Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blogoversary: Interview with Diane Mannino

Book Addicts!

Today we have one of Anasheh's favorite authors to celebrate our blogoversary with us. She's the author of the Romeo series, which sounds very promising. I don't know if you heard about this books, but I'm definitely putting them in my TBR. What about you?

We have a wonderful interview with Diane and a giveaway! So if you haven't read her books, this is your chance. Have fun!

Running from Romeo (Romeo #1)
Release Date: September 1st 2013
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Emilia King is entering her senior year at Santa Barbara University. For the past three years, she lived in the library – doing what she knows best – focusing on her studies and forgetting her past…a past that has forever changed her life. But this year marks a new beginning…
Logan Prescott is not only the hottest guy on campus, he’s heir to a billionaire hotel fortune. Emilia knows he’s trouble and should stay clear of him. But his notorious good looks and piercing blue eyes make him simply irresistible – especially when he’s quoting her favorite literary works.
Intrigued by Emilia’s innocence and resistance to his charm, Logan discovers she’s a challenge he simply can’t resist. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but running from him may be impossible.

Waiting for Romeo (Romeo #2)
Release Date: November 15th 2013
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Heartbroken by the one guy she simply couldn’t resist, Emilia King is determined to move on. But Logan Prescott is also determined… determined to win her back. He lost the only person who truly mattered to him and now he’ll do whatever it takes to convince Emilia to give him a second chance.
While their attraction to each other is undeniable, the obstacles they’re forced to confront may be too much. And just when it seems their love for each other is a bond that knows no bounds, Emilia faces her worst nightmare.
With her newfound inner strength, Emilia realizes fighting to be with Logan is her only hope…and waiting for him may ultimately determine not only their future together, but her own destiny.

I’m so glad that you “adored” my books! Thank you. I would say on one level the story is a basic love story. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl, but will boy get her back? Then on another level, it’s also a story of self-discovery. Emilia’s journey with Logan is her first lesson in love, but it’s also a lesson in finding herself.

I always wanted to write a YA novel. I have two teen daughters and I read and enjoy a lot of their books. I also loved Shakespeare from an early age and always wanted to write a book with a lot of Shakespearean references. I wanted to write a romance like “Romeo and Juliet” but with a modern twist to it. Emilia and Logan don’t have rival families, but their friends do their best to keep them apart.

I love that you enjoyed those aspects! Well, I love literature and knew I wanted to incorporate the Classics, especially Shakespeare. I know that kids today are often turned off by having to read Classics. They’d much rather read “Divergent” or “The Hunger Games” than “Othello” or “Romeo and Juliet”. I want kids, including mine, to see that Classics are just as enjoyable! As for the song lyrics, I just love how music can really set the tone of a scene. I also thought it would be a fun element to include.

I found writing the dialogue for both Logan and Emilia to be very easy. I would have to say the character of Emilia was more of a challenge to write in “Running from Romeo” only because she’s smart, but so naïve. I wanted her to be sympathetic and not frustrating to the reader.

It’s hard to create a character who may come across as too naïve when you don’t know the reason for it. The reader doesn’t learn about the reason until the end of the book. Emilia’s character in “Waiting for Romeo” was a lot easier to write because she was growing as a person. I loved writing about her strength and her unwillingness to put up with any bullshit. 

You can probably guess my answer from the previous one. “Waiting for Romeo” was easier in many ways. With the first book I spent so much time building the characters, establishing the setting, and creating the drama. With “Waiting for Romeo” I found it easier for the story to progress. Another reason is I had never attempted to write a book before “Running from Romeo.” I’ve written short stories, essays and lots of other things, but writing a novel is a bit intimidating and overwhelming!

Well, without giving too much away, I would have to say the last scene in “Running from Romeo.” I know you said it broke your heart to read it. It broke mine to write it.

Immediately, a lump forms in my throat when I read this question. Bloggers, like you, have made this journey so rewarding as a writer. Of course, I love the positive reviews, but I also appreciate the negative ones. I would love to have everyone who reads my books love them, but that’s not reality. Besides, the criticisms only help me learn and grow as a writer :)

There are so many books I love, but there are just a handful of authors that I’d read whatever they wrote. J.K Rowling and Suzanne Collins are probably the two YA authors. I love anything that Jhumpa Lahiri writes. Her writing is so poetic. I also love Donna Tartt and Stephen King. They are very different storytellers, but they both have the amazing gift of drawing you in from the very first sentence. 

I have to think about this one. I don’t think I can narrow it down. So if I had to choose a heroine from Shakespeare I would choose Beatrice from “Much Ado About Nothing.” She’s smart, funny and strong. But if I didn’t choose her, I would pick Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice.” She’s not only intelligent and independent, she’s witty, honest, and just an all-around lovely woman. In contemporary literature, I would choose Hermione from “Harry Potter.” She’s smart, incredibly brave and she gets to cast spells! Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that? :)

I’m always coming up with ideas for Emilia, Logan and all the other RFR characters. Their story isn’t over so that project is the one that’s always on my mind.

DIANE MANNINO graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in English Literature. She is a former writer for Museum and Arts Washington and Star Magazine as well as several television shows, including, Inside Edition, American Journal, and E! News Daily. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Running from Romeo is her first novel and she is currently working on the sequel.

Please don't hesitate to come and chat with me on twitter @DianeMannino23 

I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I'm a huge fan of lyrics in books. They always add a little extra to the story.

    1. That's completely true, Chanpreet! I love book playlist. I think it gives some "background" to the story ;)