Zelda Leah Gatuskin


Zelda was born and grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and attended Emerson College in Boston, where she received a B.S. degree in Visual Communications. With her husband she owns and operates Studio Z, multi-media arts, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to her work as an author, editor, visual artist and website designer, she has worked as a volunteer for a variety of community organizations and progressive causes.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm polishing the sequel to my first book, "The Time Dancer," which is a fantasy novel about parallel worlds, magic, dancing, music, cats, romance - lots of the things I enjoy in a story. The new book is called "The Two Magicians" and will be published in print in 2017. It answers some of the questions left hanging at the end of "The Time Dancer," such as: What really happened to Malcom the Master Seer? Will the Gypsies Esmarelda and George Drumm find the Red Mountain Witch and return the magic satchel Malcom stole from her? In the Alternate World (our world) Robyn has taken up belly dancing and formed a troupe. When they dance at the Summer Solstice Harmony Convention in the mountains of Colorado, they set off a curious chain of events that brings Esmarelda back into their lives. The boundaries between parallel worlds weaken, and it is up to a wily Minder named Brooks to set right the Spiral Map of Time. The book is now available as an ebook series, and the first installment is free. Let me know what you think!
Have you been criticized for your characterization of "Gypsies" in your novel "The Time Dancer"?
I have been criticized for using the term, but I don't believe anyone who reads the book is offended. My fictitious Gypsies are modeled on the Gypsies of India, who embrace the title. East Indian Gypsy dance, costume and culture inspired the descriptions of my magical "time dancer" Esmarelda and her clan. I have taken care to describe an assortment of "Wanderer" peoples, as varied as the lands they cross, based on my additional research into actual Traveler cultures around the world. I understand that the Roma of eastern Europe are no longer calling themselves Gypsies. While they are said to be descendants of East Indian Gypsies who migrated to Europe centuries ago, the Roma have long claimed their own culture, their own homeland, and their own name. You have to understand that way back when, Gypsies, from the European perspective, were newcomers from another continent; they were deemed to be heathen, foreign in every sense, and therefore immoral and untrustworthy. Derivative slang words have further burdened a perfectly good name for perfectly fine folks. The Roma have a private and unique culture, which they have tried to preserve in the face of many social and practical pressures to conform. In this, they are like other ethnic/religious groups who endure mild to extreme persecution rather than relinquish their identity or autonomy. I recommend the book "Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey" by Isabel Fonseca (1995, Random House - note that the word "Gypsy" for Roma was still in favor at time of publication) for the insights it provides regarding Roma history and culture, and how a word that only ever spoke to me of beauty, mystery and music came to be so fraught.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Zelda Leah Gatuskin online

Where to buy in print


The Spiral Map of Time
The romantic and magical adventures of the time-traveling Gypsy dancer, Esmarelda, and her colorful crew. What if there was a world of Magic just the other side of our dreams? At The Lost Unicorn in Caliente, New Mexico, Robyn suspects, and then is drawn into, the parallel world on the reverse side of the Spiral Map of Time.

The Time Dancer

Price: $4.95 USD.
Biography & Memoir
You can't make this stuff up. Real people, who happen to be really good writers, telling real life stories.


If I Could Convince You of Only One Thing: Essays
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 50,690. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2018 by Amador Publishers, LLC. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » Contemporary philosophy, Essay » Political
Sincere, satiric, or deadly serious, these essays call for women's equality, social justice and economic fairness for all, fine arts and media education, and rejection of dehumanizing violence in screen entertainment. Causes aside, the author concludes that getting along isn't about what we say we believe (or don't believe), it's about respect.
The Two Magicians: From Nowhere to Forever - Sequel to "The Time Dancer"
Series: The Spiral Map of Time. Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 143,180. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2017 by Amador Publishers, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
What would you do if you had proof positive of a magical parallel world? Robyn twirls right into it from the stage of the Harmony Convention, where the presence of the New-Agers in Piper Canyon has increased the leakage between the alternating worlds of the Spiral Map of Time. Occult romance, time-travel, and magic dance return in the sequel to Zelda Gatuskin's fantasy novel, "The Time Dancer."
Ancestral Notes: A Family Dream Journal
Series: Biography & Memoir. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,100. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2016 by Amador Publishers, LLC. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Jewish
Dream journal entries, poems, essays, short stories, and a drama based on the author's investigations into her family history and cultural identity. She explores the themes of Jewish spirituality, shtetl life in Europe, immigration to the USA, and men's and women's traditional roles. Repeated references to spirits suggest that this inquiry is not only guided but demanded by ancestral souls.
Digital Face
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 35,250. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2016 by Amador Publishers, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fiction Winner, 2017 NM-AZ Book Awards. 5 Hearts from Foreword Reviews. Blurring the lines between surrealism, magical realism, fantasy, sci fi, romance and satire, these 11 stories will tickle your funny bone, your brain and your heart with tart depictions of popular culture, imaginative takes on the future (and past) of humanity, and mystical currents swirling below the surface.
The Time Dancer
Series: The Spiral Map of Time. Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 76,030. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2015 by Amador Publishers, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
A romantic tale of time travel, mistaken identities and parallel worlds. When George Drumm falls in love with Esmarelda, he must learn the secrets of the Spiral Map of Time, or lose her to the future. The two leapfrog across the spiral in search of lost cats, missing satchels and each other, and in the process share glimpses of their magical universe with residents of the dusty town of Caliente.
Castle Lark and The Tale that Stopped Time
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 124,150. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2015 by Amador Publishers, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Time travel
In this futuristic adventure wrapped around a tale from the past, a pair of teenage protagonists take part in the resettling of Earth after two centuries of human exile on Mars and Luna. Disenchanted with life under the domes, Fasha and Alex discover that nature, magic and romance still prevail on the home planet -- with a little help from the Brotherhood of Wizards.
Where the Sky Used to Be
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 129,390. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2011 by Amador Publishers, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When Claire and her best friend Lydia reluctantly take on “the Muffin project” for the summer, they soon find themselves attached to Muffin and other residents of Westcare Manor. While teens and seniors bond, teens and parents clash; and Muffin and her aging daughter Jo battle on in their own way. Where the Sky Used to Be is a story about art, love, compassion, and following your own path.

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