Wild Women Authors is pleased to have author Angela Raines and Josephine, Josie, Forrester, female protagonist of Angela's latest release out of Prairie Rose Publications, Josie's Dream. First up is Josie.
Where are you from? Des Moines Iowa
Tell us a bit about Josie’s Dream. Since corresponding with Dr. Harriett Leonard, a past student at my medical school, I've been dreaming of coming to Colorado. Dr. Leonard offered to let me work at the Spa in Manitou Springs where she is the proprietor, but I want to create a practice in a smaller town, where people really need me. Once I arrive in Kiowa Wells on the eastern plains of Colorado, a few miles from the rail head at Kit Carson, my biggest obstacle is finding a place to set up my practice.
What did you think the first time you saw William Murphy?Will was riding through Kiowa Wells and I just had a brief glimpse of a man who looked interesting. I’d not seen many of his type back in Iowa where I grew up and went to medical school.
What was your second thought? The second time we met, he'd helped rescue a young girl from a rather nasty acting man. Will dealt with him very handily, not that I couldn’t have eventually taken care of the situation. Even if that does sound like bragging.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? More like admiration that grew to love from there.
What do you like most about Will? He had a sense of honor and duty that came through in all he did. He was there when I needed him, even though I didn’t know it at the time.
How would you describe him? Will always tried to finish what he started, even when he didn’t realize he was courting me. When he was shot and lost his memory, nothing would stop him from finding out the truth, even if he didn’t like the answer. There is just something solid and comforting about Will Murphy.
Solid and comforting, that's a great description of a man, anyone actually. How would he describe you? A bossy doctor who took her job very seriously. It’s hard to be a doctor, especially a female doctor in late 1870s. But despite all that was thrown in her way, she persevered and became beloved and honored by her community. She also had a sense of humor and doesn’t take herself, only her job seriously.
What made you choose medicine for a career? My father was a doctor and I always wanted to soothe the pain and fears of those around me. Even if my father had reservations about my choice, he supported my decision. I believed I would be alone, without a family. Most men would not like the idea of a female doctor.
In 1870, we imagine many folks, men and women, would not like the idea of a female physician--until she proves herself to them. What is your biggest fear, Josie? My biggest fear, which I confronted head on, was whether I could develop a medical practice in a rural Colorado town. I knew I needed to be somewhere where I could make a difference. I just had to get the people to trust my abilities.
Amen, sister. How do you relax? I love spending time with my [new] friends in and around Kiowa Wells, and so enjoy being with my husband and family.
Who is your favorite fictional character? I have to say, I’ve not had a lot of time for reading anything other than medical journals once I decided to become a physician. It I wish to remain current, I must know what the latest information is.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “Follow your heart and don’t let anything stop you.” I’m not sure who told me that, but the idea has stayed with me my whole life.
Thanks for taking time to visit with us, Josie. Now it's time to speak with Angela.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? This is a tough question for me. As an actor/performer from a young age, I would say almost every play and song I sang left a piece of themselves in me. The thing about performing, if you want to be any good, is to lose yourself in the life of the character you are playing. That concept continued on in the books I have read. I lost myself in the story and it also left pieces inside me. If push came to shove, I would say “The Highwayman” a poem by Alfred Noyes is a strong contender along with the novel “Calico Palace” by Gwen Bristow for helping to guide me to telling stories. Still that would only scratch the surface.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I have been researching and telling the story of early women doctors, especially in Colorado prior to 1900, for over four years. Their stories along with the names of a couple of them found their way into this current story.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. I was following the work of Cheryl Pierson, whom I loved to read. When she and Livia Washburn began Prairie Rose Publications, I suggested I might try my hand at writing for them. Cheryl was very open to that idea and encouraged and helped me to publication with my first novella, “Home For His Heart” in 2014. The rest has been history, as they say.
What projects are you working on now? I am currently working on another medieval short story that hopefully will be in the upcoming PRP winter medieval anthology. I am also writing a book about the early women doctors in Colorado Springs who are buried in Evergreen Cemetery there.
What's up next for you? I would like to try my hand at a straight up Western and a contemporary love story. Under my real name Doris McCraw, I have chapters in some of the Pikes Peak Library Districts history symposium books. In the upcoming release of “Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region” I have a chapter on the social ramifications of the Cripple Creek Volcano - a 35 Millions year disaster. I will also have a chapter on the women doctors in a forthcoming book “Myth & Mysteries” from the symposium from 2016.
Angela brought along an excerpt from Josie's Dream for us:
“Stop bothering me,” the man said, “why would anyone want a cheap ...” only to have his words cut off with the sound of a sharp slap. This was immediately followed by the sound of pain from the girl.
Josie didn’t hesitate, “What’s going on back there?” she called.
“None of your concern,” the male voice answered.
“As a doctor, I beg to differ,” Josie retorted, “I heard a cry of pain.”
A growl sounded, then Josie only just caught a young girl as she was thrust from the alley’s mouth. Josie had barely kept her own balance, catching a movement behind her as strong arms steadied her and the girl.
From the light from the window, Josie thought she recognized the girl as a moan escaped clenched lips, when Josie touched the girl’s right shoulder. Before Josie could do anything about the man in the alley, the arms that had been supporting her dropped as the man rushed past, heading into the alley. “You don’t treat a woman that way,” she heard, followed by the sound of blows and subsequent grunts and howls.
“It sounds like you may have a damaged shoulder,” Josie told the girl, while continuing to support her. All the while listening to the sounds coming from the alley.
“Yeah, it hurts a bit,” the girl finally answered.
To learn more about Angela Raines and the stories she's created, as well as those written under her real name, Doris McCraw, go to Amazon.com at: