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Released December 15, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS ALUM HAS BOOK PUBLISHED

LONG BEACH, Miss. - Robyn Jackson of Gulfport has made her childhood dream of becoming a published novelist a reality.

Jackson, an alumnus of The University of Southern Mississippi, recently published Lakota Moon. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Southern Miss in 1982 and currently works at the Hattiesburg American daily newspaper as features editor.

The book tells the story of a girl named Mary Eliza who is captured by Sioux Indians and adopts their way of life.

Mary Eliza's story was based on the true-life story of a woman named Cynthia Ann Parker, who was captured and taken away from her family when the Comanche Indians raided Fort Parker near present day Mexia, Texas. Parker lived with the Comanche tribe for 20 years until she was found and reunited with her family.

Jackson said that although Lakota Moon is based on Parker's life, it is a work of fiction. Jackson came across Parker's story in an issue of Texas Highways magazine while she was visiting her parents in San Antonio.

"The story about her life was brief, but it was so beautifully written," she said. "I knew at an instant that I would write a novel inspired by Cynthia Ann Parker's life."

In 1992, six years after being inspired by Parker's story, Jackson realized how much she missed writing fiction.

"I had been working as a reporter for 10 years, but I knew I would be happier if I were creating stories and characters again. My dream, since I was six years old, was to be a published novelist," she said.

Jackson put a lot of research into this novel. She studied the Native American way of life and visited Fort Laramie and the Black Hills and Pine Ridge reservations. Jackson said that she also read dozens of books searching for details about camp life, battles and piece talks.

"I wanted Lakota Moon to honor the people about whom it is written," said Jackson.

The book is currently available in stores. For more information, contact Jackson at (601) 545-1559 or e-mail at RobynatTLP@aol.com.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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