Article by L.M. Browning as featured in The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature Iss. 2 Vol. 2
I first had the pleasure of meeting Nora Caron this past January at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, my home away from home when I am working in the city.
Homebound Publications had just signed Nora for a two book deal with more on the horizon and we decided to meet. After a cup of coffee and a quick tour of the city, we managed to find a little hidden restaurant aptly named GEM for dinner and drinks. It was more suited to a loft in Paris than a restaurant in the Financial District. Killer food, strong drinks and indepth conversation made for a fantastic night.
By the end of the weekend we knew beyond any doubt that our collaboration will last longer than a two-book contract. As an author as well as an Editor, I know all too well how vital the writer/publisher relationship is. Kindred minds are hard to come by.
The fruits of the months since that first meeting are on the verge of fruition in the form of the upcoming releases of Nora’s novels Journey to the Heart and New Dimensions of Being.
Leslie: In July you’ll celebrate the release of your spiritual novel, Journey to the Heart. The story chronicles the story of Lucina, a twenty five year-old Montreal computer programmer who travels to Mexico in order to heal herself after becoming terribly burned-out by yet another bad relationship. By chance, she encounters a deeply insightful Mexican woman named Senora Labotta who slowly helps her come into contact with her inner Self. Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
Nora: Lucina’s story is very much filled with my own stories of growth with regards to relationships. When I was 23 years old, I decided to sit down and write about the common mistakes we make when searching for love and how we often get lost in the process. It took over 5 years before Journey to the Heart was completed but when it was done, I felt like it was a real therapeutic novel that could help others on different levels, not just on a mental one. It is my hope that once someone is done reading this novel, that they will go out in the world and have a new vision on relationships and their past loves.
I believe this book is for all ages because everyone is trying to find love, even when they are hiding from it.
Leslie: In Journey to the Heart, Lucina faces many of the common problems we all face at the beginning of our spiritual journey, namely letting go of our jaded perspectives and opening ourselves to the magic in the world. How do you keep your own sense of possibility and magic alive?
Nora: Every day, I like to remain connected to my sense of wonder and joy. I have lived through some very difficult trials in my life, and some of the teachings I have taken from these experiences are that life flashes by and every moment is an opportunity for us to be the best we possibly can. When you lose someone you love, as I did several times, this awakens in you the reality that life is so precious and every day is our chance to make a positive change around us, in small gestures or big ones. I keep the magic alive by constantly living in the moment and being grateful for everything that surrounds me. I like to think of myself as a Woman-Child, always playing with the elements that I come into contact with and keeping a smile no matter what happens. We are responsible for magic coming to us, and when we realize this, so much changes.
Leslie: New Dimensions of Being, the long-awaited sequel to Journey to the Heart, is coming out this November. In this next chapter, we pick up Lucina in a dark place and the content is a bit heavier. Lucina is haunted by terrible recurring nightmares. Unsure of what they represent, Teleo and her seek answers but the quest opens up many new areas of life Lucina is not certain she can cope with. Discovering that she is pregnant, Lucina faces a huge decision: Is she ready to become a mother or not? As Lucina stumbles around to find the right path for her, she realizes that keeping love alive is much more complicated than she originally thought. Lucina is a strong female character. Despite the times, we just do not see as many strong women characters in books or film. What do you hope women will take away from this book?
Nora: I hope that women who read this second novel will face some of their own fears and demons that come from religions, parents, lovers, or jobs. Even though we live in this new world where women have the right to vote or study or run a business, there are still invisible constraints that surround women. I address some of these issues in this book in hope that others will have the courage to follow their inner voices and free themselves from the last remaining chains of inequality between the sexes, whether these chains are visible or invisible. This second novel is also about owning our mistakes and being impeccable warriors. It’s easy to point fingers at others but we first have to acknowledge our own weaknesses and work on them. This is what Lucina does in New Dimensions of Being: She takes charge of her life as a woman and as a strong individual. She can no longer act as a victim and blame the outside world for the events she lives.
