Welcome to another edition of Author Wednesday. There are so many things to say about today’s author. She’s multi-talented, writing across genres and never letting one type define her. No wonder she came up with the idea of creating a box set of Indie Authors who also defy definitions, as do their characters. So I’ll start there, with the introduction of the At Odds with Destiny box set, which is Uvi Poznansky’s brain child from conception to birth.
She created, produced, and designed the product, all with the hopes of sharing the talents of other like-minded authors under the umbrella of one set. Full disclosure: I’m honored to have been asked by Uvi personally to join the set with my contribution of Native Lands.
As impressive as that is, Uvi Poznansky, the writer is even more so. She writes historical and literary fiction, poetry, dark fantasy, and children’s books.
I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but I’m tired just thinking about all she does. So without any further introduction, I present to you the talented and gracious Uvi.
Welcome, Uvi. I know you’re doing so much right now with getting out At Odds with Destiny. What knowledge have you acquired recently that might assist other writers?
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.
I go through meticulous research, like every author worth his salt, and collect every detail about the time and the setting. But then, I choose where to take my departure from the reference material. In this series, I chose to let the character speak in modern language. This is a design decision, meant to bring the reader into the realization that this is a universal story, happening here and now, rather than an old fairy tale.
It is essential to anchor fiction in the real setting of the plot. You can do it in a myriad of ways: visit the place, read about it, and look at art and photographs that depict it.
For example, in my novel Rise to Power, David describes the Valley of Elah, where he will soon face his enemy. I visited this place when I was a child, and at the time it surprised me that the valley was so shallow and well, boring. I imagined that perhaps it used to have dramatically sloped walls, as befits the scene of an iconic battle. I told myself that perhaps over the generations dust has settled over it and covered the rocky slopes, hiding the drama.
Before writing the scene, I also looked at a lot of paintings in the history of art. Then I set it all aside, and wrote the scene from imagination:
“There, with their backs to me, they are: three silhouettes, drawn sharply against the gray, gloomy landscape. The horsemen in the center is the one I am watching with keen interest. He is tall, formidable, and cloaked. A ray of morning light reaches hesitantly for his crown, sets it afire, and then pulls back.
Ahead of him, the valley opens like a fresh cut. Thin, muddy streams are washing over its rocks, oozing in and out of its cracks, and bleeding into its soil. Layers upon layers of moist, fleshy earth are pouring from one end to another, then halting on a slant, about to slip off. And from down below, somewhere under the heavy mist that hides the bottom of the valley from sight, stir some unexpected sounds.
I wish I could ignore them. For a moment I am tempted to stick my fingers in my ears—but to do so I would have to let go of my lyre. Let go I cannot, because its strings may tremble in the air. My music may betray me, I mean, it may betray the place of my hideout.
So I go on cowering, trying to imagine silence—only to be startled once more: in place of the first birdsongs of the day, there rise the shrieks of vultures.”
Being an artist, I find my inspiration also by artwork depicting the story. In each era, the artists did not shy away from staging David in garments that belongs to their time, and surrounding him with a contemporary scene. I take my cues from them. Here, for example, is a modern painting by Shaggal, depicting David and Bathsheba. Compare it to this excerpt from the book:
“And the one image that keeps coming back to me is our reflection in the glass, where our faces melded into one. My eye, her eye, and around us, the outline of a new, fluid identity. A portrait of our love, rippling there, across the surface of the wine.”
Beautiful. I know you write in a variety of styles, but is there one message you always try to convey to your readers?
As an artist and writer, my mission is to let the characters speak to you through me. The story is happening here and now. I invite you to step into their skin, and look yourself in the mirror.
This mission has come to its height with my trilogy, The David Chronicles, because it is here that you will find yourself inhabiting a character from youth to old age. I find this amazing, and I hope you will too.
That sounds amazing and inspiring. It seems silly to ask you, but do you plan to continue writing in this particular 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.
Certainly I do. That’s what makes the artist grow and without that growth, there is no challenge. To me, that means nothing important can be achieved. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wisdom. You’ve given us all something to think about.
About Uvi: Uvi Poznansky is a California-based author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” She received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 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. Uvi writes across a variety of genres: Apart From Love (literary fiction), Rise to Power (historical fiction), A Peek at Bathsheba (historical romance), The Edge of Revolt (historical fiction), A Favorite Son (biblical fiction), Home (poetry), Twisted (dark fantasy), and Now I Am Paper (children’s book.)
The David Chronicles ebook
The Edge of Revolt ebook
Now I am paper print