Sculpting David

Nya Rawlyns
Sculpting David


Red Sage Publishing
Release Date
February 2011
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Two artistic dynasties of artists and sculptors, one French and one American, each with offspring of uncommon artistic talent, do battle over the future of their children in the shark-filled waters of NYC's art world.

David Michaels and Jacqueline Maurer attempt to break away and establish themselves as artists and professionals in their own right; but the legacy of competition and dramatic conflict first draws David and Jackie together, only to push them apart as family loyalties intervene. Compounding the theatrical elements are the long-standing relationships/understanding each has with a significant other.

As the Muses guide the dramedy, the characters discover that matters of the heart must take center stage for all involved. David's mother, the redoubtable Russian impressionist artist assumes the helm of Director to manipulate the warring muses, star-crossed lovers and irascible enemies. Romance smiles wisely as David's newest creation, The Raging Bull, pulls free of its confines.

Interview by Laura

Hi Nya, welcome and we're eager to learn more about your book!

Q: What inspired you to write SCULPTING DAVID?

My studies and my passions have always revolved around art, theater, and dance. From an early age my mother took me to see Broadway shows. New York City, with its art galleries, museums and cultural events was a mere bus ride away. Throughout my life, my friends have all been associated with the arts—actors, writers, sculptors, painters, craftsmen of every imaginable type. It was only natural to tap into that stream of creative energy and tell a story about two people with singular passions who find expression of their inner needs in new, unexpected ways.

I adore the characters who inhabit these worlds—from the shy introvert seeking seclusion to pursue the limits of some inner vision to the raucous extrovert living life large, the sycophants, the wannabes, the visionary and the realist—all weave a tapestry of incredible depth and vibrancy. SCULPTING DAVID pays homage to these marvellous characters.

Q: What research went into writing this book? Please share a fun fact that you've uncovered.

My BFF at University painted those dark, brooding demonic landscapes that so enthral both David and Jacqui. She, in fact, was my role model for Jackie—but let's keep that a secret for now. As for sculpting? Well, we have a local fellow who does wonders with a chain saw and old tree trunks, producing fanciful, beguiling images, coaxing the shape from the grain, allowing the creature to speak to him. He literally frees the inner spirit, feathering a touch here, a slice there … and in what seems a wanton act of abuse, he will hack away huge chunks only to reveal some hidden gem. But when he speaks of the process, one learns that it is never easy, that days, weeks may pass before the wood speaks. And he suffers the silence, an almost physical, psychic ache … and this is a man built like a lumberjack wielding a chain saw. Suffering in silence is not an image that readily springs to mind. The soul of the artist is a strange, wondrous thing. And it is not about the end result, it is the journey that matters, and often that journey can be expressed only by the doing.

Q: What made you decide to write about warring families? Why choose one to be French and the other American?

I love coming-of-age themes and although Jackie and David are adults, with their own lives, careers and destinies, they are still a part of a larger whole, families that consists of many parts. The art world does have its competitive spirit, sport taken via the spoken and unspoken word, and the intense passions that so infuse the act of creativity carry over naturally to interpersonal relationships. The Michaels and Maurer families compete over commissions, ostensibly over ‘artistic visions', but of course there's always more to the story.

Elena took the route of many Russian emigres, moving to Paris to explore cultural and artistic opportunities. How natural for her to meet up with two young men, one French, the other American who will change her life and her own destiny. My son lived for a time in and around Paris—from him I got a taste of the vibrancy and eccentricities and wonder of the City of Lights.

Q: Why choose art to be the central theme of the book?

My left and right side of the brain constantly battle for supremacy. I took oils classes, ran the gamut of crafts, tried my hand at being a seamstress, threw pots (and no, lumps of clay on drywall apparently are not bringing big bucks this year), and otherwise dipped a toe in a variety of creative endeavors … some successfully, most so-so. But writing? Now that I can do. But mostly, I wanted to celebrate the joy and appreciation I feel for all the bright, passionate people who bring such richness and diversity to my life. It's the one way I can embrace the inner artist and share that vision.

Q: What can you tell us about Jacqueline Maurer? What qualities does she possess that makes her perfect for David?

Jacqui is one of my favorite characters: strong, independent, willing to go her own way to realize her dreams. Yet she is grounded in family, conflicted by what she perceives as demands to follow someone else's dream, not hers. She will push the boundaries but she will not break those bonds because they give meaning and purpose to her life. She understands that her inner vision may conflict with commercial success so she tries to balance the two without sacrificing the artist she wishes to be. She knows when to take risks and when to take care. This is the perfect balance for David who has pursued his own dark vision, building a following and then placing all at risk to achieve the next step in his career. Jacqui can temper David's impulsive, volatile nature, yet—being so similar in their artistic tastes—they will understand and complement the impulses driving their creativity.

Q: What about David Michaels? What makes him a swoon worthy hero?

