Interview with Uvi Poznansky

How do you approach cover design?
I am an artist, poet and writer, so my art and my writing are two aspects of the same vision of the world I am creating. I write with my paintbrush and paint with my pen. 

So I design my own bookcovers, based on my art. A few months ago, a pile of bones captured my fascination. Scattered across my desk, they were ashen, rather small, and of fanciful shapes. I was unable to identify the animals whose remains these were, nor could I name their skeletal parts. Which left me free to mine—out of these crumbling, fragile relics—an entirely new presence. Coming to life on brown paper with with a few stokes of white, red, and brown pencils, there she was: my Bone Princess. 

Set upon a patch of scorching desert sand, she casts a one-eyed look at you, which masks how vulnerable she really is. Her soft flesh is shielded—and in places, nearly crushed—by her armor of bones. She is damaged: no arms, no legs, yet she accepts her pain with pride, and with regal grace. Inside and out, she carries a sense of morbidity. 

As all creations, she became an independent spirit. As such, she made me wonder what had happened to her. I imagined her turning to me, with the elegant, elongated lines of her neck, to tell me her story. This was how my novella, the first story in my book Twisted—I Am What I Am—came to be. 

Twisted.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Surprisingly, I find poetry to be the greatest influence on my writing: 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’.

Playwrights have a great impact on my writing., for example The Price by Arthur Miller, because they teach me to listen to dialog, and identify emotions and motives through the speech patterns of the characters.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a trilogy that contains three novels--Rise to Power, A Peek At Bathsheba, and The Edge of Revolt--describing the youth, prime of life and old age of king David.

The entire trilogy is greatly inspired by painting and sculpture throughout the history of art, depicting David. Over the ages, the view of the story has undergone amazing transformation. Take a look, for example, at the Painting 'David and Bathsheba' painted by Lucas Cranach the elder in 1526. He treated his subjects with awe and reverence, and the only naked skin visible is Bathsheba's little foot, bathed by an adoring maid. David is presented as a psalmist, rather than a leering, dirty old man peeping on an unsuspecting, naked woman. There is not a hint of sin here!

Now compare the way Picasso transformed this very painting. The composition is exactly the same (only mirrored left to right) but the brush stroke is modern, it is spontaneous and fresh, bringing a sizzle to the entire scene. He enlarged the proportions of all the figures, especially David, so it is easier to spot the king here, because he is the only one fleshed out among the men at the top. His musical instrument is barely sketched, because the important activity is not playing heavenly music but rather gazing at the women, gazing at all the women, with keen, sexual interest. The water dripping from Bathsheba's foot is clearly emphasized, with its juicy suggestion of a symbol of lust.

There is no right and wrong way to interpret the story. As an artist and writer, I believe that my mission is to let the characters speak to you through me. David is flesh and blood in my mind, and so is Bathsheba. This story is happening here and now. I invite you to step into the skin of the characters, and look yourself in the mirror.
What do your fans mean to you?
You mean the world to me! And I do everything in my power to reach out to you in any way I can, interacting with fans on all social media outlets, getting and receiving letters from them. In the last two years I have published several novels, novellas, a poetry book, and two children’s books, and the greatest joy in the world is knowing that my characters that sprung from my mind onto the page have magically leapt from the page into the minds of readers.

My blog, http://uviart.blogspot.com, is the main way through which I reach to my readers. In addition to thanking my readers and reviewers for recent reviews, I post anything that crosses my mind: excerpts from my stories, voice clips from the books done by gifted voice artists, thoughts about creativity, the inspiration for a story, a sketch or a sculpture, or even snapshots from my art studio. Every day there is something new.
What are you working on next?
These are the two ideas that inspire me: family secrets that must be explored before the path to healing can be found, and the mystery of the mind at the point you are beginning to lose control over it.

My next project will interpose these ideas. I will focus on the mother, Natasha, from my novel Apart From Love (which will become vol I of a new series, Forget-Me-Not.) Natasha used to be a gifted pianist, known for passing memorization techniques to her students. It takes years until she is finally diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer. Her voice will carry the story in my next novel, A Woman, Forgotten.
Are you planning to continue writing in the same genre?
The classification to genres is only one method available to you to discern the subject of a book. This method can be rigid. I trust that you use it in combination with reading the book description, and taking a peek at the first few pages, which gives you a true taste of the writing style.

I strive to stretch the envelope of what I create. In writing all of my books, I often break the confines of the particular genre, because life as we know it–and my art, which mirrors it– constantly changes from one genre to the next. One moment is is humorous; the next, it is erotic; then, it might be a tragedy.

In art, I use different mediums, which enriches my designs: I sculpt (in bronze, clay, and paper, draw in charcoal, ink, and pencils, paint in watercolor and oils, and create animations. I love to be lured outside of my comfort zone, and I hope you do too.
What kind of advice would you give to aspiring 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.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
When you are gripped in pain, you can't escape, you are locked inside a jar, so to speak. But if you write about it, you will eventually be able to 'swim' into the jar through the glass walls, feel that pain, but the wonderful thing is--you will be able to swim out again. You will no longer be gripped.

So the important thing to know about your characters is that each one of them is gripped in some emotion, has an overwhelming need which may be at odds with another character. While your mind 'embodies' this character, you must live in her skin and see things through her eyes. Then, when you move to embody another character, you 'swim' out of one skin and into another. At every moment, you must be totally committed to the point of view of the character whose skin you have just entered.

So the difficult thing is to take a hop from one character to another, going in and out of these borders between them, their glass jars. Why is this difficult? Because each one of these characters wants to hold onto your pen, and they have a hard time relinquishing control of you, the writer.
Why did you start writing?
My creative drive, in poetry, story telling, and art, started early in life. Before I knew how to hold a pen in my hand, I would tell stories that my father (a poet, writer and artist himself) would write down for me. He would also ask me to help him rhyme his lines, which introduced me to the music of words and the intricacies of writing
How do you come up with your opening lines?
Opening lines present themselves to me all the time. It is the closing lines--those that must carry a punch, and linger in your mind--that are more precious to find. I put my thoughts on this very subject in the mind of my character, Mr. Schribner:

"Mr. Schriber reflects upon his writing method. In his mind, it is best to skip any introductions and open, quite abruptly, from the middle of things. There may have been some events in the past, events leading you up to that first sentence—but he, the writer, allows you just a sense of them, a sense vague enough just to come closer and listen.
Beginnings, he tells himself, are cheap. They come to him every morning by the dozen; and as easily as they come, he finds himself compelled to discard them. Too bad about the trees. Most of them have been sacrificed for nothing, for the pulp upon which he attempts to write his first, second and third drafts. His waste basket is already overflowing with crumpled beginnings.
An ending, on the other hand, is precious. It comes rarely, sometimes in a dream. He has to jot it down quickly, before it evaporates. A good ending allows the tale to linger in your mind, well beyond the last sound of the last sentence. It invites the words, utterances and expressions, the little fragments that float there nebulously, over his head, to come to him. Once captured, they will flow out of his pen. Only then will he pour himself out. But right now—without an end— Mr. Schriber is stuck."
Published 2015-01-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

בית
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,960. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Biography, Fiction » Poetry » Russian & Former Soviet Union
בית. מילה פשוטה. מילה בעלת משמעויות מורכבות. מילה של לחש, מילה של זעקה. מילה של געגועים למקום מושלם, מקום שלעולם לא נמצאנו שוב. ספר זה מכיל קובץ של שירים בשפת המקור, מפרי עטו של המשורר, הסופר והאמן זאב כחל. השירים נכתבו בערוב ימיו ונתגלו על ידי בתו, אובי פוזננסקי, בזמן השבעה. שש שנים מאוחר יותר, היא תרגמה את הקובץ לאנגלית ופרסמה אותו, יחד עם מבחר משיריה: Home
Book Bites: The Wrong Girl
Price: Free! Words: 12,260. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
The Wrong Girl offers samples from books in the Still Life with Memories series. These samples give a taste not of Natasha (the girl Lenny loves) but rather of another woman, Lana. Flirtatious enough to stir suspicion, she upsets the course of his life time and again.
Book Bites: Love in Times of War
Price: Free! Words: 24,570. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Book Bites offers samples from 9 romance novels and novellas. We hope you will find them not only delicious but also arousing an irresistible craving for more.
Twisted
Price: Free! Words: 19,730. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00)
Come into a dark, strange world, where 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. So prepare yourself: keep the lights on.
Home
Price: Free! Words: 22,190. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Biography, Fiction » Anthologies » Poetry - multi-author
(5.00)
Home. A simple word; a loaded one. You can say it in a whisper; you can say it in a cry. Expressed in the voices of father and daughter, you can hear a visceral longing, in poems and prose, for an ideal place. A place never to be found again.