Author Johnnie Bernhard discusses her new book with AP English classes

On Tuesday, January 15, Johnnie Bernhard, author of the book How We Came To Be, came to discuss her new book with the AP English classes. Mrs. Bernhard visited Mrs. Sutherlin and Mrs. Buckley’s AP English classes. Mrs. Bernhard discussed the characters of her book along with the publication process.

President of the National English Honor Society, Hayden Miller, said, “ It was great to meet the award-winning author, Johnnie Bernhard, at the school. I enjoyed listening to her discuss the publication process and her inspiration for writing.”

Mrs. Bernhard was a former English teacher and journalist and currently resides in a house along the Mississippi Sound. She is the owner of Bernhard Editorial Services, LLC, and she writes book reviews for Southern Literary Review, along with her own work. Mrs. Bernhard is a published author, and her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines, both internationally and nationally. She has written articles for the Suburban Reporter of Houston, World Oil Magazine, The Mississippi Press, the international Word Among Us, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Johnnie entered into the Cowbird contest and received 7,500 views both internationally and nationally. Her novel, How We Came To Be, is a finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Literary Prize, and a novel for panel discussion at the 2018 Louisiana and Mississippi Book Festivals. The novel was named a “must read” by Southern Writers Magazine and Deep South Magazine.

In the novel, How We Came To Be, Karen Anders, teacher and mother of Tiffany, comes to terms with being a single parent as she forges an unlikely friendship with Leona Supak, a WWII Hungarian refugee. Their relationship begins when they discover they are alone on Christmas Eve. Karen worries about her low-scoring students, and the lack of support from the administration. The mother and daughter relationship changes when Tiffany moves to Austin and enrolls at the University of Texas. To compete in the Greek Life and maintain her GPA, Tiffany uses Adderall as an illegal study aid. Rejected by the Greeks, she finds a gamer boyfriend, Jared, who also manages the Ink & Juice, a tattoo parlor-juicing bar in downtown Austin. Rejected by Tiffany, Karen tests the dating field with Matthew Broussard, an ex-military man with a missing foot and three ex-wives. Karen’s ex-husband, Greg, a money-grubbing lawyer, steps in. There’s a baby on the way as Karen struggles with being a grandparent and a bride.

If you would like to know more about the author and her other novels, visit:

Photos from her visit can be viewed below.

Story by Sarah Gatlin