Launching a Book in the Midst of Tragedy

A Guest Post by Author Dori Ann Dupré

My debut novel, Scout’s Honor, is an epic tale about a young girl named Scout Webb, who suffers a profound emotional trauma at the hands of an adult in a position of trust. The story is about how that one experience affects her life as she goes away to university as a young woman and then later in her life as she faces middle age with a teenaged daughter of her own.

Scout’s Honor is written in first person with multiple narrators. While the story is Scout’s story, and she is the protagonist, it is told with several perspectives, including her closest lifetime friend. It shows that life isn’t necessarily how we perceive it. People come into our lives; some stay and some go, and each one affects it for better or for worse. While we might think that we know what others are thinking or feeling…the truth is, we most often do not.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and novelist Mark Ethridge wrote in his review: “First-time novelist Dori Ann Dupré does a terrific job telling her story through an array of interesting characters while demonstrating a keen eye for detail and a true gift for exploring the joys, heartbreaks, complexities and deep truths of human relationships. Scout’s Honor will capture your heart.” It was awarded the Bronze Medal for Southern Fiction in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards; and, in 2017, Scout’s Honor was named as a Finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Being an “indie author” is a true challenge. It requires patience, diligence, and daily attention. Having the courage to put your work out there is the first step. Opening your heart to criticism and judgment, and using it to mold your writing into your strongest voice, provides writers an empowering clip along the author journey. Engaging with the reading public and other writers is key to building not only a following, but also real relationships that help your writing, work, message and outreach. As an indie author, I own my work and brand. My writing is my creation – and therefore a part of me – and there is nothing as satisfying as creating something from nothing.

On April 14th, 2016, my first book launch occurred as I sat in the chemotherapy infusion center at the University of North Carolina Cancer Hospital, where my husband was being treated for terminal Colon Cancer. He was diagnosed with this most devastating disease the day before his 47th birthday. To say just how much this tragic situation destroyed our lives would take many books, many stories, and countless words. There are not enough descriptions to convey the pain, suffering, fear and horror that is a terminal cancer diagnosis when you are still in the prime of your life. Because of what happened to my husband and family, and the timing of it all, I began to seek ways in which I could use my book for good. When you find yourself in a truly helpless situation, you still feel like you have to help.

Because I was a new author with a young platform, I decided to try to honor my husband’s fight for his life through my writing. During my book launch, and throughout 2016, I used Scout’s Honor to raise awareness about Colon Cancer in younger people. In addition, I raised over $4,000 for Colon Cancer research.

My husband lost his vibrant life on September 29th, 2016. From that devastation, I turned to another charity that would best honor his memory and further his legacy. In 2017, I established the Eric DeJong Memorial Fund at the Gary Sinise Foundation. This fund supports the RISE program, which builds smart homes for severely disabled veterans. As a veteran, I know that my husband would be proud to associate his memory with such a cause.

The jump into the frying pan of “published author” was not what I expected. My writing dreams, coupled with my family’s tragic turn, have taken me on a less-traveled road now.

While it is important as indie authors to find our audience, readership, brand, and to learn how to market and sell and network…it is most important to find our purpose. The reason I write fiction no longer has much to do with me. Instead, it has to do with the simple act of sharing stories, touching hearts, inspiring lives, using the gift of words to heal and to open hearts and minds in any way I can. And by extension, through my writing in Eric’s memory, so does he. This is one small way that I can make him live beyond our confined memories and still be a force, alive, in this world.

Meet the Author:


Dori Ann Dupré

Dori was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in History and is a veteran of the United States Army. She is the author of the two-time international award winning debut southern novel, Scout’s Honor, and several published short stories and poetry. Her second novel, Good Buddy, is expected to be released in 2018. Proceeds from her writing go toward charitable efforts in memory of her husband. Dori works in the legal field and resides with her two daughters and dachshunds in North Carolina.

Connect with Dori Ann Dupré:

Check out Dupré’s author website,, for her latest writing and interviews. Also, check out all the other outstanding Pen Name Publishing authors’ books for diverse, bold and new talent.

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Don’t forget to check out her award winning novel, Scout’s Honor!

3D-Book-Template-e1453389623410In Haddleboro, North Carolina, Scout Webb is a 14 year old kind and spirited small town southern girl and a tomboy much like her namesake, the young narrator from her mother’s favorite book. With both her name and her Christian faith deeply woven into the fabric of her identity, Scout always felt like she had a lot to live up to and was the kind of girl who made her parents proud.

It’s August 1983, and Scout is playing on a summer baseball team with Charlie Porter, her best friend since Kindergarten. More than anything,  she is looking forward to her last few weeks at Camp Judah, a Christian camp near the Catawba River. She can’t wait to see her big crush “Brother Doug,” the thirty-two year old camp lifeguard who has watched her grow up each summer since she was seven years old. But after a fateful few days and one catastrophic event during her last day at the camp, Scout was changed forever.

Written through multiple narrators over the course of twenty years, this story follows Scout’s personal struggles as a freshman away at college in Raleigh and later as an overworked single mother approaching middle age, where she is forced to confront the causes of her own quiet suffering, the consequences of her actions and why even the eternal love and devotion of just one true friend can’t save her.

A story of a self, lost…a self, loathed…and a self, rediscovered…it examines the harsh and cruel ways in which otherwise well-intentioned and decent people treat each other…even those they claim to love, but even more so…ultimately, how we treat our own selves.            

Scout’s Honor is for sale at all major online book retailers: