Writing about romance doesn't exactly come naturally to thriller writer Carolina Garcia-Aguilera.
"I'm kind of cynical,'' admits the former private investigator and author of the Lupe Solano detective series, who lives in Miami Beach. îîI write gory books with some sex in them. You get three bodies per book, or you get your money back. I don't shy away from blood and gore. . . . A love story? It's hard for me to write about two people in the bed, and two of them are still breathing.''
But Garcia-Aguilera's love story - yes, she did write one, "kicking and screaming'' all the way - proved to be something of a success: An adaptation of her breezy novel One Hot Summer - about a Cuban American immigration lawyer in Miami torn between her husband and her first love - premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on Lifetime.
Garcia-Aguilera has seen a few minutes of a rough cut. (Earlier this week she headed to Los Angeles with her "Cuban posse'' - her brother, sister and three daughters - for a screening of the movie, which stars Vanessa Marcil.) Still, even those few moments were special.
"The strangest thing was seeing my name on the screen,'' she says. "I was blinking back tears!''
Garcia-Aguilera has sold options for books before; that's the way it works in the movie biz. The first Lupe Solano mystery, Bloody Waters, has been sitting on somebody's desk since the mid '90s, she says,
and there's still no movie in the works.
One Hot Summer was published back in 2002, and "in August last year I got this e-mail about it,'' she says. "I'd almost forgotten I'd written it.''
She takes a practical view of what screenwriters may have done to her story.
"No one made me sell this book. It's my decision. And when you have a house and you sell your house, you can't tell the new owner, 'Don't paint it pink or add a bathroom.' . . . You have to see what happens. I'd love to have them stick close to the book, but I know what the realities are.''
Though there's no Lupe movie on the horizon - yet - fans of the six-book series can rest assured that Garcia-Aguilera hasn't forgotten her sassy, gun-toting, Cuban-American P.I., though she does admit to needing a break after writing the last installment, Bitter Sugar.
"I love Lupe. She's wonderful. But the fact that I shot her in the last book . . . what does that tell you?''