S.G. Browne

Lucky Bastard Giveaway

*THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS AWARDED. THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR PLAYING!*

To celebrate the Summer Solstice, I’m giving away two signed copies of my latest novel Lucky Bastard. That’s right. Two signed copies to two lucky winners two months after the release of the book.

Think of them as twins separated at birth.

Anyway, since we’ve got a lot of deuces going on here, let’s keep the theme going as we roll on into the relevant details.

There are two ways you can enter to win:

1) Leave a comment on this blog post about your favorite superstition or something you do to attract good luck. Any ritual you perform or talisman you might carry around to improve your good fortune. I’ll pick one lucky winner from the comments posted below. Please post only once. (And if you’re reading this on Goodreads, please leave your comments on the original post on my web site rather than on Goodreads.)

2) Tweet the following on Twitter:

Feeling down on your luck? Pick up a copy of LUCKY BASTARD by @s_g_browne http://su.pr/2DfDyG #luckpoachers

Again, please tweet this only once. And make sure to include the link and the hashtag. I’ll pick a second lucky winner from this pool of entries.

Yes, you can enter to win both ways but again, please, enter only once each time.

The contest will run until Friday, June 22 at 11:59pm PST. Winners will be announced on Monday, June 25.

I’ll cover shipping to any address in the United States. Outside of the United States, any exorbitant shipping costs are on you. Deal? Deal.

Good luck!

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Filed under: Contests,Lucky Bastard — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 9:24 pm

My First Horror Movie

I started watching horror films when I was a little kid. At least at the age of seven, maybe earlier. Which might help to explain my warped world view. Especially when you consider that the first horror film I remember watching was The Horror of Party Beach.

As the Wikipedia link explains, The Horror of Party Beach was, and still is, a B-movie take-off on beach parties and musicals—only with monsters from the ocean made up of water plants and dead human tissue mutated by radioactive waste that coalesce into humanoid form by attaching themselves to skeletons from a shipwreck. Naturally, they immediately proceed to hunt down and kill mostly young women in bikinis or at slumber parties.

So I guess you could call them humanoid zombie pirate stalkers. Except they look more like a poor man’s Creature from the Black Lagoon rather than extras from Pirates of the Caribbean.

While definitely not one of the best horror films I’ve ever seen, The Horror of Party Beach had a significant impact on my fragile little mind, to quote Eric Cartman. I can still remember the creepy music. And to this day, the sight of nubile teenagers in bikinis at the beach and having a slumber party scares the hell out of me.

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Filed under: Movies and Books — S.G. Browne @ 8:01 pm

How To Write A Novel In Four Easy Steps

I’m often approached by people who tell me of their struggles in trying to write a novel. Since I’ve managed to write several novels with some degree of success, I get asked for advice. But rather than going into a lot of detail about plotting or character development, I thought I’d simplify the process of how to write in novel in four easy steps:

  1. Sit down at your desk or on your couch or at a table in a cafe
  2. Turn on your computer or pick up a pen and a pad of paper
  3. Write
  4. Repeat

Now I’m not saying this will help you to write a good novel. And “good” is a subjective term anyway, so let’s leave the classifications to literary scholars and Pulitzer Prize juries, because they’re the only ones who know what’s worth reading. Yes, that’s sarcasm. It’s one of the mediums I work in.

And just for the record, chances are your first novel isn’t going to be “good.” It might not be “bad,” but it’s probably not something that you should publish. I wrote three novels before I wrote Breathers and while they weren’t bad, they’re not something I would ever want to upload on to Amazon or Smashwords or Barnes & Noble. I realized they were flawed not long after I wrote them because with each successive novel, I discovered I was becoming a better writer.

The only way you can improve as a writer is by writing. Which means that before you can write your second novel, you have to finish the first one.

So the most important thing to remember about writing your novel is that you can’t write it if you don’t write it. Yes, I realize that sounds like circular logic. But if you’re constantly trying to figure out your outline or developing your character sketches or coming up with excuses about why you haven’t sat down to write it, then the novel is going to remain this thing you tell your friends you’ve been working on for the past three years and you’d be able to finish if only you had the time to write.

Screw time. You can always make time. It’s just another excuse you’re giving yourself not to write your novel. So screw excuses.

And while we’re at it, screw perfect. Stop worrying about finding the perfect word or the perfect phrase or re-writing the first paragraph or the first page or the first chapter over and over until it’s perfect. You can always fix it later. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s never going to be perfect. Even after you’ve found an agent and worked with a team of professional editors at a New York publishing house and had your book published, you can always find something you could have fixed. Something you could have done better.

So stop trying to be perfect. Stop making excuses. Stop worrying about whether or not something is working and just WRITE.

Then start all over again at the beginning.

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Filed under: The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 7:22 am

Fiction Friday: Books Anonymous

Over most of the past two weeks, as I’ve been working on my new Breathers Christmas novella and not doing much of anything else, I’ve sort of forgotten to do certain things. Like clean my apartment, post to my blog, and remember to floss.

Another casualty of my writing has been my stack of books to-be-read, waiting for me to give it some attention. Them some attention? Whatever. The problem isn’t so much that the stack of books isn’t getting any smaller, but that it’s growing taller. This is due to the fact that I keep doing book signings in book stores and am either offered an author’s discount or given my choice of a book for free as a gratitude by the book store.

Don’t they know I have a problem?

Some of the books in my stack have been there for nearly two years, like The Passage and Spook and L.A. Confidential. Others, like Monster and Divine Misfortune, both by A. Lee Martinez, were impulse buys at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. And Sacre Bleu and Pest Control came courtesy of one of the bookstores where I had a recent signing.

And this doesn’t include two new books I picked up or the other dozen books I have waiting on one of my bookshelves.

I’m wondering if there’s some sort of Twelve-Step Program for buying books:

  1. First I have to admit I have a problem, which I’ve done.
  2. Then I need to recognize a higher power who can give me strength. I’m thinking Stephen King fits the bill. Or maybe Neil Gaiman.
  3. Next there’s admitting past errors, like Twilight, and then making amends for those errors, like re-reading Bloodsucking Fiends.
  4. After that, I’d need to live a new life with a new code of behavior. I’m still working on that.
  5. Finally, there’s helping others who have the same addiction or compulsion. I’m here for you.

Obviously I’ve missed a few steps, but then I never was good at math.

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Filed under: Fiction,Fiction Fridays,Movies and Books,The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 7:36 am