S.G. Browne

10 Questions With Dan Waters

Dan Waters is the author of Generation Dead and Generation Dead: Kiss of Life, a Young Adult series about “living impaired” teenagers trying to co-exist among the living. It’s tough enough trying to fit into high school when you’re not popular, but when you’re a zombie, it makes getting a prom date that much more of a challenge.

I met Dan this past October at the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose over Halloween weekend. He was kind enough to take some time out of his busy holiday schedule to sit down and answer some questions about zombies and other non-living impaired subjects.

Tell us about your first zombie experience. How did you lose your undead virginity?
I’m thinking that it was probably viewing some vengeful muck-encrusted shambler from an E.C. comic reprint like Tales From the Crypt. All of the writers whose work I enjoyed at the time would wax rhapsodic about the old E.C. days in interviews, and their kid protagonists would always be reading and hoarding E.C. comics, hiding them from their parents, older brothers, and “the Man”, etc. The legends made me very zombie curious. I had to get some of those brain rotting texts.

I always liked this one, with the girl mourning the death of her poor boyfriend, Ralph, wishing he’d come back to her.

Be careful what you wish for, especially if it is for dead boyfriends or more wishes. Those wishes never turn out well. Play it safe and wish for a decent sandwich.

What’s your favorite zombie film?
Zombie Nightmare, starring my good friend Thor. I’m partial to the MST3K version.

It’s the zombie apocalypse. Do you use a gun, a machete, or a Louisville slugger?
Well, Thor was seen wielding a Louisville Slugger in Zombie Nightmare and Thor is never wrong. He doesn’t use it to crush the skulls of the undead, preferring to employ it in more mundane tasks, such as actually playing baseball. Going 4 for 5 with three runs batted in didn’t help him much when the Voodoo Queen zombified him, though, did it?

If you were a zombie, who would you eat first?
Scarlett Johansson. She seems really brainy.

What’s the first thing you ever had published?
The first thing that I had published for money was a short-lived (har har) music column I called Dead Beats, where I reviewed horror punk music like Dr. Chud’s X Ward and The Rosedales. Getting paid was nice, but the best part was that I conned some music labels to send me free CDs that I otherwise would have wasted my Dead Beats checks on anyway. BTW, horror punk music labels, I’d be glad to flog your tunes on my blog if you want to send more swag my way. I have to like it, though.

Who’s your favorite author?
Webb Glass

What’s your favorite book?
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace

Name your favorite guilty pleasure.
Dinty Moore Beef Stew

Other than your favorite author/book, name something that inspires your writing.
My children, music, puppies, long walks on the beach, horseback riding.

If you had a theme song that played when you walked into a room, what would it be?
“Where Eagles Dare” by Iron Maiden or “Crushing Belial” by Shadow’s Fall.

Shameless self-promotion bonus question: What’s coming up next?
The third volume in the Generation Dead series, entitled Passing Strange, will be out next June.

Dan Waters is the author of the Generation Dead series. He lives with his family in Connecticut.

You can visit him at www.danielwaters.com or www.gendead.com or visit Tommy and the gang at www.mysocalledundeath.com.

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Filed under: Interviews,Zombies — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 9:41 am

It’s All About the Peanut Butter

This is a story about love.
And desperation
And madness.

It’s about suffering and redemption.
Infidelity and infertility.
Betrayal and heartbreak.

It’s about the choices people make when at their most vulnerable.
Their most courageous.
Their most inebriated.

But mostly, it’s about peanut butter.

The players are the usual suspects. The hero. The villain. The doting wife. The overbearing mother. The comic relief sidekick. And the lovable dog who inevitably gets hit by a car or otherwise injured and yet miraculously survives in the end.

Nothing changes. There’s no character arc. No one learns anything. They all exist in a cocoon of consumer excess and designer drugs and reality television. So don’t expect growth and revelations. These are, after all, mostly men.

So why would anyone care about what happens to these people? That’s simple…

Because of the peanut butter.

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Filed under: Random Fiction — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 9:43 am

Fated

Just a quick update to answer some questions that have been thrown my way about my next novel, Fated.

