Local publishing house Serenity Press recently celebrated the release of their inaugural romance anthology A Bouquet of Love.

International best-selling author Rachael Johns, officially launched the book at Kwinana’s Koorliny Arts Centre, declaring it a ‘must –read’ for lovers of romance.

A Bouquet of Love is a collection of stories centered around the Serendipity Bridal Boutique located in the fictional town of Eagle Point. Writers across Australia were invited to submit stories up to 10,000 words with a love-swept theme, told from the perspective of brides, bridesmaids, grooms, mothers of brides and the like. What resulted is a cohesive collaboration of fun and heartfelt love stories.

A Bouquet of Writers L-R Barbara Gurney, Monique Mulligan, Teena Raffa-Mulligan, Claire Boston, Ilona Krueger, Louisa West, Glennys Marsdon, Carolyn Wren, Bree Verity, P.L.Harris. Photo credit: Neil Mulligan

Serenity Press editor and story contributor, Monique Mulligan had this to say about the process of bringing the book together.

We wanted to challenge both authors and ourselves with something a little different and came up with the idea of the bridal boutique. I then wrote a submission brief which gave writers something to craft their plot around.  We received 23 submissions, 10 made the final cut. We were looking for stories with solid writing, following the traditional romance formula with plenty of romantic “feels” and of course, a happy ending.

“The editing process was one of the more challenging aspects with structural edits required to make each story shine. Once the rewrites were back, I had the task of making sure all the stories were connected consistently.”

Must Read

Perth Spring Adventures – Ideas to make the most of the...

Perth Spring Adventures - Ideas to make the most of the spring weather There's only a few weeks left of spring! With hotter weather on...

Monique continued to add “We are now reading submissions for our 2018 anthology, Destination Romance. Our 2019 theme will be announced after June and we’ll post up the submission guidelines to our website.

All dressed up for the big event Siobhan Timmer and Barbara Gurney. Photo credit: Neil Mulligan

Serenity Press believe this is a great juncture to encourage new and emerging romance writers the opportunity of publication and exposure in an oft competitive environment.

Some of the local authors whose stories were accepted for publication were asked about some of the aspects of working to a prescribed story outline and what benefits can be gained from being published in this sort of publication.

Barbara Gurney (author of Ribbons of Love) noted the hardest part of writing her story was the challenge of creating a story outside of her usual genre and the thought processes necessary to create a character with dementia. Barbara’s story touches on a subject close to many people’s hearts in a compassionate and moving piece, sure to bring a tear to your eyes.

Bree Verity (author of Head of Heels) talks about creating her character, “Coming up with the personality for my bridezilla was the challenging part. I didn’t want her to be totally awful, but I wanted her to be exasperating, so finding the balance for her was difficult.”

She adds “This is my first experience outside of self-publishing. It opened my eyes to a whole different world. It’s helped me to make decisions about how I want my writing career to develop and the publishing options I want to pursue.”

Rachael Johns commended Serenity Press on continuing to create much-sought after opportunities for new and emerging writers in the romance field. Still the biggest selling genre in the world, because we all love a happy ending and a little bit of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

To find our more about Serenity Press or to buy a copy of A Bouquet of Love click here.

Tabetha Beggs
Tabetha is mix of all things creative; performer, poet, writer and philosopher. She is the Chairwoman of the historic KSP Writers' Centre, the founder and creative mind behind Perth’s Little Black Dress Productions, and the former director of arts and culture website, Perth Culture. In her spare time, she works as a marketing officer for a large city-based organisation. Tabetha is a dedicated advocate of the Perth arts and literary scene and spends much of her time reviewing and writing about it. She lives in the hills with her husband and two young children and is currently writing her first novel.