Leila Cobo – Author Interview

Journalist, Leila Cobo has been writing professionally for fifteen years. She is the author of Tell Me Something True, her debut novel, and has contributed to several collections. She lives in Key Biscayne, Florida with her husband and their two children Allegra and Arthur. I hope you enjoy getting to know this talented writer:

Moe: When did you ‘know’ you were a writer?

Leila Cobo: When I was very young. I’d say elementary. Like most writers, I love to read and I devoured fiction as a child. English was my favorite subject as much for the reading as for the writing. I didn’t see myself as a novelist then, but as a journalist.

Moe: What inspires you?

Leila Cobo: Real stories. I love to take real accounts and fictionalize them. I am convinced that truth is indeed far rarer than fiction, and those unique stories—or even the most mundane ones—make for the best tales.

Moe: Every writer has a method to their writing. On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?

Leila Cobo: I need to find a chunk of time to get into my “fiction” mode, so most of the time, I write fiction at night, when my house has gone to sleep, so to speak. I sit on the couch with a little glass of wine and just submerge myself in the characters.

Moe: How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read? Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

Leila Cobo: Hard for me to say as I’m only on my second book! But when I finally sit down to write, I am a fast writer.

Moe: When you sit down to write is any thought given to the genre or type of readers?

Leila Cobo: None at all. I write the stories I want to write and then I let my very wise editor decide who they are for.

Moe: When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

Leila Cobo: I always write freely. I do sit with an idea and a storyline in my mind, but the storyline changes constantly as the book acquires a life of its own.

Moe: What kind of research do you do before and during a new book? Do you visit the places you write about?

Leila Cobo: I definitely do research. It’s very important for me to be able to very clearly picture who and what I’m writing about. If I don’t have a clear image of the person in my head, for example, I find a photograph of someone who I think resembles the character in my mind. If I describe a town, I almost necessarily need to have been there. If just gives reality to my description.

Moe: Where do your characters come from? How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters?

Leila Cobo: My characters are entirely fictional, but many of their traits—physical and otherwise—do come from other people. I’d say they’re a mix of fact, fiction and of many personalities merged into one.

Moe: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? What do you do?

Leila Cobo: I do. I close the computer. I find that when I’m not in a writing mode, my writing just isn’t that good and I end up having to redo it anyway.

Moe: Can you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?

Leila Cobo: You have to self-promote. Trust your editor. Books are marketed different from any other product.

Moe: What is your latest release about?

Leila Cobo: My debut novel, “Tell Me Something True”, is the story of a Colombian/American girl that discovers the truth about her mother through her own journey of self-discovery. The idea came from my own experiences as a mother, as someone who lives between two worlds and as a daughter.

Moe: When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

Leila Cobo: Read!! Also, I love spending time with my family and friends. Long dinners with good food and plenty of wine, good movies and working out are favorite pastimes.

Moe: New writers are always trying to glean advice from those with more experience. What suggestions do you have for new writers?

Leila Cobo: Never stop trying. Writing is tough and publishing is tough. You just have to believe very strongly in what you do because the world is full of nay-sayers.

Moe: If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

Leila Cobo: An actress. Although I’m also a pianist.

Moe: What is your favourite word?

Leila Cobo: Ay.

Leila Cobo’s books are available from Amazon.com

Visit Leila Cobo’s official website.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.