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Lila Guzmán (1952–) Biography

Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1952, in Lexington, KY; Education: Western Kentucky University, B.A. (Spanish and French), 1973, M.A.T.C., 1975; University of Kentucky, Ph.D. (Spanish literature), 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, family pets, reading.


Writer, teacher, naval officer, and translator. University of Georgia, former lecturer in Romance languages, 1980; Spanish teacher at middle-school and high-school level. Faculty instructor at Defense Language Institute.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Writers League of Texas (member of board), Texas Connection to the American Revolution Association, Asociación Bernardo de Gálvez.

Lila Guzmán

Honors Awards

Joint Service Commendation Medal, U.S. Navy, 1983; honorable mention in fiction, National League of American Pen Women, for short story "Star Apples"; Arizona Authors Book Award (with Rick Guzmán), 2003, for Lorenzo's Secret Mission, 2004, for Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest; TCARA Book Award, 2006, for Lorenzo's Secret Mission and Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest.


Green Slime and Jam, illustrated by daughter, Jenny Guzmán, Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 2001.

(With husband, Rick Guzmán) Lorenzo's Secret Mission, Piñata Books (Houston, TX), 2001.

(With Rick Guzmán) Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest, Piñata Books (Houston, TX), 2003.

(With Rick Guzmán) Lorenzo and the Turncoat, Piñata Books (Houston, TX), 2006.

Kichi in Jungle Jeopardy, illustrated by Regan Johnson, Blooming Tree Press, 2006.

(With Rick Guzmán) George López, Enslow Publishing (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2006.

(With Rick Guzmán) Gésar Chávez, Enslow Publishing (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2006.

(With Rick Guzmán) Frida Kahlo, Enslow Publishing (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2006.

(With Rick Guzmán) Diego Rivera, Enslow Publishing (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2006.

(With Rick Guzmán) Elena Ochoa, Enslow Publishing (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2006.

(With Rick Guzmán) Roberto Clemente, Enslow Publishing (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2006.

Translator of The Campaign of the Maestrazgo, by Benito Pérez Galdós, 1990, and A Royalist Volunteer, by Galdós, 1993. Author of online column "Ask the Author." Contributor of fiction to periodicals, including Roswell Literary Review, Arizona Literary, San Diego Writers Monthly, Xoddity, Millennium Science Fiction and Fantasy, PIF, Austin Writer, and Canadian Writer's Journal.

Work in Progress

Lorenzo and the Pirate, in which Lorenzo boards a pirate ship to give medical assistance and finds himself in a battle between pirates and a British ship; Green Slime and Sushi; Snatchers.


Lila Guzmán balances the historical record for younger readers, co-authoring the 'Lorenzo' series with her husband, attorney Rick Guzmán. The series, which includes Lorenzo's Secret Mission, Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest and Lorenzo and the Turncoat, focuses on the Spanish contribution to America's quest for freedom during the American Revolution. In Lorenzo's Secret Mission readers meet fifteen-year-old Lorenzo Bannister, as he becomes drawn into the battle for colonial in-dependence while delivering a message from his dying father. In School Library Journal Sean George called the novel "entertaining," with "several unpredictable twists," while Shaunna S. Silva noted in Kliatt that the Guzmáns' book expresses the young man's strong commitment to the "struggle to achieve freedom and a better life."

In Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest Lorenzo, now sixteen, goes on a secret mission to aid General George Washington's troops. Along with a captain in the Spanish army, Lorenzo and his accomplice must somehow smuggle 500 head of cattle from the region that is now Texas, providing the colonial army with much-needed nourishment. Along the way the teen runs into obstacles and faces perilous danger, resulting in a story that "will keep readers engrossed and looking forward to the next tale," according to Kliatt critic Barbara McKee. Susan Geye, writing in School Library Journal, also enjoyed the tale, stating that the Guzmáns' novel "will hold the appeal for those who enjoyed Lorenzo's earlier adventure."

Taking place in 1779, Lorenzo and the Turncoat fore-shadows contemporary history as a powerful hurricane leaves the young city of New Orleans leveled and defenseless in the face of an attack by British troops. Now apprenticed to a medical doctor and planning for a future with fiancée Eugenie, Lorenzo is also left devastated by the storm: it hit only two days before he was to be married and Eugenie is now missing. Following rumors that she is in Baton Rouge, he joins Colonel de Gálvez and the Spanish Army, determined to find his future wife as he is drawn into further military maneuvers against the British redcoats.

Part of a series coauthored by the Guzmáns, this 2001 novel focuses on the Spanish role in supporting the American Revolution of 1776 and features the actual historical figures Bernardo de Gálvez and George Gibson.

Guzmán told SATA: "All the information in the "Lorenzo" series is based on fact. We call our books 'faction.' The 'Lorenzo' series focuses on the Spanish contribution to the American Revolution. It includes historical characters: George Washington, Bernardo de Gálvez, George Gibson, William Linn, etc. Fictional characters include: Lorenzo Bannister, Eugenie Dubreton, and Hector Calderon. Spanish involvement in the American Revolution is rarely discussed in our history books."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Kliatt, May, 2002, Shaunna S. Silva, review of Lorenzo's Secret Mission, p. 18; March, 2004, Barbara McKee, review of Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest, p. 19.

School Library Journal, December, 2001, Sean George, review of Lorenzo's Secret Mission, p. 134; May, 2003, Susan Geye, review of Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest, p. 152.


Arte Público Press Web site, http://www.arte.uh.edu/ (January 30, 2006), "Lila Guzmán."

Lila Guzman Home Page, http://www.lilaguzman.com (January 30, 2006).

Southern Scribe, http://www.southernscribe.com/ (January 30, 2006), Robert L. Hall, "Lila Guzmán: She Cares about Writers."

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Bob Graham (1942-) Biography - Awards to Francis Hendy Biography - Born to Sew