Elaine Marie Carnegie
by Jack Mulcahy
Please welcome Jack Mulcahy to the Writer's Journey Blog this week with his project and words of wisdom.
My Heroic Fantasy project, The Chronicles of the Healer, has been at the center of my writing existence since the 1980s. When I first began the Chronicles, I had only once attempted anything approaching the length of a novel. I was just a writer of short stories, very influenced at first by Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury. In high school, I wrote a lot of stories for my friends to read; it’s a miracle some of them can still think of me without breaking into profanity.
When the idea for this project first occurred to me, I was a wage slave for a huge anticompetitive utility. Working for that enormous monopoly gave me an insight into the despair that must be daily life for people who lived under a totalitarian regime, what we referred to at that time as “behind the Iron Curtain.” I believed then (still do) that as far as The Company (I don’t mean the C.I.A., by the way) was concerned, profits and management by objective were all-important. Employees were only cogs in the machine.
I had worked in clerical positions for some years, hating every minute of it. And The Company, of course. During the last two years I worked there, I reported to a young woman who was “going places.” She was the youngest supervisor among a group of five or six, and the only female. (Can you see where this is going, friends?)
Pretty soon, all those male managers were issuing directives through her. She was going to show those men that she was a “team player,” so of course she put out those directives which affected the jobs of all the union people in that office.
This is an old management game. Every time that woman’s name was on a memo with a rule people objected to, those people directed their anger toward her. No toward the managers who as a group had developed the rule, but to our hapless “young woman on the rise.”
For her sake, I hope she’s gone to another company by now. But she was the inspiration for my central character; she and the porn star known as Linda Lovelace. In her autobiography, Ordeal, she says she was forced to do porn by a man who beat her regularly and made her perform sex acts as a means of income for him.
Why did these two women, a supervisor and an actress, influence my work? Because what happened to them made me angry. I have always been blessed with a vivid imagination. One function of that imagination is my ability to see myself in others’ places. And thanks to my mother, both of my wonderful sisters (sadly, only one of them is still living), and all the women it’s been my good fortune to count as friends, I have a strong interest in the rights of women.
Simone de Beauvoir, the great French existentialist philosopher, writer, social theorist, and feminist activist, once said, “When women act like women, they are accused of being inferior. When women act like human beings, they are accused of behaving like men.”
I hope I’m not the only one of us made angry by the truth of that statement.
BIO:Jack Mulcahy is the descendant of Irish immigrants, who ingrained in him at a very early age a love of stories and writing. He has been a writer all his life. His writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines, and he has sold fiction to Young Adventurers, Pulp Empire, Abandoned Towers, Shadow Sword, Lesbian Short Fiction, Lost Worlds, Sorcerous Signals, and Flashing Swords.
At present, Jack is revising his novel, Healer's Awakening, the first book of a projected trilogy. Set in the world established in the short stories. Healer's Awakening focuses on Valeriya, a Healer, who has been a slave for ten years, and how she escapes her abusive master and overcomes the lies that hold her back from true freedom.
Jack and his loving and supportive wife, Pat, live in suburban Philadelphia, by the grace of their three cats, Miles, Baby, and Molly, the real homeowners.
Where to find works by Jack Mulcahy
Some of my short stories can be found in anthologies on Amazon. All are set in the world of my in-progress trilogy The Chronicles of the Healer, so you can get in on the ground floor of a story that's going to take the world by storm! Only Young Adventurers: Heroes, Adventurers & Swashbucklers and Pulp Empire: Heroes and Heretics are available as Kindle books. The other three are only available as paperbacks. You can enjoy the cachet of telling your friends (or enemies) that you got the chance to read me in my early years!
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Amazon Authors Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Mulcahy/e/B07DZ2L6T3