Upside Down Kingdom is an inside perspective on living and working in our nation’s capital during the September 11 attack.
Author’s note: A work of historical fiction, Upside Down Kingdom is based on my own ironic, bizarre, and poignant life experiences. I wrote this book as a love letter to Dupont Circle, and I meant it to be read by recent graduates entering the workforce to support their “yes, this is the real world and it’s nuts” perspective. But I find through my fans that anyone in a state of transition tends to gravitate toward this book for its humor, fiery spirit, and its hope.
Accolades for Upside Down Kingdom and Jody Brown:
Upside Down Kingdom was taught in Dr. John Sievers’ The Art of Being Human course at Rochester Community and Technical College, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. The Art of Being Human was a humanities course, instructing the way we think about life, art, and how we treat one another. UDK was required reading.
Jody Brown was featured on an episode of KSMQ’s Off90 program.
Amazon Reviews for Upside Down Kingdom:
“As I read the book I got the feeling that I was getting to know the author. The story seems to be well couched in reality. It unfolded very nicely and kept my interest. I was satisfied when I finished that I had read something worthwhile.”
“This book was fun to read!! I was immediately drawn into it as soon as I started reading, and I couldn’t wait to finish! I highly recommend this book!!!”
“A very good first novel, mostly because the main character is so endearing. She is put in the unique position of being the axis around which all her friends, coworkers and relationships seem to revolve, so she comes across as the eye of the hurricane, or a duck frantically paddling upstream, but you only see the calm surface demeanor and not the two webbed feet paddling as fast as possible.
We see Amy, the MC, progress from naïve college grad to wizened DC ‘sort of insider’ in two years, set against the backdrop of Washington, D.C. during 9/11, the Chandra Levy murder/abduction case, and the D.C. sniper saga. She learns about herself and others, deals with one crisis after another and finally reaches the point where she’s ready to step away and spread her own wings rather than do what she’s been expected to do by so many others.
Told in a breezy, rapid fire style, I found myself feeling exhausted just reading about Amy’s hectic life. Dialogue is crisp and witty, and there were several scenes, most notably those with the housemates who were borderline cultists, where I laughed out loud. A rarity for me even when I read intentionally humorous books.
A great read for a college student, a twenty-something, or anyone at a career crossroads.”
–C. Norbury, author
“Upside Down Kingdom is a character-driven story based on real events from the years 2000-2002. It follows Amy Ashe, waitress and lobbyist, as she discovers more about who she really is.
The core story revolves around how Amy changes from a responsible, recent college graduate to someone willing to walk off the job without a moment’s notice. After reading the book and learning more about the author’s background, it’s clear she must have experienced something very similar to many of the events in this book.
My favorite portions of the book come from the scenes surrounding 9/11 and the Beltway snipers. This is where Ms. Brown’s talent really shines–she captured the emotions of how fear unsettles everyone, but there are still people who are willing to show bravery.
Keep in mind that this is a character-driven story, so it should be read as such. The intention is for you to spend your time getting to know each person and enjoy their interactions. People who are used to plot-driven stories may feel that this story moves slowly, but I believe that’s the intention here, and I looked forward to reading a little more about Amy and her friends each night.
Readers should be prepared to meet a wide cast of unique characters. From the self-absorbed Chad to the cool and collected Mr. Watters, to her cultist roommates and eccentric waiters and waitresses, there’s no shortage of people to love in this story. I look forward to seeing more from Ms. Brown in the future!”
–Michael Kalmbach, author