What is it about?
Fated is a dark comedy about Fate, Destiny, and the choices people make that determine their futures. The story is told from the POV of Fate, who has spent the better part of two hundred thousand years watching his humans make bad choices that lead to lives of mediocrity, while Destiny gets to watch her humans actually fulfill their potential. It doesn’t help matters that his best friends are Sloth and Gluttony and that he has a five-hundred-year-old grudge with Death.

But when Fate falls in love with a mortal woman on the path of Destiny, he becomes involved in the lives of his humans, altering their fates and creating cosmic repercussions that could strip him of his immortality. Or lead to a fate worse than death.

When is it scheduled to be released?
November 2010. I know. I wish it was sooner, too. But unfortunately, I’m not Sarah Palin or Barack Obama, so I have to wait in the publishing queue with the other rabble.

What’s happening with the book now?
As I’d just recently Twittered, the line edits for Fated are done and it’s heading for the copy editors. While I’ve heard different definitions, for me, line editing involves working with my editor to make structural changes to the manuscript in order to improve the flow of the story and resolve any questions that may remain. Copy editing addresses grammar, formatting, consistency, etc.

When did you write it?
I started Fated in December 2006 and finished it on the day before the Super Bowl in February 2008, a couple of weeks after I sold Breathers. That was just the first draft. I took more than a year to edit it and send the manuscript to my agent.

How did you come up with the idea?
Back in September 2003 (September 10, 2003 at 10PM actually), I’d written a journal entry about a character in charge of everyone’s fates and who gets annoyed with all of the characters in books and in movies who actually believe they control their own fates. Eventually, it evolved into Fated.

If you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. And as updates become available on Fated, I’ll be posting them here on the Novels page of my web site.

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Filed under: Fated,The Writing Life — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 3:19 pm

And Now A Word From The Color Red

(Author’s Note: While I realize in my previous post that the color Yellow mentioned how Red was a man, he was mistaken. As I started writing this, it became apparent that Red is indeed a woman. So I apologize for any confusion or lack of continuity.)

People are always asking me why I’m so angry.
Telling me to slow down.
Suggesting that I wear some sunscreen.

I’m not sunburned, bitch. This is my natural coloring.

You have no idea how many times some young punk has walked past me and coughed the word “Visine” into his hands. Or what it’s like to have to deal with the constant barrage of relationship-challenged men telling me I look hot.

What I want is for people to just shut the hell up and stop projecting their perceptions of what they think I represent on to me.

Passion.
Embarrassment.
Anger.

They don’t understand what it’s like to go through life with these expectations to live up to, always being associated with some manufactured image of love or power or sex.

Roses.
Ties.
Lipstick.

And then there’s Green who is always hitting on me. Says we belong together. That we “complement” each other. Like peanut butter and chocolate.

Stoner.

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Filed under: Just Blogging,Random Fiction — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 8:53 am

And Now A Word From The Color Yellow (Again)

This isn’t Yellow speaking. Not yet. This is me, offering a bit of a preface. An introduction, if you will. And also an apology.

The reason for the apology? This blog is a re-post from May 2008. So yes, I’m recycling. But at least I’m admitting it. I’m up front about what I’m doing. Plus, I’ve got a perfectly good excuse for re-posting this a year and a half later.

As an exercise, I’m going to do a series of these flash fiction posts as different colors, just for fun and to give me something to do that’s a little creative. I’ve already written the next one, but since it’s from the color Red, I thought it relevant to post this one as the first in the series and then go from there.

So, without further adieu, the color Yellow…

People are always asking me what it’s like to look like urine.

These are the people who laugh at me. Who walk away snickering and high-fiving each other and thinking they’re all that.

Men usually.
Teenage boys.
Fraternity members.

Assholes.

Women, on the other hand, are more likely to ask me how they look in me. Personally, I wish they’d ask the question in reverse but for some reason, most women tend to think I’m gay. Maybe not as many who think the same thing about Pink, but then that’s kind of a no-brainer. He’s Pink, for Christ’s sake.

Then, of course, there’s Red, Pink’s cousin, who most women find totally hot. Fucker. He’s all show and no substance. But it’s kind of hard to compete with Red when your complementary color is Purple.

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Filed under: Just Blogging,Random Fiction — S.G. Browne @ 6:06 pm