An Interview with Rosemary Poole-Carter

At Kathy Patrick’s Girlfriend Weekend, I met Rosemary Poole-Carter. I’d already mentioned her in a previous post. I found her extremely talented, bright, beautiful, and a depth that is captivating. Another writer described her in this way:

“You would know Rosemary anywhere. She is the girl at school who stared out the window while a story played in her head; the teenager who cast her unwitting boyfriends as characters in her dramas; the mother who rocked and read to her children and wrote while they slept; the novelist and playwright who still daydreams, holds her loved ones, writes into the night, and appreciates parallel structure.”

Her work includes the novels WOMEN OF MAGDALENE, JULIETTE ASCENDING, and WHAT REMAINS and the plays MOSSY CAPE, DEATH BEHIND THE TABLOIDS, INCONVENIENT WOMEN, and THE LITTLE DEATH. You can read more of her here at her website: Here is a recent photo of this fabulous author.

Rosemary Poole-Carter


The women of Magdalene are dying and no one seems to care, least of all the haughty Dr. Kingson, director of the genteel ladies’ lunatic asylum.

After years of serving as a wartime surgeon for the Confederacy, Robert Mallory is accustomed to soldiers missing limbs. At the Magdalene Ladies’ Lunatic Asylum, he learns that the women are missing pieces, not of their bodies, but of their lives. As Robert comes closer to understanding Kingston’s part in the cruel treatment and sudden deaths of certain patients, Kingston abruptly sends him away. Robert must escort a patient, Effie Rampling, to New Orleans, and the journey transforms them both.
Your favorite author(s) and book(s)
My favorite playwrights are Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams, favorite poets are Tennyson and Yeats, and favorite 19th century novelists are Austen, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, and Twain. Modern novelists I deeply admire include Barry Unsworth (MORALITY PLAY, SACRED HUNGER), Ian McEwan (ATONEMENT, SATURDAY), Paul Scott (THE RAJ QUARTET), and Muriel Spark (LOITERING WITH INTENT, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE).
What is the most significant thing as a writer that you learned in writing this book?
I learned to trust in the power of my own imagination—to feel with someone else from another place and time. This book dosen’t easily fit a genre or a niche, and it met with some resistance from a few publishing professionals before it found a wonderful home with Kunati Inc. and gratifying responses from reviewers and readers.

Some lessons I re-learn with every writing project are the importance of mapping out a character’s journey and the value of patience.

3. What are your favorite lines in the book?

A number of lines are dear to my narrator’s heart or are revelations of his character and conflict. I don’t want to give too much away. My novelist friend Karen Harrington chose the lines below as her favorite, and I think the idea they express is one with which many of us can identify.

Reflecting on the deprivations of wartime, Robert Mallory thinks: “Some felt naked without their accustomed finery, furnished homes, rich food and wine, elegant entertainments. Some felt bereft of ordinary comforts–I was one of those. But I was also free, invisible, as if the only evidence of my existence were in the tasks I performed, the services I rendered to others. When I stopped work, I disappeared.”

News: Recent or future author events?
March 12 – 15, 2008, I plan to be in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for some bookstore signings and a couple of television interviews.

My drama, THE LITTLE DEATH, is scheduled for production by Eclectic Theater Company, October 10 – November 1, 2008, at the Odd Duck Studio in Seattle.

5. What else do you have in the works?

My novel-in-progress, like much of my other work, combines Southern history with Southern gothic. This one, set in late 19th century Louisiana, deals with sexual obsession and deceptions within a marriage and without.

Also, I have plans in the works for a new play—a ghost story, in collaboration with Rik Deskin, artistic director of Eclectic Theater Company.