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Interview with Cara Chugg

She is a dreamer, healer, poet, and wild woman. She is a free spirit that loves to create through the written word and song. Cara has overcome trauma and all the trappings it entails to have created a deeply emotional book to inspire many others on their personal healing journeys. 

She endeavors to remove the stigma and shame of trauma, mental illness, and addiction through Lilly Blyly, a beautifully broken girl to an empowered woman. She is proof that healing is possible if we strive for connection and practice emotional alchemy in our daily lives.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
Many people view me as an extrovert; in astrological terms, my moon is in Sagittarius, and my sun is Aquarius, so on the surface, I can come off as fun and somewhat emotionally aloof… but truthfully, I am quite introverted, deeply emotional, and complex.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you shortly? Any new project you’re working on?
I ordinarily write poetry and have published some forty works on A Journey to Find Her Soul was really my first novella. I don’t have any books in the pipeline, but if the spark should come for another, I will follow it.

Q.3 What made you write this book?
My soulmate re-entered my life after 20 years. It was a catalyst for a deep dive into my healing journey and my heart opening.

Q.4 It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing. Tell us about your marketing campaign?
I will be undertaking a social media campaign with a reach of 4 million through Facebook and Instagram through Balboa Press. Targeting mixed gender and age-relevant groups. 

I will be reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and the local press to discuss the book and grow the following from there. I have also just recently started a TikTok page for the book. I try and post daily.

Q.5 What three things can a reader expect from this book?
It’s a highly emotive read, very relatable for many people who have dealt with trauma. It can be triggering, too, as I do go in-depth on a few violent incidents Lilly experiences. I really wanted to connect the reader with the inner workings of a mind on trauma. How it warps your thinking and causes you to self-sabotage.

Q.6 What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
The emotions I experienced while writing this book were powerful. I experienced broken heart syndrome, and my digestive system essentially shut down for months. I had to start a course in Soul Resonance Alignment and do regular reiki treatments just to get my energy levels right. This book, in a way, broke me, but it helped me to retrieve parts of my soul that had been lost to pain and trauma.

Q.7 Can you describe your process for writing a literary fiction book?
It was all divinely guided. It's crazy to say this and I wish I could give you a structured insight into how a writer works but the truth is I wrote the bulk of the book in ten days on my iPhone. Of course, it took some months to soften and mold, but the book's bones came to me very quickly and profoundly.

Q.8 What advice do you have for readers who might be too intimidated to approach literary fiction?
I say go for it! You don’t have to have a degree in literature or writing, though; it probably helps. The main point is that if you have the inspiration, that seed of desire, don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Reach far, and use your experience and unique identity to create beautiful art.

Q.9 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. If the work is meant to be, it will flow. Maybe not as quickly as it did for A Journey to Find Her Soul, but it will be if your story is meant to be told. You must trust the universe and align your writing with things that spark joy within you. It may mean you must alchemize your pain, grief, and sadness. Whatever it is, it must align with your soul.

Q.10 What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
Joy! I loved the symbolism of the moon cycles and the soul’s journey. It plays well into the feminine aspects of the book. The flowers give a whimsical, mystical accent to the cover.

Q.11 Why is this title A Journey to Find Her Soul?
I came up with the title as the story represents my own soul’s journey. Although it is fiction, Lilly and I share many similarities. I was able to shed many layers writing this book. Writing the book also helped me navigate the relationship with my soulmate, which is still ongoing. It is a journey that will continue until I take my last breath.

Q.12 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?
My utter strength! To create in the most hellish throes of mental and physical pain. Even when I didn’t think I would reach a happy ending or nice conclusion. I persisted and wrote with an open heart until the story was complete.

Q.13 As an author, were you able to detach yourself from the fictionalized story? How much of ‘you’ is there in the story?
So much of the story reflects my journey. Yes, at times, the lines blur, and I questioned myself whether I was writing a piece of fiction or manifesting my own destiny! I’m still questioning that.

Q.14 How did you select the name of your characters?
I named the lead character after my beautifully feisty and adventurous dog, Lilly. The other characters I named after people I know or names that sounded similar.

Q.15 How long does it take you to write this book?
All up about two to three months.

Q.16 What are your favorite books from other authors and why?
I love Bryce Courtenay because I think he is a phenomenal storyteller. I used to go to bed at 6pm just so that I could read two or three hours of his book before I’d go to sleep. I read most of his books. 

Eckhart Tolle, I think he is very wise and shares his wisdom in an easily digestible manner. Poetry is truly my passion, however. Robert Frost, Lord Byron, and Walt Whitman, just to name a few.

Q.17 Who edited your book, and how did you select them?
I used two editors. One that I found from the app Fiverr. Strangely enough, her name was Lily too! I liked her credentials, and we really aligned. I also used an editor that was assigned from Balboa Press.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
It would have to be Elon Musk. I am just in awe of his vision and authenticity. I love how he dreams big and achieves what others only dream of. He is a true inspiration to me.

Q.19 Who designed your book covers?
A. Luisa Galstyan
, a freelance artist, did the front cover, and the back cover was done by Balboa Press.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
I have been writing since I was in elementary school. Mainly poetry and short stories.

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