Ismael Cala reaches millions of people through his CALA interview show on CNN en Español, as well as a bestselling author and motivational speaker. Following his book El poder de escuchar (The Power of Listening), a worldwide bestseller, comes his novel Un buen hijo de P… (A Good S.O.B), recently published by Vintage Español. Normally used as an insult, in Cala’s hands this phrase stands for passion, patience, and perseverance. Even though Un buen hijo de P… contains various characters, there is still much of Cala inside these pages: the boy that heard voices in Cuba, the young immigrant that started with nothing, the successful man who knows that there is much more work to be done. TintaFresca recently spoke with the author about his new book.
What did you have in mind when you wrote Un hijo de P…?
The purpose of this book is to break paradigms and transform your life. How do we do that? Changing the significance of a past event or of something that we fear. Flipping the meaning of something. Giving it a positive spin.
What do we have to break a mold if we want to be happy?
As a society, we don’t realize that we are totally free to make of our lives what we really want of them. As we get older we become accustomed to living a certain way. We begin to believe that family and work issues are unchangeable. This book helps people to find happiness by analyzing why we look at life with blinders on.
With which characters in the book do you most identify?
With Arturo, the life coach. But there are also elements of the mischievous Chris. Although without a doubt much more with Arturo. Regarding Chris, there are things in his childhood that reflect my own: the fear of commitment. I had that fear for many years.
At the end of the book there is a questionnaire for people to fill out. Why?
The book was also meant to be a workbook. The purpose of my books is to be able to share them with the public directly. A fable is an entertaining way to share the ideas that develop in the novel. That is why, at the end of the book, I want the reader to write their thoughts and motivations based on what they have just read.
Have you been as successful in love as you have been in your professional life?
I think I’m trying to balance that area of my life. I’m sure I’ll be more successful in my career than in love, although I am doing well in my personal life. Life is a balancing act between all your priorities.