Lena Diaz is a fellow Avon author and the wonderful part of being published at Avon is that the books are so diverse. I love my historicals, but occassionally a little suspense is good for the soul. So therefore, let me introduce, Lena Diaz:
1. Did you have a nickname growing up? Lele, pronounced ‘Lee Lee’. My oldest sister called me that and still does sometimes. No rhyme or reason behind it, just a nickname that was a play off my first name. I always liked it and thought it was cute.
2. Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been? Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My husband surprised me on our 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to Gatlinburg. We stayed in a chalet that clung to the side of the Smoky Mountain foothills. We sat in the hot tub on the deck, looking out over the mountains. And we took all kinds of day trips through the Smoky Mountain National Park, hiking and seeing wildlife and beautiful waterfalls. The highlight was hiking up to Clingman’s Dome where you can see for miles in every direction. We went back a few years later with our extended family, about twenty of us, and rented a three-story cabin. Went horseback riding and hiking. The highlight of that second trip was whitewater rafting. I love Gatlinburg and highly recommend it, both as a romantic getaway and as a great place for family fun!
3. What is the very first romance book that you read? It’s impossible for me to remember the very first one, but I know one of the earliest ones I read was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I can still picture the hero, Brandon Birmingham, his tall, muscular, handsome profile standing on the deck of his ship as he took his new bride home from England to America. I could feel the heroine’s sorrow as her beloved homeland slipped beyond the horizon, and her fear of her uncertain future in a strange new land. Several of Woodiwiss’s books became my favorites and sit proudly on my bookshelf to this day, including A Rose in Winter and Ashes in the Wind. Kathleen Woodiwiss was an incredible author who paved the way for so many authors after her. She was the true queen of romance, one of the original Avon ladies.
4. If you could time travel, what time period would you most like to visit? Medieval Scotland, the highlands, during the reign of King John in England. I think that was the late 1100’s, maybe even 1200. That was the time of Julie Garwood’s novel Ransom, one of my all-time favorite historicals. I’d love to go back to that time and see the Highland Laird’s and see firsthand the power-struggles between the British and Scottish people. Of course, I’d want to be invisible on my trip, so I’d be safe. It was a hard, violent time and although I’d love to visit, I wouldn’t want to live there. I enjoy my modern day luxuries of soap, showers, medicines, etc. far too much to actually want to live in medieval times. But, really, who could resist seeing all those Scottish highlanders in their kilts and speaking with those sexy brogues?
5. What are your top three favorite movies? This is where I have to admit that I’m a total movie fanatic. I love romantic comedies and action flicks. My top three favorites probably change depending on my mood, but off the top of my head right now, I’d say Armegeddon (love the Aerosmith soundtrack, and Bruce Willis of course), Notting Hill, While you Were Sleeping, and I have to throw a fourth one in here – Ever After. Oh, and I loved Kate & Leopold, and A Knight’s Tale….and…okay, have to stop myself. Needless to say, I love movies!