Johnnie Bernhard’s work has appeared in publications both nationally and internationally. Her debut novel, A Good Girl, was a featured novel for panel discussion at the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals, a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards, and a 2018 nominee for Fiction by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Bernhard’s second novel, How We Came to Be, was named a “Must Read” by Southern Writers Magazine.
12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Chamber
Place as Character
1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
How We Came to Be
Fifty-year-old Karen Anders, a high school English teacher and the adoptive mother of Tiffany, comes to terms with being a single-parent and a clumsy drunk in the multicultural melting pot of Houston, Texas, as she forges an unlikely friendship with Leona Supak, a WWII Hungarian refugee, who inspires Karen to change her views on motherhood, drinking, and men.
Karen’s teaching job provides an ongoing challenge with low scoring students and a lack of support from school administrators. Meanwhile, Tiffany moves to Austin to attend the University of Texas, but soon neglects her academic life when she meets a gamer boyfriend and begins a job at the Ink & Juice, a tattoo parlor-juicing bar. Tiffany hides the truth of her new life from Karen through a text-only relationship. Feeling rejected, Karen explores the paradox of romance for the middle-aged. Despite the challenges, a family unit comes together inspired by strangers and second chances in How We Came to Be.
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