Rosemary Poole-Carter was writing even before she could pen her own words. Her mother was the faithful stenographer who encouraged those first stories. By the sixth grade, she had completed her first novel, confident in its success.
It's been a long road from that first novel to her newly published novel, Women of Magdalene. "I was not an overnight wonder, "says Poole-Carter, adding, "but when it happens, the feeling is so gratifying, so vindicating that it all seems worth it."
Set in the post-Civil War South, the novel follows young surgeon, Dr. Robert Mallory as he takes on the new position of general practitioner at Louisiana's Magdalene Ladies' Asylum. On his way there, he discovers the dead body of a woman who turns out to be one of the asylum's patients. As more bodies continue to emerge, it becomes apparent that there is something more sinister going on than simple mistreatment of the unfortunate.
When talking about her novel, Poole-Carter's passion for her subject comes through. She researched the treatment of women in 19th century asylums and was saddened by what she found. "Women were really at the mercy of the men in their life. If they didn't fit the expected norm, they were considered embarrassments and sent away, often to these types of establishments (asylums). "
The idea for this book first came to life after a visit to a museum of Southern history. Poole-Carter was struck by a pair of bloodied boots. These boots, the docent explained, had horseshoe nails hammered in the soles and would have been worn by a Civil War soldier to keep from slipping in the mud or by a surgeon to keep from slipping in the blood.
Her enthusiasm for her work is evident. She says, "I enjoy creating an increasing sense of unease. It's one of the things that most attracts me to writing." In Women of Magdalene, she has done just that with a suspenseful tale that will have you reading through the night. She spends endless hours researching her subjects and enjoys visiting homes, farms and museums that are relevant to the time period she is studying.
Poole-Carter will have a book signing at the Lone Star College-Kingwood book store on Tuesday, October 3 beginning at 11:30 a.m. As a special treat, singer and Lone Star College-Kingwood employee, Wava Everton will delight listeners with songs from the books time period. Everton, accompanied by Lesley Modisetta, has recorded a CD of civil war era songs and one of those songs, "Somebody's Darling," can be heard at Poole-Carter's website, http://poole-carter.info.
Poole-Carter is a graduated of the University of Texas at Austin and is the Testing Center Coordinator at Lone Star College-Kingwood. Her other works include: Juliette Ascending, a young adult novel; What Remains, a mystery novel; and the plays; Mossy Cape, The Little Death, and Inconvenient Women.
The Lone Star College System is among the largest and fastest growing community college districts in Texas. It comprises Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Tomball, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College–CyFair, six satellite centers and The University Center. For more information about Lone Star College System and its programs, visit www.lonestar.edu or call 832-813-6500.