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The Pecan Man is a work of Southern fiction whose first chapter was the First Place winner of the 2006 CNWFFWA Florida State Writing Competition in the Unpublished Novel category. In the summer of 1976, recently widowed and childless, Ora Lee Beckworth hires a homeless old black man to mow her lawn. The neighborhood children call him the Pee-can Man their mothers call them inside whenever he appears. When the police chiefs son is found stabbed to death near his camp, the man Ora knows as Eddie is arrested and charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, Ora sets out to tell the truth about the Pecan Man. In narrating her story, Ora discovers more truth about herself than she could ever have imagined. This novel has been described as To Kill a Mockingbird meets The Help.

About the Author

Cassie Dandridge Selleck

I was born and raised in Central Florida and, though I know an awful lot of people who insist they don't consider Florida "the South", it was as Southern an upbringing as any other. My roots on both sides of my family trace back to Southern states as far back as I can go before finding my European ancestors. The South is what I know and love - and sometimes loathe. I stopped long ago trying to define Southern pride, because that is not what I feel about my heritage. What I feel is grateful. Grateful that I was raised to say "Yes, ma'am" and "No, ma'am," and grateful that I witnessed firsthand the racism that is pervasive and destructive in my homeland. Everything about the South made me who I am today, as a writer and an activist, and as an advocate for change. I write what I know. I write about the South and its colorful characters. I write about human nature as honestly as I know how. I bring characters to life by giving them voices of people I have lived with and listened to all of my life. They are as real to me as any other living, breathing person, so I treat them with the respect they deserve. I put them on paper and see what happens.

I still make my home in the South, though no longer in Central Florida. I'm a bit north of there, on the historic Suwannee River. Both of my novels, The Pecan Man and What Matters in Mayhew are set in real towns with fictitious names. Leesburg natives recognize landmarks from my old hometown, and Mayo folk know well the stores and dwellings I describe. 2016 was a big year for me. The Pecan Man was optioned for movie rights, and selected for the State of Arkansas' common reader program "If All Arkansas Read the Same Book." It was also the year I graduated from college with a BFA in Creative Writing, made possible by my late-in-life publishing success. I travel a lot now, doing creative writing workshops and book-signings, and encouraging other writers to invest in their own talent. I am living the life I never allowed myself to dream, and I am grateful beyond words.

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