About the Author
Uvi Poznansky is a California-based author, poet and artist. Her writing and her art are tightly coupled. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.”
She earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel. During her studies and in the years immediately following her graduation, she practiced with an innovative Architectural firm, taking part in the design of a large-scale project, Home for the Soldier.
At the age of 25 Uvi moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children. Before long, she received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she guided teams in a variety of design projects; and where she earned her M.A. in Architecture. Then, taking a sharp turn in her education, she earned her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.
During the years she spent in advancing her career—first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant (with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices)—she wrote and painted constantly. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes.
Her versatile body of work can be seen on her website, which includes poem, short stories, bronze and ceramic sculptures, paper engineering projects, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media. In addition, she posts her thoughts about the creative process on her blog, and engages readers and writers in conversation on her Goodreads Q&A group.
Uvi published a poetry book in collaboration with her father, Zeev Kachel. Later she published two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper, which she illustrated, and for which she created animations. You can find these animations on her author page on Amazon, and her author page on Goodreads.
Apart From Love (published 2012) is an intimate peek into the life of a strange family: Natasha, the accomplished pianist, has been stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Her ex-husband Lenny has never told their son Ben, who left home ten years ago, about her situation. At the same time he, Lenny, has been carrying on a love affair with a young redhead, who bears a striking physical resemblance to his wife—but unlike her, is uneducated, direct and unrefined. This is how things stand at this moment, the moment of Ben’s return to his childhood home, and to a contentious relationship with his father.
Home (published 2012), her deeply moving poetry book in tribute of her father, includes her poetry and prose, as well as translated poems from the pen of her father, the poet and author Zeev Kachel.
A Favorite Son (published 2012), her novella, is a new-age twist on an old yarn. It is inspired by the biblical story of Jacob and his mother Rebecca, plotting together against the elderly father Isaac, who is lying on his deathbed. This is no old fairy tale. Its power is here and now, in each one of us.
Twisted (published 2012) is a unique collection of tales. In it, the author brings together diverse tales, laden with shades of mystery. Here, you will come into a dark, strange world, a hyper-reality where nearly everything is firmly rooted in the familiar—except for some quirky detail that twists the yarn, and takes it for a spin in an unexpected direction.
Rise to Power is the story of David as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. In his mind, history is written to praise the victorious—but at the last stretch of his illustrious life, he feels an irresistible urge to tell the truth.
These books are available in all three editions (audiobook, print and ebook.)
What inspires you to write romance books?
In my debut novel Apart from Love, I described a son, Ben, who comes back home, rebels against his father, and reveals a family secret: his mother, Natasha, previously a renown pianist, had succumbed to Early-Onset Alzheimer. My new novel, The Music of Us, takes Natasha a generation back, to the beginning of WWII, when she falls in love with her future husband, Lenny. 26089841
The story is told by Lenny. In 1970, he can no longer deny that his wife is undergoing a profound change. Despite her relatively young age, her mind succumbs to forgetfulness. Now, he goes as far back as the moment he met Natasha, when he was a soldier and she—a star, brilliant yet illusive. Natasha was a riddle to him then, and to this day, with all the changes she has gone through, she still is.
The series as a whole gives voice to several characters who are witnessing the same events, each one interpreting them from a different point of view, which gives rise to conflicts and eventually, to wonderful resolutions.
What is the meaning of the title of the series, Still Life with Memories?
This expression captures the longing we have for the past, which is symbolized by cherished objects. In my upcoming novel, The Music of Us, this expression is used twice, in two conversations between Natasha and Lenny. The first conversation is in 1942, when she longs for the home she lost and the vase of flowers that reminds her of the anniversary gift her Pa gave her Ma. And the second conversation, this time in 1970, is a reprise, which takes on a bitter sweet meaning, because at this time she is about to lose her memory, and therefore is in danger of losing who she is.
Please quote for us the first time this expression is used:
Once the crowd thinned out Natasha said, “So just like me, you too are going through a change.”
“For me, it feels as if I’ve been expelled not only from a physical building but also from my past, from my childhood.”
“Don’t I know it! It’s hard to think that someone else is taking your place.”
“I miss home. I miss every little thing, every object in it, because it reminds me of what happened, of little tokens of affection that come back to me, like the crystal vase, which Pa brought for Ma nearly ten years ago to mark their anniversary.”
“When I came to Summit for our first date I saw it, set there on the dining room table.”
“It used to capture the light so brilliantly, Lenny! I used to put fresh flowers in it everyFriday. D’you know the secret of a perfect arrangement?”
“It’s the spiral, where each new stem is slanted against the previous one. I would choose the best and biggest bloom for the center and arrange the other flowers at an angle around it, mixing the shades of white, pink, and purple and creating a wonderful dome of flowers.”
“Oh, Natasha, I can just imagine it.”
“Then I would stand back and enjoy looking at it, thinking what a beautiful painting it would make, with the lovely shapes of orchids, spray roses and Asiatic lilies brushed upon the canvas.”
“What would you call it?”
