S.G. Browne

Thanksgiving Breathers Style

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share Chapter 28 from my first novel Breathers, where Andy sits down to a nice holiday meal with his mom and dad. Andy, of course, is a zombie.

If you haven’t read Breathers yet, you can check out the synopsis, an excerpt of the first chapter, and the cast of characters on my website RIGHT HERE. Just in case it’s helpful.

Either way, I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving dinner that is anything but traditional. (Just click on the link below to read on Google Docs):

Read BREATHERS – Chapter 28

And a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

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Filed under: Breathers,Zombies — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 10:34 pm

24 Writing Related Things for Which I’m Thankful

2011 speeds along toward its inevitable end, leaving Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day in its wake, the holiday season no longer on the distant horizon but rising up out of the depths like some mythological beast, ready to smash us to pieces.

As you might have figured out, I’m not prepared for the holiday season. It seems like just a few weeks ago I was dressed up like Uncle Sam, selling illegal fireworks to middle school kids.

How did this happen? Where did the rest of the year go? When did Thanksgiving follow summer?

I guess it doesn’t matter. Thanksgiving is upon us, or at least upon me, and that means it’s time to reflect upon the things in my life I’m thankful for. Which is easier than having to deal with New Year’s resolutions. That’s way too much pressure. At least with Thanksgiving, I don’t have to worry about breaking any promises.

So I’ve decided to list the things I’m thankful for in the universe of writing. No reason. I just wanted a theme. I chose 24 because that’s the date on which Thanksgiving falls this year.

So here they are, in no particular order. 24 Writing Related Things for Which I’m Thankful:

1) My agent
2) My editor
3) My readers (Thank you for the support)
4) Stephen King
5) Chuck Palahniuk
6) Ray Bradbury
7) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
8) The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
9) Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
10) The screenplays of Charlie Kaufman
11) Haiku
12) Spell check
13) Copy editors
14) Brick and mortar bookstores
15) The comedic writing of Matt Stone and Trey Parker
16) Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
17) Oscar Wilde
18) Mark Twain
19) Book reviewers (positive reviews are a bonus)
20) My writer’s group
21) My writing community (both in the real and cyber world)
22) The song writing skills of Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day
23) Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney
24) Books that aren’t electronic

That about wraps it up. Now it’s time to go make garlic mashed potatoes for the annual family gorge fest. I’m always in charge of the mashed potatoes. I think it’s because I use two sticks of butter and a cup of sour cream.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Filed under: Just Blogging,The Writing Life,Wild Card Wednesdays — S.G. Browne @ 7:14 am

Fated Nominated in German Reader’s Choice Awards

Breaking News! The German edition of my novel Fated (aka Schicksal! ) has been short-listed as a finalist in The Reader’s Choice Awards – the Best Books of 2011 in the categories of General Literature and Best Cover. (That’s the cover over there on your left. No, your other left.) Considering the book was just released in Germany a little over six weeks ago, I was surprised yet obviously excited to hear the news.

Now I’m not sure of the ethics of voting for a German publication of a U.S. release, so I’m not encouraging everyone to rush out and cast your ballot, but if you know anyone in Germany or if you took German in high school or if you really enjoyed Das Boot or Metropolis, then maybe there’s some kind of a loophole.

Otherwise, just consider this as me receiving some good news and wanting to share it with you. And as always, thanks for reading.

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Filed under: Fated,Foreign Editions — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 8:45 am

Fiction Friday: The Best Books You’ve Never Read

Following up on my blog post for The Best Films You’ve Never Seen, below is my list of The Best Books You’ve Never Read. Admittedly, you might have read one of them. Maybe even two. But I’m guessing no one else has read all five of them. Or even three. Prove me wrong. And feel free to share your own gems.

Kockroach, Tyler Knox
Taking Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and flipping it upside down, this story about a cockroach who wakes up one morning to discover he’s a man in 1950s New York has everything you want in a noir novel – organized crime, a love triangle, and an inhuman antihero with a relentless survival instinct. Good fun.

The Little Sleep, Paul Tremblay
Another noir novel, this one takes its title from Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep and features a South Boston P.I. who nods off at the wrong times and suffers from hallucinations. Blackmail, corrupt politicians, and a narcoleptic detective. What more do you want? (If you like this one, check out the sequel, No Sleep Till Wonderland.)

Geek Love, Katherine Dunn
The not-so-heartwarming story of a family of carnival freaks. Art and Lily Binewski, the owners of a traveling carnival, decide to breed their own freak show by using experimental drugs to create genetically altered children. Dark, twisted, beautiful, and bizarre, this novel about a singularly dysfunctional family will stay with you long after you’ve finished.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Mary Roach
The most likely book of the bunch to have been read, and the only New York Times bestseller on the list, STIFF is a wonderfully informative and delightfully humorous look into what happens to the human body when nature and medical science take over. Roach knows how to make non-fiction entertaining. (This book was an invaluable inspiration in the writing of my novel Breathers.)

Vamped, David Sosnowski
Martin, a suicidal vampire, living off blood derived from stem cells since humans are nearly extinct, finds salvation in the form of a six-year-old human girl who escaped from a preserve. Initially intending to snack on her, Martin instead finds himself growing fond of her company and becomes an unlikely guardian. An original vampire tale written with warmth and humor.

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Movie Review Monday: The Best Films You’ve Never Seen

I realize whenever anyone makes a Best Something List, it’s somewhat skewed by the personal tastes and opinions of the person making the list. But since I have impeccable taste and my opinions are the only ones that matter, then we’re all in agreement.

Below are my Top Five Films You’ve Never Seen. Why just five? Because one, I realize you have other things to do other than read this blog post. And two, I’m lazy.

In no order that matters :

Monsters (2010)
This thoughtful science fiction film set half a dozen years after a NASA space probe crashed to Earth with alien life samples takes place in a quarantined infected zone that straddles the U.S.-Mexican border. You don’t see much of the monsters who inhabit the quarantined area, but that’s not the point of the film. Just watch it. You’ll thank me. (Worldwide box office: $4.2 million).

Gentlemen Broncos (2009)
A comedy film from the writer and director of Napoleon Dynamite, this story follows the plight of an aspiring fantasy writer whose novel gets plagiarized by his idol. The scenes from his novel “Yeast Lords,” which are enacted with Sam Rockwell as the main protagonist, are ridiculously sublime. ($118,000)

Intacto (2001)
A Spanish psychological thriller about an underground luck trade where the main characters steal luck from others and engage in games of life or death chance with one another to determine who walks away with all of the luck. This film gave me the idea that would become my next novel, Lucky Bastard. ($307,000)

CQ (2002)
Set in late 1960s Paris, this film-within-a-film homage to European spy/sci-fi spoofs stars Jeremy Davies as a young film editor thrust into the director’s chair of the sci-fi adventure Dragonfly, where his infatuation with the film’s sexy star starts to affect his ability to separate fantasy from reality. ($414,000)

Hamlet 2 (2008)
Steve Coogan plays a failed actor turned high school drama teacher who tries to save his job and the drama program by writing and staging a controversial musical sequel to Hamlet that includes time travel, child abuse, and a toe-tapping number called “Rock Me Sexy Jesus.” A fun and irreverent riff on the inspirational teacher film. ($4.9 million)

Okay. That’s my list of the Best Films You’ve Never Seen. Or maybe you have seen them but you disagree. Or maybe you have your own films you’d like to share. Be my guest. We’re all friends here.

On Friday, I’ll share my list of the Best Books You’ve Never Read.

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Filed under: Movie Review Mondays,Movies and Books — Tags: , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 7:49 am