Remember that this interview is from September 2013, so pre-dates the events in A Girl Called Malice...
Hi Lena! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Katlyn! I'm Valentina, but everybody calls me Lena. I'm seventeen and I'm in my first year at sixth form college, which I guess in a bit like your high schools in America, so I'd be what, a sophomore? Is that the last year before senior year?
Who are your BFF(s)?
Ah now that would be Gemma, my soul sister. She's been my best friend since I was about eight years old and I practically live at her house. It makes me cringe to say it, but if I'm allowed a second best friend, then that would be Flick, well, Felicity, but she's always been known as Flick. She's the calm, collected one, compared to Gemma's flair for the dramatics.
Who is your current crush?
Oh no... you're not going to catch me out with that one - jeez, I can't even admit it to myself - so I shall stick with Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga.
Tell us your first reaction to Operation: Popping the Cherry?
Oh man, am I blushing? Talk about a shock. It was horrific, I just wanted the floor of the canteen to open up and swallow me and I very nearly stormed out of there, regardless of all the stares I was attracting with my shrieking.
What is your ideal perfect date?
Do you know what? I don't really have one. There's the tried and tested dates, like dinner or the cinema, but I'm just as content with a bag of chips and a healthy debate.
If you had a genie, what three wishes would you ask for?
Ohhh, that's a tough one. A crystal ball would be great, just so I had some clue as to what I'm supposed to do. Or maybe I could wish for some kind of 'Wizard of Oz' simulation game so I could play at being the tin man, the lion and the scarecrow? Love, courage and common sense could be handy right about now. My last wish is easy, I really really want to pass my driving test, especially as I have a car on the driveway taunting me and just failed my test because of the stupid examiner.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hey what's with all the difficult questions? I don't even know what I want to do after sixth form yet, let alone five years from now. Mum and Dad want me to follow them into Law, but it doesn't appeal in the slightest. If I do go on to University - that's College to you - then it would be to study something like English Literature. I might just go and get a job and skip the whole university thing though. I guess only time will tell but something tells me I've got some difficult decisions to make...
And that's it.
If you'd like to find out more about Lena and her crazy posse of friends - as well as her enemies - make sure you check out Popping the Cherry and then go straight into A Girl Called Malice, where Lena also has a huge part to play.
Facing the Music...
Book one: Popping the Cherry
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From driving tests to relationships, Valentina Bell thinks she’s a failure, with a big fat capital F. At this rate, she’s certain she’ll be a virgin for ever. So Lena’s friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect man first time.
Yet somehow disastrous dates with bad-boy musicians and fabulous evenings with secretly in-the-closet guys aren’t quite working out how Lena planned.
Soon Lena’s avoiding Operation: Popping the Cherry to spend time with comforting, aloof Jake, her best friend’s older brother, who doesn’t make her feel self-conscious about still clinging to her V card. But could Jake show Lena that sometimes what you’re looking for most is right by your side?
A Forever for the twenty-first century
Book two: A Girl Called Malice
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It’s not easy being the Queen Bee. Alice Taylor should know.
You know that girl. The one that the whole school’s social life seems to revolve around. Alice used to be that girl until she decided to quit sixth form college. Suddenly her ‘friends’ aren’t so interested in following her around and her attention-grabbing behaviour is about to get her kicked out of home. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, her world starts spiralling seriously out of control.
Only new friend Zac Newton seems to believe in her. Lifeguard and poolside hottie, Zac is quite literally her lifesaver. But then, he’s never met ‘Malice’, her mean-girl alter ego, and Alice wants to keep it that way. She knows this is her last chance for a fresh start until her sordid past catches up with her at the worst possible moment.
As everything Alice has worked towards comes crashing down around her, she realises that the hardest thing of all is being yourself…
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