Today I am interviewing Uvi Poznansky, Author of Apart From Love, Home, A Favorite Son, and Twisted. If you aren’t familiar with her books, click on the covers they are Amazon linked. They can also be found on Barnes & Noble.
Who is Uvi Poznansky? What are your passions outside of writing? Where are you from?
Born in Israel, I came to the US to study for my Master of Architecture, and later studied also for my Master of Computer Science. Just like my professional career, my passions are varied. I am a poet, writer and artist. I write with my brush, and paint with my pen. I create sculptures in bronze and clay; I do paper engineering; I paint oil and watercolor paintings; I create animations; and I design my own book covers. You can see my art on my website as well as my blog. Being an artist is tightly-coupled with the way I see the world, and the way I write.
One of the reviewers of Apart From Love wrote this about my writing:
“Uvi starts with a clean canvas and dabs a little paint here and a little paint there as she develops her characters and creates her masterpiece. Her strokes then become broader, more passionate, more vivid and vibrant as she continues to let her characters’ stories unfold. She draws you in to a deeper level than you might actually want to go as she ignites the ﬁre to your own love, passions, and fears.”
That’s awesome! When did you know you were a writer?
I started telling stories and composing poems before I knew how to hold a pen between my ﬁngers. My father, a poet, writer and artist, would write these for me, and even quote words I invented.
What genre do you write?
I write in several genres, and enjoy stretching the envelope of my creativity. My novel Apart From Love is a cross between Contemporary Fiction and Family Saga, which makes for an interesting combination, and allows me to surprise the reader, because no one can guess where I am going with the story… If you read the 49 reviews on Amazon, you’ll ﬁnd that many readers felt they had to read the book twice to truly savor all the unexpected twists. My book Home is Poetry. My book A Favorite Son is a cross between Historical Fantasy and Biblical Fiction, a new-age-biblical-twist, set in the twenty-ﬁrst century, in a primitive camp of tents at the frontier of the desert in Canaan, in what seems, at ﬁrst, to be an innocent fable. And my just released book Twisted is a collection of dark tales. The genre of the ﬁrst story is hard to pin down. It is a biblical-hellish genre, spiced with a dash of dark humor, which oddly enough may leave you with an after-taste of philosophical ruminations.
What motivates you to write? My characters. They would not let me be, until I write down what they say. Being a storyteller I delight in ﬂeshing them out on paper. I see myself chasing my characters with a pen, in a wild attempt to capture their voice. This is what happened when I wrote Apart From Love. For a whole year I lived in that Santa Monica apartment, which I staged there, in my imagination. I listened to my characters, chatting in my head, whispering, crying, laughing…
And now that the writing is over, I ﬁnd it amazing that readers from around the globe are hearing these voices, and crying and laughing with the characters. I ﬁnd a whole new motivation to bring them out in the audiobook editions. I enjoy the creative collaboration with my narrators–David Kudler for Ben, and Heather Jane Hogan for Anita. Through their talent, the voices of my characters can actually resonate in the air, and as if by magic, they come alive.
That is evidence of gifted writing. How much of what you write is based on personal experiences?
All of it. None of it. For example, I may write a story with events that happened to me, but describe them in the voice of another person with an entirely different history and set of motives, looking at what I did from an opposing point of view. Here is an example. On a recent visit to Prague, I rented an apartment that came with a cat. Upon my return, I wrote a story from the point of view of the feline creature. The story is included in my new book, Twisted.
Here is an excerpt:
With every instinct in me I know one thing for sure: despite her silence, which is an insult to my pride; despite her looking away in every possible direction, at this corner then the other; and despite the failing light, she can still see me—or at least my eye, the good one, shining at her from the darkness. So at the end of an unbearably drawn out, tense second, here it is: she gives a jerk —a sharp one, mind you! And with a click, she brings in a host of shadows by turning on the twisted lamp by her side. What do I care? I am busy, trying to imagine sun. Curling around myself, eyes half- open, I pass my tongue around my fangs. Here, it is coming to me: a radiant, blood- red sun. Sky—ground—birds—ﬂap, ﬂap, leap!—throats— I feel her looking at me, trying, perhaps, to decipher the sudden ﬂash in my slit pupils. I ﬂick her with my tail. The shadows—small and large, sharp and fuzzy—all ﬂick their tails at her. I am the master of this place! I am the one who never leaves. She will be gone before this day is over.
What genre do you read? What authors do you admire?
Anything goes: poetry, drama, novels, short stories… I appreciate the nuances, the overloading of words, and the musical rhythms used in the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, the sonnets by Shakespeare, and the lyrical descriptions of Virginia Wolfe, to name but a few. I love American authors as well as authors from around the world, for example The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, for their expressive use of ‘stream of consciousness’.
What advice would you give others about writing & in general?
Read your story aloud in front of a live audience, and listen not only to their comments and suggestions, but more importantly–to their breathing pattern while the story is being read. Are they holding their breath at the right moment? Do they burst out laughing, or wipe a tear when you intended? If not, you must go back to the drawing board and adjust your sentences.
What would you like people to know that they might not know already?
You may have seen my art, and you may have read my books, or at least excerpts from them. Perhaps you even know that I design my own book covers, based on my art. But do you know that I combine my writing and art to create animations? If you visit my Amazon author page, you will ﬁnd two of them under the subtitle Author Video (on the right-hand side, about the middle of the page.) Check it out here: Amazon Author Page. Check out Jess and Wiggle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46hlwoNt-Cw
What are you working on and when can we expect a release?
I am currently producing my poetry book, Home, in an audiobook edition. A prolific performer, Kathy Bell Denton, will be narrating it. Since this book is in tribute of my father, and includes his work an mine, the challenge for her is to express my voice in the first half of the book, and his voice in the second. Kathy is an actress, singer, and voice over artist, with an impressive list of ﬁlm and theatre roles.
In parallel I am working on producing my newest book, Twisted, as an audiobook.
A brilliant voice actress, Heather Jane Hogan, will be narrating it. Here, the challenge–and the fun–would be to find a different voice for each one of the four tales. Both audiobook editions will be out this summer, so stay tuned!
Thanks for the privilege of allowing us to get to know you better. It’s been a pleasure to have you in my Chat Chair. Please continue to follow Uvi at her Twitter address, her blog, her Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest and her Amazon Author pages.