52nd Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards                Winners, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions

The 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Awards was held Saturday, June 4, at the Kennesaw State University Continuing Education Center. There were 154 nominees in 14 categories.

Over 230 authors and literary enthusiasts attended the banquet and ceremony. We would like to congratulate the GAYA winners, finalists, and honorable mentions for their outstanding literary achievements.

Was honored to be asked by  Gary Fearon, Creative Director of Southern Writers Magazine to participate with other writers in answering a question for their regular feature

                                 MAGNOLIA CORNER. 

It appeared in the May/ June issue.

A Link to the magazine's website is below 






                        I was dressed in my Sunday best. August had released its wrath, bugs with green wings dove lazily about the bushes on the edge of the pond and heat bounced off the surface, creating huge beads of sweat on the Preacher’s forehead.  I stood waist deep in the murky brown water of a fishing pond prepared to accept the Lord but I all I could think about was the big snake I just saw.

Eight years old and it had been decided it was time for me to be dunked in a pond and drenched in the Southern Baptist religion. I had no say.

 “It is time for this young man to be dipped in the blood of Abraham,” the preacher cried out and placed a smelly cloth over my nose.

I did not know Abraham but I did know snakes and I was absolutely sure it was a water moccasin that I saw drop from a low limb and into the pond seconds before I was dipped in the dark water of mercy.

I burst up with a gasp of air and yelled aloud, “SNAKE!!”

The preacher’s eyes grew big as he thought I was seeing serpents and commenced to damn near drown me in the name of the Lord.

“Cast out these serpents that have hold of this poor boy,” he shouted and dunked me again. The church folks on the bank clapped and shouted amen.

Three more dunks and I decided it was best to shut up and give up to the Baptist religion before I met my maker at the hands of a water moccasin. The truth is I never should have worried, for no snake its right mind has ever willingly tangled with a Southern Baptist minister and won.

Snake Eyes

by Cliff Yeargin

By Wayne Ford

Posted Nov 29, 2018 at 6:59 AM


The University of Georgia Bulldogs suit up against the Alabama Crimson Tide this Saturday in Atlanta for the SEC championship game, but in Cliff Yeargin’s recently released novel, “Mudcat Moon,” the teams are in a regular season battle in Sanford Stadium.

Yeargin is using a clash between the two football powers as the setting for his mystery novel of deceit and power mongering.

Yeargin, a 1975 UGA graduate, makes no bones about his college allegiance.

“I hate it when people say ‘Roll Tide,’” he commented during a recent telephone interview from his home in Atlanta.

“Mudcat Moon” is a novel Yeargin described as “a journey of colorful Southern characters,” and while the main character is Jake Eliam, many characters go by nicknames like Catfish, Dumptruck and Boobytrap.

“When you grow up in the rural South, like Elbert County, nobody calls you by your regular name,” he said.

The novel is the third in the “ChickenBone Mystery Series,” all set in Georgia. Yeargin, who grew up off the beaten path in the community of Fortsonia in Elbert County, knows about ball games because his adult career was laced with big moments in the sports world.

Yeargin’s youth was spent on a cattle farm owned by his father, the late Charles Yeargin, who spent more than a decade in the Georgia House of Representatives. As a youngster, he loved sports — especially baseball. During those days of daydreaming about home runs and electrifying catches, he looked up to his older cousin, Henry Madden, who became a high school football coach in nearby Calhoun Falls, S.C.

“We used to sit out in a barn in Fortsonia with an old transistor radio when I was a young kid,” Yeargin fondly recalled. “We’d turn the radio to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game and I’d dream about what it would be like to be in St. Louis.”

As he grew older and realized that professional sports would not be his future, he majored in journalism at UGA. His first job was with radio station WSGC in Elberton, but with the help of former college classmates David Steele and Stan Pamfilis, he was able to get a job in the late 1970s with WLOS-TV in Asheville, where he was placed in its Greenville, S.C., bureau.

The young journalist covered high school and college football games and the Anderson Braves minor league team.

Then with another recommendation from Steele, who became well known in the NBA as the voice of the Orlando Magic, he landed in Baltimore, Md., where for the next 20 years he worked in producing Baltimore Orioles baseball games for TV. When he moved to Atlanta to be closer to family, he worked at WGCL-TV for four years before moving on to CNN, where after 10 years he continues to work as a producer and video editor.

Yeargin has taken up writing mystery novels harvesting inspiration from people and places from his past — it’s what he knows best.

But he has never forgotten where his dreams of playing ball was birthed on those warm Georgia days.

“To be able to go from listening to games on that radio on summer nights in a barn to covering a World Series, All-Star games and Super Bowls and Final Fours was a dream come true,” he said. “It never felt like work. I relished every minute of it.”

One of my photos of two of my favorite things, published in the New Southern Fugitives Weekly Zine. Old Trucks and Good Dogs


Check them out at newsouthernfugitives.com

You Can Go Home Again!

Invited back to where it all began. My hometown radio station. WSGC Radio in Elberton Georgia. We spent an hour with radio alumni and a lot of time talking about the book series. Plus a visit with Lewis Shurbutt on his 90th Birthday. The former owner and president of the station who gave many of us our start in the business and gave me my first job at the age of 18! I was terrible...but he shaped me into a pro!

               Here is a link to the show that day hosted by WSGC's Stan Brown

Take 3 Minutes and

Enjoy the PODCAST Interview I enjoyed in December with Linda Thompson of Phoenix Arizona and The Authors Show!

The Authors Show with Cliff Yeargin
00:00 / 03:21