Clash Books Editor-in-Chief Leza Cantoral Gets Real About Living the #EditorLife

Leza Cantoral is an inspiring writer and editor who’s not afraid to speak her mind. Between being the editor-in-chief for CLASH Books, to hosting her radical podcast “Get Lit With Leza,” to writing various works, such as “Cartoons in the Suicide Forest,” it’s a wonder she had time to talk with Her Campus TNS.

See what Leza has to say about living the #EditorLife and following your dreams.

HC: As a full-time editor and writer, what does an average work day look like for you?

Leza: "First, I check my email for CLASH Media submissions. I post content on the website, followed by sharing said posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. On Tuesday’s, I upload an episode of the "Get Lit With Leza" podcast up on Podbean. Then, I do whatever freelance copywriting or editing gigs I have, along with books I am editing for CLASH Books. Whenever I get funny lines in my head I post them either on Facebook or Twitter. After dinner, I write and catch up on whatever TV shows/movies/books I wanna watch/read."

HC: Could you tell our readers a little bit more about CLASH Media? It’s pretty unconventional – how do you come up with your content?

Leza: "The content is chosen based on what excites me as an editor and what I think will draw traffic and interest to the site. I do not select all of the content, but probably like 90 percent of it. Christoph Paul and Jayme Karales are also editors and they select/contribute content that is relevant to their interests. CLASH Media is like if Luna Luna Magazine had a troublesome lovechild with The Hard Times. We have humor, we deal with current events, we have entertainment content, and especially during the month of October, lots of witchy/horror content. We are equally pop culture and literature obsessed. We believe in pure uncensored content. We are not scared of pushing buttons and ruffling feathers. The goal of the site is to inform, empower, entertain, and inspire."

HC: You’ve got a lot on your plate. How do you manage your time?

Leza: "Ha-ha. When I figure it out, I will let you know. It is all about making choices. I wanna do a lot and I am perpetually disappointed by how much I find myself actually accomplishing within a day. But, I just keep moving forward. Stamina and focus are things I seriously struggle with. I have ADD and I am always checking social media, so I have to remind myself to stop. I make lists of what I have to do. I make notes on my phone. I star certain emails. I have a whiteboard with all CLASH Books projects in development. Deadlines are both my worst enemies and my best friends. Deadlines save my a**."

HC: Who/what inspires you? 

Leza: "Luna Luna Magazine inspires me. It’s founder, Lisa Marie Basile (a New School alum) had such a great vision, and I would be lying if I did not say that it helped me crystallize my vision for what I wanted out of the CLASH site. I am inspired by pop stars, writers, and creators who are uncompromising in their vision. Art is what inspires me, in all forms."

HC: Many of our readers are still trying to decide what it is that they’re going to do “when they grow up.” Did you always know you wanted to be a writer/editor?

Leza: "I wanted to be a pop star. I wanted to be a movie star. I wanted to be a filmmaker. It did not occur to me that ‘writer’ could actually be a legitimate career until I was in my mid 20’s, and it has only been in the last couple years that I have become an editor. I always loved stories, though. I devoured books as a child and I started writing poetry and screenplays when I was about 13, but I always fancied myself in a more glamorous profession. Writing is a very solitary act. You will never get that dopamine rush of the rock star. You write because you literally cannot stop. It is like a disease. And editing is what you do when you realize you have to pay the bills or if you find yourself running a press. Editing is tedious work. You only do it if you truly love and live for the written word."

HC: When/why did you decide to add a podcast to CLASH Media?

Leza: "I began my own podcast, "Get Lit With Leza," in January of 2017. So, it has been almost a year. I thought it would be fun to talk to other writers about writing stuff, life stuff, and whatever else. It developed as a free flowing conversational format because that is what I am comfortable with and enjoy. I hate stiff interviews. They’re boring to be on and to listen to. We actually have three podcasts connected with the CLASH Media brand. Jayme Karales has one called "D-Bag Politics," and Christoph Paul has "The Passion of the Christoph," both of which are on YouTube, as well as audio."

HC: Describe your writing style in three words:

Leza: "Synesthesiac, atmospheric, confessional."

HC: Do you have any advice for young, aspiring writers?

Leza: "Work hard, be humble, take edits, read from every genre, even ones you think you hate. Write for yourself first. Don’t chase trends. Do not wait for the muse. You are responsible for making the magic happen. Keep a notepad or write notes on your phone. Make the time to write. If you don’t make the time it will never happen. Go to as many cons and festivals as you can. Meet other writers, editors, and publishers in the flesh. Network. Do not be scared of social media. Have fun with it, and don’t be spammy."

HC: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? (and actually listened to)

Leza: "Get on Twitter."

HC: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

Leza: "Ego is the enemy. Don’t get cocky, don’t get bitter, no one owes you sh*t."