Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Meet the Author - Daryl Leonardo

Hey readers, 

How are you doing? I have a lot of exciting posts coming up, but today, I am here to introduce you to one of the most amazing authors. Apart from being very artistic, this author wrote two amazing books, Drown (which I have read and will write a review that is forever due) and his new book, Silver Boy. All the links will be down below for you to check them out. But now, it is time to welcome Daryl Leonardo. 

Before you start reading his answers, let me just tell you that Daryl is absolutely hilarious and a very fun-loving person, you will definitely love him and his books. I can guarantee you that. 

To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi. I’m Daryl. I was born in the Philippines, and I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I was younger, I was really into drawing and art. And then as I got into high school, I got more into singing and acting, which kind of shifted the trajectory of how I wanted my life to go. So, I moved to LA with my husband, and I have been pursuing a career in the entertainment industry ever since. I’m also really into video games.     

I would love for you to share a little about your book, Drown, with our readers.

drown is about two boys. The first is Erik, who’s super religious. He gets propositioned by a male classmate and it basically turns his whole life and views upside down. The other is Nick, whose parents are separating and he decides to uproot himself to move with his mother. Erik and Nick meet and spark a friendship that gets complicated really fast.        

When did you begin your writing journey? 

I think I dabbled in it growing up, but I didn’t really start taking it seriously until I was around 19 or 20. Growing up pursuing acting, I had gotten the impression that being Filipino – and later, when I came to realize that I’m gay – meant there’d be less opportunities for me. And I was feeling really stuck living in the Bay because I didn’t know what to do with my life there, so I thought maybe if I tried writing scripts, I could write my own roles. So, I gave it a shot. Then I moved to LA and things just continued to develop from there.   

Has social media proven to be useful for you when it comes to promoting your book? 

Umm… Yes and no. Social media has been a really good way of connecting with readers, other writers, and being able to spread the word among my friends and family. I don’t necessarily think, for me, it translated to sales though. I would say my biggest contributor to sales was self-investment, like buying and running ads whenever I can afford it, which I guess technically that’s also through social media. But whenever I try to promote anything myself, it feels like I’m shouting into the void. It’s hard because there are just so many people out there that are doing the same thing and it can often feel like an unpaid full time job. I don’t know. Algorithms just don’t like me. I’ve been trying to build an audience for forever. I guess, I’m just not good at it.     

Can you describe yourself in three words? 

Youthful Old Man… LOL 

How does it feel to be recognized as an author? 

Honestly, it’s a little weird. I don’t know if I just have major imposter syndrome, because I’m like this when it comes to any sort of title I can give myself. I never feel totally comfortable claiming to be anything – like an actor, or singer, or writer – because I feel like it comes with all these expectations that I’m not confident I can meet. Which is weird to say because I’m so proud of what I do. So, in a way, I guess it’s like a defense mechanism, because I never want to put myself in a position where I’m gonna feel like I’m not impressive. I’m like a porcelain doll; I’m very fragile lol.  

What is one song that you could listen to till this day and not get tired of it?

Oh, that’s tough, because my musical tastes depend on my mood. I recently went to see Wicked for the second time, and I thought I was over that soundtrack, but it’s been playing on repeat in my head for days. And I am living for it.

If you could have a wish fulfilled right now, what would you wish for?

I don’t know. I guess I would wish for more time. I never feel like I have enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do.    

Who inspires you the most in your daily life? 

I have no idea. That isn’t something that I really think about. I’ll say Taylor Swift, that seems like a safe answer.

What tv shows do you enjoy watching the most? 

Hmm… I feel like I watch mostly reality TV shows and YouTube. Because I’m constantly doing something, I like when I don’t have to pay too much attention to what’s showing on TV. As far as what I enjoy, it depends. I like a little bit of everything: comedies, mysteries, horror. I just have to be in the mood to actually sit down and want to watch it.

Do you read books as well or do you simply enjoy writing? If you do read, do you have any book suggestions? 

I don’t read as much as I should. When it comes to absorbing stories, my preference is actually through video games. I like the interactivity of it. As far as books go, I really like LGBTQ+ M/M romance. Those are my favorite to read just because I didn’t have them growing up and if I did, I think it would’ve helped. I’d say that my favorites are probably AutoBOYography by Christina Lauren and Openly Straight and Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg.  

What is the best part of writing for you? What is the worst part?

I’d say the best part of writing is just the ability to put a story in a tangible form, so that you always have it and it can’t be forgotten. The worst part though, is actually writing. It’s such a process lol.   

What is a type of genre that you would never read? 

Non-fiction. I don’t know. I just don’t care much for it. Unless it’s about something I’m really interested in or it’s like a memoir, or autobiography, or something, I just don’t find it very exciting. I need it to have a story, you know? Which is funny because I actually took The Omnivore’s Dilemma from a free tiny library near my apartment. I told myself I’d read it, but I don’t know if I actually will. 

Do you have a favorite quote or any lines that you find very inspiring? 

There are so many great quotes that I love. Most of my favorites tend to be the sad or reflective ones. I just love sad things, apparently lol. But anyway, I have this book of quotes called The Best Advice Ever Given and I found this one. I think it’s quite apt.

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost 

Can you tell us a little about your second book, Silver Boy, which is coming up soon? 

silver boy is a sort of follow up to drown told from the perspective of drown’s “antagonist” – I guess you would call him. It’s about Andrew, who wants to start dating but has a lot of unresolved issues – inferiority complex, internalized homophobia, fragile masculinity – and it follows him as he tries to navigate online dating whilst remaining in the closet. And I realize, for those who’ve read drown, a story about Andrew might be controversial, but I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised. At least, I hope they will be. 

Is there anything that you would like to add to this interview?

I just  want to say that I’m really excited for the release of silver boy and that I’m very thankful that drown has done as well as it has. Follow me on social media. I’m very easy to reach and I respond to anything that isn’t rude or spam. I also have an art page, a couple of comic pages on IG, and etsy show that I would love to grow, if anyone’s interested in any of that. I’ll leave links here for you. Thanks!

If you loved this interview and want to get in touch or stalk Daryl everywhere (because why not), here are all the links to his social media. Go stalk him, check out his books and spread lots of love!

Main IG: instagram.com/lookitsdaryl

Main Twitter: twitter.com/lookitsdaryl

Main FB Page: facebook.com/lookitsdaryl

Art IG: instagram.com/darylsdoodles

Art Twitter: twitter.com/darylsdoodles

Art FB Page: facebook.com/darylsdoodles

TikTok: tiktok.com/@darylsdoodles

Comics IG:



Etsy Shop: etsy.com/shop/darylsdoodles

Buy Daryl's books!!!

Drown: books2read.com/u/3nEPlK

Silver Boy: books2read.com/u/bQyk17

~ Thank you for reading & happy blogging ~


  1. This was such a nice interview! I love the sound of drown, and I definitely agree with wishing there was more time in the day as well as not being big on non-fiction! Thank you so much for sharing and for introducing me to Daryl x

  2. Thanks so much for including me in your blog. I had a great time answering all your questions. And you helping spread the word about my work is greatly appreciated.


Comments are always appreciated. Please leave the link of your blog so I can return the love and appreciate your blog as well. Thank you! :)