Here’s my answer.
At a certain point in my life, I knew three women who gardened naked. They all had different takes on why they did it but they all felt it was really important to them. So I began to think about a woman named Katelyn Cross who goes to her garden naked and what that might mean and in what ways it would be liberating for her and important in her life. The garden symbolizes her world and the rocks in it keep getting in her way. So she has to deal with life's obstacles, even in her garden -- which is her sanctuary.
I chose the theme -- naked gardening -- as a way to explore how women, who so often put themselves aside in order to care for everyone else, can get back in touch with their inner spirit. I think a woman's spirit is what enables her to be there for everyone else. But she also needs to keep her true spirit accessible.
I was thinking about women in a general way for the theme, but then I developed the seven female characters to symbolize the stages of a woman's life. These characters are different ages from 20s to elderly. They're going through different life crises or changes -- son off at war & husband retired, husband cheating on beautiful wife who's coping with aging, dedicated professional woman faced with unexpected pregnancy, and the rest. And of course Katelyn, fretting over losing herself within the confines of marriage. I think these are universal themes for women. It's not about who does the laundry but of who you think you are and who you want to become and not being stifled by what society expects you to be.
Who was I writing for? Women ages 30 and up. The fact that I've gotten some five star reviews from men has actually surprised me. I never thought any man would read “The Naked Gardener” (of course I did get one review on Amazon from a guy who said: “Girl talk, Yuk.”) That gave me a good chuckle.
But he’s right. It is girl talk. I love girl talk.
Learn more about the author and the book at the author's website, her Facebook page, and on Twitter.
And in case you missed it last week, you can also read my review of The Naked Gardener or check out what amazon reviewers had to say.