S.G. Browne

Lost Creatures Fun Facts (Part II)

This is the second in a series of Fun Facts about Lost Creatures, my new collection of short stories, On Sale Now.

Below are two more Fun Facts about two of the short stories in the collection, “All of the Lost Creatures Are Found” and “Riding the Softland Express.”



The title for Lost Creatures comes from the penultimate story in the collection “All of the Lost Creatures Are Found.” That story was inspired by all of the lost pet fliers I see posted around San Francisco and how I wish they could all be found.

The story was also inspired by the idea of childhood dreams combined with job titles I’ve come across on LinkedIn and how no child ever dreams of growing up to be a procurement analyst, a human resources generalist, or a senior account executive.


The second story in Lost Creatures, “Riding the Softland Express,” originally appeared as “Softland” in my collection Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel. That short story was the inspiration for my third novel Lucky Bastard.


Shooting Monkeys Giveaway Winners

And the winners of the Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel eBook giveaway as selected by the God of Random Numbers are…

Cecilia Huddleston
Marcus Thomas
Robyn Swan
Jane B.
Mona A.

Congratulations to the winners. If you haven’t done so already, please email me at scott@sgbrowne.com for instructions on how to claim your free copy.

And to everyone else who posting your comments and/or retweeted my posts on Twitter, thank you. You’re all made of awesome.

Filed under: Contests,Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel — S.G. Browne @ 9:06 am

Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel Giveaway

media-upload-1To celebrate the fact that I just feel like celebrating something, I’m giving away a fistful of copies of my short story collection Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel: Ten Twisted TalesHow can you enter to win? I’m glad you asked.

While I tend to read novels more than short story collections, I’m a fan of the short form. Some of my favorite collections include The Deportees by Roddy Doyle, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell, and Skeleton Crew by Stephen King.

Sometimes entire collections stay with me. Other times, it’s a specific story, like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” or Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.” (Technically a novella rather than a short story, but it’s on the short side as far as novellas go.)

However, there’s one short story that tends to stick a little more than the others and which floats around inside of me as if it’s become part of my genetic makeup, and that’s “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet” by Stephen King (which can be found in Skeleton Crew.)

Which brings us back to the contest. In order to enter for a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment to this blog post with your favorite short story or short story collection in the comments. Feel free to elaborate or just post the title. That’s all there is to it.

As I mentioned, I’ll be giving away five (5) copies of Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel, which is available as an eBook for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and Kobo. Since I haven’t been able to figure out how to gift an eBook on Kobo, I’ll be gifting the collection on either Kindle, Nook, or iPad. Winner’s choice.

Now if you’re like me you might be saying: “Hey, I don’t own a Kindle, Nook, or iPad because I like my books to be three-dimensional with actual pages I can turn and on which I can accidentally spill my cappuccino without having to fork over a few hundred bucks to get a new one. How can I get a hard copy of Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel?”

The answer is: You can’t. But what you can do is download free software from Amazon or Barnes & Noble for your desktop or laptop or smart phone. (They also have options for Mac. Or I believe you can just use iTunes.) In any case, even if you don’t own an eReader, you can still win a copy of Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel and read it on your computer.

And now for the disclaimers:

  • Contest open only to residents of the United States.
  • Contest ends Sunday, June 8, 2014, at 11:59pm PST.
  • Multiple comments are allowed but will count as a single entry. However you can re-tweet the post on my Twitter account for another chance to win.

Thanks for playing and good luck!

Filed under: Contests,Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel — S.G. Browne @ 7:10 am

The Summer of Bastards and Egos: Lucky Bastard

Lucky Bastard - trade paperbackIn April 2012, I published my third novel, Lucky Bastard. Or rather, Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books published my noir and luck-themed dark comedy, starring the luck poaching private detective Nick Monday.

Now Lucky Bastard is back, this time in trade paperback with a brand spanking new cover. And to mark the occasion, I’ve included a reading of Chapter 1, narrated by yours truly. Just click on the link below to access the MP3 file:

Lucky Bastard, Chapter 1

The opening line to the novel was something that just popped into my head during a writing exercise at my writer’s group back in July of 2006. I didn’t know where the line was going to lead me, so I just went with it and wrote a short scene about a guy being held at knife point on the roof of some fictional hotel. At the time, I had no idea that scene would end up as part of the opening chapter for a novel about luck.

But one day, after finishing up the final draft of my second novel, Fated, I sat down to figure out what my next book was going to be. I started flipping through my journals and that scene on the rooftop caught my attention. I still wasn’t sure what to do with it, until I combined it with some of the concepts I’d created in a short story about luck poachers called “Softland,” which I’d written in 2004. (You can find “Softland” in my eBook  short story collection Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel).

So that’s how Lucky Bastard was conceived, by a short story getting together with a journal entry. A little over nine months later, I had a newborn novel.


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.