It’s Wednesday and I’m pleased to have Tara Mayoros with us to chat about her debut release, Broken Smiles. Tara’s book takes readers from the excitement of the music industry to the jungles of China where the heroine, Laidan, is finally finding the healing she needs – and love. Unfortunately she’s fallen for a man who’s secluded himself from society whereas, up until her arrival in China, she’s been immersed in the public eye. Can these two complete opposites find lasting love?
In the novel BROKEN SMILES, Laidan Swanson rises from ashes of sorrow to the top of the music billboard charts, only to find that her desire for fame is overshadowed by her desire to serve. She escapes her identity and flees to find the humanitarian doctor and the Chinese children depicted in a brochure that she came across in a hospital lobby.
While performing at the Grammys, the pressure from the music industry becomes too much for Laidan. She is quickly carried off the stage, leaving the world audience stunned and amazed by her emotional performance. Accompanying her are a trusted bodyguard and a close childhood friend. Together they make for the jungles of China where she meets Doctor Rafe Watkins, a humanitarian doctor who has reasons of his own for why he has chosen to live deep within the bamboo forests. The handsome doctor is building an orphanage and runs a clinic that fixes children’s broken smiles or cleft palets. Watching him perform his many acts of kind service, Laidan’s “broken smile” is also healing and she begins to fall deeply in love with him. She has finally found a place where she belongs. One problem – because of Rafe’s intentional seclusion from society for the past seven years, he does not know Laidan’s true identity. What will he do when he finds out? Can love conquer all, or is Laidan’s rock star fame too big for his quiet life?
CL: Tell us what sparked the idea for your new release?
CL: Tell us a little bit about your writing process. Do you outline before you begin to write or are you a pantster?
TM: I used to be much more of a pantser. I would write whatever scene that came to me, even if it was the end of the novel. Now, I write a loose outline and let the story take me where it wants to go.
CL: What was the most difficult part of writing Broken Smiles?
TM: The most difficult part has honestly been the marketing. I loved writing my novel and wrote it fairly quick. Even though it has been very fun to meet so many people in the writing community, it has been hard to find my readership. I think when people see women’s romance, they automatically think of more graphic details that I am uncomfortable to write about. The clean romance community has been wonderful and I am excited to meet more people within the genre.
CL: Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming a published author.
TM: I have always loved to write. I have always kept a detailed journal and I love songwriting and poetry. When I began to form stories and characters, my writing and characters came alive and it was like meeting all of these old friends.
CL: What advice would you offer aspiring writers on the writing business?
TM: Be patient. Allow yourself to learn the craft. Join critique groups. It has been so fun to meet other writers and receive advice from others who share the same passions as you. Also, develop a thick skin. You will need it whenever you get rejections, feedback, or poor reviews. Here is another blog post I wrote that talks about the writing process in my opinion. http://taramayoros.com/2014/10/23/you-are-here/ Basically enjoy where you are in the process.
CL: Any special tips for writers who are juggling writing with raising a family, working a day job or just everyday life in general?
TM: When I wrote the novel Broken Smiles, I was working a full time job, commuting, and had three young children. Life was insane. I am normally a creative person and I think my soul just needed the intense release of writing a novel. I would write well into the night, when the house was quiet, and let my stress dissolve while I escaped into my novel. Now, I manage my time better. I have many projects going on at the same time and so it is very important to stick to a schedule. I think it is easy to get caught up in the urgency of writing and editing, but nothing is more important than your relationships with those you love.
As a child, Tara Mayoros moved to Asia with her family where her love of different cultures and travel began. In college she satisfied her wanderlust by moving to China, filling her head with countless stories, and occasionally writing them down.
Years, marriage, children and many adventures later, she picked up her dusty pen and paper (or laptop) and realized that writing took her to different worlds and gave her the experiences that she yearned for. As an author, artist, baker, music teacher, gardener, and nature lover – she sees the beauty in the process, and the miracle, of creation. The Rocky Mountains are her home and they call to her whenever she finds herself in need of inspiration.
Readers can connect with Tara at:
You can purchase Broken Smiles from these retailers: