Today I’m pleased to be chatting with Uvi Poznansky, Author of Apart From Love And other books
What genre are your books?
I write in many genres. What I do is just the opposite of branding, perhaps because I find ways to surprise myself. So my books cannot easily be classified in the narrow confines of a 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.
Consider my books: Rise to Power (historical fiction), A Peek at Bathsheba (historical romance) A Favorite Son (biblical fiction), Apart From Love (contemporary fiction), Twisted (dark fantasy), Home (poetry) or Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper (childrens’ books), they all come from the same pen.
My writing has often been called ‘lyrical’ by many of my reviewers on Goodreads and Amazon, perhaps because I treat each word with great care, and give thought to every sentence, every phrase, every comma. Similar to the rhythm and rhymes in poetry, I listen to the rhythms of our speech, so the characters in my prose will talk in the flow that reflects their feelings. So all in all, I use parallel techniques for both my poetry and prose.
I bring everything I have experienced, everything I have learned into my work. My art and my writing are two sides of the same coin, which you can easily realize when you see the cover images of my books, and when you read them. The process of creativity is, for me, the same. It is a juxtaposition of ideas, a spark that creates an inspiration.
What project are you currently working on?
The characters in the first of my novels, Apart From Love, are still alive in me, still demanding that I explore what has brought them to their present predicament, which is this: Coming back to his childhood home after years of absence, Ben is unprepared for the secret, which is now revealed to him: his mother, Natasha, who used to be a brilliant pianist, has lost herself to early-onset Alzheimer’s, which turns the way her mind works into a riddle. Here is what her son says in about her:
Perhaps she is immersing herself in the grays and purples quivering there, on the other side of the glass, reaching a blur in the cold October sunlight. Perhaps, with great patience she is waiting there, waiting for the night, for the darkest hour, which is when her image may finally appear. It will come to the surface in front of her as if it were a sunken spirit, rising from the deep. Out of nowhere.
For now she seems lost, searching for something—perhaps her reflection—in vain.
I worry about mom, about the little things, which to someone else—someone who does not know her as I do—may seem trivial, insignificant. I worry she is missing her pearl earrings. I must find them for her. The little hole in her earlobe has shrunk away, turning somehow to flesh.
In a whisper I say, “Mommy?” and wonder how the air vibrates over the tender membrane of her eardrum, how it changes into noise, how she gets it when pitch rises, when it falls.
Can she sense the change?
In Apart From Love she has no voice of her own. But in my new book, The Music of Us (still on the drawing board) she takes center stage, starting with he love in 1941, on the eve of WWI. The songs of the era will heighten the way she used to be.
One by one, soldiers rose to their feet, many with tears flowing down their cheeks. The curtains behind the piano opened up to reveal all the performers of the previous numbers, holding hands. They swayed together, moved by the fears and hopes that this child evoked, by the powerful music that exploded from the keys under her fingers and hovered so divinely over us, sending pulse after pulse into our bodies, into our hearts.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.
At present–even though her Alzheimer’s is still undiagnosed–she gives voice to her confusion:
Once I find my way back, my confusion will dissipate, somehow. I will sit down in front of my instrument, raise my hand, and let it hover, touching-not-touching the black and white keys. In turn they will start their dance, rising and sinking under my fingers. Music will come back, as it always does, flowing through my flesh, making my skin tingle. It will reverberate not only through my body but also through the air, glancing off every surface, making walls vanish, allowing my mind to soar.
Then I will stop asking myself, “Where am I,” because the answer will present itself at once. This is home. This, my bench. The dent in its leather cushion has my shape. Here I am, at times turbulent, at times serene. I am ready to play. I am music.
But until then I am frightened, frightened to the point of panic. Even in my daze I sense the eyes of strangers. Their glances follow me down the street. Stumbling aimlessly from one place to another in the darkening city, turning around this street corner and that, I am amazed to realize that every building looks like an exact replica of the previous one. It baffles me, but I tell myself, with an increasingly shaky tone, that I am not lost. I cannot allow myself to think that I am. I will find my way, right after taking a deep breath to regain my calm. Then I will try to separate familiar lines out of this urban chaos.
Perhaps this intersection is not that far away from home. I am trying to map it in my mind, but the street signs are of no help, of course. Reading them has become such a chore lately, forcing me to traverse one garbled letter after another and connect them without forgetting the beginning of the word. I would like to believe that if street signs were written in notes I could play them in my mind. I could make some sense of them, because that is the language I understand. I am music.
How much time a day do you spend on social media?
Unlike many authors I find it thrilling to reach out to my readers and listeners. I engage with my readers daily using various channels of social networking, and see it as my mission to let you know about my characters, who are real to me, and to bring them to life in your mind. My blog is at the heart of my campaign, and every day I post a little something there for you, about the creation process, the ideas that inspire me, and the cross-pollination between my art and writing.
The most challenging aspect of my work is finding the balance between creating and reaching out to my listeners and readers. Time is dear, and I often wish I could be cloned so my clones could do some of my work. But if that would happen, each one of my clones would complain that she should be cloned, so that her clones could do some of her work…
What advice do you have for writer’s just starting out?
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.
Apart From Love:
The David Chronicles:
Rise to Power: