After growing up in Israel, Chen Lizra moved to Canada. Ms. Lizra went on a bachelor’s degree in business administration along with a major in marketing. This allowed her to turn her passion, which is Cuban dance and music, into an inspiring lifestyle for others to enjoy and grow through, through her company, Latidos Productions®.
In 2008, Chen Lizra was selected as the Student Entrepreneur Champion for British Columbia; the following year, she was nominated as one of the “Women of Distinction in Vancouver.” In 2010, Ms. Lizra was named “Woman of the Month” by Modern Working Woman Magazine. If all that isn’t enough to show the talents of Chen Lizra, the Australian government has honored her with a distinguished talent permanent visa. Ms. Lizra has also been featured in numerous television shows as well as several newspaper articles.
Please tell us a bit about your book, My Seductive Cuba, and what you hope readers take away from reading it.
My Seductive Cuba is a unique travelers’ guide with deep insights into Cuban arts and culture, and authentic Cuba. Imagine Eat, Pray, Love meets Lonely Planet.
I will be truly happy if by the end of reading this book readers will be moved by it. I love Cuba like home, and I hope that this book will make the readers fall in love with it as I did. For those traveling to Cuba, I know that this book will change their whole traveling experience in a way that no other travel guide does.
Who/what inspires you the most within your book?
I am inspired the most by my Cuban friends who are mostly professional dancers. They are so talented yet have no ego attached to their art form and ability. People like Yerilu and Israel whom I have known for years are my top picks. They stand out from the crowd because of their pure heart and high standard of values. In a place like Cuba where there is such a necessity for things, they never sell out. And it’s the authenticity of my Cuban friends who are just what they are that inspires me so much.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?
There are quite a few at the top of my list, but here is a cute one:
“Havana, to me, is Sin City. A friend of mine jokes that this is the one place God never visits. But while people think of a Sin City as a dark place full of criminals — the sort of metropolis Batman needs to save — Havana is different. It’s a place where anything can happen because the boundaries are loose, yet it’s a colourful city full of rhythm, interesting people, passion and seduction.”
If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?
I’d pick Rihanna to play Yerilu because she reminds me of her strong personality, sassiness and Caribbean flavor. Yerilu is also a singer and an incredible dancer. To portray a Cuban character, you have to have that flavor and Rihanna has it. As for Israel, I would have to pick Enrique Iglesias. He doesn’t have the Caribbean flavor, nor can he dance like Israel but he has the Latin flavor. On top of that he is similar in personality to Israel because he is a bit shy yet very confident and sexy. We’d have to get him really tanned though because Israel is black.
What are your favorite aspects of writing?
• The creative process of painting a picture for the reader of the situation and the emotions involved
• The ability to capture a moment as if the reader was there when it was happening
• Being in the moment
• Reliving experiences
• The focus required to do it well
• The release that writing gives, it’s a great way of letting go
Your least favorite aspects of writing?
• Having to lock myself in a room alone for hours in order to have the kind of focus needed to write
• Sometimes it’s really hard to expose things just as they were, it feels like being naked in front of the world
• Having to relive moments that were difficult
Who are some of your favorite authors/books?
Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat, Pray, Love.
J.K. Rowling – All of the Harry Potter books.
What are you reading right now?
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors – dead or alive – who would they be and what would you serve them?
I would invite Elizabeth Gilbert, J.K. Rowling, Pema Chodron, Maura “Sohin” O’Halloran, and Charmaine Hammond. I’d serve them delicious Middle Eastern food, the kind that my grandmother used to cook.
What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?
Harry Potter – all of them! Because the Harry Potter books are so creative and magical. J.K. Rowling created a world that magnified the entire globe. I am good at writing nonfiction; fiction is a whole other game ball.
What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?
The greatest advice was that we have to give ourselves permission to be that successful! It might sound strange but the biggest obstacle to getting to where you want to get in life is YOU – the way you think, what you believe is possible, and the fear of failing.
Book Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AAes7FszGY