S.G. Browne

Blog Tour Guest Post

I’m doing a blog tour for Fated, guest posting and doing some Q&As on about a dozen different sites who were gracious enough to invite me in and host a post.

While I don’t have all of the dates set as to when all of the posts will be, well, posted, I can point you to the first one on Grasping For The Wind, where I talk about Fated, my writing process, and where I get my ideas, among other things.

Once I have dates and links for the other blogs and guest posts, I’ll make sure to let you know about it here, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

And of course, if you have any questions, always feel free to leave a comment.

Filed under: Fated — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 3:45 pm

Fate vs Destiny Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered the Fate vs Destiny contest that ran this past Thursday through Sunday. My apologies to those who didn’t get a chance to enter but fear not, I’ll have another contest for a couple of signed copies of Fated coming up again once I get back from Portland and Seattle.

Technically there weren’t any winners or losers since I wasn’t judging the entries. Instead, there were just two people whose names corresponded to the two numbers drawn from the Random Number Generator.

Congratulations to Helen Letournea and Ray Lawrason for drawing the lucky numbers!

I enjoyed reading all of the responses from everyone and the different ways you played with the idea of Fate vs Destiny. While I can’t include all of the responses, below is a sampling:

Destiny: Tina Fey
Fate: Sarah Palin

Destiny: Danny Boyle
Fate: M. Night Shyamalan

Destiny: New Orleans Saints
Fate: Buffalo Bills

Destiny: M*A*S*H
Fate: AfterMASH

Destiny: Medium Rare Steak
Fate: Haggis

Destiny: the iPhone
Fate: The Sham Wow

Destiny: Elizabeth I
Fate: Anne Boleyn

Destiny: Jesus
Fate: Zeus

Destiny: hand-written letter filled with emotion
Fate: text message filled with emoticons

Destiny: America Unites behind Gulf Shore Clean up
Fate: Jersey Shore continues to pollute airways from coast to coast

Filed under: Contests,Fated — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 8:49 am

Fate vs Destiny Contest

Details on how to enter for a chance to win a personally signed copy of Fated are below. But first, some helpful info…

One of the distinctions I make in Fated is that fate and destiny are, contrary to popular opinion, not one in the same.

As Fate/Fabio points out in the first chapter:

Destiny can’t be forced on someone. If they’re forced into their circumstances, then that’s their fate. And fate has a morbid association with the inevitable, that something ominous is going to happen.

His fate was sealed.
A fatal disease.
A fate worse than death.

Destiny, on the other hand, is divinatory in nature and implies a favorable outcome, which generally carries a much more positive connotation.

Destiny smiled upon him.
She was destined for greatness.
It was her destiny.

After all, you never hear about anyone being “fated for greatness” or suffering “a destiny worse than death.” So it just made sense that there should be a distinction between the two. And that Fate would be overworked and frustrated with his single-term Presidents and one-hit wonders, while Destiny tormented him with her Super Bowl MVPs and Pulitzer Prize winning authors.

Destiny gets The Beatles while Fate gets Vanilla Ice.
She gets Meryl Streep while he gets Lindsay Lohan.

You get the idea.

Now on to the contest…

For a chance to win a personally signed copy of Fated (and perhaps some other goodies), e-mail me at scott@sgbrowne.com with your own example of Fate vs Destiny.  For example:

Destiny: The Beatles
Fate: Vanilla Ice

Feel free to get creative. Sports teams, movies, politicians, TV shows, inventions, food…whatever you think provides a good example of Fate vs Destiny. It’s all fair game.

Once the contest has ended, I’ll do a random drawing from all entries to determine the winners.

  • Open to residents of Canada and the U.S.
  • Contest ends 11:59PM PST on Sunday, October 24.

Any questions?  Feel free to ask.  Good luck!

Filed under: Fated — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 10:56 am

Fate, Destiny, and the Consumer Culture

In July 2004, I was sitting on a bench at a shopping mall, watching people walk past and wondering what their futures held for them. I started writing some thoughts down about a character who can see what everyone will be like in fifteen or twenty years and went with it. A little while later, I’d scribbled out several pages that would eventually become the opening chapter to Fated.

The novel is narrated by Fate (aka Fabio) who’s in charge of assigning the futures of the 83% of humans who are fated to live ordinary, mediocre lives – most of whom will make bad decisions or fail to achieve anything more than a fleeting encounter with success.

