S.G. Browne

Sunshine State Signings

I’ll be in Orlando in mid-March for the 32nd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA for short) from March 16-20, along with a signing on St. Patrick’s Day, before heading west for two more signings (info below).

So if you live in or near Orlando, Sarasota, or St. Petersburg, stop by and say “hey.”

Come for the sunshine, stay for the social satire!

March 17 – Orlando
Barnes & Noble
7:00PM – 9:00PM
Colonial Plaza
2418 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL

March 22 – Sarasota
Circle Books
1:00PM – 3:00PM
478 John Ringling Boulevard
St. Armands Circle
Sarasota, FL

March 23 – St. Petersburg
Books at Park Place
4:00PM – 6:00PM
3619 49th St. N.
Disston Plaza
St. Petersburg, FL

I hope to see you in Florida!

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Filed under: Breathers,Fated,Signings,Travel — S.G. Browne @ 7:28 am

A Day in the Write

I wrote some words today, oh boy
One thousand nouns and verbs and adjectives
And though the words were rather small
I got to count them all…

(With apologies to John Lennon and The Beatles.)

I’ve been asked about what it’s like to be a writer, how I spend my days, what my schedule and my process is like.

This is usually met with me saying something like:  “Schedule?  Process?  I’m supposed to have those?”

In an ideal universe, I would wake up at 6:00am every morning to the chorus of garbage trucks serenading me outside my apartment, feed my two cats, meditate for half an hour, grab a banana and a hard boiled egg and some Trader Joe’s Green Plant juice, then sit down at my laptop on my couch for four to six hours writing anywhere from 1000-1500 words.  Which is really all I can manage in a day.  Anything more and my brain gets fried.  Apparently other writers can pump out 3000-4000 words a day in the same amount of time.

I hate them.

My four hours of writing would be followed by an early lunch where I would sneak in half an hour of reading something either for pleasure or for professional reasons (I’m currently reading Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby).  Then I  would spend an hour or two answering e-mails and doing the Facebook and Twitter thing and, depending on the day, posting to my blog.  And just for the record, it takes me at least an hour to write a blog post.  Sometimes two hours.  It just does.

The rest of the afternoon would consist of taking an hour bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge or a walk through the hills of Pacific Heights and, if the weather is nice, enjoying the day outside.  Then some more reading for pleasure, some dinner with friends, maybe a movie, a couple more hours of writing or updating my web page or answering e-mails, and then sleep.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it always happens.  Here’s something a little closer to the truth:

I wake up without an alarm around 6:00am every morning, sometimes with help from the garbage trucks, sometimes to the sound of a hairball getting coughed up.  After wondering if I can manage to milk anymore sleep out of the morning, I get up around 6:30am, feed my cats, clean their litter box, and, if it’s nice enough out, I’ll take a bike ride or go for a walk because I know come the afternoon I’ll be too lazy to do so and will probably end up taking a nap instead.  Plus it gets windy in the afternoon and I don’t want to have to navigate my way through the tourists who manage to take up the entire pedestrian/bike pathway.

So by the time I get done with my bike ride, it’s after 8:00am.  Once I’ve showered and eaten breakfast and read for longer than I should, it’s 9:00am.  Breaking rule #1, #4, and #7 of my Ten Commandments for Writers, I check my e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts first and get sucked into them for at least an hour.  Often longer.  This usually involves me rationalizing that I’ve just moved my schedule around and am taking care of this part first.

It’s now 11:00am and I should have finished my four hours of writing at this point but instead I’ve written nothing.  So I finally start writing but around 1:00pm I’m now hungry for lunch.  An hour later, after perusing my latest issue of TIME or Entertainment Weekly because I don’t watch the news or much television, I sit back down at my laptop and by 5:00pm, if I’m lucky, I’ve pushed out 1000 words.

I say if I’m lucky because I’ve likely been distracted by beeps on my cell phone telling me I have e-mail messages or text messages or voice mail and, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I have to check to see who it is.  I should really put it on silent mode.  Distractions are a daily part of my routine.

It’s also possible that I’ve gone outside to enjoy the rest of the afternoon because my windows are southern facing and my apartment is always warm and I’m perpetually in a state of summer and I want to go outside and drink Coronas at the beach.

Plus, I spend my eight-hour workday in my apartment with no one to talk to but my two cats, who don’t have an extensive vocabulary and never laugh at any of my jokes.  I need some human interaction.  I also need to go grocery shopping and check my P.O. box and try to get in thirty minutes of tai chi.

