What inspired you to write the WWII historical fiction books— The Music of Us, Dancing with Air, and Marriage before Death —in your series?
For a long time I had this idea of creating a series around the events in the life of a unique family, over the course of several generations. In 1980 Natasha suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s. Set the clock back ten years, and her husband, Lenny, is only beginning to suspect that something is wrong. And when he reflects on their early days, back in WWII, we find Natasha as a young woman at her peak. She is beautiful, brilliant, and most of all ready to meet the challenges that arise during the war years.
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. Dancing with Air is volume IV in this series, but like the previous volumes, it is also a standalone novel, which you can read independently of the others.
How did you come up with the title for your series, Still Life with Memories?
This expression captures our longing for the past, which is symbolized by cherished objects. In The Music of Us, this expression is used twice, in two conversations between Natasha and Lenny. The first conversation is in 1942, when she longs for the home she lost and the vase of flowers that reminds her of the anniversary gift her Pa gave her Ma. And the second conversation, this time in 1970, is a reprise, which takes on a bitter sweet meaning, because at this time she is about to lose her memory, and therefore is in danger of losing who she is.
Sometimes I wonder: after such a long time together, how little do we know each other?
Who is this woman, with whom I have built a family? Behind this frightened gaze, is this really Natasha, my love, my inspiration? Can I stop her from becoming even more damaged? Can I save her? Is she still present?
And if this is no longer Natasha as I know her, Perhaps this is Rochelle? Perhaps she is just fooling me—and not only me but everyone else too, including the doctors—because… Because to win a victory against a dangerous foe, sometimes you must work your way through deception, through secrets and lies. Is she just pretending—for reasons known only to her—to be a new person, different from the one I thought she was?
Oh, how I would like to believe that!
I lean over to comb that unruly strand of hair away from her eye.
At first, Natasha seems startled. Then she lets me tuck it, ever so gently, around her ear.
I say, “There’s so much I want to ask you, sweetheart.” “Really?” she asks, with a reluctant tone. She stares blankly at the corner of the kitchen floor, evading my eyes as if in anticipation of some trick question. “Like what?”
“Remember that night, in Vernon?”
She replies, “Yes,” but does so with a shaky tone, which means no, I don’t really remember but I’ll give you the answer you want. Just let me be.
I wipe a bit of syrup from her chin. She must have licked it when I wasn’t looking. “You told me,” I say, “that come what may, you would never forget that night.”
“That night?” she says. “Which one?”
“In Vernon, when we woke up in each other’s embrace, to the sound of shots.”
I pause for a second, so she may reply. And as I wait for her, the memory comes back to me. It seems so fresh, so vivid, as if it happened just yesterday…
Following the failed attempt to blow the bridge, fights erupted between French Resistance fighters and German soldiers. Rochelle and I ran frantically through the narrow streets to join Monsieur Antoine and about forty other fighters.
Upon arriving at city hall, he handed us some home-made explosives, which we started hurling, along with the other fighters, at German tanks and trucks. I remember the shine in her eyes. “This,” she cried out to me, “is a life worth living!”
Just then, one of the tanks caught fire. The blast pushed her back, accidentally, into my arms. Oh, what a fiery woman she used to be!
And still, there is fire in her.
I dread the day when she will stop playing altogether. As long as her music—such as it is—is full of rage, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps there is still hope.
Tell us about The Music of Us:
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.
“Digging into the past, mining its moments, trying to piece them together this way and that, dusting off each memory of Natasha, of how we were, the highs and lows of the music of us, to find out where the problem may have started?”
Tell us about the the next in the series, Dancing with Air:
Fooling Nazi espionage may cost Lenny the trust of the girl who captured his heart. Will Natasha discover his secret D-Day reports, disguised as love letters to another woman?
In these letters, Lenny gives the enemy misleading information about allied plans. Once Natasha arrives in London, he 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, she brings him back to safety, only to discover the other woman’s letter to him. Will love survive the test of war?
Tell us about the next in the series, Marriage before Death:
After D-Day, her photograph appears on the most-wanted Nazi propaganda posters. Who is the girl with the red beret? She reminds him of Natasha, but no, that cannot be. Why does Rochelle step into his life when he is led by SS soldiers to the gallows? At the risk of being found out as a French Resistance fighter, what makes her propose marriage to a condemned man?
My Own Voice: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013TA3FBS
The White Piano: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013TAU7L4
The Music of Us: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013TCYWHC
Dancing with Air: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I4ENROY
Marriage before Death: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0746NW5CD
Are there any other genres you’ve written?
I am a multi-genre author, simply because I find ways to surprise myself. Historical Fiction is my favorite genre and offers a challenging writing journey.
Rise to Power, A Peek at Bathsheba, and The Edge of Revolt are three volume of The David Chronicles: Historical Fiction with a modern twist.
Coma Confidential, Overdose, Overkill, and Overdue are volumes of The Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance.
As an artist, my art and my writing are two sides of the same coin, which you can easily realize when you see the cover images of my books, and when you read them.
The process of creativity is, for me, the same. It is a juxtaposition of ideas, a spark that creates an inspiration.
Meet Uvi Pozansky
Uvi Poznansky is a USA TODAY bestselling, award-winning author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.”
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.
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