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 a 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 come to life 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. We may hear such tales while eating dinner, attending church, getting a haircut at a local barbershop, or at a beauty parlor for the women-folk, and 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 back road, 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 friendly 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 plainly define it, but we sure know when we have read a great Southern novel. When we come to the last page and close a good southern novel, 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

First published May 2020, Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest, is the third book in the Shiloh Mystery Series. Re-released March 2022. Theo just can’t seem to avoid landing smack dab in the middle of life-altering threats and conflicts that shatter the peace and tranquility of lil’ ol’ Shiloh. Some family trees get shaken and familiar characters face life and death decisions to protect others in the next story.

Watch for Fifth Anniversary Editions coming soon of Sanctuary & Testament!

Shiloh Mystery Series Audible in Production

The following link is to an interview I enjoyed providing on WUTC with Dante’s Old South program last Fall. It includes a brief six-minute reading of the opening chapter of Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories.

https://youtu.be/zCN0Mq_FVbM?t=915

The audible versions of both Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories and Testament, An Unexpected Return are in production for release this Summer for those who prefer to listen to their novels.

Looking forward to what lies ahead for the Shiloh Mystery Series with Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest underway, and the audible versions of the first two novels in the series in production.
Anniversary Book Tour 2019 has begun. Visiting local bookstores, literary festivals, and libraries. Hope to see you soon. Head over to @TMBrownAuthor on Facebook for the latest news and updates.

SANCTUARY SPECIAL OFFER – Found Extra First Editions!

SANCTUARY SPECIAL OFFER!

My wife, Connie, cleaned our garage today. We discovered two boxes of First Edition copies of Sanctuary – 30 books! They are no longer in print since the revised, updated 2nd edition released in January 2018. So what should I do? How about a limited quantity, Sanctuary Special Offer?

What’s the difference?

Sanctuary-Single-Book

1st Edition, February 2017

versus

2nd Edition, January 2018

First edition does not include the new epilog and the reviews on the back cover. Also, the first edition was printed by Ingram/Lightning Source as a Print-on-Demand book, which I never liked. That’s why all my new books are quality printed by my new publisher. Otherwise, there is virtually no noticeable difference, and it’ll be a cost-effective means to prepare you for the new sequel, Testament, An Unexpected Return (March 2018).

If you’d like to save $8.00 plus the postage so you can read Sanctuary:  On a first. come, first serve basis, you can get this limited quantity of signed copies, postage paid, for only $10.00.

To get yours, just email Mike@TMBrownAuthor.com. Provide your contact information and we’ll do the rest.

BUT, hurry!

(You can pay by check or pay the $10.00 via PayPal for safe, convenient order processing. You can have your book delivered within the week.)

Thanks.

Mike

Summer Reading Limited Offer!

Before I reveal a very special limited time offer:

NOTE: There’s something special brewing regarding my Shiloh series stories. Stay tuned for more announcements about the expanding distribution news in the month of June! Palmetto Publishing Group is growing in its reach to connect readers, booksellers, and authors.

In the meantime, please visit your local bookstore; if they do not have either of my books on their shelves yet, they can easily order a copy. More and more independent bookstores are being added weekly to the list who have or will be hosting one of my author events and will stock my books.

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

In the meantime, FOR A LIMITED TIME, get your copy of SANCTUARY, A LEGACY OF MEMORIES for only $2.99 (KINDLE on Amazon) or through my webpage’s bookstore for the Book Club Price of only $15.25, a savings of $1.70 from even its new $16.95 retail price. And, this limited-time, exclusive offer includes free postage! Save time and money… All orders placed on my bookstore webpage are handled via safe and secure PayPal services.

HURRY! This offer expires as of FATHER’S DAY, June 17th!

For the retail price of $15.95, you can order a signed copy of TESTAMENT, An Unexpected Return and it will arrive signed, postage prepaid.

BEST DEAL! Order both Sanctuary & Testament for only $32.00, includes postage under this limited-time, exclusive offer for orders placed through my bookstore page. 

What do you plan to read this Summer?

Go to my bookstore page and order today! Or go to the Amazon link for your Kindle options…

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: I hope you will also sign up to receive future updates and Southern Ponderings from yours truly. To comply with the changing privacy concerns, I would like to confirm that at no time will I ever misuse or abuse your personal information. Your email subscription is strictly for receiving periodic updates from this website or my coachbrown.org  webpage. If at any time you wish to unsubscribe, I will not be offended. I am like you and only wish to receive in my email materials that interest, entertain, or inform me. Email me at mike@tmbrownauthor.com with any questions or concerns.

Have a fun and safe summer! I also hope to meet and greet you personally at one of my upcoming author events in the coming weeks and months! In the meantime, I hope you’ll take advantage of this limited offer to get Sanctuary. I am wagering like other before you, once you read Sanctuary, you’ll be hooked and will want to continue reading about Theo and Liddy’s adventures in lil’ ol’ Shiloh.

If you are on Facebook, please visit my author page there as well. Like and follow my page to receive daily updates and more information about my author related activities.  I am also on Instagram too. Stay up to date and connected to the latest news about T. M. Brown and his books.

Don’t forget to support the Georgia Writer’s Museum in Eatonton, GA.

 

Want to know my “Secret Sauce”?

Click the link below to uncover the “Secret Sauce” that motivated me and brought my wife Connie alongside to bring the Shiloh stories to life.

What I began as a fun project with a small targeted audience of family and close friends blossomed into a far-broader audience than either my wife or I imagined. My publisher, Palmetto Publishing Group has been fantastic, providing the resources and quality books that rival any in a bookstore. They are expanding the reach of Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories and Testament, An Unexpected Return thanks to their parent company’s resources with added distribution and marketing – Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC.

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

However, in the end, I need your assistance and support. Here’s what you can do to help stir the “Secret Sauce.”

  1. Purchase your copy of Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories and Testament, An Unexpected Return – either Kindle or Paperback, individually or together.
  2. Let others know about the books and what you thought about them. Of course, writing a review on places like Amazon or Goodreads or even on my website’s Review Page is most welcomed, BUT remember, word-of-mouth amongst friends and family always works the best.
  3. Order one or both books for a friend or family member who you believe would enjoy them as a gift.
  4. When you walk into your locally-owned bookstore, ask for the books by title. If they don’t have either on the shelf, tell them a little about the books. Suggest they contact me about arranging an author event.
  5. Simply forward this email to others you know who might enjoy reading new, “all-audience” Southern mystery/suspense stories. Suggest they subscribe for future posts and updates about my third and final book in the Shiloh series, Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest (Fall 2019).
  6. Explore my Event page and bring friends to one of my upcoming events near you.
  7. Direct your friends to follow me on my Facebook Page (@TMBrownAuthor) and of course, do likewise if you have not done so as well.

T. M. “Mike” Brown

Now, please enjoy the link below found also under my About the Author Page of my webpage… My Secret Sauce resides in A Legacy of Love.

Shiloh Mystery Stories, A Legacy of Love

Testament’s Book Launch Whirlwind First Week

Testament’s Book Launch in Review

From Dahlonega to Newnan to Sale City to Thomasville, we traveled Georgia from one end to the other greeting old friends and making loads of new ones at each stop of our busy first week of the book launch. Enjoy a taste of the sights and sounds of our first FANtastic week introducing Testament, An Unexpected Return (2018), the sequel to Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories (2017).

Shiloh Art Contest Winner, P. Giles, Newnan

Bridging the storylines
Enjoyed sharing the ongoing story of my Shiloh characters.

Quintessential Shiloh Image brought interest during the launch
“Small Town” painting by P. Giles became the hands-down winner of our Shiloh Art Contest.

Gotta have the sequel!
Some folks traveled over an hour to get their copy of Testament. Thanks, Tara of Carrollton.

Shiloh's Four-legged Hero
Unsung hero of testament, Ringo

Birthdays are always fun during the launch events
Sanctuary celebrated one year, while Testament just got started

https://www.facebook.com/TMBrownauthor/videos/1764399896916082/

Who says a painting doesn’t speak? This mural is in Sale City at our favorite restaurant owned by dear friends. Why did I choose the setting for Shiloh?

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

Shiloh enjoys its vittles
Basket of Shiloh Goodies went to Rena in Newnan

Images sell the stories during the launch
Our well-traveled display

Shadows of the Past can never be ignored
The Shiloh Mystery series takes its cast of colorful characters into the suspense-filled story of Testament in the second installment.

http:/https://www.facebook.com/TMBrownauthor/videos/1764399896916082/

Sanctuary got me invited, Testament became the hit!
Dahlonega Regional Writers provided the first venue to share Testament.

Book launch began in Dahlonega
Regional Writer at Dahlonega

Book launch required teamwork!

Book launch teamwork
Connie’s smile is my secret sauce…

The summer season is right around the corner. Have you thought about what you’ll read on the beach, poolside, or rocking on that cabin porch? Why not join the bandwagon that’s discovering the delightful mystery and the “wrinkle-filled suspenseful” sequel that will keep you longing for time-lost small-town life again.

T. M. Brown

Save buying both books!
Buy both together. You’ll thank me later. Checkout the Special price deal on my link.