Uvi published two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper. She won great acclaim for her novel, Apart From Love, published February 2012
and for her poetry book, Home (in tribute to her father, the poet and writer Zeev Kachel) published September 2012.
Click on the image to learn more about Uvi and her books.
Questions for Uvi from Julia's students
For me there are mutual influences between my art and my writing.
Sometimes a sculpture I create in clay starts having a voice in my head. Other times, a story I am working on brings a visual image of the scenery or of the character to mind, so I have to pick up my brush, and put that vision on paper.
I see the brain working in unison, undivided between it left and right sides. It is overlaying its creative and analytical functions in every task.
You are furiously chasing your muse, and at the same time there are compositional problems to resolve, whether you’re writing a story or composing a piece of music, or painting. The main difference in these forms of art is the effect of time: a painting is perceived at once, while music and story unfold for the listener one note at a time, one letter at a time.
As a creator, I see myself this way: I paint with a pen, write with a paintbrush. My art strives to tell a story, and my stories strive to bring you into the scene being painted, letting you sense everything my characters touch, see, or hear!
Then the question becomes: when do you choose to describe a subject in writing, and when do you choose to paint it? So when the subject is too overwhelming, when words fail me, this is when I pick up my paintbrush.
What do you like to read?
Surprisingly, I find poetry to be the greatest influence on my writing: I appreciate the nuances, the overloading of words, and the musical rhythms used in the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, the sonnets by Shakespeare, and the lyrical descriptions of Virginia Wolfe, to name but a few.
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 dialog, and identify emotions and motives through the speech patterns of the characters.
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
From childhood. 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.
How do you come up with your opening lines?
Opening lines present themselves to me all the time. It is the closing lines--those that must carry a punch, and linger in your mind--that are more precious to find. I put my thoughts on this very subject in the mind of my character, Mr. Schribner:
Mr. Schriber reflects upon his writing method. In his mind, it is best to skip any introductions and open, quite abruptly, from the middle of things. There may have been
some events in the past, events leading you up to that first sentence—but he, the writer,
allows you just a sense of them, a sense vague enough just to come closer and listen.
Beginnings, he tells himself, are cheap. They come to him every morning by the dozen; and as easily as they come, he finds himself compelled to discard them. Too bad about the trees. Most of them have been sacrificed for nothing, for the pulp upon which
he attempts to write his first, second and third drafts. His wastebasket is already
overflowing with crumpled beginnings.
An ending, on the other hand, is precious. It comes rarely, sometimes in a dream. He
has to jot it down quickly, before it evaporates. A good ending allows the tale to linger in
your mind, well beyond the last sound of the last sentence. It invites the words, utterances and expressions, the little fragments that float there nebulously,
over his head, to come to him. Once captured, they will flow out of his pen. Only then will he pour himself out.
But right now—without an end— Mr. Schriber is stuck.
How and when do you decide when your writings are
This is a great question, often I ponder about it not only in my writing but in my art as well. When you work on a watercolor, which is given to surprises that arise from the way color flows into water, you must stop in time, just before you start overworking it--or else, the fresh touch is ruined and cannot be recovered. The same is true in writing, but with one difference: you can save earlier versions of it, and go back a step. So the
process can be retraced.
I have a vision of the end well in advance. Here is a fun method of driving the story forward: about halfway through writing the plot of Apart From Love, I left the characters where they were, and turned to write an Epilogue, in which the ‘stage set’ for the last scene is described in detail:
“The four poster bed has been removed, as was the piano. The oval, standalone mirror in the bedroom lies on the floor, in pieces. Glass shards are still strewn all the way back to the other corner. The tape recorder seems to move around the place. Sometimes it can be found under the desk, in the balcony. Other times, it appears next to Beethoven’s bust.”
At this point, I had no idea yet how the mirror would end up being shattered, or how the massive piano would disappear. But now, I had a stage set for the last scenes, and a glimpse of the arc this story was about to take. I went back to my characters, discovering that they started guessing their way, at times stumbling, at times aiming straight,
right towards that last scene.
What comes first to you, the character or the setting?
Definitely the character! Once I flesh her out, I get to know her in great depth—her history from childhood to now, her needs, her dreams… And from there on, I let her loose. She leaps out of my head, fully formced like Athena out of Zeus’s head… Then, she starts chatting in my mind, to the point that I can barely keep up with her… And the setting is what she sees on her journey, she tells me all about it in great, sensual detail.
What point of view do you prefer to write your stories in and why?
I prefer present tense, first person point of view. To me, this combination is the most engaging, because it makes you feel as if you live in the character’s body, breathe through her emotions, taste, smell, hear and see everything she does.
How do you market your stories?
My blog, http://uviart.blogspot.com, is the main way through which I reach to my readers. In addition to thanking my readers and reviewers for recent reviews, I post anything that crosses my mind: excerpts from my stories, voice clips from the books done by gifted voice artists, thoughts about creativity, the inspiration for a story, a sketch or a sculpture, or even snapshots from my art studio. Every day there is something new.
Also, I review fellow authors on my blog, which is my way of recognizing
their talent. In today’s literary world, Indie authors must help and support
FB Author page: http://www.facebook.com/uviart
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Uvi-Poznansky/e/B006WW4ZFG