Book Tour: Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown (Guest Post)

Friends, Readers and Writers- welcome Aimee Brown, author of chicklit romcom Little Gray Dress has written us a delightful spot on her story’s location. Check out her post below!

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How I chose Portland, Oregon for the setting in Little Gray Dress

Portland Oregon is a city near and dear to my heart. I grew up in a tiny town about an hour and a half south of Portland called Sweet Home, Oregon. (That’s right, it’s not just in Alabama.) As a kid I always loved going to the city for events, zoo trips and shopping. As an adult my husband took a job as an EMT for a Portland based company in 2005. We moved our family the 90+ miles north and settled in NW Portland.

A lot of the book takes place in the West Hills (the same one mentioned in Everclear’s ‘I Will Buy You a New Life’ song (video below)– he is from Portland!) & NW Portland as that was my side of town and I’d know it with my eyes closed. I also threw in other areas of PDX along with the fabulous downtown area and airport.

https://youtu.be/W05cPXpUHGI?t=1s

I’ve spent a lot of time all over downtown doing everything from concerts at the Crystal Ballroom to the Saturday Market, Waterfront festivals (waterfront pictured below), even spending hours upon hours at Powell’s Books. Downtown Portland is unlike most cities I’ve been to. There is so much diversity in the people, shops and events, and it’s so busy in the downtown areas 24/7.
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I remember my first time in Oklahoma City and discovering that hardly anyone was downtown walking the streets checking things out. That was SO weird to me having moved from Portland!

Some of the hotels downtown PDX are simply breathtaking as well. I knew I needed to have Evan & Hannah’s wedding in one of them. I actually used Google for this part to see what hotel’s are popular for swanky weddings at this point in time and came up with the Hilton Executive Tower in downtown Portland. It sits right in the center of the city across the street from the Portland Town Center. I may make up the rich life but I’ve never lived it. I’ve not ever actually stayed there but you better believe I’d be up for a free night now that I’ve given them some free promo. 😊 I’m kidding… kind of. LOL

I absolutely couldn’t write about Portland without including the airport and it’s once infamous ugly carpet (pictured below). They’ve since changed the carpet to something a little more modern but still similar to the old and even though it’s not the legendary one from the 80’s (maybe before?) it’s still pretty popular on Instagram. pdx

I also included a beach town I’ve always loved visiting and that is Lincoln City, Oregon (pictured below). I’ll admit, I’ve mostly visited Lincoln City for it’s fabulous outlet mall but it’s really a fun beachy town with a lot to see and do. The hotel in the story, however, isn’t real. oregonbeach
I have a feeling because I know Portland well and grew up in Oregon that most of my books will be set there. It’s what I know and it’s a state that doesn’t get a lot of attention as settings in books. The Pacific Northwest is gorgeous, green, rainy and full of my family and friends. That alone makes using it as a setting near and dear to my heart.

I’ve no doubt I’ll throw in the random places I’ve lived over the last eight years like; Reno, Nevada (and the gorgeous nearby Lake Tahoe), Norman, Oklahoma (& surrounding cities) and Helena, Montana (& possibly some of its great National Parks.).

It’s been a lot of fun talking about places I’ve loved visiting over the years like Dallas, Texas & Tahoe. I’ve been moving around the country with my family, following my husbands job for just about eight years and I’ve had so many experiences that will likely make appearances in my future books. I’ve had such a great time going down memory lane from visiting the old Cowboy touristy town Virginia City (where Samuel Clemens was a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise Newspaper in 1863) dozens of times while living in Reno to the May 2013 EF-5 tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma (just a few miles from my own home in Norman) destroying a lot of my friends homes. While neither of these events is in Little Gray Dress, you never know where they might end up.

I’m excited to memoralize, honor and include so many of these places and memories in my books as a piece of me that can entertain you while you read.

Friday Friends: Aimee Brown & Hello ChickLit

Happy Friday, Friends!  The book community has been so generous to me, I wanted to do my part and give back to the community by featuring book-loving friends on Fridays. Today I am delighted to feature Aimee Brown of Hello ChickLit.   Join me in welcoming Aimee! 

