From Humorist to Humanitarian: Angela Dove
By Eddie Lohmeyer
From academic writing to humor journalism
Angela Dove has made her readers both laugh and cry due not
just to her emotional writing, but to the size of her heart
as well. Western Carolina University alumnus Angela Dove is
currently a successful humor columnist and author of the true
crime novel, No Room for Doubt: A True Story of the Reverberations
of Murder. After completing her Master of Arts in English
from Western Carolina University, Dove entered the doctoral
program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville but soon
after experienced a change of heart and left the program to
be a stay-at-home mom.
Dove began writing articles for a local magazine and, due
to a large reader response, soon found herself contributing
to every issue. "When the nearby World Methodist Council
held a conference about supporting gays and lesbians in the
church and simultaneously the KKK and ultra-conservative religious
groups decided to stage various protests, I covered the story
by encouraging local retailers to discover the financial benefits
of fanatical tourism. That piece turned out to be my first
humor column," Dove said. Within a year, Dove had
been awarded the North Carolina Press Association's prize
for humor writing in community papers.
Dove began looking for a book project and discovered the
perfect topic when a victims' advocate in California asked
Dove to put her story on paper. Dove began writing about the
story of Jacqueline “Jaque” MacDonald, a woman
who lost her daughter to an unknown homicide in 198, and spent
the following nine years searching for the killer of her daughter.
Dove agreed to write the memoir regardless of the emotional
impact it had on her; Jacqueline MacDonald's daughter, Debi,
was Dove's stepmother, and Dove had been the last person to
see her before she was murdered.
In 2009, Penguin purchased the rights and the book was soon
published as a trade paperback under the name No Room
for Doubt: A True Story of the Reverberations of Murder.
Since then, Dove has been a spokeswoman for many survivors
of violent crime and providers of victims' services, helping
families cope with losing a loved one to murder.
A source of comfort
Dove has recently found great satisfaction in her job because
of positive reviews of her book. The Chicago Sun-Times
praised her book, which was certainly a highlight in Dove's
career. Bestselling novelist Sue Grafton admired the
way Dove's book "meticulously recreates the course of the
investigation and its chilling effect on those whose lives
were tainted by this crime." Dove also received feedback
from the relatives of victims of violent crime, including
a teenager from California whose grandparents were beaten
to death. Dove's book and correspondence helped the young
teenager cope with his family tragedy and find peace.
Dove stated that she has been inspired within the last few
years by spending quality time with individuals who have faced
arbitrary, violent crime. "They've been victimized. They've
lost loved ones through horrifying circumstances," Dove
said. "And yet they keep moving forward,
helping others, trying to make positive changes in the world."
Dove finds tremendous inspiration from connecting with folks
who have experienced the worst but still trudge onward with
a positive outlook.