Aiken Brown graduated summa cum laude from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. She is the author of In a Brother’s Eyes: The Brant McLachlan Story, For Such a Time as This, and Son of a Soldier. Ms. Brown’s book are available at all major booksellers and in Kindle, Nook and other ebook formats!
Readers can learn more about Aiken Brown and her work by visiting the following links:
Could you please tell us a bit about your book?The story?The characters?
Son of a Soldier is the powerful story of how God used one unlikely, country girl to change the course of history. It seemed impossible to believe that an 18-year-old girl from the middle-of-nowhere, Tennessee would have any real significance in the history of our nation… that is until God chose her to make a Godly man out of a flawed, military hero’s stubborn son.
Hailey was a small town, farm girl who had never left her home state of Tennessee. She was a naïve tomboy who possessed an unassuming charm, the power of which she could not comprehend.
Grant was a rebellious Army brat who had seen the world. Glib, sarcastic and self-destructive, he was a loner lost in a world he had never felt he fit into.
They seemingly had little in common, but when two hearts collided, two worlds became one; while Hailey embarks on a beautiful journey of self-discovery in this unique coming-of-age story, Grant travels a winding, dirt road that helps him rediscover a lost innocence and discover a renewed purpose.
How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?
The title Son of a Soldier was actually inspired by the title of a song. I love the depth of storytelling I can read into lyrics such as, “the only one who could ever reach me was the son of a preacher man…the only boy who could ever teach me was the son of a preacher man.” Music often inspires my work. For example, in my first novel In a Brother’s Eyes, the main character, Brant, is a huge Garth Brooks fan, so, since the story is narrated by Brant’s older brother, I decided that a play on the title of Garth’s hit “In Another’s Eyes” was perfect for my title.
I have designed all of my book covers. For Son of a Soldier, I had a distinct vision of an Army green cover with the protagonist, Grant, depicted as a child, standing in his father’s boots. I think it offers a telling visual to represent the coming-of-age story in the novel.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?
Grant Cohen has been one of my favorite characters to write because he offers me endless possibility as a writer. He is brilliant and witty and sarcastic, which makes him a pleasure to write dialog for. Amazon offers a preview of the entire first chapter, so I encourage you to check it out. Hopefully, it will give you a little insight into why I think Grant is such a special character and leave you wanting more.
What are some of your favorite ways to promote your work?
I love doing book signings and meeting my readers. I love doing interviews like this. I especially love speaking to book clubs because it gives me an opportunity to hear people really delve deep into details of the book without having to worry about giving away plot to someone who hasn’t read it yet. Of course, social media and networking is crucial in promoting anything these days! I was just in a meeting yesterday about my Facebook fan page, which I need to work on building up. If anyone would like to keep up with the latest on my novels, like me on Facebook.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I’m not someone who writes for a certain number of hours each day. I have to live with my characters and let them tell me their stories. I write when the inspiration comes; my characters keep me constantly inspired to dig deeper and learn more about who these people are and why they do what they do. When I get ready to write, I typically sit down in my home office with my laptop and my bottle of water, turn on a song that gets me in the mindset of the character, listen to that until I feel zoned in, and then turn it off and get to typing.
What are some ways that you like to relax?
I think anybody who knows me well would tell you that I am definitely a retail therapy girl … Calvin Klein and New York & Company; I can do some damage! I love spending time with my family, reading, writing, traveling, taking pictures, listening to music, Starbucks, fingernail polish, manicures, pedicures, Alabama football, Brian Vickers and Dancing with the Stars!
What author/s do you think are overlooked in the writing/reading world today?
For me, it’s not even a particular genre or author that is overlooked; I just want to make sure people are reading … especially the younger generation, and I think it is critical that they are offered quality material from a morally sound perspective. My ultimate goal is for my novels to remain approachable to all readers, not only Christians, but their peers who may pick up a book about sports or a good love story and be touched by the book’s positive message. I deal with subjects relevant to all readers: emotions, struggles, temptations, worries, fears, love and friendship. When it comes to writing for teenagers or young adults, I feel that the most important thing to remember is that times, settings, events and experiences may differ, but there are certain emotions that are both timeless and universal. It is always my goal to find that common ground with my audience.
What author would you most like to meet and why?
Pat Conroy! I have met Nicholas Sparks and Joshilyn Jackson who are a couple of my favorites; Jodi Picoult and Karen Kingsbury would be great to chat with, but, the author I would most like the pleasure of meeting is definitely Pat Conroy. Each of the authors I mentioned have their own strengths in different areas and things that I admire particularly about them, but, for me, Pat Conroy is masterful in his writing. He has a command of the English language that I have sincere respect for. I’m a big fan!
Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with readers?
My fourth novel is due out in 2014, and it will be the long-awaited follow-up to my first novel, In a Brother’s Eyes: The Brant McLachlan Story. I also have plans for a 2016 release that I am very excited about. My novels are all Southern, Christian Fiction; they are set in the South and deal with family, love, sports, and real-life issues from a Christian worldview.
What is something about yourself that would come as a surprise to many people?
That Aiken is my real, given, birth name! The assumption is generally that it is a pseudonym. I have had so many people tell me that Aiken Brown sounds like a writer’s pen name! I love that! I guess it was just meant to be! But, in reality, it is my nana’s maiden name; I was named after her, and I am very proud of that fact!