S.G. Browne

Why Real Books Are Better Than eBooks

I know, I know. We’ve gone over this before. Real books vs. eBooks. Parts I, II, and III. All the sequels. All the reboots. All the remakes. So why am I dredging this up again? Because this is my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want. Plus I couldn’t think of anything else to write about.

I realize there are those of you who feel that a book is a book is a book, whether digital, audio, or hardcover. I disagree. I feel there’s a definite difference, just like there’s a difference between MP3s, CDs, and vinyl. When you go digital, you don’t capture the complete sound wave, losing richness and warmth that can’t be duplicated no matter how much remastering you do.

To me, it’s the same with books. Real books are warm while eBooks are cold. I realize eBooks are the future and that the future is now, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I also realize that as an author, I earn money from the sale of the electronic versions of my novels. I even have a short story collection that is only available as an eBook.

So I’m not here to say you shouldn’t buy eBooks. Buy books in whatever format you prefer. However, if you are an eBook fan, I encourage you to purchase eBooks from local independent bookstores who have partnered with Google. You can get eBooks for your iPad, Nook, Android devices, and Kindle Fire if you do a side load. At least that’s what I’ve been told. So support independent bookstores rather than Apple and Amazon.

Okay, that’s it for the eBook PSA. Now, without further ado, here are my 10 Reasons Why Real Books Are Better Than eBooks:

  1. Real books don’t run on batteries.
  2. If you spill water on a real book or drop it in the pool, it still works.
  3. Bookcases are windows into a person’s soul. When I go to someone’s house, I’m not going to browse through their Goodreads shelf or their iBooks library.
  4. You can’t sign an eBook.
  5. eBooks rob me of the thrill of seeing someone reading my book out in the wild.
  6. Real books are conversation starters. I’ve never seen anyone ask someone with a Kindle if they liked what they were reading.
  7. Real books have historical gravitas. They connect me with all of the writers who came before me.
  8. There’s no such thing as a Used eBook Store.
  9. You can’t own an eBook. You can only purchase a license that gives you the right to read it.
  10. Real books smell like home.

That’s my argument for real books vs. eBooks and I’m sticking to it. You can take my old-fashioned Luddite novel from me when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Filed under: Movies and Books,The Writing Life — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 6:50 pm

Southern California Dreamin’

I have a fondness for Los Angeles. I lived there for three years, from 1989-1992, within spitting distance of the La Brea Tar Pits and the L.A County Museum of Art. Back then, you could get just about anywhere in 20 minutes: Westwood, Manhattan Beach, Universal City.

Now, about the only thing you can do in 20 minutes is work your way to the front of the line at Pink’s or Tommy’s.

But I love coming back and visiting friends and enjoying the warm weather. That’s one of the most rewarding benefits of going on the road to promote my novels. Not the warm weather. But the friends. Old and new. People I wouldn’t get the opportunity to spend time with otherwise.

Plus, when you spend a lot of your time alone in front of a computer making up imaginary stories about imaginary people, it’s good to get out once in a while. Helps you to manage your sanity.

While I’m now down in San Diego, which has its own charms and appeal, the highlights of my three days in Los Angeles included:

Once LATFOB came to a close on Sunday, I made it from USC to San Diego in 1 1/2 hours, a personal best, and have had the good fortune to spend the past thirty-six hours with some old, dear friends who treat me well and make me laugh.

Tonight, I wrap up my southern California Lucky Bastard tour with a reading and signing at the original Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego. The fun starts at 7:00PM, so if you’re in the hood, stop on by. Maybe you’ll get lucky.

Filed under: Lucky Bastard,The Writing Life,Travel — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 11:07 pm

Name My Monkey Contest Winner

Over the past month, I received 118 suggested names for my monkey in the Name My Monkey Contest. I waited until the contest was over to check out the entries and had a tough time coming up with a winner. So thank you for making my job difficult.

There were more than a dozen entries that incorporated a monkey theme, including Chimply, Chimp Charlie, Mr. Monkeypants, Banana, Bananas, Bongo Bananahands, Sir Simian, Howler, Bonobo, Thelonious Monk(ey), and Chunky Banana Monkey (which played to my love of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream).

Some entries offered up full names, like Walter Lamar Booth and Charlie Buckhead, while a handful provided regal names like Princess Consuela Banana Ha-mach and Captain Reginald Carpaccio of Winchester that resonated with royalty.

Several entrants who are very secure with themselves suggested I name my monkey after them. Another thought I should name my monkey Jason Bateman (which played to my love of Arrested Development).

The majority of the names were of the Madonna or Prince variety—single names that needed no surname to complete them. Xavier, Maynard, Feldspar, Rasco, Rufus, Schroedinger, Calvin (which played to my love of Calvin & Hobbes), Mercutio, Barnaby, Grums, and Beppo, who is apparently Superman’s pet monkey. I had no idea Superman had a pet monkey. But if he did, his name would be Beppo.

Half a dozen people suggested the name Spank, Spankie, or Spanky, while another threw out Slappy, just in case spanking my monkey grew tedious. Three offered the names Lucky, Son of a Bastard, and Dirty Bastard (which played to my love of my new novel). And one entry suggested I name my monkey Balboa Browne (which played to my love of myself).

But after careful consideration and mulling and rolling the names around on my tongue and in my head, I finally settled on a winner: Reginald Muffintop the 3rd, suggested by Cassandra Rose.

Congratulations! You’ve won signed copies of all three of my novels, a copy of my eBook short story collection Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel, and a $50 gift card of your choice to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and who took the time to come up with a name. I appreciate you playing along and helping to make the contest a success.

Oh, and just for the record, Reginald Muffintop the 3rd’s gangsta rapper name is Reggie M3.


Lucky Launch Day

No matter how hard I try to treat a book launch day like any other day, I inevitably end up like a little kid waking up on Christmas morning who can’t wait to see what Santa left under the tree. The difference being that I know what I’m going to find but I’m still excited.

So yes, today is the launch of Lucky Bastard, my third novel and the first one to be published in hard cover. I feel so grown up.

If you’re wondering how I’ll spend my day, I’ll likely meditate, go to the gym, go grocery shopping, then hit up a bunch of local bookstores to sign stock copy and whore myself out. If I have time, I might even see a movie. I’m also planning to grab dinner with some friends before my book launch party.

The official celebration takes place tonight at The Booksmith in San Francisco and you’re all invited. There will be readings, discussions, questions asked and answered, and giveaways. So if you’re in the neighborhood, come on by to see if you might get lucky.

The festivities start at 7:30pm but I’ll be there early to chat and hang out. Plus, the first twenty-four people who show up will get a Mission mini cupcake, courtesy of The Booksmith. So bonus.

Oh, and my monkey will be there, too.

The Booksmith
1644 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA

Filed under: Lucky Bastard — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 10:01 pm

Lucky Bastard San Francisco Blog Tour – Harry Denton’s Starlight Room

It’s always fun to see the expressions on people’s faces when I walk into a room, pull out my monkey, and start taking pictures.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to enjoy that experience when I went to Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, located on the 21st floor of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Before I could take any photographs of the interior of the night club to post on my blog, I needed permission from someone who wasn’t available at the time. And since I waited until Wednesday night to take pictures for the final Lucky Bastard San Francisco Blog Tour installment, the best I could do was take a picture of my monkey in the elevator.

However, if you click on the link to Harry Denton’s above, it will take you to the official website, where you can see photos reserve a VIP booth, or book your reservations for their weekly Sunday drag queen performance brunch.

While no drag queens appear in Lucky Bastard, the Starlight Room makes several appearances in the novel—the first near the end of Chapter 18, when Nick Monday is escorted up to the nightclub by one of the Beefeater doormen.

When the doors open, he gestures for me to exit, then follows me out of the elevator and into Harry Denton’s Starlight Room,the nightclub atop the Drake with a 360-degree view and 1930s throwback style.  Decorated in ruby reds and Egyptian golds, with deep-velvet booths and rich crimson silk drapes and signed celebrity photos in the bar, Harry Denton’s looks like something you’d see straight out of a noir film. Standing at the bar with a half-finished cigarette and a full set of curves is a long-haired brunette in a formfitting, long-sleeve, black shirt, a tight, leopard-skin-print skirt, black stockings, and high-heeled shoes that match her skirt. But I only notice her shoes because they’re connected to her long, sleek legs. Which are connected to the rest of her anatomy.

As for who the woman is, you’ll just have to read the book to find out. But I will say that I had no idea she was going to show up until Nick walked into the bar and saw her sitting there.

We end up visiting the Starlight Room in Chapter 37 and again in Chapter 40, both near the end of the book.  So it’s the appropriate place to end the Lucky Bastard San Francisco Blog Tour, as it plays a significant location role in the climax and the dénouement.

As is often the case in fiction, I’ve taken some liberties with the reality of Harry Denton’s Starlight Room:

1) The office for the Starlight Room is downstairs on the Lower Lobby level of the hotel, which would make for a rather boring location.

2) Harry Denton doesn’t own the nightclub in my novel. It just kept his name.

3) Although the elevators are right across from the bar, there isn’t a wall of signed celebrity photos.

4) There’s no EXIT door that leads to the roof. But since I started my story out on the roof of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, I had to find a way to get Nick Monday back up there. So I did some interior decorating to suit my needs.

And that concludes our virtual blog tour of the San Francisco locales that appear in Lucky Bastard. I hope you enjoyed your trip. Please feel free to tip your tour guide on the way out.