Leslie: Your writing gives voice to a generation of twenty/thirty-somethings currently searching for themselves and their connection to the greater workings. I find every author has a central message they are looking to get across. What is yours?
Nora: I have several messages that recur in my writings but if I had to choose a central one it would be to stop fearing how others perceive you and start living your life the way you truly want to live it. As Nietzche says, “Blessed are the sleepy ones for they shall soon drop off”, and I would like to consider myself a person who wakes up the sleepy ones so that they don’t drop off and forget their reason for being alive. Life is short, don’t spend it sleeping or following the herd. Dare to be different and follow your inner voice, always respecting those around you and being grateful.
Leslie: You have a lot of irons in the fire, you are an actress, writer, filmmaker, teacher and the list goes on, which role is your favorite?
Nora: My friends often call and ask me, “So which person are you today?” and we laugh because I switch hats so often I lose track some days! I love all my roles truly because they are all me. Sometimes I am the solitary writer who has no social life and who doesn’t go out because words keep me glued to my chair, and other times I am running around a set memorizing lines and trying to stop laughing because our camera man is making jokes with us. For me, life is a playground and we should always be having fun. In the movie world people say, “Always be shooting” and I say, “Always be having fun”. A day without joy is a day wasted in my eyes.
Leslie: In filmmaking someone who is a writer, actress and director is known as a “triple-threat”. Do you plan on adding director to your list of titles?
Nora: I certainly do, maybe not right now, but certainly in the future. I grew up studying movies with my father, and it became a habit of mine early on. Even in my busiest moments I always find time to sit down and watch a good movie. But before becoming a director, I believe you have to know every other aspect of movie-making and be a specialist in these aspects, whether that be the editing process or the acting process or the writing process. I consider directors super talented individuals.
Leslie: I know you recently penned a script for a Western, Wyoming Sky. I know the film is in the works. Can you share any details with us or is everything wrapped up tight?
Nora: I wish I could but our movie presently is top secret. Suffice to say that we have good wind in our sails, and we have an amazing crew on board which is dedicated, reliable, talented, and hard-working. My team members at Oceandoll Productions are the best partners anyone could have in the movie industry because we all work together with great respect and love for one another. Making movies for us is about doing what we love more than anything else.
Leslie: You are currently writing the next chapter for Lucina —the third book in the series—can you give us any hints as to where Lucina’s path goes next?
Nora: In the third book, Lucina packs her bags and goes on a new adventure in the wild. This book contains a more masculine energy, and will talk about the importance of going off into the unknown in order to shed the skins we no longer need. There are many teachings related to the natural and the animal world, and the main teacher in this novel is an older man named Alejandro. I won’t reveal more at this time but I am confident many will enjoy it.
Nora Caron was born in Montreal, Quebec. As a child, she traveled to many countries with her family, developing a love early on for culture, people, and art. In Junior College, Nora took up photography and film, and worked as a photo-journalist for two Quebec magazines. She was also the editor of her college newspaper, The Edge. In 2001, she was awarded with Best Photographer Award at Champlain College. At twenty, Nora entered university in Psychology but soon turned to English Literature where she fell in love with Shakespeare’s works. She graduated from McGill University in 2006 with a B.A in English Literature and a minor in Spanish and German. In 2010 Nora graduated from Concordia University with a Masters degree in English Literature with a specialty in Renaissance literature. She speaks fluent French, English, Spanish and German.
Nora has many passions in life. She is one of the three founders of Oceandoll Productions, a Los Angeles-based film production company. She has acted in several short films to date and has written a feature Western called Wyoming Sky with Ingo Neuhaus. Nora is the author of The New Dimensions Trilogy which is composed of Journey to the Heart (2013), New Dimensions of Being (November 2013), and Jaguar Dreams (forthcoming July 2014). Her novels mix spirituality, philosophy, and history. They are pieces of Nora’s own life mixed with teachings from spiritual teachers she had the chance of working with. Her stories carry timeless messages that will uplift and empower those who read them. visit www.noracaron.com for more information.