Mara isn’t a slut; she just can’t find what she wants. She wants to forget her mother’s death, her father’s hypocrisy, and the plane crash that follows her. As a child she couldn’t understand why the grass never got cut, and now as she gropes her way through university life, all those weeds, those dandelions, have stayed with her, haunting her dreams.
She can’t see a way out of her dark hole until she gets hit by a car on an Ottawa street and starts spending time with Jack, the guy behind the wheel. Kind, thoughtful, and a virgin – he’s the last person she ever expected to fall for.
As she opens up to Jack, the wounds she’d been trying to ignore surface, and she’s forced to finally choose between running from or facing the past that’s been haunting her all her life. Through nights out looking for release to the ultimate event that forces her to face herself, Mara finally learns the truth about dandelions.
What inspired you to write this story?
This is going to sound awfully vain, but my initial idea for this story came to me several years ago when I was walking down Yonge Street in Toronto. It was a beautiful spring day, I was wearing a new skirt, and I felt as if I was turning quite a few heads. To be blunt, I was feeling pretty darned hot. Right away, I started feeling almost ashamed for thinking myself so great, and it occurred to me that sometimes when a woman feels sexually powerful, that feeling can be accompanied by diminishing self-worth. It’s wonderful to feel beautiful, but if your sense of confidence doesn’t come from deep inside you, if you’re only basing it on how others perceive you, it doesn’t really count. My character, Mara, grew out of that.
How are you marketing your book/growing your audience?
This is the biggest challenge for me, since in all honesty I find the on-line world a bit overwhelming (and The Truth about Dandelions is only available as an e-book.) I’m on Goodreads and Twitter, and I’ve started a blog documenting my experiences in entering the digital world. (I’m not as old as I sound; I’m just stubborn, wary, and a bit slow.) Fortunately my editor, owner of a great, new e-publishing company, Wolf on Water (www.wolfonwater.com) is also doing some marketing so I’m not totally on my own. Right now, we’ve been trying to get book reviewers on board. (Oh, if only I’d written an urban fantasy novel, or something with vampires in it, I’d have reviewers up the yin-yang!) The key to book marketing, it seems to me, is to just get the novel into the hands of the right people. Of course that’s easier said than done. I’m hoping slow and steady is the way to go.
Getting it out there – How do you promote your work?
I’m not terribly confident in my writing. No, that’s not true. What I mean is, some days I think I totally rock at this craft, but the next day I can read the same chapter and think it totally sucks. Because of that, it took me a long time to show anybody “The Truth about Dandelions.” Even now, I still feel as if I could make it better. I have never, ever said, “There. Now it’s done. It’s perfect.” Because I’ve never said that, I really needed my editor, Niika Nenn.
I had pitched it to different agents but I knew that it was a long-shot, particularly because “The Truth about Dandelions” does not neatly fit into a genre. It’s categorized as Literary Fiction but it has elements of chick lit and parts of it are a bit edgy as well. (It’s pretty scathing on certain brands of religion, which I think mainstream publishers shy away from.) But when I sent the first three chapters to Wolf on Water, Niika responded the next day with three full pages of notes. I was shocked and thrilled, and then the detailed editing process began.
So what’s my point? Two things. Get a professional editor, and then get it out there. It’s not profound or controversial, but I think a lot of would-be writers need to hear this: if you don’t show it to anyone, it will never be published.
Where can we find “The Truth about Dandelions” online?
My website: http://hayleylinfield.webs.com