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Today’s podcast guest is author Catherine Raphael who grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, United States, and graduated from Syracuse University with a major in metalsmithing. She worked as a jeweler for sixteen years, first in Philadelphia and then back in Pittsburgh. During that time she also worked on Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri’s ‘city of the future’.
In 1984, she gave birth to her son. Six months later, doctors diagnosed her mother with cancer. Those events shifted her focus then, when she came up for breath, she felt the impetus to find new creative activities.
Catherine started working for women’s rights and equal justice. She is one of the founding mothers of the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania. She served on the boards of the Ms. Foundation for Women and the Women Donors Network and volunteered with other progressive organizations.
And her writing career evolved. She attended writers’ workshops as far from home as Iceland.
Additionally, her flash story, It Used to be Called Trenton, won third prize in Writer Advice. The Care and Propagation of Azaleas won second prize in the Ageless Authors competition. Women On Writing short-listed more of Catherine’s writing while Bumble Bee long-listed Catherine’s works.
In this podcast we discuss her book Journey to the Heart Stone from Go Spark Press, feminism and the human condition.
Reviews of Journey to the Heart Stone
The publisher, Go Spark Press, includes these wonderful recommendations of Journey to the Heart Stone.
“Catherine Raphael is a writer of singular voice and vision. The world she builds is vividly imagined and populated by unforgettable, archetypal characters. Raphael’s intelligence, intuition, and masterful storytelling are on full display in what is ultimately a story about connectedness: to nature, to the universe, and to each other. A stunning debut, Journey to the Heart Stone will hold you in its grip, page by compelling page.”
—Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works
“Catherine Raphael weaves a soul-nourishing tale filled with ancient magic time has forgotten. I looked forward to escaping every evening into the rich landscape she created. Journey to the Heart Stone is a beautiful story reminding us that our own lives are a journey back to the heart of what truly matters in life—love. A very enjoyable read!”
—Stacey L. Tucker, author of The Equal Night trilogy
“Journey to the Heart Stone is an epic fantasy full of warmth, insight, humor, and intrigue. Raphael takes a classic premise—a single hero who must rise up to save the world—and turns it on its head. Raphael delivers both a novel bound to delight lifelong fantasy readers as well as a story that feels refreshingly new. Don’t miss Raphael’s beautiful debut novel and all the wit, wisdom, and adventure within.”
—K.C. Mead-Brewer, author of The Hidden People
“Catherine Raphael’s Journey to the Heart Stone is richly imagined from beginning to end. The reader is transported to a land where peace has reigned for generations through matriarchal rule. When that peace is unbalanced, it will take heroes and heroines to bring three long-lost communities back together. A wondrous and magical read.”
—Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Samurai’s Garden
Find Catherine Raphael
You can find Catherine Raphael on her website and on twitter.
If you enjoyed this…
Journey to the Heart Stone has a 37 year old protagonist but isn’t quite magical realism. So, if you’re looking for more adult stories (not sexually explicit, just books with women adult protagonists), you might like to The Gifts by Liz Hyder. I talked to Liz in this podcast.