Books Ahoy! is a feature inspired by Entertainment Weekly‘s “Books of My Life” column. I wanted to go beyond the interview and ask authors (and even readers) about their favorite books. Reading is a personal, but shared experience and what a great way to know someone by asking them about the books that shaped their life.
No author or reader was forced to walk the plank.
I’m excited to welcome Lena Diaz to Lit, etc.! Exit Strategy is now available and it’s the first book in the Exit Inc. series. I’m a little halfway through it and I’m really enjoying it!
Lena was kind enough to agree to a Q&A and I hope you enjoy getting to know her better. Plus, I’m giving you the chance to win a copy of Exit Strategy!
Q. Your favorite childhood book?
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Everything in this story was magical. And what started out as sad and depressing blossomed into happiness and hope.
Q. Favorite book you read for school?
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I loved the symbolism and hidden meanings. And the emotion sucked me right in.
Q. A book you’ve claimed to have read, but haven’t?
Confession time. I was supposed to read Wuthering Heights in high school. I tried. I really, really tried. Hated it. Ended up using a cheat sheet to make the grade. Sadly, I have no regrets about that.
Q. A novel that you love that would surprise people?
Coffin Dancer, by Jeffery Deaver. Not a romance, therefore, surprising that I loved it.
Q. Favorite adaptation of a novel?
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Actually, all of the J.R.R.Tolkien movie adaptations are awesome. LOVE!
Q. A book you wish you had written?
Son of the Morning, by Linda Howard. It’s just a brilliant, unique book. It’s absolutely a romance, and yet it breaks every rule of the genre. The heroine begins the book married to another man. And she doesn’t meet the hero until about 2/3 of the way into the story. The writing is incredible, genius, unprecedented. If I could ever write a book that good, that strong, that edgy, then I’ll know that I’ve finally arrived as an author.
Q. A book that in some way cemented you as a writer?
Honestly, I don’t feel cemented just yet. I’ve read dozens of craft books. I’ve learned a lot, but I still have a ton more to learn. One day, hopefully I’ll feel worthy of the title “author”.
Q. A book that would make a great doorstop?
100,000 + BABY NAMES:The Most Complete Baby Name Book, by Bruce Lansky. It’s almost 700 pages. I often use this book when trying to come up with character names for the stories I’m writing.
Q. A book that you reread year after year?
I have lots of comfort reads that I re-read from time to time, when I want to get swept away in a familiar story written by a master. One of them is Ransom, by Julie Garwood. Another perennial favorite is Killjoy, also by Julie Garwood.
Q. And finally, you’ve been given the task to host a last minute dinner party. Which authors are on your ultimate dinner invitation list? Alive or Dead.
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, so I can thank her for the rich, wonderful stories that helped me survive those angst-filled teenage years. Allison Brennan because, hey, she’s Allison Brennan. Linda Howard because she doesn’t know how to write a book that I don’t love.
Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense and has been a finalist in the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.
I have a copy of Lena Diaz’s Exit Strategy up for grabs. US only. Any incomplete task will be disqualified (therefore don’t say you completed a section when you didn’t. 😉 ) Giveaway ends on Tuesday, July 7th at Midnight MDT (2 am EDT). Good luck!
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