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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.

Published memoirs

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.

 


These profiles were created by the Karen Greenstone's English 303 class (spring 2009)
and edited for the web by Mary Adams's English 303 class (summer 2009).

Students in Mary Adams's English 303 class (fall 2009) wrote additional profiles.