Posted on June 22, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing Kfir Luzzatto, the author of eleven novels, several short stories, and seven non-fiction books.
Luzzatto was born and raised in Italy and moved to Israel as a teenager. He acquired the love for the English language from his father, a former US soldier, a voracious reader, and a prolific writer.
He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and works as a patent attorney. In pursuit of his interest in the mind-body connection, Luzzatto was certified as a clinical hypnotherapist by the Anglo European College of Therapeutic Hypnosis.
Luzzatto is a Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers) member.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
KFIR: I started writing (horrible) stories very young. I was eleven years old when I wrote my first one, and yet mature enough to know it should never see the light of day.
But my father was a good writer, and so was my great-grandmother, who was quite famous in her times and hobnobbed with the likes of Émile Zola, so I guess it is in my genes somehow.
Much later, I started writing short stories, and finally, my debut novel, Crossing the Meadow, voted “Best Horror Novel” in the 2003 Editors & Preditors Readers’ Poll.
From that point, there was no stopping me.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
KFIR: Of course, everybody has his or her own way of writing the first draft, and there is no “best” way to do it, but here is mine: I first sit somewhere quiet and daydream a chapter or two (I am also the author of How to Imagine, so that’s not surprising).
Then, I dictate the chapters using speech-to-text software, and finally turn to the keyboard to add in things I missed while dictating.
This allows my characters to take command of the plot, and I am often surprised by their choices when I reread the chapter.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
KFIR: I would like readers to understand that there is much to learn from messages buried in light literature, particularly in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.
While novels must be entertaining (or else they are worthless), that doesn’t mean that they are frivolous. Speculative writing allows the freedom to explore and push boundaries, take on thorny subjects, and be bold and open about them.
When I create a character who behaves outrageously, I allow the readers to experience that behavior vicariously and to explore their own boundaries through that character’s actions.
That’s why I created Tessa (the Tessa Extra-Sensory Agent series), an irreverent teenager to whom I am particularly attached.
I pity those who occasionally leave reviews that scold me for her behavior; those are people who cannot distinguish between life and imagination and cannot enjoy the many benefits that come from a mind that is free to imagine.
Theirs must be a terribly drab life.
SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?
KFIR: I wish I had known then that there are no shortcuts to becoming a good writer.
You need to write around a million words before you know what you are doing, what you really are best at (if at anything), and you must experiment.
I started out writing horror because I thought it was the most provocative genre (it isn’t), and I stuck to it for quite some time.
Now I know that the best advice to me would have been, “Experiment, write in all genres you feel comfortable with; write romance, if you can, between a horror novel and a thriller. Then and only then you will find your own voice.”
I did all that, but much later in life than I could have.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
KFIR: I believe that it is the combination of all my diverse experiences that shaped me as a writer.
As a wild youngster in the '70s, I went rock climbing, rode a motorcycle without managing to kill myself but getting my share of bruises, manage to stay clear of drugs and still get the girls, and then moved to Israel, served in the army, finally growing wiser and realizing the value of family over everything else.
Only when all that (and much more I’m not prepared to speak about) melded into a balanced adult, I felt I had things to say, which are worth committing to paper.
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