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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Interview: Kfir Luzzatto

Thrilled to be welcoming Kfir Luzzatto to The Writing Greyhound today for a chat about Chipless - read on for more details!

Firstly, please could you introduce yourself?
I was born and raised in Italy and moved to Israel as a teenager. I acquired the love for the English language from my father, a former U.S. soldier and WWII veteran, a voracious reader and a prolific writer. With a PhD in chemical engineering and a long family history that I need to live up to, I work as a patent attorney and head the patent law firm that was established by my great-grandfather, in 1869. I live in Omer, Israel, with my partner, Esther, our four children, Michal, Lilach, Tamar and Yonatan, and our dog, Elvis.
How did you first become interested in writing?
Writing has been my passion for as long as I remember myself, but as a young man, I never really thought about publishing. I had to reach maturity before I concluded that my writing was good enough to be read. I love writing short stories but I have too many novels waiting to be written (and possibly not enough years ahead of me to write them all), so now I mostly write full-length fiction. My other passion is working with other authors on stories I love, and that's how I wound up serving on the editorial board of The Harrow Press as Anthology Editor until the end of 2014 when it folded its tent. I also write non-fiction, but that’s another story.
chipless, kfir-luzzatto, book

Tell me about Chipless.
I can’t do any better than my back cover blurb: 
In a post-apocalyptic, dystopian society, health authorities implant a chip in the brain of every infant to prevent the spread of disease. But the rulers exploit the chip to manipulate the population and to create a distorted vision of the world. When Kal, a young physicist, accidentally discovers the truth about the chip, his life is in danger. 
But Kal is not alone. Amber, a young, chipless girl from a distant society, who is on a personal mission, helps him to get away before the city police find him. The knowledge that Kal holds is a potent weapon against the tyranny of the rulers, and he has no choice but to join Amber and her fellow rebels in fighting them. 
Kal and Amber escape together from the city, but the hunt for them is on. They must travel through dangerous, lawless territories to reach a safe destination. It’s a race in which time is running out for Kal. If they don’t make it in time, both his life and the hope of fighting the city tyrants will be lost.
What drew you to writing in the dystopian genre?
I started out writing science fiction and although I love writing thrillers and some (non-gory) horror, I always go back to SF. I wrote space opera as well, but dystopian has a quality of “unreal reality” that other sub-genres of SF lack. When writing dystopian stories you look at a future that might actually happen, and besides the fun that always comes from writing fiction, there is an additional dimension to it.
Did you find writing the book a challenge?
It is always the same: At first, it is like pulling teeth, but when the characters start to take shape, it flows effortlessly. Overall, I never find that writing a book was challenging, in spite of some bumps along the road.
How did you get inspiration?
Like every time: by doing preciously nothing. It always takes shape in my head suddenly and without provocation, and then it’s there. Thank God for that.
kfir-luzzatto, author

What’s your writing process?
I write the first version as it comes, without thinking, stopping or correcting. Much of it I dictate to my PC. The result is something I wouldn’t want to be found dead in a ditch with. Then, the real work starts. I generate a number of versions, first fixing the story with all its holes, then the dialogues. Then I rearrange the chapters and do it all over again. After a few of those rounds, I work on style and grammar before handing the damn thing over to my editor.
What do you love most about writing?
Getting to know my characters. We really develop a rapport, both with the good and with the bad ones, and I love to see how they come to life for me.
Which authors inspire you?
John Wyndham, P. G. Wodehouse, Franz Kafka, Robert A. Heinlein.
What are you currently working on?
I am in the middle of a science fiction thriller, with aliens and all. It’s shaping up nicely scary.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I don’t usually like to read very long books, but I’m making an exception for this one.
What’s your all-time favourite book?
I’ll have to say John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, or maybe Philp K. Dick’s Ubik, or perhaps... You get the idea.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
Music. I play the piano and the violin, but I also like pop music. Nature. I used to go mountain climbing and although I no longer indulge in the pastime, I am still connected to the world outside. And kids - I have four of my own and two grandchildren who brighten my day (and more coming).
Chipless is available to buy now. For more about Kfir and his writing, you can check out his website.

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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