Kfir 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 U.S. soldier, 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.
Kfir Luzzatto has published extensively in the professional and general press over is the author of several short stories but now mostly writes full-length fiction. Books: CROSSING THE MEADOW (2003 P&E “BEST HORROR NOVEL”), THE ODYSSEY GENE(2006), HAVE BOOK WILL TRAVEL (2012). He got the idea for his new thriller, “THE EVELYN PROJECT,” from an in-depth research into the family archives. He has another book of fiction in the works.
Author’s website: http://kfirluzzatto.com
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Kfir! Can you tell us where you are from?
I am originally from Milan, Italy, but now I live in Omer, Israel.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
As with all my books, the novel changed title several times along the way. The story is about attempts by present-day people, to influence the past of a young woman named Evelyn – in short, a project they have in place, sort of.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
Evelyn was a real person, my great aunt, and the picture on the cover is taken from her studio portrait that hangs on the wall beside my writing desk. The cover itself was designed by my daughter, Michal, who (in addition to being a lawyer) is a talented digital artist. In the past she also designed the cover for another book of mine, The Odyssey Gene.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
I always think that other people say it better, so this is what Kriss Morton-Weekley, The Cabin Goddess, said about it: “This book was haunting from the moment you open it up till the end…Trickery, murder and confusion ensue and is wrought so transparently and well done by our author you cannot help but jump on the train and go along for the ride…it was like being in the middle of a REALLY good Hitchcock movie! but with WORDS instead of moving pictures!”
I dare you to not run out to buy it!
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
I’m always stuck on this question with all my books… This is a thriller that is woven around sad events that happened to real people and exciting events that, in the book, happened to imaginary people – but which in real life can and do happen to real people. In short, Life. So my main message is that entertaining books don’t have to be shallow and detached from reality, and serious topics can be treated in an entertaining book, to make the mixture as close as possible to our reality.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
In Chapter 31 my main characters really start to grow fast as their relation develops at increasing speed, which is in tune with the speed at which other sub-plots evolve. It is really a turning point in the story and, although it is a short chapter, a lot of thinking and planning went into it, so I enjoy re-reading it from time to time and see that it worked as planned.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
Evelyn (or, rather Evelina, as she was named in my native Italy) was my great aunt. She died of tuberculosis in 1894. She was only 26 years old. My second daughter, Lilach, is her living image and her 26th birthday is approaching fast. That might have been a catalyst for me to write the book. When my parents died I was left with the responsibility to make sure that my family history would not be forgotten. That entailed a lot of reading in books, documents and letters, which brought Evelyn’s figure increasingly to life for me – so much so that I simply had to write a book about her, because I realized that without my intervention her memory would soon fade from this world.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
Fun for fun: You should go and read about the night that, as a kid, I spent on a bench with two prostitutes: http://kfirluzzatto.com/component/content/article/93-blog-articles/123-one-night-one-kid-one-bench-two-prostitutes. And no, it is not what you think.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I have a long list of places that I want to visit and I work hard to shorten it every year. I’m looking forward to the earliest opportunity to visit Peru and see the wonders of the Incas. A tour through Mexico’s Mayan ruins, a few years ago, left me with an insatiable appetite for ancient American civilization.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely a night owl. I am productive between 5 PM and 2 AM, and my brain never starts ticking well before 10 AM.
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
I just released a Young Adult fantasy, titled Have Book – Will Travel, that I wrote with my son, Yonatan. It started out as a ruse on my part, to make him read more, but eventually developed into a real adventure. He truly enjoyed it so I hope he’ll get the writing bug, some day.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
What do you mean, “as a child?” I don’t recall ever having stopped dreaming.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
More hours in the day to let me read all the great books in my huge “to read” pile.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Evelyn’s father did everything 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 actress are too busy running away from murder and conspiracy to let physical attraction develop into love. And it further complicates things when Her Majesty’s Secret Service decides to take an interest in what everyone else is doing to pull some strings of its own. Love that lasts through the veils of time, a mystery, and a race to end a conspiracy, “The Evelyn Project” is a story that will stir both your heart and your intellect.