Have you ever had to make it through a trying situation without showing your true feelings? Well, Jane Mercer has to do that all the time—especially throughout Princess Smile, the third book in my series, Truth, Lies, and Love in Advertising.
Many have asked about the title. What does Princess Smile have to do with the story? It’s actually an inside joke among Jane and her best friend, Marisa.
As Jane says in Camera Ready: “I was doing my best to keep a princess smile on my face, recalling that ‘princess smile’ was a term coined by Marisa and me long ago. It was a way of smiling like a princess in the face of controversy or misery. I was in the middle of both.”
The Book That Almost Never Was …
Believe it or not, I almost didn’t publish Princess Smile. And what a shame that would be! Many readers have said it’s their favorite book of the series.
Why? I believe it’s because women relate to Jane. Her predicament is one we are all familiar with in some way: Peer pressure and insecurity lead us to doing things that conflict with who we are, and misery ensues.
In Jane’s case, she doubts herself, believes what the ‘mean girls’ in the office are saying, and she tries to be like them. She falls for the best-looking villain, ditches the guy who loves her, and makes a stream of bad decisions that lead her into ruin.
Someone who had only read the first half of Princess Smile said to me, “I’m so worried about Jane! Is she going to be okay?”
My response? “Jane will be okay. After all, she has friends in high places.” That would be me!
Seriously, though, I worry about all my characters, because sometimes they do things I never intended. They veer off the course of my author’s outline, and then what? I follow them! My characters do the darndest things when I’m not controlling them. And, oftentimes, this leads to an amazing scene! I’ve even changed elements of the plot because the characters went into a different direction.
The Supporting Cast.
My personal favorite part of writing a novel is developing a rich and relatable cast of characters. And most of the characters inhabiting Jane’s exciting world are constant through each of the three novels. In Princess Smile, you’ll get to know Jane’s best friend, Marisa, who is a broadcast journalist on the rise; her new friend, Kat, who is going through a painful divorce. The novel wouldn’t be complete without a terrible, incorrigible villain who also looks like a movie star. Enter Craig Keller, LA’s top adman with an ego to match. Criag swoops in and offers Jane the life she’s been dying to have—but what price is she willing to pay?
What Makes Princess Smile a Must-Read?
It has everything: drama, comedy, romance, and suspense—all woven into the chaotic world of LA advertising. The themes within this book are many—salvation, redemption, true love, personal growth, human compassion, and selfish ambition.
Many readers have told me they had no idea until the last page how things would work out. And, when that happens, I’ve done my job as an author.
One reader remarked that the ending “didn’t disappoint,” and that’s about all I will say—no spoilers here!