Here are some thoughts from a recent interview:
Tell us about your trilogy, The David Chronicles. What inspired you to write it?
The entire trilogy is greatly inspired by painting and sculpture throughout the history of art, depicting the story David, who is an exceptional historical figure with great gifts, facing great temptations in love and war. You can easily read each one of the three volumes as a standalone novel, yet the themes of power and love run through the entire trilogy, allowing you to witness the drastic change in the main character from youth to old age. I find this transformation fascinating and hope you will too.
As an artist and writer, I believe that my mission is to let the characters speak to you through me. David is flesh and blood, he lives in my mind, and so does Bathsheba. This story is happening here and now. I invite you to step into the skin of the characters, and look yourself in the mirror.
Here is the first time David lays eyes on Bathsheba in volume I of the trilogy, Rise to Power:
Then, on a whim, she plunges underwater nearly all the way, so all that remains above the foamy surface is the little embroidered towel wrapped around her head.
After several evenings of watching her from afar I still have no idea if her hair is curled or straight, red or brown. I have painted her in my mind several different ways already, each time more beautiful than the other. By now it matters little to me. She is so sexy, she might as well be bald.
When she comes back up, “What,” she says. “You still here?”
“What’s the point of going up there,” I say, hearing a slight tone of complaint in my voice. I hope she does not think me childish. That would be devastating.
With a hint of a smile, she asks, “What does that mean, What’s the point?”
So I say, “You would seem too small from above.”
“Really,” says Bathsheba. “I thought I spotted you standing by your window, with your sword aimed at me.”
To which I explain, “I could not see a thing through the glass. It became cloudy, or something. At this time of day, even though it is only the beginning of summer, it’s much too steamy in the office.”
She rolls her eyes. “I’ve had it with men.”
I can find nothing to say, and perhaps there is no need to. She can tell, can’t she, how desperately I ache for her.
“My life is scandal-free at the moment,” she says. “It feels nice for a change.”
How did you treat the love scene in A Peek at Bathsheba?
David’s love affair with Bathsheba is, arguably, the most torrid love affair ever told, and the love scenes could not be less than arousing, yet they must be delivered with lyricism and be no more explicit than the biblical Song of Songs. Here, then, is an excerpt from A Peek at Bathsheba:
Separated from her by the thought of a kiss I sense her heat, and the gust of air scented by roses and by her flesh—but I cannot tell if the breath between us is hers or mine. Which is when I know, for one perfect moment, that she is part of my essence.
I am part of hers.
Bathsheba holds me in a tender embrace as I lay her down. Scattered petals fly off, swirling in the air around her long, silky hair that starts cascading here, over the pillows and onto the tile floor.
Accidentally the goblet, which she has set down next to her, tips over and some of the wine spills over her hip. I dip a finger in the red puddle beside her, and paint countless grapes around her waist.
Intoxicated I murmur to her, “Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands. Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine.”
I want to wait, wait for her to give herself to me—but in the end I cannot fight my passion any longer, and I take her. She sighs softly and arches herself against me, rising on the fervor of my caress, higher and higher into ecstasy.
Is love a theme that runs through all three volumes of the trilogy?
Yes it is! Despite the fact that David has a full harem of woman... Here is the way he thinks of Bathsheba towards the end of his life, in volume 3, The Edge of Revolt:
Overhead, a cloud breaks off from the others and moves in a new direction. Its wooly, dim grays are drifting across. I squint, rub my eyes. Now, in a separate layer, another image starts floating past: the way she looked, right here on this roof, when we came out of these doors the very first time.
I remember: scattered petals flew off, swirling in the glow around her long, silky hair that started cascading under her, onto the tile floor. In the background, a vine of roses twisted over the wooden lattice and into it. Between its diagonal slats I saw a diamond here, a diamond there of the heavens. I wondered then about the black void that was gaping upon us, dotted by a magical glint of starlight.
Separated from her by the thought of a kiss I sensed her heat, and the gust of air, which was sweetly scented by roses and by her flesh—but I could not tell if the breath between us was hers or mine. Which is when I knew, for the first time in my life, that she would always be part of my essence. I would be part of hers.
Accidentally the goblet, which she had set down next to her, tipped over and some of the wine spilled over her hip. The crisp sound of breaking glass rang in my ear. It marked the moment, from which I could not turn back. Never would I be able to put it out of my mind.
Yes, this was my fault: taking a woman that belonged to another. Soon after came the blunder: bringing her husband, Uriah, back from the front, that he may sleep with her, which would have explained her pregnancy ever so conveniently.
And when that did not go as planned, then came another mistake, the worst of all: sending him back to the battlefield, with my sealed letter in hand, arranging for his death.
All the while, my boys were learning their own lessons—not from my psalms but from my deeds. One error begets another, each one bringing a new calamity over me, over my family, and over this entire land. Sin followed by execution, followed by revolt, escape, execution, revolt...
Had I known back then the results of the results of my mistake, the curse looming over my life ever since that time, would I still choose to do it?
Bathsheba tries to raise me to my feet. Her fragrance brings back to me the sunny, warm hues of spring. The fears, the doubts flee away when we are that close. I adore the way she calls my name, the way she sighs. With every sweet word I fall deeper into her eyes.
How can love be a mistake? In my passion for her—then as now—what choice do I have?
I want to tell her, “Let me close my eyes. Let me remember.”
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