About Georgia

From furious to feminist

georgiamullen2Georgia Ann Mullen wasn’t always a feminist, but in 1971 something happened at work one day that crawled under her skin and started to itch.  Georgia’s first employer fired a woman for being pregnant. “She should have known better” than to apply for the position, said the HR director—a female.

Georgia never forgot the surprise of suddenly not seeing that young woman at her desk. Nor the shock of learning why she’d been abruptly terminated.

Years later, as editor of a magazine in western New York that ran articles on the Erie Canal and local history, Georgia visited Seneca Falls to prepare a story on the town and its unique women’s rights heritage.

A tour of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s house, peppered with funny stories about her yellow floors and absent husband, sparked the germ of a plot for A Shocking & Unnatural Incident. More inspiring were a walk along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal towpath as well as visits to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and the remains of the Wesleyan Chapel, now a monument to the 1848 First Woman’s Rights Convention.

Georgia’s second book, Wixumlee Is My Salvation, will be published in 2010. She is writing the third book in the Canal Tales Series, Beau Maas at Stop 99, at her home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

A short biography

Georgia Ann Mullen was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in a neighborhood where some kids still attended evening Polish school. Georgia’s paternal grandmother was born in Cleveland and “went to the woolen mill” when she was 13. Her maternal grandmother was 16 when she traveled alone to the United States. The Polish gypsy in Wixumlee Is My Salvation is named Mariana after this brave young woman.

Georgia received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University. She was a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and editor in New York and Massachusetts before moving to North Carolina. She and George Mullen have four children.

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Kayaking

Georgia enjoys paddling her kayak through the marshes around Carolina Beach and Wilmington. She considers herself blessed to live on a skinny peninsula bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Cape Fear River. Wherever the water isn't deep, it's marshy—and peaceful.

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Georgia with her 14-foot, kiwi green Hurricane Santee Expedition Into the wild marshes off the Cape Fear River...no alligators sighted A gentle winter day on the Cape Fear River A peaceful paddle on the Intracoastal Waterway First notes on banjo ukulele Excavating 2008 turtle Nest 6 after exceptional hatching Georgia [front] with scouts who found the nest and Island Women at 2009 turtle Nest 8 Collecting shells on Masonboro Island with Atlantic Ocean in background Erica, Janet and Georgia dock FANTESSY at Lyons, NY, home of the Peppermint Museum Georgia piloting the canal boat FANTESSY along the Erie Canal, summer 2011 FANTESSY docked at Clyde, NY along the Erie Canal Mingling with early women's rights advocates Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer and Susan B. Anthony in Seneca Falls

Music and ukuleles

Georgia loves her playful, ocean blue ukulele. The banjo uke she received for her birthday is uniquely different and both make joyful music.


Tears for turtles

Georgia has thrilled to the sight of sea turtles hatching on Carolina Beach as a member of the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project. She and friends helped sit a leatherback turtle nest—the first recorded on Carolina Beach—and were present for the hatching. Georgia also sits loggerhead turtle nests and is brought to tears watching those sweet babies endure their laborious but determined crawl to the sea.


Coastal gardening in sand and drought

Georgia has grown flowers and vegetables for many years in northern locations but has found gardening along the North Carolina coast challenging. There just isn't much nourishment in sand. Still she's managed to turn her property into a colorful, restful oasis, admired by neighbors out for a stroll. To share tips on what grows and what doesn't along the southeast coast, visit Georgia's blog at Coastal Gardening.