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.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
How did I come up with the character names and is there meaning behind them.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
Because the demands of sticking to my publishers deadline, I have really tried to stick to a routine. I tend to get lost in writing and sometimes it can be hard to surface back to real life.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I have experienced writers block a couple times and wrote about it in detail on my blog taramayoros.com. I talk about writer’s block vs. writer’s resistance. I find it very helpful to surround myself with like-minded people. Nature also inspires me and usually when I answer the call of the mountain, I come back feeling refreshed and have found my muse once more.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
Find a critique group. Find your tribe – I also blogged about finding your tribe on taramayoros.com. I think it is very important to get feedback and support from other writers.
What are your current/future projects?
Currently, I have a Christmas Novella which will be released through Astraea Press in November. I am also working on YA fantasy trilogy called Vagabond. Many more projects are listed on my blog.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I write what begs to be written, therefore I don’t write for one particular genre. I know this is a rookie move, but the thing is, I don’t care. I am still finding my voice, still exploring who I am as an author. Generally all of my stories have to have some kind of romantic element.
What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?
I think the future for independent authors is very bright! Time will eventually rise the talented authors to the top. But there are also so many talented authors who struggle to promote and their books are never seen. It takes a lot of grit and determination to be an independent author. They are some of the hardest working people I know. Many people give up too soon.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I am traditionally published through a small press. I love Astraea Press and am glad to have found a wonderful support group of authors that share the same values as I.
Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?
As an artist, I offered many suggestions about my cover. When I first saw the first draft of my cover, I was a little disappointed. Thankfully, my publisher listened to my concerns and worked with me to get it right.
What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)
It is all about connections. I have attended many writers’ conferences over the years and it was a strange day when I went from writer to presenter. The connections I have made in this business have been priceless!
What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?
I am still new at twitter, but I can see that it is one of the best tools out there.
You can follow me @TaraMayoros. Also, start an author page and blog as soon as you can.
If you are a self-published author, which platform do you prefer? (Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Author House, or something not mentioned), and why?
I’m not self-published, but I like Amazon
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
Women’s Contemporary Romance (clean)
I love romances that my grandmother, mother and daughter can all read at the same time and hopefully spark conversation. That is why I have decided to make my romances clean. I have received a lot of feedback about the attraction and romance and how they are not lacking. Clean doesn’t mean boring!
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
I have a notepad that I take everywhere with me!
Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?
I just know, but I try to keep it in the appropriate page count for that genre.
How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?
I hope to inspire others with my writing. Not only through humanitarian efforts, but with following dreams.
How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?
I was a reader before an author, so I know it is huge to have something catchy.
Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?
As my book is only a week old, I have not yet done a press release. But I plan to.
Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?
Yes, there is value in a review. But I think many of them are corrupt or bought. Generally, I don’t trust them and find referrals from friends much more useful.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
I think it is terrible and defeats the whole purpose of helpful reviews.
Do you believe there are competitors or general readers out to sabotage authors with bad reviews and what are your experiences with this?
Yes, I have witnessed this with some of my friends!
Have you ever had an interesting, funny, or even bad experience during a live interview, reading, event, or autograph session?
Not yet, but I can’t wait!
With self-publishing being so easy these days, do you believe there is an overabundance of books out there and how do you sort through all the hype or copycats?
Yes. Everyone, please hire professional editors and book designers before you press the publish button.
What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
The hate mail and one star reviews.
What is the intended audience for you book?
Women. Age 15-45
Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?
I gave one of my characters the name Ting. That is my Chinese given name. It means to hear or listen.
If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?
Don’t steal books online. Support the hard efforts of authors and just buy them.
Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?
Yes. Instagram is my favorite social media, followed by my blog and then Pinterest.
What makes a good story, why?
A beginning that hooks you in, action, and a satisfying ending. Also, compelling characters.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I put a lot of thought into my names. After all, I am going to be spending a lot of time with them.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes, I read my reviews, but I am still new at this and haven’t received many yet. However, I have dealt with rejection and people not liking your work. My advice is to focus on the good and have a support group that will lift you up.
What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?
I try to attend many conferences. I go to critique groups every week. They are all different and so I get different opinions on my work.
What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)
I have a hard time writing action scenes because I tend to love description and in action, you want to streamline the scene.
What would you like to write about that you have never written about before?
I would like to write a children’s book.
Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?
Yes, almost every character speaks to me in dreams.
Do you have any characters you would like to introduce in other books or a combination of characters from multiple books you would like to write about in one book?
Yes, that is why I am writing a YA fantasy trilogy. The characters stories are much too broad for one novel.
Were your characters based off real life people/events or did you make it all up?
No, not generally. I get ideas from events sometimes.
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
Good prose. Great dialogue.
What book(s), author(s), or significant life event(s) have had a positive or negative influence in your life that inspired you to begin writing?
Moving to a new state, far from family and friends made me delve deeper into my writing.
What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?
I think you need to have both now days.
Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?
Writing, to me, is a creative outlet and a labor of love. Someday I would love to have it be my career.
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?
I get it as good as I possibly know how and then I send it off to betas and alpha readers. Once those revisions are finished I send to an editor or my publisher to get it in tip top shape.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?
I think in both cases you need to do an awful lot of promotion. I like the idea of being your own boss and decision maker when it comes to self-publishing.
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
I find inspiration everywhere. In relationships, nature, experiences.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
I think my book Broken Smiles has a good message about service and self-discovery.
Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?
No, my publisher does.
What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?
Editing and revising. Then marketing.
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