S.G. Browne

Breathers eBook Promotion

Breathers Web CoverBreathers, my dark comedy and social satire about zombies, is currently being offered as an eBook promotion for just $1.99.

That’s right. For less than a grande coffee from Starbucks or a large frosty from Wendy’s, you can order Breathers from your favorite digital retailer. That includes Amazon Kindle, NOOK for Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, and Kobo, which is the eBook provider for many independent bookstores.

So if you’ve been thinking about adding a digital version of Breathers to your library, or if you’d like to introduce one of your friends or family members to Andy and the gang for half the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac, act soon as the promotion will only last a short time.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Filed under: Breathers,E-Books,Zombies — Tags: , , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 11:14 am

Flawed Heroes and the Quest for Purpose

CJZma5oUEAIDqQWIn my Author’s Note for Less Than Hero, I mention how the story, at its heart, is about figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing with your life.

That’s a common theme in my novels. Finding your role. Your purpose. Your reason for existence. While my stories deal with issues such as discrimination, the consumer culture, celebrity worship, and the over-medication of our society, they’re really quests by the main protagonists to find meaning in their lives.

With Breathers, Andy Warner is trying to find his purpose in a society in which he has no purpose. In Fated, Fabio is looking for meaning in his monotonous and unfulfilling immortality. In Big Egos, my identity-challenged hero is searching for the role he’s supposed to play. And in Less Than Hero, my main protagonist, Lloyd Prescott, is searching for something more than the life he’s fallen into. Call it happiness. Call it ambition. Call it passion. Whatever it is, Lloyd can’t seem to find it. He’s not exactly broken, but he’s most definitely lost.

I’m a fan of flawed heroes: protagonists who don’t have it all together or who don’t know what the hell they’re doing. As Lloyd says:

“Not everyone has their shit figured out. Sure some people do. They’re the ones who actually stick to a plan and make all the right choices and end up with the life they imagined. For others, we discover that trying to win the lottery isn’t a viable plan for living happily ever after.”

When it comes to writing fiction, I think it’s important to create characters who  struggle with their choices and their failures because we can relate to them. They’re like us: victims of inertia, lacking direction, filled with self-doubt.

Main protagonists who are perfect and who always say and do the right things are unrealistic and boring. If you want a knight in shining armor, go read a romance novel. Prince Charming isn’t wanted here.

I think part of the reason my characters are constantly looking for meaning and answers is because that’s what humans do: we search for meaning and answers in our lives. But more than that, the existential angst and motivations for my characters come from the realization that, as blossoming humans, we were sold a false bill of goods about what it would be like when we were adults.

When you’re in your teens, you look at adults and think you know more than they do about life and how to succeed at it because hey, it doesn’t look that difficult. In your early twenties you discover that you didn’t know as much as you thought you did but now that you’re an adult you’ll figure it out soon enough.

In your thirties you discover that the expectations you had of what your life would be like haven’t lived up to all of the beer commercials and romantic comedies you’ve been fed over the years.

When you get to your forties, it finally dawns on you that no one knows what the hell they’re doing. Not even your parents. Everyone’s just doing their best impersonation of Indiana Jones and making it up as they go.

So I guess in a way, my characters are trying to figure out what the hell they’re supposed to be doing because so am I. Maybe one day I’ll come up with an answer. Until then, I’ll just have to let my characters keep doing the work for me.

 

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Filed under: Less Than Hero,The Writing Life — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 8:21 pm

I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus Holiday Giveaway

*UPDATE*
And the winners of the I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus giveaway are…drum roll please… Maria Garcia, John Hornor Jacobs, and Kelly Garbato. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who left a comment and retweeted on Twitter. May you all have a zombie little Christmas!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And zombies dressed up like Santa Claus

With Halloween safely in the rear view mirror, we can now, freely and without fear of reprisal, plunge headlong into the holiday season. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year and living in San Francisco makes it that much more festive, as the town is all decked out with lights and garland and ornaments and homeless people in Santa hats.

But for me, the holidays bring back fond memories: The smell of freshly baked snickerdoodles; Heat Miser and Cold Miser doing their song and dance; the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack; Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” And when it comes to holiday movies, I’m a sucker for It’s A Wonderful Life.

Cover newSo to celebrate the dawning of the holiday season, I’m holding a giveaway for three (3) copies of my 2012 novella I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus: A Breathers Christmas Carol.

Entering to win is as easy as hanging your stocking: Just respond to this blog post and share what gets you in the holiday spirit, be it a favorite holiday film, TV special, Christmas carol, or the smell of pumpkin pie. Whatever floats your holiday boat. I’ll do a random drawing of all entrants to determine the winners.

TWITTER BONUS: If you’re on Twitter and you re-tweet my post about the contest, that will get you an additional entry into the contest. If you don’t follow me on Twitter, my handle is @s_g_browne.

Contest runs until Friday, November 8 at 11:59pm PST and is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

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Andy’s Favorite Things: An Ode to Breathers

In honor of the upcoming holidays, and the recent publication of my heartwarming Christmas zombie story I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus, I thought I’d resurrect Andy’s holiday wish list from Breathers.

But rather than simply providing a list, I wanted to share Andy’s desires in song to the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune, “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.

And a one and a two…

Blood drops on noses and flesh that’s been bitten,
Pale female corpses who with me are smitten,
Fraternity pledges all tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream colored femurs and crisp Breather strudels,
Eyeballs and earlobes and tonsils with noodles,
Undead Anonymous pot luck meetings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Dead guys in coffins with red gaping gashes,
Corpses that wake up from fatal car crashes,
Embalming treatments and Pine-Sol soakings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the flesh rots,
When the skin slips,
When I lose a limb,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so grim.

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I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus Haiku Giveaway

I know, I know. Halloween is barely a husk of a corpse yet and here we are, talking about Santa Claus and Christmas already. But at least we’ve got a zombie crossover theme to keep us honest. And what better way to celebrate the blending of Halloween and Christmas than with some free signed copies of I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus?

That’s right. I’ve got two copies of my new Christmas zombie novella and sequel to Breathers to give away—signed, sealed, delivered, and they’re yours. So what do you have to do to enter for your chance to win a copy? I’m glad you asked.

For those who are familiar with Andy Warner, the hero of Breathers, you’re aware that he was fond of penning an occasional haiku to deal with his less than glamorous existence. Well, in I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus, he’s at it again.

So following the 5-7-5 syllable format (I know, I know…in traditional Japanese haiku it’s not really syllables, but we’re not in Japan), write a haiku about zombies. Or about Santa Claus. Or about zombies and Santa Claus. Whatever strikes your fancy. Here’s an example of what Andy came up with:

pine-sol bubble baths
mask the stench of rotting flesh
i smell like christmas

But don’t feel a need to emulate Andy. It’s a broad canvas, so grab your palette of words and have at it. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, share your haiku in the comments below and voila! You’re entered. See, wasn’t that easy?

I’ll pick two winners from the entries. If you choose to include more than one haiku, that still counts as a single entry. Sorry, no stuffing the ballot box.

Contest is open wherever Santa visits good little boys and girls. In other words, everywhere. But the contest ends Thursday, November 15, at 11:59pm PST. So no dawdling.

Ready? Set? Haiku!

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