Tall, muscular, rugged, a bit on the scruffy side, driven, cleans up nicely, metrosexual but on the scruffy side (oh, did I say that already?), a risk taker, adores his family even though they drive him nuts… David is a man who knows what he wants and doesn't like to take ‘no' for an answer. And he can direct that creative energy that he uses to sculpt forms of savage intensity to, uh, other pursuits.

Q: I can understand what you mean. I took a lot of peeks at your cover since it came to my attention! It really is awesome. Now, what's the most romantic thing that David has done for Jacqueline?

Creating the sculpture, Raging Bull, from Jacqui's sketch is the true expression of his feelings for her and his art, the two inextricably combined in a way that perhaps only another artist might recognize and appreciate. Well, that and the hot sex.

Q: David's mother sounds like quite the character. What kind of person is she and why did she take it upon herself to "orchestrate" people and events?

Elena is the penultimate Russian artiste, a sophisticated, urbane woman with huge talent and her own following, yet she considers David to be her greatest work of art. She indulges her son and acts as a buffer between him and his domineering father. David's happiness is ever uppermost in her mind so it's only natural that she should take a personal interest in resolving the age-old enmities between the patres familias and free their respective offspring to follow their dreams.

Q: What is your favourite scene? Why?

The restaurant scene when David meets with his parents, a ritual he dreads but to which he acquiesces to keep peace in the family, gives a glimpse at the complex interactions and motivations for each of the characters. Here's a short excerpt:

Adrian waved for David to sit. The three sorted out how the dinner would go down - David praying for a miracle, his mother hoping for peace, his father intent on having his way. The waiter entered the war zone, smiled pleasantly, then left with a thin sheen of sweat coating his forehead.

"About the commission, son." David took a deep breath and fingered the knife. His mother looked askance at Adrian and her son.

"Nyet. Nyet, ne sevodnya vecheram. Adrian, you promised…"

"What? I was just going to explain that I might need his help with the initial design elements." Adrian glared at David. "After all, we sent you to the premier school for sculptors on the east coast. It wouldn't kill you to apply some of that knowledge, now would it?"

Oh, here we go. Bring up Virginia Commonwealth University. How he spent five years and his inheritance squandering his talents. How he never lived up to his promise. How he pandered to a dark and forbidding world of sensual thematic elements – his father called them sick fucks – and how he'd now throw what little fame and security he'd earned down the toilet.

Elena sucked air audibly and tapped a fingernail against her water glass. The waiter slid her salad cautiously onto the table and backed away, almost bowing from the waist.

David turned to the waiter and growled, "Scotch, double, neat."

"Make that two." Adrian glanced at his wife, wearing her darkest Russian Princess visage, then thought about the odds of ever having sex with her again and decided it wasn't worth the risk. "So, tell me about this gallery thing. How's that going?"

Q: Who is your favourite character? Why?

Choosing one over the other is much like asking an author ‘which child do you love best?' But since you asked, and I must answer, I think I really love Janet. Despite being a woman-of-the-world, very sure of herself, she has small regrets about her relationships, finding them unfulfilling but unsure how to go about changing her circumstances. She is a beautiful, savvy woman, desirable and pursued, but when love comes knocking even she is surprised.

Q: Please share a fun fact or unique experience in the course of writing this book.

Location, location, location. Some writers can conjure exotic locales, imagine places—streets, restaurants, etc.—but I need to see them, smell, taste, touch, absorb the very essence of the city into my skin before I can describe it. Being a Philadelphia native and a frequent prowler of the canyons in the Big Apple gave me a unique perspective to bring those places to life and to populate them with real people. In the course of exploring my favorite haunts I was amazed, and gratified, that so many of my memories remained true to the spirit of the cities, even when specific places/buildings no longer existed. What never changes are the stories, each person walking down the street is a character simply waiting for his or her cue.

Q: What's up for you in the coming months?

I will have a new book, titled HUNTER'S CROSSING, coming from Red Sage on November 1, 2011. This is a compilation of two equine-themed romances. Hannah's Choice and The Sweet Smell of Alfalfa look at two strong-willed young women who find success and joy with their equine partners. But when it comes to mounts of a different sort, one woman must learn to give in and trust while the other finds out how far she can go when she takes control.

Thanks, Nya, for the insights on SCULPTING DAVID. It certainly sounds like a fascinating read!

Nya Rawlyns has spent a lifetime entertaining friends and families with her stories. No one ever doubted that someday she would turn to writing full time. That kind of faith is what gets her up and doing each and every day.



Dancing in the Dark: An Anthology of Erotica (print)
Dancing in the Dark: An Anthology of Erotica (ebook)

Nya Rawlins is giving away 1 digital copy of SCULPTING DAVID!


Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!

Contest ends June 20.

Winners will be announced in July.


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February 19, 2020 01:01 PM ( EST )