I’ve recently read Caroline’s first book, The Firestone Key, and I have to tell you, not only was this book creative and full of twists and turns, the author is down-to-earth and extremely fun. Today, I’d like to welcome my new friend, Caroline Noe, whom I call Carrie.
MN: Can you tell us about your new book?
CN: Canellian Eye: Prophecy is the first part of the trilogy. The whole thing came about because I was sort of fascinated with the idea of destiny and whether such a thing exists. Actually, I had a comment from a lady who said surely destiny and fate are the same thing, which I disagree with. Because I thought that fate was something that happens to you—it’s very static, but destiny is much more proactive, that you must be willing to go ahead with it but is it what it seems. The chief character in the first part of the trilogy is born with a believed destiny but it comes down to whether that really is his destiny. He’s very young at this point, seventeen. How can you put that level of burden on a 17-year-old? The Canellians live in an ice palace, which never was an ice palace. Their suns are dying and so they have to escape. Quaylan, the 17-year-old, is the leader to take them away.
MN: Sounds very interesting. I can’t wait to read it.
Carrie has been gracious enough to give us a teaser.
An iceberg towered above beleaguered survivors, its leading edge hanging over their last remaining haven like the angel of death. In its wake stretched the crushed remnants of the past. As a last rebellion against their fate, the Canellians had taken to chipping away at their nemesis, creating tiny ice sculptures of their own faces in the slowly creeping menace.
MN: Tell me, would you ever write a story about one of your pets?
CN: Not a particular story, not one surrounding the pet, but I love dogs. I’m a dog person. I grew up with them. In fact, in Firestone Key, I kind of put in what I love about dogs in Drevel, who’s a farting, dribbling dog and incredibly loyal, and I love him to bits.
I absolutely adore dogs. They helped me when I was growing up. If I was able, I’d another one in a heartbeat.
I also think if you write about animals, you sort of give them human characteristics. Disney does it all the time.
MN: That is very true. Dogs are awesome. If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
CN: That’s really difficult. I think by the time I get there it won’t matter. Most of what upsets me now isn’t going to matter when I’m there. You often think that you’d ask all sorts of questions like ‘why did this happen’ or ‘why didn’t this happen’ but once you’re there the questions probably fade away, to be unnecessary.
MN: I tend to agree with that. If you could design your very own tree, a writer’s tree, how would you design it?
CN: I’d want it to be nice and wide. I like the ones that come from, not this country. The ones that tower into the sky. I rather like a weeping willow. I’d want it to be very tall and wide with lots of weeping willow effects that you can hide inside it—like it’s a house and you can write—a writer’s hideaway. Or even have your house in it, like the elves of Lothlórien. I loved that when I saw that and thought that’s why I’d like, and to have a spiral staircase winding up each tree.
MN: That would be awesome.
CN: You could sit on the upper branches.
MN: Absolutely. That’s a great idea! What is the funniest thing you’ve ever written about?
CN: Probably more the articles I’ve written. I did write a blog about how things went when I was an actor—glamorous, it wasn’t. I wrote a few of those times down. This time when I singing to an audience of four and a guide dog. The only one watching was the guide dog, following my every move, and I could hear the guy snoring in the background. Some of the non-glamorous effects of being an actor.
MN: I didn’t know you were an actor.
CN: Yeah, you’d blink and you’d have missed it. It was mainly musical theater because I can actually sing reasonably well. My niece is better. She was a professional dancer, so it’s kind of in the family.
MN: I wish I could sing.
CN: Most people can. I heard a guy who couldn’t sing at all and a professional teacher could teach him in twenty minutes. I mean to get the range and the power, you’ve got to spend a lot of time practicing.
MN: That’s true. Practice always helps. Who has encouraged your writing the most?
CN: Actually, my friends. I’ve got one particular friend who’s been very encouraging. On the whole, I’ve encouraged myself, I’ve had to, over the years. There were some difficult years when I don’t think there was much at all. If that happens to you and if you’re unlucky like that, you simply have to motivate yourself and say no matter what support I do or don’t have I’m going to do it anyway and that’s tough. We’d all like to think there’s a whole crew of people behind us, and sometimes life doesn’t work out like that. And you just have to do what you believe to be best. And if you really want to write you will. I think it’s less a pleasure than a compulsion. If I don’t write, I kind of twitch.
There are absolutely times when it is fun. There are bits you write that are fun. Sometimes your day job is hard but you have to do it. I try to write every day. I’ve written some articles when I’m not writing the actual books themselves and some inspirational stuff. Right now, I think it’s time for a rest.
