Hi my name is Tiffany Carmouché, I am the author of The Alaskan Heart Saga, a Contemporary, New Adult, Suspenseful Romance Series. The Impostor, A Love Story is the first novel, Obsession and Sacrifice is the second, Becoming Invisible is my new release coming out August 27 (I would love for you to come to the release party https://www.facebook.com/events/394795043973368/) and the fourth will be out early winter.
I began writing the series as a journal of the time I lived in the magical place, Alaska. And soon the saga took on a life of its own; and my story became Nicole’s story. I guess because I have written poetry all my life, sometimes I write very descriptive and I had beta readers say that a 20 year old wouldn’t see the world the way I described and unless she was an artist, poet or something.
I did as the betas suggested and did cut back much of my descriptions, but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of all of it. That was how I saw Alaska in my twenties. Breathtaking and beautiful, with crimson leaves and majestic snow covered mountain tops. So I decided, Nicole would be an artist.
I never considered myself an artist, but I did grow up surrounded by art. My father was a writer and my mother was an amazing artist, poet and photographer and I guess they taught me to see the world a little different than most people.
I had dabbled in charcoals and have most of my pictures tucked away somewhere in the basement, but for the most part, art, like writing, had taken a back seat in my life. I realized if I wanted Nicole to be an artist, I would have to remember what it felt like. I wanted her to sculpt and to be honest; I had never done a sculpture in my life. I realized to make the book believable, I had to sculpt something, I had to let my hands sink into the clay.
I enrolled in a course at Montpellier Mansion with an amazing artist, Richard Zandler. I recommend the art center to anyone! The historic mansion in Maryland not only specializes in art, but the beautiful grounds feature Shakespeare in the park, live music performances and even reenactments! The best part is it is only a bike ride away!
Back to my first day of class. It was crazy because all of the students had been studying art for years. I felt so insecure during introductions when I said, “I am a novelist. I’m taking this class because I want to feel what it feels like to create something in three detentions because my main character is an artist.” I have always loved sculpture, and to be the one who transforms the clay into something is almost like you are breathing life into the clay.
I love all the different mediums. My favorite is clay, but to chip away at a block and transform a solid square into your creation is kinda empowering as well. All of a sudden I saw things I had never seen before.
When they asked Michelangelo how he made his statue of David he is reported to have said, “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that is not David.” I get it now. Michelangelo’s David Apollo was at the National Gallery of Art during the release of my second book Obsession and Sacrifice. David, the young tiny boy, who overcame his weakness and slayed the giant is kinda symbolic of Nicole’s journey.
I am fascinated by the power of overcoming struggles. The Alaskan Heart Saga is about a woman’s fight, not only with survival, but also her fight to rediscover herself. It is a journey of finding the strength within, even when it seems impossible. I like layers and there are a lot of layers in the series, but an underlying theme is rediscovery, survival, friendship and of course love. I hope the saga helps people realize that it is important to be true to themselves.
That there is a strength inside each of us that is beyond our comprehension, and we need to believe in our self. Find our essence. That is kinda what happened while I was scribbling the words on the pages. I was rediscovering a side of me that I had let die. And as I chipped away at the sculptures, I was chipping away at the things that were binding me.
I have to say I feel more alive than I have in a long time. Here are a couple pieces I took with my cell phone to give you a little idea of some of my work. They really look flat and don’t really capture them well but give you a glimpse into some of the things I have created. It is just something I dabble in but I truly love it.
#1 This is a life size portrait I did in clay of Evan, a model at Montpellier Art Center.
#2 This is a life size portrait sculpture in clay I still want to work on so I have her wrapped up.
#3 This is a ceramic piece I did. I am scared to death of circus clowns, but for some reason I am intrigued by mime clowns…
#4 This is a carving I did, I call her Eve
#5 This is one of my Guardian Angel mock ups I made for a 100 lbs granite block I am carving. I thought about creating small versions. I thought they would be fun bookends for the Alaskan Heart Saga too. Nicole calls Dylan and Bradley her Guardian Angels.
#6 This is my Adam… he is on the back of Eve. I am still working on his carving.
#7 This is just a big abstract relief I did for a wall in my house.
#8 The Young Woman is a 3 foot piece I am working on. The model was at the mansion this summer.
I know this is something a little different than most guest post but I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of another world I have discovered because of my books.
I hope you come with me on the Alaskan journey. I would love to hear from you! Remember it is never too late to find your passion! Like David…just chip away at those pieces of you that confined you. You are a masterpiece…Face your giant! And Win! It was wonderful meeting you all! I really would love to hear from you! Live, Laugh, and Love ~Tiffany Carmouché