Right after college, Mandy accepted a position as the editor of The Daily Guide in Waynesville, Missouri, before transitioning to the editor at Commerical-News in Danville, Illinois. Although there were beautiful sunsets, cold midwest winters allowed her to realize she wanted to live somewhere warm, with sunshine.

The Waynesville Daily Guide is no longer operating and does not have an online archive of articles. We want to thank Luge Hardman and the Pulaski County Library District for sharing some of Mandy’s articles from The Waynesville Daily Guide with Luna Shark Media.

Resilient rescue
Soldier on
Never Forget

When Mandy arrived in Bluffton to step into her role as the Island Packet‘s new special projects editor, she met Liz, an editor and columnist. They had worked together some after Mandy arrived in South Carolina, but teaming up on a story about The Bachelorette filming in Savannah in the summer of 2017 solidified their status as friends. Watch the video below as they recall the early stages of their friendship.

Want to see the video that she and Liz captured that set their reporting apart from the rest? Take a peek below!

The Infamous Shark Stories

While Mandy was working for The Island Packet, she found a following often went viral for the shark and alligator stories she would write. Mandy was cautious not to vilify the animals, choosing to provide an educational element with each story.

The Writing Process

Countless hours were spent on Zoom as Mandy shared her story with co-author Carolyn Murnick. We asked Carolyn to reflect on the writing process of each chapter. Read what she had to share about Chapter 1 below.

“Mandy and I spent our first few weeks working together just developing a comfort level. I knew from writing my own memoir that the process of revisiting the past can be a vulnerable one, and I knew it would be important for Mandy to build trust and camaraderie as we delved deeper into her story. We met a few times a week via Zoom, and we talked about everything from her childhood to early experiences in journalism writing for her high school paper. We talked about books she admired and big themes that were important for her to highlight in her own book. She was committed to writing a book that would inspire young journalists, the kind of book she wished she’d had when she was starting out. Both of us admired Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s She Said, and Mandy also liked Julie K. Brown’s Perversion of Justice. Finding the right jumping off point to her story was key: our first chapter went through a few revisions. But by the time we arrived at the chapter’s current version, we both felt confident that all the crucial elements were in place. I think of this chapter as Mandy (and Liz’s) superhero origin story.”

Carolyn Murnick

Stay tuned as we will be releasing additional content monthly! We have some of Mandy’s first articles from Waynesville and Danville, as well as some audio of Mandy and Carolyn’s writing process.

Curious about a document, video or photo? Let us know!

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