Catching Up with Tara Mayoros


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?


***”Starting out, I came here to help children with cleft palates. It’s overwhelming for me to see how much more needs to be done. No matter how many patients I help or how many lives I change, it’s a drop in the bucket.”

***He brought his hand to her cheek and cradled it for a moment while his eyes looked down at her lips. Then he smoothed her lips slowly with the pad of his thumb.

***Laidan thought about the differences between their fame. Her fame was about money and greed. His fame with these children was about love and service.


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.

Tell me something interesting about yourself.

Autumn is my favorite season! I love the warm colors and the chill in the air. Last year I started a new tradition. I covered the Thanksgiving table with butcher paper and markers. All of my family and friends drew funny doodles along with what they were grateful for. I come from a family of quirky artists, so it was so much fun to see what people came up with. Then I used that butcher paper for Christmas wrapping paper. Follow me on Instagram to see photos. It was so much fun for everyone! I am thankful for my family and for doing what I love, which is art and writing.

What inspired your book?


My book was inspired first by lyrics to a song I wrote. It came to me in a dream. My entire book and characters evolved from those song lyrics. Then of course, the time I spent in China was fuel for my story.



How do you spend your free time?


I spend my free time actively trying to get outdoors. I love to ski and hike and just be in the mountains. If I am home and can’t escape to nature, then I go for a run or walk outside.



What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?


The thing I struggle most with writing, is avoiding purple prose. This is when the writing is so flowery that it brings excessive attention to itself. Personally I love Tolkien and his extreme details. People don’t care for that much anymore. I have been told to tone down on my description many times. I cut 30,000 words from Broken Smiles! I defeat it my coming back to my work in progress after a long break and look at it with critical eyes. Good editors also help.


When did you first realize you were an author?


I first realized I was an author when this book was pretty much done and I would take it to critique groups and enter it in competitions. When it started getting good reviews and input, then I realized that maybe, just maybe I had something.


What kind of music do you listen to while you write?


Music is HUGE when I write. I have to listen to music. It is my muse. I don’t care if it has words or not. I like listening to epic soundtracks when I am in a fight scene. I’ll put a soundtrack up on my web-site soon of musicians and songs that inspire me.


What is your favorite part of writing?


My favorite part of writing is the escapism. It transports me into a different world and hours pass, days pass, before I surface. I also love the community of like minded individuals



What is the most important thing in your life and why?


My husband and children are the most important things in my life. Sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to stop writing and spend time with them. I have done much better at this as the demands of writing are so huge right now. I try to stick to a schedule and when they are home from work and school, I turn off the computer to spend time with them.



I would love to go to lunch with Edgar Allen Poe. It would be thrilling because I would fear for my life, along with give me food for fodder.

The fictional character I’d love to go to lunch with would be of course any of the heroines in Juliet Marillers fantasy novels. They are all so different but show courage and strength.


Which of your personality traits did you write into you characters?


I didn’t intentionally write my personality traits into any of my characters. Through my character Rafe, I was able to live my humanitarian dream, which will hopefully come to pass someday.


What is your favorite color?


Turquoise! I even have a turquoise blue guitar like the one in the novel Broken Smiles that I bought in China for maybe $5.00


What is your favorite animal?


A horse! It is my spirit animal. I love taking personality tests and anytime I do a spirit animal test, it is always a horse. In my work in progress YA fantasy trilogy, Vagabond, I have a main character that is a horse.


Top hobby you do when not writing?


I paint. I refurbish furniture. I ski. I work in a garden center and play with pretty flowers.


Do you collect anything?


Yes, I have an addiction for maps, atlas’, and globes. I have a huge collection of globes. It is my way of seeing the world without going anywhere. I inherited my wanderlust from my Grandmother.


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