Southern Fiction writers enjoy popularity among fans, Augusta’s Brian Panowich included


TELEVISION PARK–  Earth Day is coming up and it’s a perfect time to think about our impact on the planet! Mark Albertin will tell us about the CSRA’s frist March for Science a little later. Also, Symphony Orchestra Augusta has a lot going on in the next coupe of weeks. Anne Catherine Murray is here to tell us about the next Pops concert and the 10th Annual Golf Tournament and Spring Soiree.

And now, if you love to cozy up with a good book, today’s show is for you!  We’ve going to talk about southern fiction writers. Augusta firefighter-turned-novelist, Brian Panowich, had a lot of success with his first novel, Bull Mountain. He’s joining us in a moment… but first, a popular writer whose books are top picks in literary circles and book clubs alike, Karen White, launched her most recent book tour last week.  Her second stop was right here in the Garden City!

The bestselling author currently writes what she refers to as “Grit-lit” — Southern women’s fiction. Dozens of her fans had a memorable luncheon with her last week at the book launch for The Night the Lights Went Out , her 23rd novel.

Take a look now at some of the other titles that have landed Karen on top of the New York Times and USA Today “best-sellers” lists, including: The Time Between, The House on Tradd Street, Flight Patterns, The Memory of Water, The Sound of Glass and The Guests on South Battery- which is part of the Tradd Street Series of mysteries set in Charleston, South Carolina.

Back now to last week’s book launch and luncheon at Abel Brown Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar in Surrey Center.  Karen White fans enjoyed a wonderful luncheon, signed copies of her new book, and simply spending time meeting and talking with White, who charmed the audience with her entertaining stories.

Karen White/writer: “I’m definitely a suburban person. When my husband was transferred to Atlanta, now I’m a Southerner, my parents were both from Missisippi. My whole family was from the South, and I married a Yankee. Bless his heart! Our kids went to two different schools because they’re 21 months apart, as a matter of fact, does everyone remember the storm of the century in March of 1993? My son was born 9 months later!” (LAUGHTER)

You can pick up Karen White’s new book, The Night the Lights Went Out, at stores or online…  and if you hurry downtown to the Book Tavern, on Broad Street, you still might be able to purchase a signed copy from David Huthcinson, who was another sponsor of the luncheon with Karen last week.

Karen and I taped a wonderful interview here on the Jennie set following her luncheon last week, and I am heartbroken to tell you that a technical glitch prevented our chat from recording properly, but we’re working on rescheduling her and we’ll bring you the segment as soon as we do.

Now:  A Columbia County firefighter is now a rising star in the literary world. His wife inspired him to write a book, while his co-workers pushed him to make it great… and he did. Brian Panowich in his own words now, about the unlikely journey from firefighter to published author:

Brian Panowich/”What happened to me doesn’t happen to everybody, it doesn’t happen to hardly anybody,”

“This is where I wrote the book. I got an overwhelming hell yeah! When that happens at this table you are onto something. This table is very important. It’s almost like the judge, jury and executioner of the day.”

Battalion Chief Jeremy Wallen/”He was passionate about it as he wrote it. I think he felt like he was inside the story and you could see it.

Brian Panowich/”Honey we have a book deal and she said great because we really need a new sofa and that was it!”

“If all this book stuff ended right now today, if this was the end of it, I always have that to show my son when he grows up. You know, I accomplished something.”

Those clips were from a wonderful story my former colleague, Chris Kane, did when Bull Mountain was released in 2015… and we’re so happy to welcome Brian Panowich today.  Brian, you recently were honored at the Old Medical College with one of the 2017 Porter Fleming Foundation Community Awards.

Brian explains that his second novel has been submitted to his publisher and he is currently writing his third novel.  His success has enabled him to support Safe Homes of Augusta, which is a charity close to his heart.  You can find out more about Brian Panowich on his website or  on Facebook at

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