She earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel. During her studies and in the years immediately following her graduation, she practiced with an innovative Architectural firm, taking part in the design of a large-scale project, Home for the Soldier.
At the age of 25 Uvi moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children. Before long, she received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she guided teams in a variety of design projects; and 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.
During the years she spent in advancing her career—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)—she wrote and painted constantly. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes.
Her versatile body of work can be seen on her website, which includes poem, short stories, bronze and ceramic sculptures, paper engineering projects, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media. In addition, she posts her thoughts about the creative process on her blog, and engages readers and writers in conversation on her Goodreads Q&A group.
Uvi published a poetry book in collaboration with her father, Zeev Kachel. Later she published two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper, which she illustrated, and for which she created animations. You can find these animations on her author page on Amazon, and her author page on Goodreads.
Apart From Love (published 2012) is an intimate peek into the life of a strange family: Natasha, the accomplished pianist, has been stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Her ex-husband Lenny has never told their son Ben, who left home ten years ago, about her situation. At the same time he, Lenny, has been carrying on a love affair with a young redhead, who bears a striking physical resemblance to his wife—but unlike her, is uneducated, direct and unrefined. This is how things stand at this moment, the moment of Ben’s return to his childhood home, and to a contentious relationship with his father.
Home (published 2012), her deeply moving poetry book in tribute of her father, includes her poetry and prose, as well as translated poems from the pen of her father, the poet and author Zeev Kachel.
A Favorite Son (published 2012), her novella, is a new-age twist on an old yarn. It is inspired by the biblical story of Jacob and his mother Rebecca, plotting together against the elderly father Isaac, who is lying on his deathbed. This is no old fairy tale. Its power is here and now, in each one of us.
Twisted (published 2012) is a unique collection of tales. In it, the author brings together diverse tales, laden with shades of mystery. Here, you will come into a dark, strange world, a hyper-reality where nearly everything is firmly rooted in the familiar—except for some quirky detail that twists the yarn, and takes it for a spin in an unexpected direction.
Rise to Power is the story of David 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.
These books are available in all three editions (audiobook, print and ebook.)
What inspires you to write?
My trilogy, The David Chronicles, is greatly inspired by painting and sculpture throughout the history of art, depicting this fascinating character, the king of Israel. The view of the story has undergone amazing transformation over the ages. Take a look, for example, at the Painting ‘David and Bathsheba’ painted by Lucas Cranach the elder in 1526. He treated his subjects with awe and reverence, and the only naked skin visible is Bathsheba’s little foot, bathed by an adoring maid. David is presented as a psalmist, rather than a leering, dirty old man peeping on an unsuspecting, naked woman. There is not a hint of sin here!
Now compare the way Picasso transformed this very painting. The composition is exactly the same (only mirrored left to right) but the brush stroke is modern, it is spontaneous and fresh, bringing a sizzle to the entire scene. He enlarged the proportions of all the figures, especially David, so it is easier to spot the king here, because he is the only one fleshed out among the men at the top. His musical instrument is barely sketched, because the important activity is not playing heavenly music but rather gazing at the women, gazing at all the women, with keen, sexual interest. The water dripping from Bathsheba’s foot is clearly emphasized, with its juicy suggestion of a symbol of lust.
There is no right and wrong way to interpret the story. As an artist and writer, I believe that my mission is to let the characters speak to you through me. The king is flesh and blood in my mind, and so is Bathsheba. This story is happening here and now. I invite you to take a listen to David’s voice, to be found in the voice clip for the audio edition of Rise to Power.
Tell us about your writing process.
It is essential, I believe, 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 new novel Rise to Power, David describe the Valley of Elah, where he will soon face his enemy. I have visited this place when I was a child, and at the time it surprised me that the valley is 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.”
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters talk to me all the time, they chatter insistently until I write down what they say. I am chasing them around with a pen at hand. I find it inspiring to figure out how to convey to you the sensations they feel, so you may smell, see, and taste what they do, and feel the emotions flowing through them.
To illustrate that, here is an excerpt from my book, Twisted:
And I hope that somewhere, in her heart of hearts she feels for me when I say, “Look: when I was a little girl I ran up a hill from my house; and across the valley I spotted a pillar of salt. I couldn’t resist coming closer. I stood at her feet, looked up and met the eyes, the empty eyes of Lot’s Wife. And right there and then, seeing the trail of bitter tears running down her neck, I promised myself: I will never let that happen to me!”
And so I forge ahead. “The elders, all they know is how to brush their long, silvery beard, twirl the tip of it between their fragile thumb and forefinger, and once in a while, draw a cryptic glyph here, and another one there. Pricks! All they do is jot down men’s lives, men’s stories, men’s trials and victories in a scroll that no one but them can read. They have rolls and rolls of papyrus in their fancy library. Fuck them!”
“Gladly,” she winks.
What advice would you give other writers?
My best advice to develop your writing–besides reading a lot–is this: read your story aloud in front of a live audience. Listen not only to their comments and suggestions, but more importantly–to their breathing pattern while the story is being read. Are they holding their breath at the right moment? Do they burst out laughing, or wipe a tear when you intended? If not, you must go back to the drawing board and adjust your sentences.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to go Indie, because in addition to my fascination with writing I have several other skills that allow me to do various aspects of publishing. I am an artist, so my book covers are based on my own art. By profession I am a software engineer, so the process of converting the book to various ebook formats is easy for me.
I strive to stretch the envelope of what I create. In my literary work I write in different genres, which enriches my thinking: My novel Apart From Love is literary fiction; Rise to Power is historical fiction; Home is poetry; Twisted is dark fantasy; and A Favorite Son is biblical fiction.
In writing all of them, 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.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future for book publishing is bright, it is becoming a vibrant field with both traditional and Indie authors competing for the attention of the reader.
I enjoy being an Indie author, and unlike many authors I find it thrilling to reach out to my readers and listeners. I engage with my readers daily using various channels of social networking, and see it as my mission to let you know about my characters, who are real to me, and to bring them to life in your mind. My blog is at the heart of my campaign, and every day I post a little something there for you, about the creation process, the ideas that inspire me, and the cross-pollination between my art and writing.
The most challenging aspect of my work is finding the balance between creating and reaching out to my listeners and readers. Time is dear, and I often wish I could be cloned so my clones could do some of my work. But if that would happen, each one of my clones would complain that she should be cloned, so that her clones could do some of her work…
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
historical fiction, literary fiction
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print