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Former Carmel Valley artist-turned-author releases debut novel

New Yorker Kerry Daggett lived in Carmel Valley for a decade while writing her book, “The Exhausted Goddess.” Courtesy photo

Having worked as a jewelry maker, sculptor, painter, graphic designer and photographer, former Carmel Valley resident Kerry Daggett has always been creative.

“I’m on the go every minute of the day,” she said with a laugh.

Originally from New York, Daggett studied fashion design at Utah State University. After college, she took a jewelry class and started her career in jewelry design. Daggett later transitioned from jewelry making to sculpting.

“I just kept getting bigger,” she said. “I went from metal to clay, and then I started sculpting bigger pieces with stained glass.”

Also a painter, Daggett specializes in landscapes. Today, she spends most of her time as a graphic designer and photographer.

“They all kind of blend into each other,” she said.

An artist-turned-author, Daggett recently released her first novel, “The Exhausted Goddess.”

The book, which features photographs by Daggett, follows Frankie Callahan, a wife and mother, whose life is unravelling. At the end of her rope, Frankie’s marriage and relationship with her daughter are both in disarray. Her best friend has also died.

But things change when Frankie finds goddesses all around her.

“‘The Exhausted Goddess’ became a joke while I was taking pictures, but then I realized it wasn’t a joke,” Daggett explained. “We are. By the time you hit 40, you’re exhausted. My characters became the emotions that we all go through.

“It’s an imaginative, relatable tale of a contemporary woman’s struggle with her exhaustion, addiction and despair.”

Also a mother who has had her fair share of struggles, Daggett’s fictional story is somewhat reflective of real-life events and people.

Daggett’s daughter is sick and is still coping with an auto-immune disease. She is pictured on the book cover.

“I learned what exhaustion was,” said Daggett, who lived in Carmel Valley for a decade before returning to New York to care for her daughter. She wrote the first three versions of her book at the Starbucks in Del Mar Highlands and downtown Del Mar.

“I wrote in the hospital. I wrote in the ER. If I wasn’t at Starbucks, I was in the hospital.”

The book took Daggett seven years to write.

“All of it came from what evolved along the way,” she said. “It wasn’t just a quick afternoon thing; it’s what would be my advice to somebody else. It was a labor of love.”

The book is available on Amazon and on Daggett’s website. A free downloadable PDF of the book will be available Oct. 15-30 at www.theexhaustedgoddess.com.

Visit www.kerrydaggett.com.


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