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Interview with Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat, author of ‘Voodoo In My Blood’

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drcarolle.photo002ABOUT DR. CAROLLE JEAN-MURAT

Dr. Carolle was born and raised in Haiti to a family of healers, herbalists, midwives and shamans, and was educated in Haiti and the best universities in Mexico, Jamaica, and the US.

After completing her postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology in Wisconsin she settled in San Diego in 1982. She soon was regarded as one of the best ob-gyn around—tall and regal, a lone black female among the elite. But her success harbored a secret: when a patient entered her office, Dr. Carolle could quickly and intuitively see the root cause of her patient’s illness, often times knowing she could help the patient without having to put her under the knife. She knew she dared not make these claims aloud. Struggling to fit in with the Western medical paradigm, her intuition and vision were best left unmentioned until she had no choice than to quit.

In 2005, she built the Dr. Carolle’s Wellness and Retreat Center of San Diego, the only place in the world where you can get UNSTUCK by spending as much time as you want – a few hours, one day, or a weekend with her. She helps those who want to quickly discover the root causes of their dis-ease, which usually are hidden emotions. She provides guidance on how to bring them to consciousness, and how to effectively deal with them.

Dr. Carolle has worked extensively with female veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to sexual trauma during their military experience – MST, to include in-depth assessments, providing specialized alternative treatments, and testifying on their behalf at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In July 2012, she joined forces with Tara Wise, the founder of the National Military Women Veterans Association to help bring MST – military sexual trauma to the forefront.

Dr. Carolle continues to provide free intuitive gynecological care to the people of Haiti and underserved women through Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul Village with Father Joe Carroll, and Native-American Health programs. In 1993, Dr. Carolle founded the non-profit organization, Health Through Communications Foundationand its Angels For Haiti Project to provide the underserved with education, health-care, and hope for the future. See www.HealthThroughCommunications.org.

As an international motivational speaker, Dr. Carolle brings her message of self-empowerment to women through her award-winning books, CDs, DVDs, live workshops and training programs, radio, media appearances andvirtual events.

To find out more about Dr. Carolle and her work, please visit: http://www.drcarolle.com

Welcome to Beyond the Books Dr. Carolle. Can you start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

 I am multi-published. My books in print include:

  • Award-winning Menopause Made Easy: How to Make the Right Decisions for the Rest of Your Life, published by Hay House 1999– French version 2008 La Ménopause Démystifiée: Comment prendre des décisions éclairées pour le reste de votre vie
  • Bestselling Mind, Body, Soul & Money: Putting Your Life in Balance, Mosley Publishing, 2002
  • Natural Pregnancy A–Z, published by Hay House, 2000
  • Award-winning Staying Healthy: 10 Easy Steps for Women – Spanish & English versions, 1994 

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published, or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

 A. I wrote my memoir Voodoo In My Blood from 1987 to 1991 with the help of a ghost writer. We decided to end it in 1972 when I was in Mexico at the medical school and I had just received my name tag and found out that they had added my mother’s maiden name – as it was the culture in Mexico – to my name Carolle Jean. Murat was associated with shame, being ostracized, and even as a volleyball player declining to go to the 1968 Olympics that I worked so hard for. It was the name of my grandfather a Voodoo Priest, shaman, and indigenous healer who inspired me a lot but I was always ashamed of. Unfortunately, after all the time and money spent on it, I had an agent but could not find a publisher.

In 1994 I was asked to write a weekly medical column in Spanish for Diario Baja California, a San Diego newspaper with a large readership in California and Mexico. It seemed natural to write about women’s health. The response was overwhelming. 

I had a thriving ob-gyn practice and as a motivational speaker would find myself in front of large crowds who wanted to take something from me home. I decided to compile the columns into a book, Buena Salud: 10 Pasos Simples Para la Mujer. To my surprise and delight, my “Anglo” patients felt cheated, complaining, “How come you’re writing a column and a book that I can’t read?” So I decided to write an English language version, Staying Healthy: 10 Easy Steps for Women. They were self-published simultaneously. The English version was a finalist for an award in the self-help category.

How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

Since they were self-published there were no contracts. I started in March and the books were hot off the press in October.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It may sound silly, but I was very disappointed when I saw the book in print – I found it very small. I felt better about it when a patient said that she loved the size because she could carry it everywhere in her purse.

What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Telling all my patients and colleagues about it, doing TV and radio interviews. I also had lots of book signings; they were also sold when I gave a talk. There was no social networking or the internet then.

Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

English being my fourth language, now when I send my writings to my editor I don’t get back something totally different.

What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

Being able to publish a book as an e-book and have it in the hands of a reader in a short period of time.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

My books are in English, French, and Spanish. It is very rewarding to know that my work is appreciated and has inspired so many people all over the world. It was so exciting when my book Menopause Made Easy by Hay House was translated into French my native language – La Ménopause Démystifiée – to get an e-mail from a French reader saying: Tout simplement pour vous dire merci d’avoir écrit ce livre – Simply to say thank you for writing this book! I still have it in my inbox after all these years!

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Write because you have something to say and you want to share it with others. Writing, being published and selling books is hard work – don’t expect to get rich with it. You could spend your time doing something else and make more money.

Voodoo5ABOUT VOODOO IN MY BLOOD

Born and raised in Haiti to a family of healers, US trained physician Carolle Jean-Murat came to be regarded as a world-class surgeon. But her success har­bored a secret: in the operating room, she could quickly intuit the root cause of her patient’s illness, often times knowing she could help the patient without surgery. Dr. Jean-Murat knew that to fellow surgeons, her intuition was best left unmen­tioned. But when the devastating earthquake hit Haiti and Carolle returned to help, she had to acknowledge the shaman she had become.

This mesmerizing story takes us inside the secret world of voodoo as a heal­ing practice, and sheds light on why it remains a mystery to most and shunned by many.

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