MN: That’s great and well deserved. It’s not easy to keep yourself motivated. Where did you get the idea for Firestone Key? I ask since you’ve already told us where you got the idea for Canellian Eye.
CN: For Firestone Key, I started thinking about pivotal moments in life. The choices that we make that have such an enormous effect on our own lives. Have one life one moment, and another life in the next, but you don’t necessarily know what those pivotal moments are when you make them. When you look back, you see where you changed root or the road or when one small choice has had an enormous ripple effect on, not just you, but everyone around you. Some good or bad, some both.
In Firestone Key, it’s taken to the nth degree. Her choices have a really huge effect. Most people won’t have that level of effect, but they will affect you. Also, I’ve been a sci-fi nut since I was tiny. I just absolutely loved it. My sister taught me to read when I was three, she was seven. I read Winnie the Pooh and then I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I suppose for sci-fi, it was Star Wars. It came out, it was 1976, I believe and I wanted to run off with Luke Skywalker.
This is where I asked Carrie to join Twitter because Mark Hamill seems to talk to his fans. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s cool to be able to ask a favorite celebrity a question or have them notice you for a few seconds.
MN: When did you get started in photography? Yes, she is very good. Follow her Instagram to see her work.
CN: It’s been about three years. I was handed a very cheap camera by someone who just didn’t want to do it anymore. I really wasn’t interested in it as a child. When I was handed this camera I thought I could do something artsy with it. I took it up when I was quite ill and I needed something creative. In a way, it almost saved me from that period. It taught me to look at things differently, and to just slow down and look around me, see things I didn’t see from angles I didn’t know.
MN: It’s sweet how you can take something terrible and turn it into something beautiful. Are you feeling better now?
CN: Yes, I mean health wise I’m doing much better than I was. It’s not a 100 percent, but so much better. Since those times there have been changes, I’ve published a couple of books. I’m definitely moving in the right direction.
MN: Good. Keep it up. Don’t stop.
CN: I don’t think I could.
MN: I stopped writing for a few years and I felt like I wasn’t living anymore—like I was missing a key part of my life.
CN: You would have been. Creativity, I think it’s in absolutely everybody. Some love sport. I was never really sporty, but I can see how that would fill that gap. I do think everybody has creative arts in them, it’s just a matter of what yours is and finding it. I can’t draw. There are people who can. One I always thought would be amazing was sculpture.
Words have been my thing since I was young. I’ve never been lost for a word. Discovering that pictures are also my thing was definitely a surprise.
We create stories, people, scenarios and that’s so necessary to human life because most of human life is almost explained by metaphor, to explain theirs lives, their dreams.
MN: Exactly, it’s an expression of ourselves.
An expression of Carrie’s creativity. This is a photo she took of ice on top of leaves. See this and more on her Instagram page.
MN: What is the first book you fell in love with?
CN: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I still sometimes dream of Aslan. I think his imagination was quite extraordinary. But also, Tolkien. The whole saga of the ring, even the hobbit—the whole thing. I mean if you’re talking about creating a world, I think probably that’s the most richly created world that was put into a book, it was just so intricate. I loved it and I loved the films.
MN: Me too. They were extremely well done. Last question: Do you have any indie authors we should check out?
CN: I’ve gone on what I call an ‘indie drive’ where I’m reading a lot of independent authors. And what that does is give me so many different types of books and voice. I actually love it because I’m not limited to reading any particular genre or particular type. I’ve read some absolutely magnificent books.
Julia Blake has produced many books, but there’s one in particular I really really enjoyed called The Forest.
Julie Embleton, who wrote a novel called Bound, which I really loved as well.
Check my Goodreads feed. I’ve reviewed quite a number of indie books on there. The most beautiful one I’ve read recently is by Michelle Leigh Miller and the book is called Finding Evelyn. It’s a drama with the character, Evelyn, finding out who she is after escaping an abusive marriage. It doesn’t sound like it, but it’s romantic. It’s not my usual genre and I really loved it.
Oh, and also, read Piggybacker by Mikki Noble. I enjoyed it very much!
MN: You’re the sweetest. And I’m so glad you could join us today. It’s been so great getting to know you and your books better.
Please, if you love sci-fi and fantasy, go and check out her books. You will not be disappointed. Thank you for joining Carrie and myself. I hope you enjoyed getting to know her as much as I have.
A Clumsy Writer