-glad to have sparked your curiosity!
    Katherine-so glad you enjoyed NIGHT MOVES! And I don’t mind answering your question-I’m very open about my life experiences with BDSM, so yes, I’ve done my research in a very personal way. I’ve also done a lot of reading, because I believe you can never know everything about any subject.

  16. Kate Pearce
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:20:47

    I’m a big fan of Eden’s writing and have been for quite a while. I don’t write f/f but I really admire the way she does it. :)
    Groundbreaking indeed!!

  17. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:25:55

    Cathy-best of luck with your writing! There is definitely room for all heat levels.
    LibrarianLizy-I write a lot of menage, and hope to be able to write more that includes f/f. Meanwhile, I’m glad you enjoyed THE LOVERS!

  18. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:26:52

    Kate-thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by!

  19. Debra
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:31:35

    I have never read f/f/m, but would like to try it. I thought I would never read a m/f/m and I have, thought it was interesting on how the author worked it all out. So I would love to try this one.

  20. R.G. Alexander
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:41:13

    I LOVED this book! And this interview of course :)

  21. Lilli Feisty
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:51:09

    I’m so glad to see some f/f in romance! And it’s written so well, it’s a perfect combination of romance, pushing the edge of the genre, romance. Yay, way to go, Eden!

  22. elaing8
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:56:17

    Great interview.
    I have read a few f/f books. The only thing I disliked about them were they were way too short.The stories were very good,I just wished they were longer.
    I’ve read some great reviews for The Lovers,I can’t wait to read it.

  23. Tawania
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:05:38

    I have read several of Eden’s books, and I have enjoyed all of them. She is a fabulous storyteller, and the romance is HOT! I am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the opportunity.

  24. LVLMLeah
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:10:58

    I will probably read this book one day. It sounds really good. I’m always on the hunt for good f/f/m.

    I love f/f/m and wish there were more out there.

  25. jayhjay
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:13:14

    Great interview, both books sound great!

  26. Julie
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:16:16

    I like reading f/f! But you’re right, I don’t know of many people who actively look for it outside of certain fandoms. I don’t mind reading ménages–they can be really great–but I only like the ones where everybody has a happy ending, not just the “main couple.”

  27. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:46:25

    Debra-sometimes those menage scenes take a mathematician to work things out-lol! I just wrote my first orgy scenes in my upcoming book, THE TURNING KISS, and the logistics made my head hurt!
    Thankya, RG. :)
    Yay-Feisty is here!
    elaing8-THE LOVERS is a full novel, so hopefully it’ll be a good read for you. :)
    Thank you, Tawania!
    LVLMLeah-me, too!
    Thanks, JayHJay!
    Julie-for me, sometimes a happy threesome at the end feels organic to the characters, and sometimes not. And I like that the reader doesn’t know exactly how a book will turn out at the end-makes it more exciting! Some of my books are headed for a happy poly relationship from the start, like my e-book, THE BREEDER.

  28. Janine
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:39:29

    Leave me out of the giveaway, obviously. I just wanted to say I enjoyed the interview so thank you Jill and Eden.

  29. Kelly Mueller
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:42:13

    I would love to read your book… I so enjoy finding new authors… Your book looks really really good…Love that your book has f/f/m… :)

    Thank you for a chance to win!!!

    (and I am in the US)

  30. Merry
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:55:44

    Eden, it was great reading your interview! I'm a big fan, and already own most of your work, (I already have A 21st Century Courtesan) but I would love to have a chance to win The Lovers. If I don't win it I'll definitely pick it up anyway, but free is always nice. Your new Eve Berlin book is on my list as well. I'd like to say that I admire your work tremendously; you bring great emotional depth to your characters and the sex scenes just curl my toes! I just got acquainted with erotic romance in the last couple of years, and you are one of my two favorite authors (the other is Megan Hart). I've fallen so in love with the genre, thanks in no small part to you and Ms. Hart, that I have started to write myself (I'm just a kindergartener with it as yet). I want to grow up and be like you as a writer!! Thank you, and please keep writing.

  31. Ell
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:56:54

    So many raves here–put me in for a chance to win. Thanks!

  32. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:09:40

    Thank you, Janine. :)
    Best of luck, Kelly! I love that it has f/f/m, too-I loved writing this book so much-probably one of my top writing experiences ever.
    Merry-thanks so much for your kind words about my work! I love Megan’s work, too-especially Dirty-she’s one of my favorite authors. I’m thrilled to be in your top author list with her!
    Good luck in the giveaway, Ell!

