Mazey Eddings on her gorgeous new sapphic rom-com, Late Bloomer

"Every brain and every body is deserving of love exactly as it is."


Romance blooms after a spontaneous flower farm purchase comes with a surprising bonus in Mazey Eddings’s charming new romance novel, Late Bloomer. Sweet, funny and beautiful in its chaos, Late Bloomer is a blossoming love story bound to sweep you off your feet and warm your heart.

To celebrate its release, we’re so excited to have had the chance to talk to Mazey all about Late Bloomer, its inspirations, the importance of neurodiversity in romance and more.

Hi Mazey! I’m thrilled to have you on the site today to celebrate the release of your delightful new rom-com, Late Bloomer. Before we get into the questions; would you mind sharing a little about the book for readers who may not be familiar with it yet.

Thank you so much for having me! Late Bloomer is a sapphic rom-com that features Opal, a down-on-her-luck, chaotic bisexual whose circumstances change in an instant when she wins the lottery. As a chronic people-pleaser, she immediately has toxic friends and exes knocking on her door for a hand-out. So, obviously, she does the only reasonable and sensible thing: Spontaneously buys a failing flower farm, sight-unseen, that she plans to turn into her art studio/home. The only problem is, when she shows up at the Thistle & Bloom, she’s confronted by grumpy, gorgeous Pepper who claims to be the rightful owner of the farm. The two opposites are forced to cohabit as they figure out who actually owns the property, and, despite their best efforts, some feelings take root and love begins to bloom (buh-dum-cha).

Opal and Pepper’s story is such a gorgeous one. How and when did the inspiration for the book arise?

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of winning the lottery, and your life and circumstances changing in an instant, particularly when it opens the door for you to buy a home and/or live out your passions. But I’ve also been fascinated by how things go wrong for so many people who do find themselves in that situation. I’m also deeply obsessed with forced proximity in romances, particularly in the case of polar opposites, and how there is so much instant tension but also tenderness that arises from such a sudden change of one’s space and world.

The flower farm portion actually came a bit later! This book was originally supposed to be a holiday romance and take place on a Christmas tree farm. I got about halfway through a draft, and the setting felt wrong in a way I couldn’t quite navigate. And then it hit me: Opal and Pepper’s journey – both as a couple and as individuals – is one about change and rebirth and growth, all the beautiful things we see with spring. Changing the season and setting felt like my characters (and myself!) could breathe for the first time, and so much of it flowed from there. I also just genuinely love flowers and wanted an excuse to heavily research them.

One of my favourite things about your books is the way you explore mental health with so much care and a beautiful honesty. Why do you think exploring mental health and neurodivergence in romance – a genre which has only more recently started to feature this kind of representation (yay!) – is so important?

It’s funny, but when I initially started writing what would become my first published book A Brush with Love, I tried so hard to not have my main character, Harper, be anxious. Her anxiety was pouring out of her, but I was trying to ignore it in a sort of protective effort so she wouldn’t have to deal with the difficulties of an anxiety disorder and also so she wouldn’t be misunderstood by readers like I so often felt misunderstood by others when it came to my own experiences with anxiety. But I got maybe 100 pages in and was like, Harper, girl, I don’t know how to tell you this but you definitely have GAD and we should probably get you some Prozac. That was such a crucial moment for me and how I interact with my work. When I finally started listening to her and all my subsequent characters, and letting them be fully themselves, it felt so cathartic and so freeing to put neurodivergence – full-throated and messy and beautiful – on the page.

I’ve always been an avid reader because books are a safe way for me as an autistic woman to experience the world and learn how to navigate social situations that are often challenging or not sensory friendly in real life. I realized that the crux of why I started writing is because I wanted to see more characters like myself – neurodivergent, queer, anxious – carving out space in a world not designed for them in a way that’s fulfilling and overflowing with love. The reason I continue to write is to hopefully provide that solace and comfort to others.

I think it’s imperative that books, especially romances, show neurodivergent and mentally ill characters embracing joy, love, and their sexuality in a way that honours and uplifts their wiring. I want to push against the stigma that people need to be “fixed” or “cured” to be deserving of profound, epic love stories. Every brain and every body is deserving of love exactly as it is.


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Jumping off that, do you have any further recommendations for romance books featuring mental health representation for readers looking for more after loving your books?

I am eternally grateful to Helen Hoang for doing so much to open the door to neurodivergent rep in traditionally published romance. Similarly, Talia Hibbert was a huge pioneer for so much incredible disability rep in romance novels, and both continue to put out some of the best romances of our time. I think another one to watch is Alexandra Vasti, who writes historical romances with neurodivergent rep that feels so joyful and uplifting. In the young adult space, Serena Kaylor’s The Calculation of You and Me is one of my favourite books of all time and did the perfect job of capturing what it’s like to be an autistic teenager living a full, funny, and beautiful life.

If Opal and Pepper were flowers, which do you think they’d be both individually and together as a bouquet?

Opal, my sunshine girl, I believe is a Calendula. This is in the marigold family and a flower I don’t think gets a lot of attention, but they bloom in colours ranging from sunshine yellow to brilliant orange and symbolize warmth and happiness. The vibrant colours are a perfect reflection of Opal. Calendula are associated with magic, and in ancient times were used to ward off evil spirits, and I think Opal emotionally does that for Pepper. They also represent love and constancy, two things that Opal brings into Pepper’s life.

Pepper herself is a bouquet, so it’s hard to pick just one, but I would say she is, at heart, a daffodil. Daffodils are a symbol of rebirth, new beginnings, and hope. Pepper battles with the concept of hope throughout the book, only because her natural inclination is to feel so much of it, but childhood hurt has taught her it only brings heartache. Pepper goes through a rebirth and transformation the spring Opal shows up, and she ends up discovering that sunniness and joy in herself.

Their individual flowers would make a perfect bouquet with lavender thrown in. Lavender symbolizes devotion, grace, and calmness, which both women find in each other. Their lives feel very chaotic and disjointed at the start of the book, but as they come together in love and partnership, they find that gentle type of peace that they’ve always been searching for.

And because I can’t not ask; if you were to win the lottery, what is the first thing you would do and/or purchase?

My answer is so BORING but I’d pay off my crushing student loans *sighs forever*. After that, I’d take my mom on an outrageously lavish vacation wherever she wanted because she deserves it.

Finally, do you have any projects in the works and if so, is there anything you can share with us?

At this moment, I’m honestly not sure what I’m allowed to share, so I’ll be a bit of a tease (it’s so rare I’m ever vague or mysterious, I cannot keep a secret for the life of me). I have two turned in books that are not only very different from each other, but also a bit of a departure from my other works up to this point. One of the greatest joys of this job is playing with a blank page and trying something new, and I can’t wait to share these next two stories. But, because it’s me and they say write what you know, I do promise my future characters stay chronically messy and make no apologies for it!

Get your copy of Late Bloomer by Mazey Eddings here.

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