The first time I met Leopoldo, he looked at me, jerked his thumb at my then-fiancé and joked, “What the hell are you doing with this guy?” This guy (my now-hubby) and he grew up together so I took it as a thumbs-up. In the years and babies since, Leopoldo has always been a supporter and cheerleader—of our marriage and our creative endeavors. He’s been in the front-row of my concerts, he encouraged me to get my MFA (oops, forgot to tell him I dropped out!) and he’s my husband’s biggest hype man. He talks fast, thinks faster and brims with energy and positivity. (Don’t let that sullen author photo fool you.)
Leopoldo’s own work has always surprised and impressed me. Somehow, between producing TV and film projects with people like James Patterson, Aaron Sorkin, Lucy Liu and Jessica Chastain, he makes art and writes books. His first novel was Ghost Radio and I remember thinking, “Wait, whoa, he writes, too?” (Also, “Crap, where’s my book?!”)
I was thrilled to find out he’d written another book. Again, totally on the DL. Two weeks before the book came out, he emailed us, “I have a new book coming out.” Genius: The Game is the first in a YA techno-thriller series and has already created a lot of buzz—Sharon Stone and Danny DeVito just gave it shoutouts on Twitter. It’s about young geniuses from around the world who come together to play a sinister, high-tech game.
Apart from the story itself, Genius: The Game has a real-life game component. Leopoldo partnered with futurist Brian David Johnson and the Center for Science and the Imagination at the Arizona State University Foundation to put technology and tools in the hands of underprivileged kids from around the world. The participants build STEM skills and work on art, design, communication and music.
Leopoldo is giving away an autographed copy of his book to a LES LOLOS reader. Just sign up for the newsletter or leave a comment below if you’re already signed up!
UPDATE: The winner is Brigitte Benkemoun!
Here, he talks to us about his creative process, expat life in New York and who really does the heavy lifting in his family (Hint: His gorgeous wife, Caitlin).