The Ross native publishes his first novel earlier this month


While working on a thesis for his masters, he came across the manuscript of “Carnival Songs”. After putting history aside for decades, he rewrote the entire novel and received with fanfare from his teachers. He ends up finding a publisher to transform his thesis into a novel.

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Ross, Ohio, originally from SV Brown, wrote “Carnival Songs,” a novel about racism and small town secrets released earlier this month. CONTRIBUTED.

Credit: SV Brown

Credit: SV Brown

“Carnival Songs” focuses on the founding family of the fictional city of Torrenceburg, Indiana, accentuated by the influence of local and national politics, religion and the transition to a new millennium. The novel is told by the family’s last heir as he seeks the truth about his ancestors after his mother confesses a shocking secret on her deathbed.

Much of the novel focuses on racism and its impact on small towns in the Midwest. Brown was particularly inspired to write the novel while working in the Ohio Department of Transportation as a college student. While there, he remembered a secretary telling him about what had happened in Lawrenceburg, Indiana in the 1970s. A black man was charged with sexually assaulting a white woman and was then killed by an angry mob. This crime was reportedly covered up by the city, which may explain why Brown was never able to find concrete evidence that this incident actually took place. True or false, it was this tale that finally inspired him to write his first novel.

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“This is an important story about Midwestern politics and Midwestern race relations,” Brown said. “It took me a long time to grow up in a small farming community, where this kind of racist attitude surrounds you, to realize that it permeates and saturates your being. You have to really dig in and not be afraid to face it and try to accept it and go beyond it to try to make the world a better place.

“Carnival Songs” can be purchased in Kindle format only from


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