I got to attend an event hosted by Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore for a discussion about Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell, between Catherine and Allison Saft.
Catherine Bakewell was the sweetest! Her and Allison have been friends for about six years. It was cute to see that Allison was so excited to share this moment with her friend. They apparently met over a pitching event. Catherine contacted Allison because she thought her pitch was awesome and then they became query buddies. They announced that they decided the main character in Flowerheart and one of the characters in one of Allison Saft’s books are cousins. Haha.
The host showed some awesome character art that Catherine’s friends made. One piece of art was made by her friend when her friend read her manuscript four years ago. She had called her up and was like, “Now is the time!”
Catherine’s book is a cottagecore YA Fantasy Romance. Cottage core is light-hearted, summery, and takes place in country side. It is a cozy fantasy. In her book, her main character Clara makes flowers grow because of her emotions. She accidently curses her father, making flowers grow in his lungs. She then has to team up with her best friend who is hiding secrets and they have to make a hard bargain. It is apparently full of feelings.
In the book she uses concepts of flowers that she learned from Nancy Drew computer games that stuck in her mind. The name Xavier is also from Nancy Drew!
Catherine started the book in 2017 and wanted to make it a fun and bright world. It is different from the first version of the book drastically, but she still kept it fun and lovely. Some of the things that had changed from the beginning was the age of the characters. When she started, she considered the book adult and had the characters 22-years-old. But then she was told it was YA, so she made them 18, then 17, and then the editor had her make them 16. Also, the two main characters Clara and Xavier didn’t know each other at first. To solve the problem of them falling in love in 9 days, she made them childhood best friends.
I loved when she talked about her listening to her audio book version. She said it was like watching a movie in her head that she has watched at one minute increments for many years. She said it is like listening to her children. She loves being able to go on the journey with her characters again in a cinematic form.
She considers this a very therapeutic book. It has lessons she had learned from therapy in the book that the characters puts into practice.