Interview with Author Uvi Poznansky
My guest today is author Uvi Poznansky. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
Dancing with Air is my new release, and it came out on 08/08/2016. I am truly excited about this story, and I hope it will resonate with you, just like my previous novel, The Music of Us. This story takes two fascinating characters--Lenny, the marine, and the girl he loves, the rising star, Natasha--for a trip down memory lane.
As an artist, I love playing with contrasts in my paintings and watercolors. This story offers me great opportunities to play with contrasts between the two characters, and over the arc of their life together, the contrasts between the way they used to be, and the way they are now.
For a long time I had this idea of creating a series around the events in the life of a unique family. The characters had to have not only a compelling voice, but they had to see things in an entirely different light, which would create contrasts and conflicts, as each one of them comes from a different background and has different passions, needs, and aspirations.
Dancing with Air is volume IV in this series, but like the previous volumes, it is also a standalone novel, which you can read independently of the others. It opens in 1970 with Lenny and Natasha who have been married for a long time, and by the brilliant lens of memory, Lenny reflects back on the months leading to D-Day, when he and Natasha first got to know each other and their love was tested to the ultimate limit of trust.
I knew it ever since I was a child. Before I knew how to put pen to paper, my father, who was a poet and writer, would write down my stories. He also used to ask me to rhyme his poems for him, as a fun way that led me into the music of words.
To my surprise, he sent me an entire notebook full of these early endeavors, written in his beautiful, calligraphic handwriting, just before he passed away.
I sure do! 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 dialogue, and identify emotions and motives through the speech patterns of the characters.
I write every minute I can, day and night around the clock, because I must capture my characters as soon as they start to chatter in my mind.
Serving on the European front, Lenny longs for Natasha, the girl who captured his heart back home. At first, he enjoys fulfilling his military task, which is to write bogus reports, designed to fall into the hands of Nazi Intelligence and divert their attention from the upcoming invasion of Normandy. To fool the enemy, these reports are disguised as love letters to another woman. His task must remain confidential, even at the risk of Natasha becoming suspicious of him.
Once she arrives in London, Lenny takes her for a ride on his Harley throughout England, from the White Cliffs of Dover to a village near an underground ammunition depot in Staffordshire. When he is wounded in a horrific explosion, Natasha brings him back to safety, only to discover the other woman’s letter to him. He wonders, will she trust him again, even though as a soldier, he must keep his mission a secret? Will their love survive the test of war?
In the past Natasha wrote, with girlish infatuation, “He will be running his fingers down, all the way down to the small of my back, touching his lips to my ear, breathing his name, breathing mine. Here I am, dancing with air.” In years to come, she will begin to lose her memory, which will make Lenny see her as delicate. “I gather her gently into my arms, holding her like a breath.” But right now, during the months leading up to D-Day, she is at her peak. With solid resolve, she is ready to take charge of the course of their story.
Dancing with Air is a standalone WWII historical fiction novel, as well as the fourth volume of a family saga series titled Still Life with Memories, one of family sagas best sellers of all time. If you like family saga romance, wounded warrior romance books, romantic suspense novels, military romantic suspense, or strong female lead romance, you will find that this love story is a unique melding of them all.
At last, “My day?” said Natasha. “It was much more difficult than expected. The show was in the lobby of a hotel. There was no grand piano. A year ago they used to have one, which was fortunate, because when a bomb fell on a steepled church next to it, bringing down the ceiling, guests could scramble under it, which saved their lives.”
“No grand piano? So, what instrument did you use?”
“Oh, the hotel manager set up something else for me, a minipiano with a matching stool, both of which have a wonderfully sleek Art Deco appearance. He said it’s hard to find a technician familiar with the mechanism of the thing, because it’s quite unique. So wouldn’t you know it, halfway through the performance, the pianette became unplayable!”
“Oh no!” I cried.
“But that,” said Natasha, dabbing the corner of her eye, “wasn’t the hard part. Something else was.”
We waited for her to continue, but the girl took her time. She pulled the kitchen towel out of my hold and wiped the last plate herself, with deliberate, slow movements, as she was gathering her resolve to go on.
“This show,” she said, “it was for soldiers lying on stretchers, watching as I entertained them. One by one, they were carried into the lobby, and I had to do my best to boost their morale. It just felt... Oh, I don’t know what to say, what words to use, because really, how can you express it? Horrible? That’s too light a word. I was in shock, in utter devastation, to see them with their arms and legs blown off. Just heartbreaking.”
“My, my,” said Mrs. Babcock.
“At first I bit my lips, out of sheer agony at seeing these men, who are so badly damaged. But then, then I told myself, when you do it for them, you should do it with a smile,” said Natasha. “Try to play, try to keep their spirits up. Your music is all you have, it is all of you, and that’s what you must give them.”
“I don’t know where you find the strength.”
“If I don’t find it, I’ll break.”
“My, my,” said the woman, once more.
“These wounded soldiers,” said Natasha, “each one of them has a sister, a wife, a girlfriend back home. When I play for them, they imagine that I’m her. I can see it in their eyes.”
Without another word, Mrs. Babcock gave her a big hug. Then she left the kitchen, leaving us alone, at long last.
Natasha raised her eyes to me.
“You know, Lenny, during the entire show I’ve been struggling,” she said, “trying to stay in the moment, but time and again, finding myself distracted.”
“By a memory of you. I’ve been fighting it off, trying to set aside that time, which was so dear to me, when I first laid eyes on you, back at Camp Upton, not even knowing, back then, how badly injured you were.”
Her hand hovered over my shoulder, touching-not-touching the area that had been hit, several months ago, by a stray bullet. Her fingers slipped inside the opening of my shirt and brushed, ever so gently, around the muscles of my shoulder, carefully avoiding the scar. There was a sense of healing in her touch. There was passion.
“My wound,” I breathed, bringing her hand over my heart, “is more than skin deep. I ache for you, sweetie.”
In a heartbeat, my voice turned hoarse with desire. I took her wrist in my hand and pressed my lips to it.
Then I kissed her.
“Oh, Lenny,” she said, her cheeks aflame. “Your kiss is my undoing.”
I said, “Why, Natashinka?”
“Because,” she whispered, “it makes me feel as if you love me.”
Uvi Poznansky is a bestselling, award-winning author, poet and artist. Her romance boxed set, A Touch of Passion, is the 2016 winner of The Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Awards. Her writing and her art are tightly coupled. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.”
Uvi 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.
Having moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children, Uvi received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. There, she guided teams in a variety of design projects and 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 poems, 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 in her Goodreads group, The Creative Spark.
Uvi published a poetry book in collaboration with her father, Zeev Kachel. Later she published two children’s 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 Goodreads author page.
My Own Voice, The White Piano (woven together in Apart from Love), The Music of Us, and Dancing with Air are volume I, II, III and IV of Still Life with Memories, a family saga with love stories that develop in the face of hardship and illness over two generations, starting at the beginning of WWII with Lenny, a soldier, and Natasha, a rising star.
Rise to Power, A Peek at Bathsheba, and The Edge of Revolt are volume I, II, and III of The David Chronicles, telling 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.
A Favorite Son, 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 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.
Home, 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.
Most of these books are available in all three editions: ebook, audio, and print.
Art Site: http://uviart.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Uvi-Poznansky/e/B006WW4ZFG/