Thursday, May 8, 2014

Kfir Luzzatto - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Kfir Luzzatto. He writes Horror, Mystery & Thrillers and Science Fiction & Fantasy plus short stories.

Author Genre: Horror, Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Website: Kfir Luzzatto's Web Site
Author's Blog: Kfir Luzzatto's Blog
Twitter: @KfirLuzzatto
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
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 Milan, Italy, in 1869. I live in Omer, Israel, with my full-time partner, Esther, our four children, Michal, Lilach, Tamar and Yonatan, and the dog Elvis.

Writing has always been my passion and for almost four years I wrote a weekly "Patents" column in Globes (Israel’s financial newspaper), which also yielded my only (if I can help it) non-fiction book, THE WORLD OF PATENTS, (a not-so-boring tale of what patents are about, in Hebrew), which was published in 2002 by Globes Press.

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.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: ExtraLife, Inc. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

I almost always have two projects simultaneously in the works. One tends to be a thriller and the other is a lighter book. Right now I am working on a new thriller, provisionally titled "Exhodus '95", which mixes a biblical charade with modern-time international machinations. It is planned for release around the end of this year. The other book is a full-length novel in the "Dave Callaghan, Supernatural Detective" series, that follows the first two published titles in the series, Phantom Lover and Mice. I'm still working on the plot of that one.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?

I believe that social media is not for marketing so I use it to connect with interesting people. I follow them and they (and others) follow me, and if I like what they tweet I stick around. The same goes for Facebook. I haven't put any great effort into growing my twitter list, because you can only pay so much attention to social media.

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I've done that in the past, but ultimately I concluded that my time would be better spent on-line, where I can connect more easily with many more people at times that are convenient for me and them. I can be reached via email through my contact page or my blog

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

I don’t actually have "a system". Some of my covers were done by wonderful cover artists and were developed in conversation with them, but in other cases I created them by myself because I had a very clear image of what the cover should convey and itched to translate that vision into an actual cover; at the same time I knew that getting that message across to someone else would have been difficult. I am very lucky to have four grown-up, gifted kids, who not only harshly and unrelentingly criticize my work, but also contributed digital art and advice to the making of those covers.

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) They look very professional. Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers?

Actually, if you dig into it you will see that the book trailer for Crossing the Meadow was made back in 2003, when book trailers were a very new idea. (I didn't know then that another author had done at least one before me.) However, I have come to the conclusion that creating book trailers is great fun and a complete waste of money and time. The flood of low-budget, low-quality trailers that some authors buy because they think that they have to go through all the motions, has taken the fun away for me and I will not be doing any more trailers in the foreseeable future.

You have written several short stories. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

While I think that short stories can be a good way to introduce your writing to new readers, to let them sample your writing without investing too much time, I never write market-driven fiction. I wrote short stories simply because I enjoy the medium, and stopped writing them because they were too distracting and took away the time I needed to write full-length fiction. I may still write a few in the future, if a worthy idea comes along, but right now I am fully dedicated to writing novels.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I participated in giveaways on various occasions and I think that, as long as it is kept within reason, free books are a great way to gain new readers. While this may not work for an author with one or two books, for someone who writes in different genres it is also an opportunity to invite readers of one genre to experiment with something new from an author they have already found and liked.

What is the objective for your newsletter? Do you try to build a list of readers? Do you see a carryover to the sales of your novels?

The main objective of my newsletter is to keep in touch with readers and to reward them for keeping in touch with me by giving them early access to goodies and freebies.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

I strongly prefer reviews written by established reviewers/bloggers, because they are usually more insightful and detailed than the one-liners that you may get from random readers. I approach reviewers in the relevant genres although they are typically swamped and may take a long time to get to your book, if they can make the time at all. I have also done book tours, and although some reviews coming from book tours have been disappointing, the overall experience is positive so I will probably do it again.

Living in Israel creates a unique selling and marketing situation. Where is your biggest audience? Does marketing online help in this situation? Do you publish your books in Hebrew or other languages?

We live in an amazing era, when your physical location has lost importance. My biggest audience is in the U.S., followed by Europe. So far I have published fiction only in English, but my 2012 thriller, The Evelyn Project, has been translated into Italian and will be released in Italy soon. My New Adult title, An Italian Obsession, is also being translated into Italian right now and I am planning to explore more opportunities and languages in the future.

Author's Book List
ExtraLife, Inc.
David Wolfson, a Jerusalem scientist, claims to have found the cure for cancer. He and his wife, Tamara, seek the help of Richard Lunz, a Tel Aviv attorney, to fight the powerful bureaucrats who want to appropriate David's invention.

Richard can’t resist the temptation to participate in what looks like the discovery of the century and it takes a first death to make him doubt that something in the project is not what it seems.

And then other people die.

Following clues that take him to Eastern Europe and to America, Richard finds more answers than he wished for. But he just can't stop looking.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
An Italian Obsession
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.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Crossing the Meadow
A strange nightmare, a young woman in a foggy city and a body buried underneath a bathtub.

A little girl who can see her dead cat, an old blind woman and a beautiful girl who died too young. They don't know what awaits them beyond that meadow, but they are determined to find out . . . CROSSING THE MEADOW guides you into the twilight zone where dead people brush silently past the living ones and, often without noticing, affect their fate.

Book Trailer: Crossing the Meadow

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Odyssey Gene
You have just discovered that you are immune to a contagious disease that once threatened to decimate Earth’s population.

Now you must face Society and the grudge it nurtures against your kind.

What if they took away a few of your civil rights…just enough to make you a second-rate citizen…

Book Trailer: The Odyssey Gene

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Evelyn Project
Evelyn’s father did everything that was in his power to save his dying daughter, black magic included. But when a century later his plea for help gets into the wrong hands, all hell breaks loose.

Caught in the slippery battlefield between the Vatican and a cult that wants to change the past, a young Italian professor and a beautiful French aspiring actress are too busy running away from murder and conspiracy to let physical attraction develop into love.

And it doesn’t help that Her Majesty's Secret Service decides to take an interest in what everybody else is doing and to pull some strings of its own. Quite the contrary, in fact . . .

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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