Audiobook Interview With Author @UviPoznansky

I welcome Uvi Poznansky to my blog today. Uvi is a California-based author, poet and artist. With an M.A. in Architecture and an M.S. in Computer Science, Uvi writes across a variety of genres, including literary fiction, historical fiction, biblical fiction, poetry, fantasy, and children’s books.

What was it like hearing your books narrated as an audiobook?

In a word: amazing! Apart From Love is a dual narration project, so I went through auditions for a male voice for Ben’s role, and a female voice for Anita’s role. To find the female voice, I listened to numerous auditions of talented narrators and actors. But when I heard Heather Jane Hogan, I knew instantly that I need not look any further. What set her apart was not only her sultry, intimate voice, not only her natural talent in doing Anita’s Southern twang, and not only the heartfelt interpretation of the text, but most of all, this: hers was no performance. Heather did not play Anita–she WAS Anita!

Apart from love

And as for Ben’s voice, I chose the gifted David Kudler. He is lyrical, intelligent, literate, capable of multiple accents and ages for the characters. So in my novel, he becomes not only Ben (at the age of twenty-seven and at the age of twelve) but also his father Lenny, the bumbling lawyer, Mr. Bliss, and aunt Hadassa as well!

Do you outline your books or wing it? Describe your process.
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. In it, Ben watches his father trying to revive his frail grandma, and later he attempts the same technique on the fish tilting upside down in his new aquarium.

“I cannot allow myself to weep. No, not now. So I wipe the corner of my eye. Now if you watch closely, right here, you can see that the tail is still crinkling. I gasp, and blow again. I blow and blow, and with a last-gasp effort I go on blowing until all is lost, until I don’t care anymore, I mean it, I don’t care but the tears, the tears come, they are starting to flow, and there is nothing, nothing more I can do—”

I set the story aside, thinking I was done with it. But the character of the boy, Ben, came back to me and started chatting, chatting, chatting in my head. It became the seed of novel Apart from Love. In writing it I asked myself, what if I ‘aged’ him by fifteen years? Where would he be then? Would he still admire his father as a hero, 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, 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? So the process of writing became, for me, simply listening to the characters and trying, as fast as I could, to capture their thoughts. My role as an author was merely suggesting a place, coming up with the stage set and illuminating it as appropriate for the time of day, and allowing the characters to describe what they see and to act out their passions and fears.

Tell us about your hero or heroine in this book. Give us one of his/her strengths and one of his/her weaknesses.
Anita is the heroine of my story. She talks in slang, which provides a stark contrast to the refined way Ben is relaying his thoughts. In spite of this, she can be lyrical: “What matters is only what’s here. I touch my skin right under my breasts, which is where the little one’s curled, and where he kicks, ‘cause he has to. Like, he don’t feel so cosy no more. Here, can you feel it? I reckon he wants me to talk to him. He can hear me inside, for sure. He can hear every note of this silvery music. It ripples all around him, wave after wave. I can tell that it’s starting to sooth him. It’s so full of joy, of delight, even if to him, it’s coming across somewhat muffled. Like a dream in a dream, it’s floating inside, into his soft, tender ear. I close my eyes and hold myself, wrapping my arms real soft—around me around him—and I rock ever so gently, back and forth, back and forth, with every note of this silvery marvel. You can barely hear me—but here I am, singing along. I’m whispering words into myself, into him. And this is the moment when, like one, we’re happy.”

The other female heroine in the book is Natasha, Ben’s mother. Here is the way he imagines how she heard the diagnosis of her illness: “I picture her staring at the black-and-white image of her brain, not quite understanding what they are telling her. The doctors, they point out the overall loss of brain tissue, the enlargement of the ventricles, the abnormal clusters between nerve cells, some of which are already dying, shrouded eerily by a net of frayed, twisted strands. They tell her about the shriveling of the cortex, which controls brain functions such as remembering and planning. And that is the moment when in a flash, mom can see clearly, in all shades of gray blooming there, on that image, how it happens, how her past and her future are slowly, irreversibly being wiped away—until she is a woman, forgotten.”

What is your latest audiobook about? Who is the narrator?

Rise to Power, is the first volume in the new series The David Chronicles. The story explores the life of one of the most admired figures in history and the most complex figure in the bible: David. David is famous for bringing his kingdom from the brink of annihilation to a prosperous age, a renaissance. With all his gifts, he is indeed a renaissance men. This is his story 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. In the first volume of the series, David gives you a fascinating account of his early years, culminating with a tribal coronation.

The narrator is David George, with his deep, resonant voice, pronounced with regal gravity, the way I have imagined for this role. I became curious to learn more about him when I heard that he was born in Acre, Israel, which means that in his childhood he crossed paths with his biblical namesake. He was raised in London from age of five, and is a citizen of the UK, Canada & the US. He is A Filmmaker, Photographer, Writer, Composer, Songwriter & Voiceover Actor.

What other audiobooks have you written?

A Favorite Son

Buy Apart From Love:

For more about Uvi, visit her blog, follow her on Twitter and on her Facebook page.

Stop by Stacy’s audiobook page to browse her audiobook reads for adults, teens and children, and visit her Audiobook Corner for links to narrator and author interviews.

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