  33. Ivelisse
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:02:32

    Love the interview. The Lovers was extremely good, the chemistry between all the characters were amazing. I love all of Eden/Eve’s work, well the ones I read so far still trying to catch up. I am one that really does not mind f/f/m or m/m or f/m/f just as long as it’s written right and makes me want to turn the page over over again that is what matters to me and Ms. Bradley/Berlin does just that.

  34. Zina
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:17:12

    I know I just won two books from Eden on the Smutketeers blog but I’m always up to winning more, thank you Eden. While I am not a big fan of F/F I have heard alot of praise for how well the Lovers is written.
    See ya later Alligator.

  35. Jill Sorenson
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:58:34

    @Edie: Good pt. about sales. Based on what data, when pickings (at non-GLBT pubs) are so slim?

    @Jeannie Lin: I also enjoyed The Dark Garden. Very hot and…disturbing! I’ll have to look into Anne Rice’s erotic books. I had no idea she wrote any f/f. I’ve only read Interview w/ the Vampire.

    @LibrarianLizy: It’s so nice to hear that you bought The Lovers because of my review! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  36. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 16:54:49

    Ivelisse and Zina-thanks so much for stopping by! And Ive-I love that you love my books. :)
    Jill-thank you so much for having me here today, and for the thoughtful questions you posed. I take it as a compliment that you found my book THE DARK GARDEN disturbing…*G* I think if heavy BDSM is done well, it should be a bit disturbing-even to those with experience in those extreme practices. So much of it is psychological.

  37. Shannon
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 17:47:08

    I would love to try. =)

  38. darkreaderd
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:33:23

    This story would be a new to me type of book that I would love to give a try.
    f/f/m sounds good, I do enjoy the m/f/m so why not!

  39. Victoria CK
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:35:52

    I love reading manage and BDSM books. I have to admit I don’t usually read m/m or f/f stories. Though if the relationship or story is strong enough, I can get into it and not notice/care about what gender the characters are. (Much like the fact that I enjoy READing about female submissiveness & strong/dom men but don’t get into DOM women).
    While I don’t usually read m/m stories, I don’t have a problem reading m/m parts w/i a manage setting…so again it must relate to the relationship idea for me. And since I tend to “get into the main female character” of the stories I read, it would follow that the other stories would work for me a well. Not sure, since I have read a f/f only story yet…

    Admin: removed email to protect reader from spam.

  40. Johanna
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:47:53

    This book sounds amazing and very sensual. I like that its different. I think I will be adding this to my list! Thanks for sharing with us today!

  41. Kelly Thrash
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 21:58:13

    Of Eden/Eve of course you are a bit schizophrenic you can’t even pick one name :) You know how much I love your work and I can’t wait to read this one. I can’t wait to read this one and I hope you get to write more f/f and f/f/m.

    kittykelly28 @

  42. Cecile
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 22:04:56

    Oh wow, this is awesome! I am a new fan to Ms. Eden!!! I love her writing style and I absolutely love the books I have read so far!!!! So, please count me in for this one!!!
    And I am a fan of m/f, m/f/f and f/f!! Please please please!!!

  43. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 22:25:01

    darkreaderd-This is my hope, that some readers will try a new kind of story, something a little beyond their familiar boundaries or comfort levels. I love that you’re open minded about it. :)
    Victoria-it sounds as if you’re game to try new things, too. :) And I agree that it’s all about the relationships and the characters. Perhaps you’ll give THE LOVERS a try. And if you like BDSM books, I’ve written a number of them-you can find more info on my website or look me up on Amazon.
    Johanna-yay! I hope you enjoy it!
    Meow Kitty! lol! And thank you. :)
    Cecile-I adore your enthusiasm!

  44. Michelle C.
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 22:51:56

    I want to win the Lovers since I am getting the 21st Century Courtean. I read a few f/f scenes that were in a book I was reading. It was interesting in the way the ladies have sex compare to man and woman sex.

  45. Leni
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 23:58:32

    I read menage stories and started out with m/f/m and that lead me to other types, but I don’t think that I’ve read an f/f/m story before. Though, lately I have seen more listed at some book sites so I’m sure I will be reading some soon.
    I’ve read f/f stories, but until this interview I didn’t realize that there was a gap in my reading material.
    Enjoyed the interview.

  46. Victoria Zumbrum
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 08:55:33

  47. Jill Sorenson
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 12:33:48

    @Tawania: Congrats! You won The Lovers.

    @Ivelisse: You won A 21st Century Courtesan

    Please use the contact form to send mailing info.

    Thanks Eden, and thanks to the readers for all the great comments! I’m glad everyone liked the interview and I hope the winners enjoy the books.

  48. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 11:15:10

    Congrats to the winners!
    Thanks so much to Jill for having me here, and to everyone who stopped by to visit. :)

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