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Cara H. Cadwallader

Cara H. Cadwallader

San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

MFA, Goddard College;
Creator & Founder, the Mama's (& Papa's) Cooperative, Encinitas, Ca;
Advisor & Volunteer, Tree of Life Birth Center, Encinitas, Ca.

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About the author

Cara H. Cadwallader is an embodiment artist and dance philosopher who dances with the pen on the page as well as her feet on the Earth.
A master of embodiment, Cara has spent over 35 years exploring, studying and performing movement and all of its metaphors. Over the past fifteen years, Cara's main investigation has been in how she can deeply connect to herself, others and our planet.

A creator of joy-filled, diverse and warm spaces, Cara co-founded a community gathering space and dance studio for organic connection in downtown San Diego. With the birth of her only child, Cara shifted her educator lens towards women’s health and well-being as well as in co-creating a village space for families to gather. Now, after having survived miscarriage, her partner’s 4th stage cancer diagnosis and subsequent death, Cara's book The Mama Caravan is a hopeful journey through the stormy waters of loss and grief as well as a maternal mental health map for how other mothers can remember how to prioritize their mental health and emotional bodies.

Driving over 12,000 miles across the USA while embodying her emotions and feelings, Cara worked to better understand how to care for herself and be more present and available to her young son. This is how she has coped with her shock and trauma in finding herself as a lone Mother in this brave new world of Covid, calamity, and chaos.
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If The Mama Caravan hits 500 pre-orders by Thursday 20 October 2022 3 A.M. UTC, then it will be pitched to 5 traditional publishers when the campaign ends. If The Mama Caravan hits 250 pre-orders by Thursday 20 October 2022 3 A.M. UTC, then it will be pitched to 11 hybrid publishers when the campaign ends. If The Mama Caravan hits 500 pre-orders by Thursday 20 October 2022 3 A.M. UTC, then it will be pitched to 23 publishers when the campaign ends.
How it works ›

Publishizer is a crowdfunding literary agency. If 500 pre-orders is reached, then we pitch this proposal to traditional publishers. If not reached, then it gets pitched to non-traditional publishers.

The Mama Caravan

A Maternal Mental Health Map for Life After Loss

How one Mama healed her heart while road-schooling her young son over 22,000 miles, across 17 states and through 3 countries, during 2 years of a global pandemic and after the loss of her life partner. This Mama Caravan has hit the road and will have you believing in the magical power of love once more.

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Parenting #1 in Parenting
50,000 words
50% complete
1 publisher interested


Across the globe, governmental health boards, including the CDC, are reporting on the increasing complexity of maternal mental health. These reports also cite the high unmet need for support that mothers around the world experience. Current headlines from UNICEF, Harvard, The Guardian, & more, scream: “World not delivering quality maternal health care to poorest mothers!” “9.8 million working mothers in the US are suffering from burnout!” and “America is failing its black mothers!” As Charlotte Naughton wrote in her article, “Why don’t we care about new mother’s suffering?” nearly half of British mothers experience an emotional or mental health problem that could go on to have long-term effects on their relationships with their children or spouses.

As mothers, we have to remember how to prioritize our mental health. In order to do this, we have to appear “selfish” by no longer putting our children or our men before our own needs. Understanding what our base-line self care requirements are is tantamount. We have to be able to identify when and how we need help and, as mothers, we must have a community that we can turn towards.

Yet, in light of broken families due to intergenerational trauma, living in a culture that expects us to move away from our families of origin and the breakdown of in-person community, how do we do this?
We have to know how to create the village we each so desperately need. We need to think outside of the box and be creative problem solvers. We can crowdfund our needs - from our postpartum periods to vacation getaways for the whole family or even an annual sabbatical just for Mama. Everyone deserves support and a break.

At 37-years of age and after the birth of my only child, my life-long educator lens shifted its gaze towards women’s health and well-being. In response to what I noticed was lacking then (in 2014), I created numerous programs for supporting mothers, children and families. I worked with friends and clients to set themselves up for success during their first 40 days after labor and delivery. I volunteered at my local birth center and held a free, weekly meeting for new mothers and their babies. I opened up my suburban home as a “one stop shop” where mothers could leave their children safely supervised in our backyard children’s garden as they enjoyed massage, acupuncture and other activities designed to promote their self care, inside.

As well, in the wake of my life partner’s death and the onslaught of Covid, I prioritized mine and my son’s mental health. I did this by buying a van and hitting the road. Over three, separate Mama Caravan tours, my son and I spent ample time in nature where I soothed my nervous system, with frequent cold dips in bodies of water found in the Pacific Northwest for example. Driving over 12,000 miles in total, I had the time and space to feel, express and release all of my feelings, including my grief, rage and fear. I had to do this because given my personal trauma from losing the love of my life to having experienced early childhood emotional and physical abuse, I knew that mine and my son’s emotional bodies would not survive isolation and social distancing intact.

Sales arguments

  • According to the UK’s Mental Health Organization, approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents. As well, poor parental mental health on children costs British society roughly 8.1 billion dollars per year.
  • Superficially, The Mama Caravan is the tale of one mama’s cross-country adventures in healing her and her son’s hearts from the greatest loss they have known. Under the surface, however, The Mama Caravan is a maternal mental health map for how to navigate the stormy seas of parenting, loss and grief while staying relatively afloat in a world turned upside down by a global pandemic.
  • My social media network, of +5,ooo people, has been clamoring to read The Mama Caravan for over a year now. Published in various worldwide, online magazines and platforms, such as Elephant Journal and the Esperanza Project, as well as in the Huffington Post on Mother’s Day 2022, I have also been featured numerous times in publications such as the San Diego Union Tribune, SD Voyager, Shout Out So Cal and more, for my embodiment work as well as my past work in maternal mental health.
  • For a locally grown, San Diego Mama, my web of connection is strong - from midwives, doulas and other experts in the field of maternal mental health, to mothers across the USA, Central and South America, as well as the globe, who have been doing their best to weather the storms of parenthood in this brave new world.

Similar titles

  • Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, Brene Brown September 12th 2017 by Random House
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed Atlantic Books; Main - Film Tie-in edition (1 Jan. 2015)
  • Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert Riverhead Books (January 30, 2007)



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100 copies • Completed manuscript.
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  • Carol Shamon
    on July 22, 2022, 4:05 p.m.

    Yay for Mama's. Yay for writers. Yay for community support. Wishing you a continuing, magical journey with this project.
    Carol Shamon

  • Jenelle Ferhart
    on July 23, 2022, 7:01 p.m.

    I look forward to reading your book! What a gift it is to share your journey with the world! Thank you!