Think single-term Presidents.
Think drug-addicted actors.
Think one-hit wonders.

Destiny, on the other hand, gets the rest of the population who are destined for greatness. Or at least for better things.

Think George Washington.
Think Meryl Streep.
Think The Beatles.

This makes for a frustrated and overwhelmed Fabio, especially since most of his humans are focused on filling their lives with the empty calories of consumer excess rather than a healthy diet of internal happiness. Throw in the fact that he has a five-hundred-year-old grudge with Death and that his best friends are Sloth and Gluttony and what you get is an immortal who’s become a disgruntled employee of the cosmos.

But then Fate falls in love with a mortal woman on the Path of Destiny (which is against the rules) and he starts to get involved in the lives of his humans (another big-no-no), changing their fates and causing some serious cosmic repercussions.

I described my first novel, Breathers, as “A dark comedy about undeath through the eyes of an ordinary zombie” and “Fight Club meets Shaun of the Dead, only with the zombies as the good guys.” Which pretty much gives you a good idea of what to expect. But with Fated, I’ve had a difficult time coming up with a single line or two that succinctly captures what the book is about.

While I describe it as “A dark comedy and social satire about fate, destiny, and the consequences of getting involved with humans,” that doesn’t tell you anything about how the novel is a bit of an indictment of the consumer culture.

Or that Fate and Destiny have a complicated, friends-with-benefits relationship.

Or that Karma is an alcoholic.

When it came to populating Fated with characters, I had a lot of fun taking abstract concepts like Fate, Destiny, Karma, and Death and giving them starring roles – not to mention cameos by Lady Luck, Honesty, Failure, Love, Secrecy, Truth, Wisdom, and most of the Deadly Sins. Just to name a few.

I also enjoyed taking a look at what it means to be human through the eyes of someone who is not human but who is in charge of our futures. Or most of them. I enjoyed seeing how Fate’s relationship with humans changed as the story unfolded and what happened when he started breaking the rules. Like his humans, I was interested in seeing how Fate’s decisions ultimately affected his own future.

Rule #1: Don’t get involved.

That’s how the novel opens and, obviously, it’s set up for Fate to break that rule. Though it’s not an all-encompassing directive from Jerry (aka God). While Fate, Destiny, and Death aren’t supposed to get involved in the lives of humans, the rule doesn’t apply to other immortals like Lady Luck or Fear or Anger. After all, you can’t be an Intangible or an Emotive or one of the Deadly Sins without having some kind of an impact on humans. That’s part of the job description, getting involved. But it all comes down to what humans do with their luck or their fear or their anger that determines their eventual outcome.

Now I just have to figure out how to fit all of that into the tag line.

Filed under: Fated — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 6:30 am

Y is for You, Z is for Zombie

We’ve reached the end of the alphabet, which culminates with a single title for each of the letters Y and Z. And with the dearth of titles I’ve read for both of them, I decided to combine the two letters here.

And by dearth, I mean I haven’t read, or can’t recall having read, any other books that begin with the letters Y or Z. Is there something I should have read? Something I should read? Like I need to add more books to my TBR pile, which is already almost an entire shelf on one of my bookcases.

But before I get to the final two titles of my Favorite Reads From A to Z, I just wanted to thank everyone who’s given this a glance and stopped by to thrown down the occasional comment. I hope you enjoyed the posts and found some titles that you’d never considered picking up before. Happy reading!

And now, to wrap this up…

You Suck: A Love Story, Christopher Moore
The sequel (after twelve years) to Bloodsucking Fiends, this one picks up with Tommy, the frozen-turkey-bowling night shift employee at Safeway, discovering that he’s just been turned into a vampire by his girlfriend, Jody, who recently became a vampire herself. Things get complicated when Tommy’s turkey-bowling buddies find out he’s a vampire. Throw in a a homeless Emperor, a blue-dyed Vegas call girl, and a vampire cat named Chet, and what you get is classic Christopher Moore. The diary entries from Abby Normal, Tommy and Jody’s goth minion, steal the show.

The Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks
Arguably the book that laid the groundwork for the zombie madness that has engulfed film and fiction. This always practical, often enlightening, and frequently amusing manual about how to survive a zombie attack is filled with helpful advice such as: Use your head, cut off theirs; and Blades don’t need reloading. With weapon and combat techniques and case histories of recorded zombie outbreaks, this book has it all. A must read for anyone who wants to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 5:58 am