S.G. Browne

Lost Creatures Release Day!

My new book is here! My new book is here!

Lost Creatures, my new collection of short stories, officially releases today! Woo hoo!

It’s available in ebook on Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, and Kobo, and in paperback on Amazon. (It will also be available for pre-order in paperback on B&N but at the moment B&N is experiencing technical difficulties.)

You can read all about Lost Creatures and find order links to all of the vendors on my website: Order Lost Creatures Here. Or you can click on the individual vendor links below:

Order in Paperback on Amazon
Order on Kindle
Order on Nook
Order on Apple Books
Order on Kobo

I’m excited to share this collection of stories with you and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.



Lost Creatures – Coming Soon!

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I published a new book, so I’m happy to announce that my short story collection, Lost Creatures, will be coming out next month.

Woo hoo!

The collection contains 14 stories, 4 of which appeared in previous collections/anthologies and 3 of which I self-published as Kindle singles in 2016. The other 7 stories are brand spanking new, never before published. So I’m excited to have the chance to share them with you.

The book will be coming out in both paperback and ebook formats, although it’s not available for pre-order at this time. I’ll be sending out updates between now and the release.

In the meantime, I’ve included the back cover copy below, along with the cover, which was inspired by one of the stories in the collection titled “When the Giant Koi Returned to San Francisco.”

Oh, and later this month I’ll be hosting a Goodreads Giveaway for several signed trade paperback copies. So if you’re on Goodreads and want to make sure you get notified of the giveaway, all you have to do is put Lost Creatures on your Goodreads Want to Read list and they’ll send you an email when I set up the giveaway.

More to come!


A family of luck poachers receives a phone call that sets them off in the hopes of reversing their bad fortune. At a singles mixer for chemical elements, a luminous-yet-jaded Neon looks for love, or at least a one-night exothermic reaction. When blue skies turn gray and the daikaiju siren blares, the ten-year-old daughter of the local weatherman discovers her destiny. And washed-up evildoers live out their meaningless lives at a retirement home for villains—you never know when someone might turn the swimming pool into a shark pit, or bring a death ray to Taco Tuesday.

From the imagination of the author of Breathers and Big Egos comes a collection of 14 tales of downtrodden luck poachers, lovelorn chemical elements, obsolete villains, disillusioned children, trademarked teenagers, outcast reindeer, victimized zombies, and time-traveling alcoholics—many of them lost and searching for answers. Some of them find what they’re looking for, while one or two discover that childhood dreams can come true.


Filed under: Fiction,Lost Creatures,Short Stories — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 4:06 pm

Literary Mash-Up!

It’s time to play Literary Mash-Up, the game where you take two existing books and mash them together to form a brand new literary masterpiece, such as: Ender’s Game of Thrones, The Goodnight Moon Also Rises, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Grapes of Wrath.

But coming up with the titles is just part of the fun. In order to give your literary Franken-creations a life of their own, try mashing up their synopses, as well.

Below I’ve listed five new Literary Mash-Ups and their appropriate (or inappropriate) back cover copy. I hope you enjoy these brand new fictional tomes.


The Joy Luck Fight Club
In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting every weekend in the basements and parking lots of bars across the country to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they plan for violent revenge on an empty consumer-culture world.

The Perks of Being Lord of the Flies
A story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of primitive savagery and survival. The world of first dates, family drama, and hunting wild pigs. Of sex, drugs, and dropping a boulder on a fat kid. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as high school. Standing on the fringes of the collapse of social order offers a unique perspective…but there comes a time to see what it looks like from inside the hunting party.

The Old Man and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Told in language of great simplicity and power, this classic children’s book celebrates how much fun a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin can be. From the can-opening Zans to the boxing Gox to the old Cuban trawler who can’t make a dollar, the silly rhymes and colorful cast of characters create an entertaining approach to the theme of courage in the face of defeat that will have every child giggling.

To Kill a Mockingjay
It’s the mid-1930s during the Great Depression and against all odds, Scout Finch has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bread lines alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the civil unrest? None other than Tom Robinson, a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

Of Mice and World War Z
Laborers in California’s dusty vegetable fields, George and Lennie hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence as they travel across the United States, clinging together in the face of loneliness, alienation, and the zombie apocalypse. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a fortified zombie-proof shack they can call their own. When they land jobs at a refugee shelter in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems within their grasp. But George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie’s unswerving obedience to the zombie defense tactics George has taught him.

