Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Blog Tour/Interview: An Italian Obsession by Kfir Luzzatto

Title: An Italian Obsession
Author: Kfir Luzzatto
Series: N/A
Publisher: Pine Ten, LLC
Release Date: September 3, 2012
ISBN13: 9781938212109
Format: eCopy, 295 pages
Genre: YA, urban fiction, romance
Source: Blog Tour
In the lax atmosphere of middle-class post-war Italy, sex and drugs are easy to come by. Roberto tries to find his own balance, but a crush he had for Alessandra in elementary school is reignited and the course of his life is changed forever.

It's the 1970’s, a time of political upheaval driven by disillusioned young people. Roberto is caught up in the times. He makes a new start, but his past catches up with him. Finding himself accused of a crime, he must defend himself even when he isn’t sure he committed it. A vivid snapshot of European post-war society, this novel is viewed through the eyes of a young adult coming of age.

Kfir Luzzatto
Kfir 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 U.S. soldier and WWII veteran, a voracious reader and a prolific writer. Kfir has a PhD in chemical engineering and works as a patent attorney. He lives in Omer, Israel, with his full-time partner, Esther, their four children, Michal, Lilach, Tamar and Yonatan, and the dog Elvis.

Novels: Crossing the Meadow (2003); The Odyssey Gene (2006); The Evelyn Project (2012); Have Book – Will Travel (2012 – with Yonatan Luzzatto); An Italian Obsession (2012).

Short Story Collections: His Darker Side (2002-2011); His Lighter Side (2002-2011).

Non-Fiction: The World of Patents (2002)

Find Kfir Luzzatto: Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Purchase An Italian Obsession: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords


1) What inspired you to begin writing?
I can’t think of a single event that got me started writing; I have always wanted to write, since childhood. I guess it's in my genes, because my great-grandmother was a well-known writer in her times, and one of my earliest memories is me, watching my father sitting at his writing desk, working on his first book.
2) Are you a planner or a pantser?
I guess that I am something in between. I always begin writing a book with a well-formed plot, knowing the main stops in my story; but then, somehow, the pantser in me takes over and the final product never looks like the original plan. I usually blame the characters in my books, who take control of the writing process after a while and change the plot to make it fit their personality.
3) What was the inspiration for An Italian Obsession?
I travel quite often to Italy, but when I visit my native Milan it is usually for work. It so happened that on one of those visits I managed to get a full afternoon to myself; it was a wonderful spring day and I decided to walk around the streets of my youth. That walk evoked many memories and I realized that I had the material for a strong book, right there in my head. I started working on An Italian Obsession on the same day.
4) What was the most difficult thing about writing An Italian Obsession?
Although the story is completely fictional, I have used many real persons and real events that I personally witnessed, as models for the characters and for the events in the book. I had to spend a lot of effort to avoid turning fiction into a memoir, although I was tempted to cross over to reality in many places along the story.
5) Was there a particular message from An Italian Obsession you wanted to give readers?
An Italian Obsession is about how we may lose control over our own life, if we make a wrong choice before we are mature enough to understand the consequences. The message that I hope to give readers is that good people may do bad things as a result of a "butterfly effect", and that we shouldn't be too quick to judge the others without full knowledge of the facts.
6) Can you tell us a bit about your next project?
Right now I am putting the finishing touches to a new thriller, titled "ExtraLife, Inc.", which is planned for release in mid-2013. The book, which is based on true events, deals with a high-tech cure for cancer and what happens to the persons involved in its development.
7) What are you reading right now?
I just got started on Umberto Eco's "The Prague Cemetery". This is not my usual kind of book, but I like to read outside my comfort zone and expect it to be an interesting read.
8) What are some books you think most influenced your life?
Probably, the books that you read as a child have the greatest influence on your life. The ones that are etched in my memory are Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, Franz Kafka's The Trial, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Ferenc Molnar's The Paul Street Boys.
9) What are three things that one may not necessarily know about you? (Could be as mundane or crazy as possible.)
  1. My family used to grow grapes in Italy and that's why my current house was built around the wine cellar.
  2. I collect old, smelly books, and the weirder their subject, the better.
  3. I spend too much time at my keyboard and in the past I suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome, so now I dictate all my first drafts using speech recognition software, while I walk around the room.
10) What's some advice you'd give to a budding writer?
Be your severest critic. Writing is a skill that can only be perfected through exercise, and if you believe that your first draft is ready for publication, you are not giving yourself a chance.
11) Quick! Write a haiku about An Italian Obsession!
You got me here. I always wanted to be a poet, but gave up when I realized that I lack the skill. Nevertheless, here it is:

A boy falls in love,
which makes him lose control,
Alas, the end's so sad!
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