S.G. Browne

The Writing Life: The Making of Big Egos

Big EgosWhen I started writing Big Egos more than two years ago, I envisioned something along the lines of American Psycho meets Slaughterhouse-Five. At least conceptually. I’m not going to make any claims of being Bret Easton Ellis or Kurt Vonnegut, but I knew I wanted the story to be told in a non-linear framework and narrated by an unreliable protagonist who gradually loses control of his ability to separate fantasy from reality.

My initial drafts began with the ending, or one chapter removed from the ending, and each subsequent chapter that followed was a memory triggered by the end of the previous memory, eventually taking the story back to the beginning. Or, in this case, to the ending.

Fun Fact: Big Egos is the first novel I sat down to write knowing exactly how the story would end. In my previous three novels (and novella), the ending evolved from the progression of the story. But this time I knew the ending and couldn’t wait to figure out how to get there.

But once I was finished, I discovered that the non-linear format I’d chosen to tell the story didn’t provide enough clarity for the actual story, so I had to reorganize the chapters in a way that provided a present through-line of the narrative while allowing the story to jump back and forth in time as a function of the main protagonist’s triggered memories.

This involved creating a color-coded list of chapters based upon their time-frame and reorganizing them on a spreadsheet before moving around the actual chapters in the novel, which led to additional editing as the beginnings and endings of numerous chapters required minor to significant rewrites.

I did this about half a dozen times before I finally found the right mix and order. Even then, I continued to futz around with several of the chapters during the final editing and copy editing stages. As an author, you know that invariably you’re going to miss something. I can go back through Breathers, Fated, and Lucky Bastard and find things I would like to fix. But eventually you have to stop fixing and trust that you’ve told the right story in the best way at the time you told it.

With Big Egos, I wanted to get it as close to perfect as possible.

Whether I succeeded or not, that’s a matter of opinion, but I felt a great deal of satisfaction with how the novel turned out. And while I would say the same of my previous novels, for me, this one was a bit more of a challenge while at the same time being an absolute blast to write.

Of all my novels, Big Egos is without a doubt the darkest of the four. It also contains its fair share of social commentary on our society’s infatuation with celebrity and what happens to your identity when you’re constantly pretending to be someone you’re not.

So if you’re expecting a romantic comedy with a happy ending or a playful romp through a field of daffodils with a family of fluffy bunnies, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Big Egos is on sale August 6 and available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, and wherever books and eBooks are sold.

Filed under: Big Egos,Summer of Bastards and Egos,The Writing Life — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 6:19 am

Lucky Bastard $1.99 Ebook Sale

Lucky Bastard - trade paperbackWhile I’m still a stalwart holdout of fully caving into the digital age when it comes to books, I realize there are others out there who have managed to unshackle themselves from their Luddite ways.

It is to those of you I am heralding the news that Lucky Bastard is now on sale as an eBook in all formats for $1.99. That’s McDonald’s Extra Value Menu pricing. Though I like to think the quality is a little more nutritious.

So whether you have a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Kobo, you can order Lucky Bastard for less than a bottle of Two Buck Chuck from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, or your favorite independent bookstore, many of whom have partnered with Kobo to sell eBooks. So you can get your digital fix while supporting a brick and mortar bookstore.

I’ve included links to a few of my favorite independent bookstores below that sell eBooks, along with the usual suspects. The sale is only for a short time, so get it while it’s cheap. Or give it as a gift and spread the luck.

Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksCopperfield BooksBooks IncMysterious Galaxy Bookstore


Filed under: Lucky Bastard,Summer of Bastards and Egos — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 6:58 am

Comic-Con Schedule and Big Egos Signings

San Diego Comic-Con is just around the corner, and not long after that, the release of Big Egos on August 6. So I’m here to give you the scoop on my Comic-Con schedule and a handful of signings for Big Egos.

First, prior to Comic-Con, I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Fullerton, CA, where I’ll be signing Lucky Bastard as well as my other earlier titles.

Tuesday, July 16
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Barnes & Noble
Amerige Heights Town Center
1923 West Malvern Avenue
Fullerton, CA

Next at Comic-Con, I’ll be appearing on a couple of panels with signings to follow on Thursday and Saturday. Details are below.

Thursday, July 18
PANEL: Geeks Gets Published – and Paid
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Room: 26AB

SIGNING: Mysterious Galaxy Books
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Booth: 1119-1123

Saturday, July 20
PANEL: Apocalyptic/Zombie: It’s the End of the World as We Know It
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Room: 23ABC

SIGNING: Autograph Area
1:30pm – 2:30pm
Autograph Area: AA09

NOTE: Although Big Egos doesn’t officially release until August 6, it will be on-sale at Comic-Con for early release, courtesy of Mysterious Galaxy Books (Booth 1119-1123).


As for my regular signing schedule for Big Egos, at the moment it’s limited to a handful of northern California venues. If that changes, I’ll be sure to update my Events Calendar and mention it on my blog, as well. But until then, these are my only scheduled appearances.

Tuesday, August 6
7:30pm – 8:30pm
The Booksmith
1644 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA

Friday, August 9
7:00pm – 8:00pm
Books Inc.
1344 Park St.
Alameda, CA

Thursday, August 15 (*Rescheduled from August 14*)
7:00pm – 8:00pm
Towne Center Books
555 Main Street
Pleasanton, CA

Saturday, August 24
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Barnes & Noble
Creekside Town Center
1256 Galleria Boulevard
Roseville, CA

I hope to see you in San Diego in a couple of weeks or at one of my signings in August!

Filed under: Big Egos,Comic-Con,Conventions,Summer of Bastards and Egos — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 11:17 am

Big Egos ARC Giveaway

Big EgosThe Summer of Bastards and Egos rolls on with a Big Egos ARC giveaway. For those who might not be up on the lingo, an ARC is an Advance Reader Copy. Also called an Uncorrected Proof. It looks like a book. It feels like a book. It even smells like a book. And it is a book. Just not the finished version that will be published on August 6.

So how can you get a hold of one of these ARCs, you ask? Well, let me tell you. But first, a little background.

The protagonist of Big Egos works for Engineering Genetics Organizations and Systems (aka EGOS), the company behind Big Egosa revolutionary role-playing game that allows you to become a dead celebrity or fictional character for 6-8 hours by injecting a DNA-laced cocktail into your brain stem. And our hero has been injecting so many Big Egos that he’s starting to lose the ability to separate fact from fiction. His every fantasy is the new reality. And the more roles he plays, the less of him remains.

Big Egos is a book about identity. It’s about the roles we all play. It’s about what happens when you’re constantly pretending to be someone you’re not.

Got it? Good. Now, on to the giveaway…

There are three ways you can enter:

1) Leave a reply to this post with your answer to the following question: What dead celebrity or fictional character would you want to be?

2) Go to my Twitter profile, find my tweet about the Big Egos ARC Giveaway, and re-tweet it.

3) Go to my Facebook author page, find my posting there about the Big Egos ARC Giveaway, and share the link on your own timeline. (And let me know that you shared it.)

Enter one way or enter all three ways to increase your chances of winning.

Contest open to United States residents only.

Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 5.

Good luck! And may the Ego be with you.

Filed under: Big Egos,Summer of Bastards and Egos — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 6:36 am