What is your writing background? When did you begin writing and what inspired you?
I began telling stories before I could write: my father (a poet and writer) would put them down on paper as I was telling them.
I am often asked what was the inspiration for my recent novel, Apart From Love. Over a year ago I wrote a short story about a twelve years old boy coming face to face, for the first time in his life, with the sad spectacle of death in the family. Stunned, Ben watches his father trying to revive his frail grandma. Later, Ben attempts the same technique of mouth-to-mouth recessitation, on the fish tilting upside down, dying in his new aquarium.
I set the story aside, thinking I was done with it. But the character of the boy, Ben, wouldn’t go away. He started chatting incessantly in my head, keeping me awake at night. So I asked myself, what if I ‘aged’ him by fifteen years? Would he still admire his father for ‘blowing life’ into the old woman–or will he be disillusioned at that point? What secrets would come to light in the life of this family? How would it feel for Ben to come back to his childhood home after a long absence, and have his memories play tricks on him?
What if I introduce a girl, Anita, a redhead who looks as beautiful as his mother used to be–but is extremely different from her in all other respects? And what if this girl were married to his father? What if the father were an author, attempting to capture the thoughts, the voices of Ben and Anita, in order to write his book?
Just asking these questions had an immediate affect on Ben: as if a page has turned, he grew up into his new age—but then, somehow, he forgot to mature… So the process of writing became, for me, simply listening to him, and to Anita, and trying, as fast as I could, to capture their thoughts. They chatted with such intensity! I wish I could record everything they said. After a full day of writing nonstop, just before my eyes closed, I would hear Ben whisper something in my ear, and promise myself I would put it on paper next morning—only to find the phrase gone by the time I woke up.
So, to slow down the chatter I would throw some obstacle in my characters’ way, and let them ponder how to find their way around it. This, I found, was such a fun method of developing the story, and it allowed the plot to twist and turn in unexpected ways.
How often do you write? How do you manage to fit your writing among other commitments?
It is an act of fine balance. I often hear myself complaining that I should be cloned, but if that were true, each one of my clones would be complaining that she should be cloned. When I start writing I jot little notes to myself where ever inspiration strikes. But as I go deeper into the writing process, I find myself at home, with my laptop, and the hours fly by. I start early morning, and after what seems like a minute, I realize it’s already time for dinner!
So I am always creating, but being an artist, writer and poet, my projects span a wide spectrum of activities, and they urge me to bring them to life in different ways. At times I would put the finishing touches on an oil painting and suddenly hear the voice of the painted figure in my head, demanding that I would write her. A good example of this is my poem Late Lover, which gives voice to a skeleton I pained the night before. Other times I would write a poem, paint series of watercolors that bring it to life in vivid colors, and then animate it. I described this creative process in my blog, in a post called From Poem to Animation.
In which genre do you most enjoy writing?
I love writing poetry, which comes to me quite easily, and on the other hand I love writing novels: Apart From Love is a novel in a mixed genre (family saga and romantic suspense.) Life is never neatly categorized, never fits into a genre, and neither is fiction; so what I write often crosses these boundaries. This makes for an interesting read, because as a reader you would never know where I am going with the story… And the end is a surprise.
Many of the reviewers, on Amazon and on other reading sites, readily respond to this creative mix. Here is an excerpt from a review by Dolores Ayotte on Amazon:
“Author Uvi Poznansky is an artist! There is no doubt about it. As I read Apart from Love, I was drawn into a masterfully created piece of artwork. This is no ordinary novel. It richly depicts the product of a dysfunctional family and how they are drawn together, yet so repulsed by each other.
There is a quality so deep and raw in Apart from Love that it’s almost impossible to put this book down. In my opinion, Uvi Poznansky writes like a painter. She 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.”
What draws you to write in that genre?
Once the characters spring to life in my head, they do not stop talking… And so the story just writes itself, with me simply throwing an obstacle here and there in their way, to see how each one of them will deal with it. So writing becomes almost like a game between me and the characters. I become intimately familiar with the way each one of them thinks and acts, and with the motives and the life history of each one of them. And in the end, I weave their stories into an intricate whole. This is how I feel about writing a novel.
What are your writing plans for the future?
I have a seed of an idea for a new novel, but it is too early to talk about it… Also, I was invited to participate in an anthology, where several authors create a ‘shared universe’. So I am already writing my next story! It the strangest one imaginable, and have wicked fun with it!
The central character is Job’s Wife, and she comes, with a twist, out of the biblical fable in The Book of Job. At the beginning of my story she wakes out to find herself in Hell, which she describes in colorful detail, including the fallen angels on each side of her cave:
“I cast a quick glance this way and that, and see—just outside the mouth of the cave—two figures standing guard. Only they are standing upside down, perfectly frozen. Icy wings hang down from their shoulders, broken. And splinters are scattered on the dirt all around them. They are so still that it seems they have been carved from pillars of salt—if not for their feet twitching up there, above me.”
This story will be included in Dreamers in Hell, an anthology of stories titled “Dreamers in Hell” (edited by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, part of the Heroes in Hell shared universe series; due out July, 2013.)
Where can people find more about you?
You can see highlights of my body of work my website, It includes poems, short stories, bronze and ceramic sculptures, paper engineering projects, oil paintings and watercolors, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.
Here I post my thoughts about the creative process, almost every day. Poems, stories, new art and the journey from the first spark of inspiration to the finished piece.
I also have an author Q&A group on Goodreads, where you can engage in conversation with me, on a variety of topics, such as point-of-view and character development in my books, the intricacies of the creative process, advice relating to the publication process, and the latest news about my books.
Includes my bio, books and even animations!
A great way to keep up with my latest news and to contact me
Twitter handle: @UviPoznansky