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So, tell us how you became involved in the book world?
I love to read & I went to school for writing/English lit many moons ago. I was trying to write my first novel and thought it was complete crap so I registered for school to ‘make me a better writer’. While it didn’t do that, my creative writing class did validate that I wasn’t such a crappy writer after all and I fell in love with everything books. I own thousands of paper books and while I’m still not quite a published author I’m still perfecting my first novel and hope to become an author in the next year or so. I also worked as a Book Marketing Manager for a short while for Booktrope Publishing and that really pushed me into the publishing/book world in a great way at the time.

What subjects & causes are near and dear to your heart?
I subjects and causes…suicide & children (not together lol)
I’ve had a lot of experiences in life I’d never wish on anyone. For years I worked in healthcare in giant ER’s through a few different states and mental health is a huge issue on the planet. I have family who struggle with depression and as a teen I dealt with the suicide of a friend. I think that more needs to be done to help our world’s mental health. It’s a tough subject but it’s out there everywhere, including in these military personal that come home to a world they no longer know.
As far as the children aspect goes… there are so many children without families and yet it costs SO much to adopt these kids. I know so many families who can’t afford to adopt but could give a child the care and love they need. I just want all the kids to have families, wouldn’t that be great?
How did you conceive hellochicklit.com?
I didn’t actually plan Hello…Chick Lit, it somehow found me. I’ve been working outside the home in healthcare full time for years and honestly, that’s got to be the most emotionally draining job you could ever do. You want to help people but at the same time you hate them. Lol I needed something that was uplifting and fun and books (chick lit in particular) does that for me. I’m writing my own chick lit book so I thought why not blog about books?! Readers make the greatest writers and so Hello…Chick Lit was born.
What services does HCL provide?
So when I first started HCL my plan was to just blog book reviews once a week. But, I learn things really quickly and I discovered I didn’t just love books but I loved the publishing industry as well. So now, HCL offers quite a lot, including: book reviews, author promo, book tours, author assisting and just fun author/reader interaction.
What is one unusual thing about you?
One unusual thing about me… I don’t really consider this unusual, but most others do – I have a lot of tattoos. Including a giant one across my chest that is not hidable (I wouldn’t want to anyways) and my entire left arm. I love them, yet I don’t seem the type and that’s part of what I love. I can’t stand when people judge you by your looks so I wanted to throw people off… I’ve been pretty successful so far. Lol
What music inspires you?
I’m a mood music girl at times. I’ve spent most of my life listening to a mix of alternative, 80’s, & pop/mainstream but as a child I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and their love of 40’s – 50’s/Rat Pack era really stuck with me and I find myself gravitating that way a lot.

How many books did you read last year?
Wow.. you know I didn’t really keep count but it was at least 1 if not 2 a week.
Ranch or Blue Cheese?
Definitely Ranch… blue cheese makes me cringe.

What are you working on right now?
Well… I’m working on continuing to grow Hello…Chick Lit as well as hoping to finish my work in progress novel by this fall and become a real life published author!

What tv shows/ movies are you watching these days?
We don’t have cable, we do Netflix, Hulu and Sling. I am obsessed with Pretty Little Liars (no matter how bad the writing is lately) – I loved The Jim Gaffigan Show & Younger when they offered them on Hulu but they are no longer available so I stick with my classic loves of ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Rules of Engagement’ & HGTV.
Do you have a theme song?
A theme song… I can’t say I could pick a song for myself as a theme. However my ringer for my husband is ‘Saturday Night Fever’ if that tells ya anything lol.

What is one thing you would tell your younger self?
Enjoy every single moment in life, good or bad because it flies by. Especially when it comes to kids, my kids are growing up and I find myself wishing they were toddlers again.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?
Thank you SO much for having me!! I’ve loved answering questions and being on this side of an interview for a change. J

About Aimee Brown–
Aimee is owner and blogger at Hellochicklit.com and is working on completing her first chick lit novel sometime this fall. When not reading or blogging she can be found obsessively cleaning her house, redecorating, homeschooling 3 kids, annoying her husband & kids or singing to her cats. She’s lived in many states the last few years but currently is settled in Helena, Montana with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats (that’s a lot of food!).
Find her here:
Blog: http://Hellochicklit.com
Blog Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HelloChickLit/
Personal Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010004921077
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelloChickLit
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hellochicklit/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+HelloChickLit/posts
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7772064-aimee
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/coreynaimee1997/
Email her at: hellochicklit@gmail.com