So by the time I’ve taken care of all of that and I’ve had dinner and fed my cats and watered my plants and cleaned my kitchen (because I haven’t done that in a while), it’s now 9:00pm and I realize I haven’t checked the latest sports updates on ESPN.com.  Which gets me sucked into Facebook and Twitter again.  And suddenly it’s 11:00pm and time to go to bed.

And it all starts over the next morning, be it Monday, Thursday, or Saturday.  Sometimes with the garbage trucks.  Sometimes with a hairball I have to clean up.  Sometimes with rain instead of sunshine.  Sometimes I have lunch with a friend.  Sometimes I watch a movie on Netflix.  Sometimes I volunteer at my local animal shelter.  Sometimes I head down to the beach to watch the sunset.  Sometimes I go visit my mom or my dad.

Perhaps not as glamorous as you might have imagined, but at least I don’t have to deal with commuting or putting on pants or navigating office politics.  And one way or another, more often than not, I get my 1000 words written.

Even if some of them are rather small.

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Filed under: The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 8:38 am

And the Winners Are…

Congratulations to Maria Garcia, who the Random Number Generator selected as the Grand Prize winner in the Breathers Birthday Bash Giveaway.  Maria takes home signed copies of Breathers, Fated, and the Breathers UK edition (pictured here).

The RNG also selected two more winners, Arielle Jovellanos and David Sobkowiak, who each receive a signed copy of the Breathers UK edition.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest via my web site and through my mailing list and who shared their favorite characters from my novels.  Your support and enthusiasm is appreciated.

Happy reading!

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Filed under: Breathers,Contests,Fated — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 4:45 pm

Fiction Friday: Gator A-Go-Go

Gator A-Go-Go is the twelfth novel by Tim Dorsey who, like Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen, lives in Florida and has made his living satirizing the Sunshine State.  Dorsey’s novels are what you would probably consider crime capers, with lots of shady characters, drugs, violence, and a sociopathic anti-hero by the name of Serge Storms.

But really, that description doesn’t do Serge justice.  Most of the people he kills in the book deserve what they get, so he’s actually just dispensing his own sense of moral justice.  He’s also highly intelligent, obsessive, an expert on Florida’s history, and he comes up with highly creative ways of dispatching the villains – such as turning a garage door into a light activated guillotine.

In Gator A-Go-Go, Serge is off on spring back to make a documentary film with his trusty sidekick Coleman, a drug addict who knows how to keep beer cold on the beach without a cooler and how to make some awesome pot brownies.  Together, they attract a crowd of college kids who end up following them from one spring break location to another.

Along the way, Serge and Coleman get caught up in the middle of a manhunt that has the feds and a gang of vengeful drug dealers searching for the son of an outed Witness Protection Program informant, who just happens to be in Florida on spring break.

Part crime novel, part social satire, part history lesson, Gator A-Go-Go is a unique and fun read.  I’ll definitely be picking up one of Dorsey’s earlier novels to get acquainted with Serge and Coleman again.

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Filed under: Fiction Fridays,Movies and Books — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 10:54 am

Breathers Birthday Bash Giveaway

It’s a birthday bash for Andy, Rita, Jerry, and the rest of the gang at Undead Anonymous.  That’s right.  Two years ago tomorrow, Breathers hit the shelves in the U.S. and Canada.  To mark the occasion, I’m going to be giving away a signed copy of Breathers.

But that’s not all!

Tomorrow also marks the birth of Breathers in the United Kingdom, with a spiffy new cover. (Check it out on Amazon UK.)  So I’m including a signed copy of the UK edition, as well.  Two books for the price of none.  How can you beat that?

But wait, there’s more!

Act now and I’ll also throw in a signed copy of Fated, which has only been out for four months and is just a baby in book years, but I didn’t want Fabio, Karma, and Death to feel left out.

That’s right.  For the price of nothing, you get signed copies of all three books!

I’ll also be giving away a signed copy of the UK version of Breathers to two other lucky winners.

So three winners in all!

To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post with some way to contact you and, if you’re so inclined, include a note as to your favorite character in Breathers or Fated.  If you haven’t read the books, that’s okay.  There’s no judgment here.

And feel free to sign up for the RSS feed (at the top, right next to the navigation bar).

Contest runs until 11:59pm PST Sunday, March 6th.  Winners will be chosen from all entrants using a random number generator.  (Unfortunately, I do have to limit this to U.S. residents only, so my apologies.)

Ready?  Go!  And good luck!

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Filed under: Breathers,Contests,Fated,Wild Card Wednesdays — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 8:31 am