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Dot Jackson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Refuge (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Dot Jackson was a published author of fiction. Besides having been an esteemed novelist, she also was an editor, a columnist, and an investigative reporter. She passed away at age 84 in North Carolina in the place that she loved so dearly.

She was born in Miami, Florida, in 1932. Her parents William Walter Woodin Mauldin and his wife Doretta Eulalia Thode were Appalachian and were born and raised in South Carolina’s Keowee River Valley in Appalachia. She had only one sibling, a brother named Walter Wilds Mauldin, but he unfortunately passed away during the battle of Iwo Jima at 21.

Her mother worked as a professional artist in addition to being a teacher. She was born of the same German Colonization Society that was responsible for founding Walhalla in South Carolina. Her father worked in Florida on a truck farm and then would later help to construct dams with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The family moved to North Carolina and would return to the Everglades so that her father could work building a naval blimp base.

Dot would go to college studying at the University of Miami, from which she received a scholarship to study music. She would give up following dance and music to marry Bill Jackson in her junior year, a psychologist, and so that she could write. Dot had long had an interest in journalism and newspapers, and so she went to various mountainous regions of the more southern states, including Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The two had three children together, two of which now live in North Carolina’s mountains.

While employed as a journalist, Dot would cover all types of stories, from prayer meetings where snakes were passed around to murder trials and environmental stories. She would get several nominations for a Pulitzer Prize and would win the National Conservation’s award for Writer of the Year. Dot also won the Alicia Patterson fellowship so that she could go to the southern region of Appalachia and study economics. She became part of the South Carolina Academy of Authors in 2010.

Dot would transition into writing novels eventually, and she has written fiction as well as nonfiction. Her nonfiction books have done very well and have been published to critical acclaim. In addition to writing, she is the on-site manager and the co-founder of the Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife. Located in South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, it helps support, promote and innovate through art and culture. She loves to raise funds for the cultural center because it is such an “honest cause”, in her own words, that works to benefit the culture of the area and the unique traditions, arts, and skills that prosper there and deserve to be passed on to future generations.

The author always had a reverence for one of the family cousins, Ben Robertson. He would work as a war correspondent and collaborated with Edward R. Murrow. He would also pen Red Hills and Cotton, which was all about living with his family in the hills of Carolina and became a 1942 best seller. He would pass away quickly after the next year in a plane crash.

Dot Jackson has been employed as a reporter, a columnist, a proofreader, and a copy editor, often for the Charlotte Observer, but also working for Anderson Independent Mail and Greenville News. She has done much investigative reporting along the way and it has helped inform her own style of writing when penning nonfiction works. She has collaborated frequently with others on works such as The Catawba River (published in 1983, co-authored along with writer Frye Gaillard). Dot also wrote Keowee, about the South Carolinian Keowee River Valley along with Michael Hembree. She has also provided film commentary for The Last One and the movie The Outlaw Lewis Redmond, both composed by Neal Hutcheson.

Jackson has had a great career in literature but also an incredible journalistic career. She has worked and lived in Pickens County and is a member of the Journalism Hall of Fame in North Carolina.

Dot Jackson is the author of her novel Refuge. The book was released by Novello Festival Press in 2006 to the public, a press based out of Charlotte. Jackson thought that while writing novels was similar to journalistic writing, fiction did require her to exercise different muscles. The book has been called “intensely readable” by author Dori Sanders, who notes that the author is a true voice of the South in addition to being an “Appalachian treasure” and “master storyteller”.

The regional story is indelibly influenced by the area that it is about. It features the main character of Mary Seneca Stelle, who also goes by the name of “Sen”. She is a woman that is always independent– well, once she decides to leave her terrible living situation. She’s determined to start a better life for herself and decides that the place to do so is the Appalachian Mountains, where she settles in to live with her children and find out whether she can live the life that she always dreamed of.

Refuge is set at first in Charleston, the city where Mary lives. Her husband does not treat her right and so she must get away from her abusive spouse, who is never going to change. She takes Hugh and Pet, her two young kids, and goes to live somewhere else. They find a family homestead that has been abandoned and make it their own.

She does her best to care for herself and her children, and takes care of the livestock and the crops that she cultivates there. Living in the mountains in the rural area is tough, but Mary soon finds her stride. She’s also learning how to provide for her family, a big departure from the illusion of her old life where she could allegedly depend on her partner to provide for them.

When she falls for Ben Aaron, who happens to be her cousin, will it be a chance to begin again? Read Refuge to find out!

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