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Lifetime in the making, SH alum’s first book released Aug. 2

 

August 1, 2017

SWEET HOME alum Aimee (Jeppsen) Brown is releasing her first novel Aug. 2.

Aimee Brown, author of “Little Gray Dress,” didn’t even consider writing until she was in her 20s.

In fact, it took the 1996 Sweet Home High School grad a few times to pass her sophomore English class. It was “Lord of the Flies” that stood in her way, she said.

Then Aimee Jeppsen, she married her high school sweetheart, Cory Brown.

The couple lived in Portland, where “Little Gray Dress” is set, from 2005 through 2011 and now lives in Montana with their three teenage children.

Brown’s first foray into writing was through a creative writing course at Portland Community College.

She wrote while their two toddlers and baby were sleeping, she said.

The class offered a chance to get feedback from others.

“Someone said it reminded them of ‘Sex & the City,’” Brown said of her work.

She is quick to point out that her book is not R-rated, she doesn’t write sex scenes and there is only occasional profanity.

She describes her book as “chick lit.”

“It’s a girl book, but it’s pretty interesting,” said Bret Jeppsen, Brown’s father. “The further I get, the better it is.”

He bought six copies of his daughter’s book to share.

“Everybody thinks it’s great,” Jeppsen said.

Jeppsen suggested that maybe Brown got some of her writing ability from her paternal grandmother, Jody Jeppsen, who was a photographer and writer for the Oregon Statesman newspaper.

He didn’t know Brown was writing a book until it was done.

“I had no idea until my sister told me,” he said. “I was ecstatic. I can’t believe it.”

Brown’s mother, Mona Gordon, knew her daughter was thinking about writing a book.

“She told me long ago that she was going to write a book,” Gordon said. “I’m glad she finished it, because I really enjoyed the story. It is a light-hearted romance, and a great summer read. I am looking forward to reading her sequel when it is complete.”

Once Brown got started on the book, it progressed quickly. She said it took two months to finish.

The story follows protagonist Emi Harrison as she navigates family, exes and sticky situations.

The book’s description teases: “Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another when she least expects it?”

Writing “Little Gray Dress” was a lot of work, but worth it, Brown said.

In her author blog, Brown describes Emi as “sarcastic, self-conscious and not the best at life at times.”

She loosely based her on “Ashley Benson...because she seemed very girl next door. I imagine she could pull off the part of Emi, if asked. There is just something about her snappy character, Hannah, in ‘Pretty Little Liars’ that reminds me of Emi, which helped write the character as well.”

One of the scariest parts of getting the book published was getting endorsements from other authors, she said.

She sent the book to about a dozen authors and asked them to read it.

“That first night, I didn’t sleep,” Brown said.

She was nervous about the responses she would get and even had nightmares.

What she got were comparisons to “Confessions of a Shopaholic” author Sophie Kinsella and praise for a fun, romantic read.

That is the type of book Brown likes to read too.

She has blogged about chick lit since March of 2015.

“I like the happy,” she said. “It’s kind of like a vacation from real life.”

Brown is already half-way through writing her second novel, which features a character from “Little Gray Dress.”

She would not reveal the protagonist but confirmed that it is not Greta.

“It was fun to make a mean girl,” Brown said. “She creates the whole drama of the book. Everybody that reads (the book) hates Greta. I don’t know that she should go off in other books.”

The official release date for “Little Gray Dress” is Aug. 2.

Brown maintains an author’s website and Facebook page – facebook.com/authoraimeebrown – where she will have giveaways on Aug. 2.

The book is available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback form.

 
 

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