Diana has a Puerto Rican father and a Polish mother and many of the multi-cultural themes expressed in her novels are based on her personal background. She also holds a journalism degree from Boston University, and has worked as a reporter and as an advocate for inner city public school. And finally she has the cutest website I’ve ever seen – in fact there is some major web envy going on right now, so don’t forget to go and check it out.
Tell me a bit about your book.
Adios to All The Drama is the third and final book in my Amor and Summer Secrets series. In it, Mariana Ruiz discovers that the summer fling she thought she left in Puerto Rico , Alex, will soon be coming for a visit. And as her old flame settles into the guestroom two doors down from her, Mariana finds herself conflicted between him and her lingering feelings for her Locker Buddy Bobby.
Additionally, her best friends are little help as Madison deals with her IM-only “boyfriend” and Emily sinks into secret mode after her parents’ recent breakup. The only relationship that seems to be working is her estranged aunt Teresa who’s tying the knot on New Years Eve with Mariana and her cousin Lilly as bridesmaids. But as the wedding details unfold, one question remains. Who will Mariana kiss at midnight?
What was the inspiration for writing it?
Well, Adios to All the Drama is the third book in the series. So it was inspired by the two books that came before. However, the first book in the series, Amor and Summer Secrets, was initially inspired by a conversation with my agent, Jenoyne Adams. She had mentioned seeing a recent increase in interest from editors seeking multi-cultural novels, and she asked the infamous question, “Got any ideas?” I didn’t. But by the end of our conversation, I had pitched the story for what became Amor and Summer Secrets.
Part of the inspiration was derived from my first trip to Puerto Rico after I graduated from college. I met my relatives there for the first time, and I got to see where my dad grew up. I wanted to share some of those experiences with my character while showcasing that the stereotypes about Latinas are just that—stereotypes.
I’m a sucker for a sale story, so I’d love to hear how you sold your first book.
Well, I started writing my first novel because I had a dream one night that I was a young adult author, and I dreamt the concept for an entire series of books. Seriously. When I woke up and told my husband, he reminded me of a vacation we took five years earlier through New England where I had visited a psychic in Salem , MA . At the time I was a reporter, and psychic immediately stated, “I was a writer.” But she said I was “the writer of little books, like children’s books.” Being raised Catholic, I took these things as signs, and decided to write my first novel.
To make things even more mystical, my first novel sold on Fat Tuesday while I was in New Orleans at Mardi Gras wearing beads and feathered mask. I give a much more detailed account of this story on my website at http://www.dianarodriguezwallach.com/for_writers.html.
Since you’ve been a published writer, what’s been the coolest thing that’s happened to you? (though be warned if it somehow involves meeting David Boreanaz, there will be jealousy issues to deal with).
Did you know that David Boreanaz is from Philly, and his father is a weatherman here? That’s gotta make me only a few degrees separated (okay, so like seriously you’re the first girlfriend who actually has had a connection to DB and now I am very, very jealous!!!!!). But one cool thing that happened to me recently was I was asked to speak this summer at the Chica Lit Club Fiesta hosted by Alisa Valdes Rodriguez. This is particularly meaningful to me because a couple of years ago, before I was published, I was thinking of saving up money so I could attend the conference and meet other Latina authors. Now I’m going to be one of the featured speakers. Crazy.
What authors inspire you and why?
I have several favorite authors. One of my favorite books is The Little Prince. I think the lessons in that story are useful at any age (even the dedication inspires me). And I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, especially Pride & Prejudice. And I love Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight.
Finally, what’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last six months?
I saw Slumdog Millionaire and really like it, the cinematography was amazing. I also liked Twilight (however, not as much as the book). And I thought Josh Brolin was great in “W” (especially the Yale initiation scenes).