Filed under: Fiction,Literary Mash-Ups,Movies and Books — S.G. Browne @ 7:38 am

The Writing Life: Submit to Your Story

Submit, submit, submit.

When I say this, I’m not encouraging a relentless stream of query letters to try to get published, nor am I attempting to use repetitive suggestion to get you to be my personal slave. Though I have to admit, the idea does have its merits.

No. What I’m talking about is submitting to your story, which is something Steven Soderbergh (director of such films as Traffic, Ocean’s 11, Contagion, Out of Sight, The Informant!, and sex, lies and videotape) talks about in a recent interview in New York Magazine. He also makes some comments about character and storytelling that resonate with me and draw some parallels between writing a novel and directing a film.

To this point, Soderbergh talks about giving actors as much freedom as possible and trying not to control them. He mentions that he’s “looking to amplify and showcase whatever it is about them that he finds compelling and submitting to what the film wants and needs to be.”

For me, it’s the same when I write a novel. As I’ve mentioned, I discover the story as I write it rather than plotting it out, which tends to result in the plot evolving from the characters rather than the other way around. So in order for my story to work, I have to get out of the way and allow my characters to do what it is they want to do rather than trying to control them and make their actions or motivations fit into some preconceived plot I’ve designed.

In other words, I submit to what the story wants and needs to be.

Submit, submit, submit.

(Now, after you pick up my dry cleaning, swing by the Coffee Roastery and get me a medium mocha, soy milk, no whipped cream.)

Another comment Soderbergh makes is that “there’s nothing more fun than watching a performer do something you don’t expect.”

I agree. I love it when my characters do or say something I hadn’t anticipated. Admittedly, sometimes this takes the story in a new direction that requires me to subdue the ten-year-old kid inside of me who wants to stomp his feet and jump up and down and complain:

“But I don’t want to go over there! I want to go over here!”

However, most of the time I just go with it because I figure my characters have a better understanding of their reasons than I do.

As an example, in my initial drafts of Breathers, the book doesn’t open with Andy waking up in the kitchen to discover that he’s killed his parents and stuffed them in the Amana bottom freezer, then flash back to the events that led up to his discovery. Instead, it opened at an Undead Anonymous meeting. The current opening, with the subsequent flashback, came in later drafts.

In my early drafts, about two-thirds of the way through the book, I had Andy going to court in a battle for his right to exist while leaving his parents intact. Or at least that’s where I thought the story wanted to go, but the whole thing felt laborious and uninspiring and forced. So when I finally decided to stop trying to force the story in a direction that wasn’t working and I just let Andy do what he wanted to do, he killed his parents in order to save himself from being shipped off to a zombie zoo.

As soon as I let that happen, as soon as I let Andy take control and I got out of the way, he did something that completely surprised me. Not only was that fun for me to see but it was also a learning experience. I stopped trying to control my characters and let them take charge.

I submitted to what the story wanted to be.

So if you find your story isn’t working, maybe it’s because you’re getting in the way of the characters and telling them what to do rather than letting them figure it out on their own.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go bone up on my Jedi mind tricks.

Filed under: Breathers,Fiction,The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 7:26 am

My Favorite Reads of 2012

Well, that year went by fast. It seems like just last March I was getting my first book published. And the summer before that I was graduating from college. And the year before that I was playing with Tinker Toys and Hot Wheels.

Like Ferris Bueller says: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Which brings us to my Favorite Reads of 2012. If you didn’t stop to look around your bookstore once in a while, you might have missed these. Fortunately, if you were remiss, you can still remedy that for 2013.

Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore
My favorite of the favorites, this is vintage Christopher Moore. And I’m a sucker for Impressionist art. When I finished this, I felt like I had a long way to go to rival the writing acumen of Moore.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
Recommended to me by my friend Bill Breedlove, this tale of two hired guns during the California gold rush is dark and quirky and funny and sad all at the same time.

City of the Lost by Stephen Blackmoore
A zombie noir novel with a nice humorous bite and a visual flair. Every time I turned on my Netflix, I wished this was a TV series so I could watch the next episode.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Harry Potter meets The Narnia Chronicles, with deft writing, compelling characters, and a nice, subtle creepiness lurking just beneath the surface.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
King’s collection of five dark, unforgiving stories about people who have fallen over the edge into the abyss. There are no happy endings here, only excellent storytelling.

Honorable Mentions
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Feel free to agree or disagree or share your own favorite reads of 2012. And Happy New Year!

Filed under: Fiction,Fiction Fridays,Movies and Books — S.G. Browne @ 9:18 am