Events, Programs, and Appearances in October

A busy October begins on October 1st with Octoberfest in historic downtown Newnan, Georgia–my hometown- and ends October 30th in Warm Springs narrating famous tales about graveyards, ghosts, and goblins while enjoying a Spooktacular evening among ghoulish dressed in black patrons.

Visit T. M. Brown’s Event Page for all the dates, times. and locations for events, programs, and appearances on tap in October. In the midst of the month he and his wife are racing north to visit grandkids too.

Hometown Novel Author Events in September

Hometown Novel Author Events are keeping busy as Fall arrives with author events in Newnan and Warm Springs. Catch the latest by visiting the Events tab.

Check back for upcoming events and appearances will be coming soon for October thru Christmas. You can also visit @TMBrownAuthor or @HometownNovelNights on Facebook as well.

Coming on September 16th at 6:30 PM, live at the Newnan Carnegie LIbrary’s spacious (socially responsible seating) Hometown Novel Nights presents Four Immensely talented and successful Rising Georgia-rooted Authors. Visit Hometown Novel Nights or Newnan Carnegie Library beginning right after Labor Day to register for this limited seating event. Books will be sold there so you can leave with signed copies in hand.

Register to attend in person for this outstanding lineup of Georgia-rooted authors:

Learn more by visiting @HometownNovelNights on Facebook
Enjoy the 90-minute HHNN Georgia-Rooted Author Program hosted at the Newnan Carnegie Library, simulcast on Facebook Live, September 16, 2021

September Guest Author–Kathy Nichols from Marietta, GA shared her latest novel, The Sometime Sister at Warm Springs Cellars

Brief 5-minute clip from the two-and-a-half hours Kathy Nichols and her husband joined T. M. Brown at Warm Springs Cellars in historic downtown Warm Springs, GA

Labor Day Weekend Newnan Art Festival & Newnan Fall Art Walk, September 17th HNN \

Are you a budding author looking for a writer’s group? Visit @HNNWritersGroup

Shiloh’s History: Old Dixie Highway Impact

When I began researching my fictional South Georgia town, aptly named Shiloh, I wanted to understand how a county seat with a beautiful antebellum courthouse could lose its status. How could a revered courthouse become merely a symbol of the town’s past but become only a city hall as the power in the county shifted eastward to a more thriving and successful town full of tourists, shopping malls, and sprawling neighborhoods?

History revealed the political wrangling during the routing and building of the highways in Georgia decided the fate of many Georgia small cities and towns. The demographic of counties shifted within a decade or two after the highways snaked their way South a century ago. And, later again when in the 50s-70s, the Interstate Highway System sped tourists down its concrete corridors. Progress is most often welcomed without considering its long-term impact on the greater population left behind. Shiloh reflects such a left-behind community–scarred by the changes of its past–yet comfortable remaining a step or two behind all the changes of the 21st-Century. Understandably, the residents of Shiloh embrace time-lost traditions while creeping forward in time.

Might I suggest a little history lesson that might appeal to most folks about the changes brought on 100 years ago as highways and automotive travel reshaped Georgia and the Old South? http://georgiahistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/dixie_hwy.pdf

I invite you to fall in love with little old Shiloh. Though the stories are set in contemporary times, there’s a time-lost feel throughout that will assuredly draw your curiosity as to where Shiloh would exist if it were real today. Visit the bookstore for quick links to all three of the Shiloh stories. Fall in love with not only the colorful and memorable characters wrestling with deep secrets, conflict, threats, and of course modern changes creeping into their sleepy rural community but also discover how Shiloh also becomes a key character in each story.

Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories (2017) – April 2020, Hearthstone Press release

Testament, An Unexpected Return (2018) – April 2020 Heartstone Press release

Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest (revised release, May 26, 2020) – Hearthstone Press

Purgatory Kindle & Paperback editions coming soon… In the meantime, check out a couple of advance blurbs regarding the best and final book in the Shiloh series. Subscribe for advance purchase information and links.

Third & Final Novel in the Shiloh Mystery Series. May 5, 2020 Release

If you’ve never treated yourself to a novel by T.M. Brown, I recommend you start turning the pages of Purgatory, which in my estimation is pure literature. This story unfolds once again amid the patchwork of furrowed cotton and peanut fields of the South Georgia Christian community of Shiloh, where the townsfolk are getting ready to celebrate the annual Lightning Bug Festival — ol’ downhome country fun at its finest. But a storm is about to erupt. While folks fret they might lose their mayor to the Congressional swamp-water intrigue of Washington, an orphaned teenage girl appears on the scene in search of a mother who is long dead. But when one of Shiloh’s citizens purchases an armored limo with a checkered history at a Sheriff’s used-car auction, the town’s tranquility is shattered by the accumulation of dead bodies and broken hearts. Here’s a story that will keep you reading throughout the wee hours.

