Linda’s Book Obsession Interviews Kitty Zeldis, Author of “Not Our Kind” for Suzy Approved Book Tours

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 Linda: 1.  What was your motivation in becoming an author and writer? What did you do before you were a writer?

Kitty Zeldis: When I was young, I wanted to be a ballerina, and I studied classical ballet very seriously.  But I was neither talented nor driven enough to have a life as a professional dancer.  I started writing when I was in my early 20’s, and in graduate school for something else.  But once I decided to be a fiction writer, I never looked back.

Linda: 2. What motivated or inspired you to write?

Kitty Zeldis: I think all writers begin as readers; I know I did.  For so many of us, writing is often an outgrowth of our passion for reading.

Linda: 3.  How did you go about researching for your book?

Kitty Zeldis:  In a sense, I’d been researching it for years because I love films, photographs, and fashion from the 1940s and was familiar with the period.  But I did additional reading, photo research and fact-checking for certain details.

Linda: 4.  What are your goals for readers to take away after reading?
Kitty Zeldis: I hope that they will see Not Our Kind less as a book about anti-Semitism, and more about otherness.  Both Eleanor and Patricia perceive each other as “not their kind,” but by the end of the novel, those feelings have changed; that’s what I hope readers will take away.


Linda: 5.  What is a typical day of your life? 

Kitty Zeldis: Dogs (there are two) go out and do their business. Coffee with my husband, made by my nifty Nespresso machine, which makes a perfect latte every time. My days vary but when I’m working on a novel, I try to work a few hours in the morning, break for lunch (and doggy care) and then back to work until dinner. I may work a little more after dinner but not always—need some downtime too.

Linda: 6.   What are your hobbies or things you do in your downtime?
Kitty Zeldis: I love hunting for secondhand clothes (and other treasures) in thrift shops, yard sales (in Brooklyn we call them stoop sales, because people set up on their stoops) and the like.  The more down and dirty these venues are, the better I like them! I try to make a stop at the Salvation Army store in every city I visit.


Linda: 7.  What can you tell us of any new writing projects that you might have?

Kitty Zeldis: I’m working on a novel set in New Orleans in 1916-1917.  NOLA fans take note!


Linda: 8.   What are your favorite genres of books that you like to read?

Kitty Zeldis: When I’m writing a novel (which is a lot of the time!) I find it hard to read one—I keep analyzing as I read and it gets in the way of my enjoyment.  So I stick to poetry and short stories; in my opinion, the latter are more like poems than they are novels.

Linda: 9     What advice can you give to someone that wants to be a writer?

Kitty Zeldis: Keep reading like crazy! Make writing a regular practice—journal, diary, letters, dream books, poems.  And sign up for a writing workshop or class—you’ll meet a community of writers all in engaged in the same pursuit, which is invaluable.

Linda: 10.     If your book were adapted to the screen, what actors, actresses could you envision for the main characters?

Kitty Zeldis: Ooh, that’s such a fun question! Writers love thinking about those book-to-movie transitions. For Patrica, I’d like to see Cate Blanchett.  I could see Lily Collins or Scarlett Johansson as Eleanor. Haven’t really thought about the male roles.


Linda: 11.              How would you like the readers to connect with you?

Kitty Zeldis: Via Facebook and Instagram; just look for Kitty Zeldis because there’s only one!  And please contact me if you are so inclined; I love to hear from readers!

Thank you so much, Kitty Zeldis for such a delightful interview.


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