Today’s guest author I’ve invited over is Uvi Poznansky with her latest book, Dancing with Air, Book 4 in her Still Life with Memories series.
Uvi is a bestselling, award-winning author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” Her romance boxed set, A Touch of Passion, is the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.
Education and work:
Uvi earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel and practiced with an innovative Architectural firm, taking a major part in the large-scale project, called 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.
She worked 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.) All the while, she wrote and painted constantly, and exhibited in Israel and California. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes. Her versatile body of work includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.
Serving on the European front, Lenny longs for Natasha, the girl who captured his heart back home. He writes bogus reports, designed to fall into the hands of Nazi Intelligence. To fool the enemy, these reports are disguised as love letters to another woman. This 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 romance, 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, or military romantic suspense, you will find that this love story, twisting and turning through its marital issues, is a unique melding of them all.
Now, let us get to learn more about the multi-talented, Uvi Poznanski
You’re such a talented artist – a painter, sculptor and author, please tell us how you manage to write so many books and run regular promotions while managing to paint, sculpt and tend to daily life?
I heard somewhere that time was invented so that everything doesn’t happen all at once, and to me this is a useful idea. So when I write, I see myself as standing on the shoulders of my former self who has created an earlier art piece that created the idea for the writing.
For me, art and writing serve as inspiration for each other. For example, in the last couple of weeks I published not one, not two, but six books–all of them art collections (by world renowned artists.) Curated by me, these collections are arranged moment by moment in the story of David. They served as a basis not only for study courses I conducted in a university setting but also as the inspiration for my trilogy, The David Chronicles. Seeing how artists depict each moment in the story, sometimes from contrasting viewpoints, inspired the three novels: Rise to Power, A Peek at Bathsheba, and The Edge of Revolt.
I know you have many of your books now in audio. How are you finding the audience response to audio books? Would you say it’s worth your time for the ROI to keep making audio versions for your books?
It’s definitely worth my while to produce the audiobook editions of my books, not only because it gives me a unique opportunity to partner with gifted, creative narrators who breathe life into the characters, but also because it offers my readers an additional way to become immersed in the story.
To me, creating an audiobook is exhilarating, starting from the very beginning: the audition process. For my novels The Music of Us and Dancing with Air, my narrator, Don Warrick, gives voice to a young, adventurous marine, to his beautiful girlfriend, to her overbearing Mama, and to a host of other characters, painting the contrasts that heighten the drama in this novel. His talent is more than living in the skin of each character–it is getting to the core of each character, to the innermost fears and aspirations.
I’ve read he The Music of Us and thoroughly enjoyed it, part of the now 4 book volume in the Still Life series. Is the latest book, Dancing with Air the last of this series, or will there be more books?
Yes, I’m currently on the third chapter of the next novel in the series. Very excited about it! I haven’t settled on a title yet. Perhaps it’ll be, The Girl with the Red Beret.
So stay tuned…
The Still Life with Memories series focuses on the romantic love story of Lenny, a World War II vet and Natasha, a piano concerto prodigy, and their relationship in the present facing Natasha’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s while Lenny’s flashbacks tell us the story of their lives during wartime. Was there something in particular that prompted you to include Alzheimer’s disease in the storyline?
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.
The first book I wrote, set in the 1980’s, was Apart from Love. In it, Natasha was inflicted with early onset Alzheimer’s and has already declined. Her character demanded that I give her a voice, so I leapt a generation earlier, to the 1940’s, so we can witness her brilliance in her youth, and witness the love between her and Lenny. This is how The Music of Us and later, Dancing with Air came about. Framed by the present, where Natasha has declined, her past seems even more brilliant.
I know you also have written books in a different historical fiction series, The David Chronicles. What about writing historical fiction fascinates you?
I love writing historical fiction, which requires complete immersion in the era. I have always been fascinated by the life of David, and taught a course in art history about it, comparing and contrasting the ways artists across cultures and centuries depicted each moment in the story. The material I collected for this course, combined with my first-hand knowledge of the landscape of the country, gave me the perfect background to write the story.
Now a word of warning: The David Chronicles is not a religious treatise. It’s a secular story. Don’t expect Sunday school teaching. It is described in the voice of David, a flesh and blood, ambitious man, accused of being a traitor and admired for being a hero. He is a man of contrasts, a poet and a killer at once. This, by design, is a modern story, providing a lens through which you may view the political leaders of today.
Please tell us a little about Dancing with Air.
In 1970, Lenny can no longer deny that his wife is undergoing a profound change. Despite her relatively young age, her mind succumbs to forgetfulness. Now, he goes as far back as the moment he met Natasha, when he was a soldier and she—a star, brilliant yet illusive. Natasha was a riddle to him then, and to this day, with all the changes she has gone through, she still is.
Can you please share an excerpt with us from Dancing with Air?
Scores of men lined up. Each one in turn presented his printed Programme to her, asking for an autograph.