  • Jedwin Smith, author of I AM ISRAEL, Our Brother’s Keeper, and Fatal Treasure 

Mysteries beset the citizenry of a small southern town that exudes “contagious, country-fried wholeness.” T. M. Brown peels back the layers of those mysteries like one peels an onion. As you approach the finale, better hold on to your hat!

Jameson Gregg, Georgia Author of the Year, author of Luck Be A Chicken, a comic novel

The first two books are now available wherever books are sold, and advance orders for Purgatory will be soon available. Subscribe to my newsletter and then watch your email for exclusive offers or go on my Facebook or Instagram accounts for the latest news.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed Shiloh’s relevant history lesson and trust this current health crisis will end soon and business will gradually return to normal. I am presently praying for every small business and especially the bookstores struggling through this nightmarish calamity. I look forward to my upcoming book tour with optimism that will begin in early May (hopefully).

Mike, aka T. M. Brown

2020 Hometown Novel Nights Kickoff Event

Refreshments and Door Prizes, plus lots of valuable news and information for authors and book lovers alike. Limited seating still available, reserve your free ticket today! Click the image above.

Also, put Sunday afternoon, January 26th, on your calendar for Hometown Novel Nights – Fourth Sunday at The Monarch House in Newnan.

Come join the residents, their friends, family members, and guests like you. Cozy library setting with door prizes and refreshments served.

HNN Schedule of Events through 2020

Hometown Novel Nights Schedule and List of Participating Authors

October 27 Monarch House

Angie Gallion, Scott Ludwig

November 12 WQEE Radio Show

Angie Gallion

November 21 Rogers BBQ Hogansville

Edwina Cowgil, Tim Miller, Laura Johnson

November 24 Monarch House

Chellie W. Phillis, Toby Nix

December 10 WQEE Radio Show

Scott Ludwig

December 12 Carnegie Newnan – “Christmas Special”

Jedwin Smith, Larissa Reinhart, T. M. Brown (Scott Ludwig, Moderator)

December 22 Monarch House

Mike Nemeth, Holly Moulder

January 14 WQEE Radio Show

January 16 Southern Fried Books – “2020 Special Kick-Off”

George Weinstein, Steve McCondichie, T. M. Brown

(Author and Guests Gathering & Social Event)

January 26 Monarch House

Martha Boone, Tim Miller

February 11 WQEE Radio Show

February 20 Carnegie Newnan

Martha Boone, Angela McCrae, David Coppage

February 23 Monarch House

Angela McCrae, Alex McCrae

March 10 WQEE Radio Show

March 18 Rogers BBQ, Hogansville

Alex McCrae, Toby Nix, Carol James Marshall

March 22 Monarch House

Kim Williams, Doug Vinson

April 14 WQEE Radio Show

April 16 Carnegie Newnan

Mike Nemeth, Chellie W. Phillips, Christopher Swann*

April 26 Monarch House

Ane Mulligan, Tim Riordan

May 12 WQEE Radio Show

Steve McCondichie*

May 21 Southern Fried Books

(Proposed Author Gathering & Workshop)

May 24 Monarch House

Sharon Howard, Mark Maguire

June 5-7 NEWNAN LitFest (Mark Your Calendars)

June 9 WQEE Radio Show

June 18 Carnegie Newnan

George Weinstein, Tim Riordan, Holly Moulder

NO “HNN EVENTS” JULY

August 11 WQEE Radio Show

August 20 Carnegie Newnan

August 23 Monarch House

September 8 WQEE Radio Show

September 17 Rogers BBQ Hogansville

(Proposed Author Gathering & Network Opportunity)

September 27 Monarch House

October 13 WQEE Radio Show

October 15 Carnegie Newnan

October 17-18 HUMMINGBIRD FESTIVAL     (Details coming for HNN Booth)

October 25 Monarch House

November 10 WQEE Radio Show

November 19 Southern Fried Books

November 22 Monarch House

December 8 WQEE Radio Show

December 17 Carnegie Newnan – “Christmas Special”

The Upside and Risk of POD Book Production

How you choose to market your books matters. Books don’t sell themselves.

POD codes on the final page of your book matter.

To the everyday reader, they may mean little, if anything, but to the discerning bookseller, it may determine the extent of your relationship with them. There’s a growing swell of pushback with book retailers against Amazon/KDP. That attractive royalty rate from Amazon/KDP may, in fact, cost you lots of potential sales. Choose wisely, whether self-publishing or through a small press that takes advantage of POD production. There are two prevalent POS print options, Amazon/KDP or Ingram SPark/LSI.

