A copy of A TALE OF TWO FLORISTS by Brenna Bailey stands in front of a white pillow with a pink phase and flowers in the background

Welcome to a new occasional feature on trishajennreads.com! Every once in a while, I’m going to introduce you to a romance author I love who has agreed to be interviewed. Some of these folks might be clients of mine, and I will always be upfront with you if they are.

Brenna, a white woman with curly blonde hair and black glasses.
Brenna Bailey, Author of A TALE OF TWO FLORISTS

Brenna Bailey writes queer contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she runs an editing business called Bookmarten Editorial. If her nose isn’t buried in a book, you can probably find her out in the woods somewhere admiring plants or attempting to identify birds. She is a starry-eyed traveler and a home baker, and she lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her game-loving spouse and their cuddly fur-baby.

Full disclosure: She’s also a dear friend of mine and a book coaching client.

And today, March 9, 2023, is release day for her debut novel!

I’ve got to say, I’m super stoked to be able to share about this book and about Brenna. I’m also incredibly proud of this woman who has written and published a book and set up an author business while also running her own editing business, volunteering as a co-chair for an editing association chapter, and writing two more books all in the last year! Brenna, you’re an inspiration.

Okay, now to her book A TALE OF TWO FLORISTS!

A TALE OF TWO FLORISTS is a queer, contemporary, small town romance about women in their 70s who are finding love again. I didn’t work with Brenna on this book, but had the opportunity to read an early copy and it is absolutely delightful. Here’s the blurb:

The new florist in town wants to live her best life.

The hometown florist’s life is just fine as it is, thank you very much.

When the petals stop flying, will they find love, or will both their worlds come tumbling down?

Minnie Thomas wouldn’t change a thing. The septuagenarian sees her closest friend every day, she owns the most successful (and only) flower shop in Juniper Creek, and she loves her star employee, Kat. like family. But when Kat inexplicably quits and Minnie’s friend goes out of town, Minnie’s stable world tilts off kilter—especially when Kat’s newly arrived free-spirited grandmother opens a f lower shop just down the street.

Eleanor Lennox is determined to embrace life again and get to know Kat better. She promised her late wife she would open a flower shop, but she never counted on resistance from Kat’s infuriating former employer. When the mayor asks the two of them to work together on the upcoming Sunflower Festival, Eleanor tries to smooth things over for Kat’s sake-but the feisty florist only works harder to run her out of town. Well, two can play that game.

Doesn’t that sound like such a fun read?! If you’re interested, the book is now available all over the place. Nab a copy today to make release day extra special for Brenna.

Order anywhere: https://books2read.com/twoflorists

Order direct from Brenna: https://www.brennabailey.com/a-tale-of-two-florists

Now that you’ve ordered a copy, check out this interview with Brenna about her debut romance novel. 🙂

An Interview with Brenna Bailey, Author of A TALE OF TWO FLORISTS

Where did the idea for a novel come from?

To be honest, I can’t remember all the specifics! I do know where certain pieces of the story came from, though. Right before I started writing, my spouse and I were reading a lot of books on audio that had older protagonists, and I loved all of those books. I was looking for more and struggling to find them, so that’s partially where the idea to write older main characters came from. I knew I wanted to set my story in a small town because I love the cozy vibes of places like Fort Langley and Invermere. And Stars Hollow, of course. The flower symbology aspects of the story were inspired by a book called Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers by Jessica Roux. I saw the book on Instagram and immediately bought it because it was gorgeous, and seeing it on my shelf made me want to include floral symbology in the book!

If you lived in Juniper Creek where would you spend your time?

Oh, this is easy. I’d spend my time at the library and in Yellow Brick Books. I’d also go for daily walks around the pond, and I’d probably spend way too much money at Dawood Bakery.

Who is your favourite character in A Tale of Two Florists?

Goodness, it’s difficult for me to pick a favorite character! I love all of them because I feel so close to them. Minnie and Eleanor are obvious favorites, though. Eleanor is based on my Scottish grandmother, and she’s got so much personality. I aspire to be like Eleanor when I’m older—flowy, open-minded, adventurous, and laid back. But I also love Minnie because she’s a lot like me—she’s stubborn, a bit moody, and sometimes prickly.

Flowers from Minnie’s shop or greenery from Eleanor’s?

Greenery from Eleanor’s. Flowers are pretty, but I lean more toward succulents.

Why write romances between septuagenarians?

I mentioned this a bit earlier—how I was looking for more books with older protagonists and struggled to find them, so I decided to write some myself. But there’s another reason as well. Even though my characters are septuagenarians, my target readers are younger, and I think it’s important for young people to recognize that older people still have lives. Your life doesn’t end when you retire—you can still travel, try new foods, make new friends, find new lovers, start a business, and do pretty much everything younger people do. In Western society, we tend to talk about aging as a horrible thing, I wanted to shed some light on how wonderful it can be to be older.

The cover of A TALE OF TWO FLORISTS by Brenna Bailey

Are you a plotter or a panster?

A bit of both. I like having a general idea of what my story is about, but if I plot too much before writing, I lose my enthusiasm. I like to go into my first draft with more of a discovery mindset, then I go back and fix the plot during my second draft, once I feel like I know my characters better and I know what the story is truly about.

What’s your revision process?

My revision process is fairly straightforward, I think. When I finish the first draft, I put it down for a week or so to get space from it. Then I go back through and make an outline of what I’ve got, I make note of what needs to be fixed, and I fix it. Then I send it to my alpha readers and I don’t look at it for a month. Based on their feedback, I revise again and send that draft to my beta readers, then I revise again (based on their feedback) and send it to my editor. If I’m struggling with the story, I’ll send it for a manuscript evaluation, and sometimes I’ll include sensitivity readers in the process too; it just depends on what each story needs.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Making tea. I have to have a cup of tea with me when I write. I also like to put on a soundscape to listen to, like the sound of rain or chirping birds. And if I get stuck, I find that it helps to go for a walk.

What’s your favourite part of writing?

Great question! I think my favorite part of writing is discovering who my characters are and seeing them grow. I know they technically come from my brain, but I feel like they exist before I start writing them, and I’m just getting to know them.

What’s the hardest part of writing?

Getting stuck. Working through the sticking points probably makes me a better writer, but I hate the feeling of not knowing where the story needs to go next, or feeling like I don’t know my characters well enough to keep writing. I’ve been trying to reframe these moments as opportunities rather than obstacles, but it’s difficult.

Can you recommend a favourite writing resource?

Oh gosh, I have so many. I read a ton, and I listen to multiple writing and publishing podcasts. Some of my favorites are The Creative Penn Podcast for Writers, The Rebel Author Podcast, Fiction Writing Made Easy, and Writing Excuses.

Where can people find you?

Instagram: @brennabaileybooks

TikTok: @brennabaileybooks

Twitter: @EditorBrenna

Website: www.brennabailey.com

Order it from your retailer of choice or straight from the author.

Order anywhere: https://books2read.com/twoflorists

Order direct from Brenna: https://www.brennabailey.com/a-tale-of-two-florists