Kfir's Literary Blog

My thoughts, announcements and miscellanea.
This blog is not meant to be a marketing tool. Writers have to write, and some of the stuff they write has no place in a book so this is where it goes, along with announcements and other stuff that has to be made public one way or another for practical reasons. This being so, this blog is only updated when I have something to say and should not contain fluff and fillers. If you come across anything that looks like fluff, my apology - that wasn't the intention.


Exodus '95 Giveaway

I will be giving away 10 print copies of my new thriller, Exodus '95, via Goodreads. See details and enter below.

Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Exodus '95 by Kfir Luzzatto

Exodus '95

by Kfir Luzzatto

Giveaway ends June 18, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Categories: Announcements



The promotion ends on June 2, 2017

Exodus95MockupExodus '95 will be on sale for $0.99, May 27 - June 2, 2017.

For purchase links click HERE.

Hurry up before the deal ends!

Categories: Announcements


Ordinary People - Extraordinary Deeds


Action novels often feature characters who do phenomenal things – they jump from airplanes without a parachute, dive for long minutes without oxygen, and chase malefactors on rickety rooftops, leaping from one building to the next without even panting a little. Think James Bond, think Jason Bourne. Then you have the less extreme characters, who win the day simply by being tough, intelligent and intuitive (as well as inscrutable.) Take Jack Reacher, for example. Stories about those characters make for great escapist reads, but the people in those books are not real. They don’t feel real.

In contrast, take an ordinary person, someone who could be your next-door neighbor, and put him or her in a pickle. Take their familiar, normal day and turn it upside-down, and then watch them deal with it. If the character is someone with whom you can identify, you become invested in what happens to him or her. You no longer say to yourself “Yeah, sure,” like you do when the unrealistic hero kills a bear with a toothpick. Instead, you are at the edge of your seat because you know that if your favorite character takes a false step, he’s done for.

When I start dreaming up characters for a novel, I spend time with them. I study their approach to things and the way they react, because once a character has taken shape in my head there is little I can do to change his or her mental makeup. Sometimes I need to replace a character, as you do with actors if they don’t fit the part. I run an “intimate audition” by putting myself in their shoes, to see how they will deal with the bad things that I’m planning to do to them. A character who is in mortal danger and takes it in his stride will not be able to make the reader feel anything. His emotions must be those that the regular (not superhuman) reader would have in the same situation. Only then will the reader care about the character and form an unconscious rapport with him. You can’t feel for characters who are going to come out of every situation unscathed, no matter how much effort the bad guys put into destroying them.

But don’t be confused – ordinary characters don’t have to live in an ordinary world. They can live in a fantastic one and still be ordinary in their human makeup, in the way they behave, think and react to their very out-of-the-ordinary environment. Perhaps the best example is Katniss in The Hunger Games (in the first book of the trilogy, not applicable to the others.) Although she is special, has skills and does some pretty extreme things, she is a regular girl with desires and hopes to which the reader can relate. She finds herself in an impossible situation and reacts in a very human way that is not devoid of weakness. Thus, the readers can wonder what they would do if they were in her shoes. They can feel her emotions and through much of the book they will worry, not knowing how it will all come out in the end.

To my mind, using a supernatural character in a thriller amounts to lazy writing, because you don’t have to worry about keeping him alive. You can always make him cut the right wire of the atomic bomb and save the world. That’s why five minutes after reading a James Bond book I couldn’t tell you what it really was about. But who says that this is a bad thing? Escapist literature is here to help us clean our heads and forget heavy stuff, and thank God for it!

First posted on Dual Reads

Post Image Copyright: jackrust / 123RF Stock Photo

Categories: On Writing


Moses’ Staff: Facts and Fantasy


If you know your Bible, you are familiar with Moses’ staff. It played a big part in the Israelites’ departure from Egypt, as told in the Book of Exodus. The staff embodied the power that God had bestowed upon Moses, and he used it to part the waters for their escape and for pretty much everything else he needed done, like hitting the rock and having water gush out so the Israelites could drink in the desert.

Like with other Biblical relics, countless stories have been told over the centuries about Moses’ staff, and even in modern times. In 2002 the BBC released a stunning headline: “Staff of Moses ‘found’ in Birmingham.” It was followed by a report claiming that “an ancient staff in a British museum may be connected to the Biblical figure of Moses. Coventry writer Graham Phillips believes the staff, on display at Birmingham Museum, belonged to the historical Egyptian official Tuthmosis, whose life had strong parallels with the Moses of the Bible.” According to the author, the staff was found in a tomb in southern Jordan in the 1800s before being bought by a British collector and later acquired by Birmingham Museum.

But of course, there will be others who claim possession of the relic. For instance, Turkey claims that Moses’s staff is on display today at the Topkapı Palace, Istanbul. While I wouldn’t run to Birmingham or to Istanbul to view the relic, these facts inspired the plot of my new thriller, Exodus ’95, in which a race to locate and take possession of Moses’ staff, hidden in a remote location, develops into what a reviewer characterized as “an intriguing blend of action, mystery, and suspense.”

An action thriller is a work of fantasy – or to put it bluntly, it is a pack of lies. Conventional wisdom has it that for a lie to be convincing, it must be based on some truth. Exodus ’95 is anchored in facts, geographically and historically, so when the reader get to the fibs, they have a ring of truth that serves to keep him or her invested in the story and connected to the protagonists, no matter how outlandish their actions.

So, what’s in the book:

Claire, a young graphic designer, learns a secret that her dying New York neighbor has kept for twenty years: the whereabouts of Moses’ Biblical staff.

Claire needs the help of an Israeli engineer and the money of a Russian oligarch to recover the staff before her body betrays her. But first she needs to stay alive in a race with fanatics, who will do anything to keep the staff from coming to light.

Then the LORD said to Moses: Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.

Will Moses’ staff be found at last? I’m afraid that to find out you’ll have to read Exodus '95.


Originally posted on GottaWriteNetwork


Image Copyright: lironpeer / 123RF Stock Photo

Categories: The Facts Behind The Fiction


Review: In Farleigh Field

In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War IIIn Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been a long time since I enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed reading In Farleigh Field. This is a delightfully unhurried story, which in spite of its coziness manages to maintain a degree of suspense throughout its pages, and hence keeps the reader's attention to the last page. All characters are brought to life vividly, and the writing is exquisite. The book is also very well researched, which gives a distinct feel of authenticity to the story. The predictability of some central events strangely does nothing to detract from the pleasure of reading this fine novel. I will be reading more of Ms. Bowens work.

View all my reviews

Categories: Must Read

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