Working with Ingram is necessary for selling through bookstores, which, more often than not, will not order books from Amazon/KDP. Amazon/KDP will not allow bookstores to return unsold books, something the trade has accepted for a long time and is a crucial option to independent bookstore owners. Without going too deep into the micro-economic considerations of a book retail business, floating the enormous expense of a book inventory forces book retailers to be acutely attuned to Amazon’s less than favorable retailer program. Under the best circumstances, it is not easy to make a profit in the retail bookstore marketplace. Authors should not promote their books with a blind eye to the plight of the book retailers today, thanks to Amazon.

“Learn the printing codes on the inside final page of your books for Kindle and Ingram. They are usually there, but they can be blank, making the printing source agnostic. Don’t accidentally walk into a bookstore with consignment books that show some Kindle-manufactured volumes, as marked on the final page. We wouldn’t want a homicide to occur.” (An excerpt from The Book Designer)

Know what the last page of your printed book says to a book retailer.

Your author-income depends upon not just the royalty rate but also the sales reach (volume of books sold). After you have decided upon where to publish your book, knowing how your printed book arrives on the market is now even more imperative. POD book production had gotten to be a most welcome, cost-effective means to get books printed. Quality has vastly improved and certainly reduces your upfront costs and associated risks of investing in and maintaining a book inventory. Know your publisher’s and/or your marketing strategy for getting books to readers. Convenience can cost you far more than you are led to believe.

My two-cents on the subject of POD sources

Consider Amazon as a necessary book retailer, but a retailer none-the-less. If you desire to engage the retail reach of brick-and-mortar bookstores, then understanding their profitability is paramount to building a win-win relationship. Would you walk into two competing book retailers in the same town and expect a warm reception from both store owners? Probably not. Well, Amazon is every book retailer’s primary competitor. And, Amazon/KDP printed books offer less profit for the book retailer and do not allow the retailer a book return option. Thus, if you, as the author, agree to a consignment arrangement on the backside of an author event at the store, your book will not find prime shelf space after you are long gone. 

“Penny-wise, dollar foolish.”

You may have written a well-written, compelling story, and even have an eye-catching, well-conceived book cover, but no book sells itself. How you plan to promote and bring your book to market is paramount to your book’s ultimate success. What may appear upfront as profitable may more than likely prove very costly? Treat Amazon as the retailer you cannot ignore, but don’t ignore your other retail outlets and consider them as less important. Unless you have built up a huge name as an author with an enormous audience panting for your next book, your books will not sell themselves while you are glued to the world-wide-web and stuck in your comfortable chair at home. 

News flash: Authors must invest in and actively engage in the marketing of their books to be successful.

POD book production is a gamechanger

I repeat–POD book production is a gamechanger and is here to stay, but do not overlook which POD printer you choose to use for your books. Amazon is a profit eating leviathan and plays both book printer/publisher and retailer, which for some may be convenient, and that is fine if that meets your book’s expectation. But, they have stirred up a lot of animosity by their voracious greed. Do not expect their retail competitors to provide you with a warm welcome if you carry into their store books printed by their most lethal competitor.

What about the reading audience? Should the reading audience care?

To all those you avid book-lovers whose money is spent in exchange for all the books that are behind this discussion: Please realize your pivotal role in this mortal competition. I hope you’ll patronize your locally owned bookstore and use online retailers only when necessary. Convenience costs more than you might think. Internet convenience influence affects so many others in your own community. Besides, your local bookstore should offer you an irreplaceable experience that engages all your senses whenever you walk into their brick-and-mortar confines. They should also help you discover new bestsellers in the making for your reading enjoyment.

Don’t know where all the quaint indie booksellers are located near you? Follow the link by clicking the image.
I sure hope to see you at some future book event at one of the many independent bookstores that are a part of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. And if you’re ever in Newnan, GA, my local bookstore is Southern Fried Books. Stop in and say, “Mike sent me.”

T. M. Brown, Southern Author

TMBrownAuthor.com

On Facebook visit TMBrownAuthor

The Appeal of Southern Novels, Past and Present

Why Are Southern Novels Borderless and Timeless?

How is it Margaret Mitchell, Flannery O’Connor, Harper Lee, William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Erskine Caldwell, James Dickey, Pat Conroy and the legacy of so many other great Southern authors have endured long after they left us? And, today Southern authors like Fannie Flagg, Alice Walker, Kathryn Stockett, Jeswyn Ward, Charles Frazier, Greg Iles, Charles Martin, Rick Bragg, and even John Grisham are still securing their legacy for future generations.

Let’s not forget the endless stream of fresh literary voices beckoning us with new Southern-laced literary works that supply the timeless and borderless demand for memorable flawed heroes, victims, and villains depicted in colorful Southern settings dealing with 21st-Century challenges and changes.