“Still life, with memories.” 13498089
And just for comparison, please quote the second time:
I put my pants on, go to the kitchen, fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil for the eggs. Meanwhile I squeeze grapefruit juice into two glasses and wait for the two slices of bread to pop out of the toaster. I set two plates on the table, one each side of the crystal vase. It is the same vase her Pa bought for her Mama to mark their anniversary a generation ago.
I had been too drained to think about it until last night, when on a whim I bought bouquet of fresh flowers in lovely hues of white, pink, and purple. Why did I do it? Perhaps for old times’ sake. By now I have stopped hoping to surprise my wife with such frivolities, because she pays little attention, lately, to the things I do. So for no one in particular I stand over the thing, rearranging the orchids, spray roses, and Asiatic lilies as best I can, to create an overall shape of a dome.
And then—then, in a blink—I find myself startled by a footfall behind me. A heartbeat later I hear her voice, saying, “Lenny?”
I turn around to meet her eyes. My God, this morning they are not only lucid but also shining with joy.
In a gruff voice, choked, suddenly, with tears, I ask her, “What is it, dear?”
And she says, “Don’t forget.”
“I love you.”
Spreading my arms open I stand there, speechless for a moment. Without a word she steps into them. We snuggle, my chin over her head. She presses it to my bare chest. I comb through her hair with my fingers. And once again, we are one.
Then she points at the vase.
“For you,” I say. “Looks like some old painting, doesn’t it?”
“Still life,” she whispers. “With memories.”
Then Natasha lifts her eyes, hanging them on my lips as if to demand something of me, something that has been on her mind for quite a while. Somehow I can guess it. She is anticipating an answer, which I cannot give.
Instead I kiss her. She embraces me but her eyes are troubled, and the question remains.
“Without the memories,” she asks, “is it still life?”
Tell us about how you write:
How does my writing process work?
In any task you undertake, you often hear the advice: start at the beginning, continue down the middle, and finish at the end. Writing is no different. Problem is, as you advance diligently down that path, you may find–to your surprise–that you are getting better, more proficient at your craft. Suddenly the opening of this chapter sounds so much catchier than the previous one; and the ending more powerful. You must constantly re-evaluate and rework previous chapters. So in my opinion, the process of writing is cyclical. By the time I completed the last chapter of my novel, APART FROM LOVE, I knew I had to discard–or at least, rewrite and restructure–the first chapter.
This, then, is the first page of the first chapter, in which Ben is about to return–reluctantly–to his childhood home, and to a contentious relationship with his father:
“About a year ago I sifted through the contents of my suitcase, and was just about to discard a letter, which my father had written to me some time ago. Almost by accident my eye caught the line, I have no one to blame for all this but myself, which I had never noticed before, because it was written in an odd way, as if it were a secret code, almost: upside down, in the bottom margin of the page, with barely a space to allow any breathing.
The words left some impression in my memory. I almost wished he were next to me, so I could not only listen to him, but also record his voice saying that.
I imagined him back home, leaning over his desk, scrawling each letter with the finest of his pens with great care, as if focusing through a thick magnifying glass. The writing was truly minute, as if he had hated giving away even the slightest hint to a riddle I should have been able to solve on my own. I detested him for that. And so, thinking him unable to open his heart to me, I could never bring myself to write back. In hindsight, that may have been a mistake.
Even so, I am only too happy to agree with him: the blame for what happened in our family is his. Entirely his. If not for his actions ten years ago, I would never have run away to Firenze, to Rome, to Tel Aviv. And if not for his actions a couple of weeks ago, this frantic call for me to come back and see him would never have been made.
And so I find myself standing here, on the threshold of where I grew up, feeling utterly awkward. I knock, and a stranger opens the door. The first thing that comes to mind: what is she doing here? The second thing: she is young, much too young for him. The third: her hair. Red.”
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have no choice but to listen, because my characters chat so loudly in my head!
What advice would you give other writers?
My best advice to develop your writing–besides reading a lot–is this: read your story aloud in front of a live audience. 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.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to go indie, because I take great pleasure in the direct contact with readers and listeners from around the globe. I am in daily contact with them, using a variety of social networks, and find this immediacy highly rewarding.
Also I enjoy the ease with which I can control every aspect of the publishing process. I create my own book covers, often based on my art. I format my own paperback editions and publish to Amazon, Barnes&Noble and iTunes by myself. I also invite narrators to submit audiobook auditions and I work together with them to create the audiobooks. Each one of these activities is a pleasure for me and I cannot imagine not being involved in every aspect of the creative process.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of book publishing is bright: readers get a wide choice of new authors and in time, quality works will come to the surface and lousy writing will sink and disappear.
As an indie writer I am acquiring new knowledge every single day, doing the best I possibly can to keep up with the changing landscape of book publishing. Beyond the nitty gritty details, the most important piece of wisdom is this: promoting literary work is a huge undertaking, best achieved by forming alliances with other strong, talented authors. I explore different ways to do it, creating multi-author events and producing multi-author boxed sets, to reach out to a shared audience eager to hear our stories.
What genres do you write:: Romance, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Poetry, Children’s Books
What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print