By Lynn Ponder: It is my pleasure to introduce you to Leila Cobo, a novelist, pianist, TV host and executive Editor for Latin Content and Programming for Billboard. Ms. Cobo is considered one of the country’s leading experts in Latin music and is regularly interviewed and consulted by news outlets around the world.
Leila Cobo was named one of the most influential people in Latin music, selected by LatinoStories.com as one of 2010 Top [New] Latino Authors to Watch. Her first novel “Tell Me Something True” made the Top List of the Best Hispanic Books of 2009 by the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio.
I had the opportunity to have a Q&A with Leila Cobo who was enchanting and genuine throughout our recent phone conversation during the launch of her second new novel “The Second Time We Met”:
Q. Leila what advice can you give our readers who are thinking about transitioning from a blogger to a writer novelist?
Leila: Sit down and write, and I know how ridiculous this sounds, but if you are a blogger that means that you write. Just think about it as a different kind of writing.
Lynn: My take, in simple words writing is writing and as a blogger we do write quite a lot and about all different subjects so transition to novelist seems like a natural evolution of what we already do ☺
Q. Where do you get your inspiration to write passionate, honest and fearless stories and does being a Latina content and programming director at Billboards influence your writing?
Leila: I get into a zone a mental state, start writing and dive into the story. Although my books are not about music there is no scientific methodology I use, but the fact that I studied music and work in the music industry has a subtle influence in my writing.
Lynn: Leila one of your Critics described your writing to be “lyrical and sensual with no word out of place”.
Leila: Lyrical, I like that a lot!
Q. Do you mix real experiences with some of your dreams or desires as you write?
Leila: I mix a lot of thoughts but mainly these are made up stories…there are elements of truth, stories I have heard or people I know. I do not live vicariously through my characters
Q. How long does it take you to write a novel? Do you prefer to write the entire story in one perfect location or do you move around?
Leila: I like to move around but I have my location…en la casa I like to write in the TV room and in a little cozy terrace at night …but I can write anywhere that is quiet. Silence/silencio es absolutamente necesario. I can not hear any music at all!!!
Q. How does the printing publishing process work?
Leila: I am signed to a publishing deal with Grand Central and they decide everything about publishing my book and I really do not have a say, although they will ask me things like how do I like the cover for the book. To this point, I have LOVED there covers.
Q. How long does it take you to write a book?
Leila: It takes a year and then you turn it in and 6 months of editing back and forth… at the end I was stumped with the ending…it was the hardest part for me although the year of writing seemed to go by really quickly!
Q. Is your publisher using social media marketing to expand the reach of your book?
Leila: Grand Central is all about participating in bloggers relationship programs and online book clubs. They love social media and I do too!
Q. Do you have a mentor who inspired you to become a novelist?
Leila: I have had many mentors along the way but specially when I worked at the LA Times all of my colleagues and I dreamed about becoming novelists. Although I never had a mentor who sat down with me and guided me through the process. I had support but as far as the novels go, it was more of finding my own voice…
It was our pleasure to discover and learn about a fascinating PowerHouse Latina, Leila Cobo and we wish her much success. Los invito a comprar su nuevo libro “The Second Time We Met”