The South offers fuller moons and windier back roads for a reason.

What constitutes a great Southern story?

First of all, truth be told, I don’t know how to write the next best-selling Southern Novel. Of course, if I did happen to know how, I’d be too busy writing it and more than likely have my eyes cast on writing at least three. Three best-selling Southern novels would leave the kind of legacy that any writer would only dream about. But at least I know one when I see one. That’s because really great best-selling Southern novels are discovered, not written. In fact, none of the aforementioned authors began writing the next great Southern novel. They merely wrote what resided within them to write. 

The indelible mark of Southern Author

Being reared in the South leaves an indelible mark on one’s soul where inspiration and motivation sprouts from fertile memories, the good and the bad, to write compelling stories. Aspiring writers with souls stained and strained growing up in the South cannot write anything else worthwhile. Southern stories are written experientially. An author might learn the mechanics of creative writing, but no classroom can replicate growing up and experiencing life in the South. There’s no better fodder for storytelling than lending an ear to the tall-tales of folks spinning yarns in the South. Such tales may be heard eating dinner, attending church, getting a haircut at a local barbershop, or at a beauty parlor for the women-folk, but let’s not neglect sitting on a neighbor’s porch.

So much of the South is found any evening on the front porch.

The Southern Author Is Too Polite to Name Names

I have learned one thing in my sixty-eight years, fiction is just the truth and reality wearing a mask and being stretched a might to be more palatable, and often more plausible. You see, more than not, the truth just ain’t as believable as the tall-tales that follow.

Now there are certain trademarks of any Southern story, they revolve around food, family, friendships, faith, and football. Right off, if any story fails to mention the sipping, swallowing, or gulping of sweet tea, consider it suspect right away. Also, in the South, a coke may not mean a Coca-Cola, and whiskey didn’t originate here, but it was perfected here. In fact, the tales of Cooter Brown’s perpetual drunkenness is a Southern-rooted legend.

Grits, gravy, and greens are menu staples, morning, noon and night. Anything else worth eating is also usually fried. Peaches, pecans, and peanuts are the foundation of many epic desserts too.

In the South, Change Arrives Reluctantly

It may be the 21st-Century, however, “Yes, ma’am” and “No, sir” are not derisive retorts but words of respect to our elders. Boys and grown men instinctively grab the door for a woman or young lady. Now, that’s not saying Southern gals don’t have spunk. Lord, just rile a Southern girl and you’ll learn right quick they invented sass. They also know, you know, you likely deserved it.

The 21st-Century Southern woman exited the confines of the kitchen and no longer remains in the shadows cast by men. She forges her own identity in society and dares men to catch up to her. 

Some Traditions Linger

Of course, when someone approaches on a backroad, there will be a casual exchange of raised fingers atop their respective steering wheels. It’s an evolution of the tradition that declares in the South no one stays a stranger for long. Handshakes and howdies transform strangers into friends whether visiting or just passing through. What has changed is the inclusion of women in those customary exchanges.

But Some Traditions Remain Steadfast in the South

Last but not least, it’s downright hard to distinguish faith from football conversations. They both can offer the same fervor. In the South, the Lord’s Day is Sunday and everyone agrees that God graces every church, small or large, but Saturday, God sports our team colors, sits on our side of the field and favors our victories.

Now there’s a heap more we could wrangle back and forth about on this subject, but I reckon you’ve got the gist. We may not always be able to plainly define it, but we sure know when we have read a great Southern novel. When we come to the last page and close the book we feel sad because it ended. 

T. M. Brown  

 

One earns the other on your shelf
Two books linked with their unforgettable setting and colorful characters

Coming May 5, 2020, Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest, book three in the Shiloh Mystery Series. Watch for more news about book three in the coming weeks. But I can tell you, Theo just can’t seem to avoid being in the middle of the threats to the peace and tranquility of lil’ ol’ Shiloh. Some family trees get shaken and familiar characters face life and death decisions in the next story.

What is Hometown Novel Nights?

Event Venues in Hogansville and Newnan, GA
Three Author Panel each month talks about themselves, their writing journey, and their books.
Follow the link to a brief video introduction to Hometown Novel Nights

Authors looking to participate should follow the link above to Hometown Novel Nights Facebook page and message us or email TM Brown directly.

Hometown Novel Nights is expanding in 2020 to Senoia, GA and making its program available to bookstores throughout the Greater Atlanta area. Our goal is to connect local authors with local audiences in an engaging, interactive, and informative format to introduce homegrown talent. Who knows which of the authors at Hometown Novel Nights will become the next National Bestselling Author from Georgia?