I had some readers of my blog and of my recent interviews contact me wondering what my answers to my own questions would be, so I thought I’d conduct a somewhat incestuous and self-serving interview with myself for those who were curious. And to stick with the idea, here’s my bio:
S.G. Browne has written more than four dozen short stories and five novels, including Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament. His first three novels will never see print. S.G., known as Scott to everyone but his parents, started writing short stories in 1990, most of them inspired by a steady diet of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, F. Paul Wilson, and Robert McCammon. Scott watches very little television, except for LOST, and spends a lot of time wishing he lived in Tahiti. (And yes, that’s me when I bleached my hair).
Tell us about your first zombie experience. How did you lose your undead virginity?
In sixth grade with my two best friends. Okay, that sounds a little weird, but they came over to my house and we watched Night of the Living Dead on Creature Features hosted by Bob Wilkins. Back then, you couldn’t see NOTLD unless it came on television, so we had to watch it with commercial interruptions and without the naked zombie scene or the scenes where they’re eating BBQ Tom and Judy. We cheered when Ben kicks Cooper’s ass. And we laughed and made fun of the cemetery zombie who was staggering along like someone had kicked him in the nuts.
NOTLD Triva: By the way, for those who don’t know, Cooper’s wife also played the role of the bug-eating zombie.
What’s your favorite zombie film?
Well, I have to go with Night of the Living Dead simply because it set the standard and I still think it’s one of the creepiest movies I’ve ever seen. But if I had to pick another zombie film that’s a little less classic zombie, I’d have to go with Evil Dead 2. I love Bruce Campbell.
Other than a reliable weapon, what one item would be on your Must Have List for the zombie apocalypse?
Comfortable shoes. I figure if I’m going to be running away from zombies, especially if they’re those fast bastards, then I don’t want my toes cramping up or shoes that rub and give me blisters.
If you could have a pet zombie, what would you name it and who would you feed it?
I’d name my pet zombie Sparky and I’d feed it Christian conservatives, athletes who lied about using steroids, and people who turn on their cell phones during movies.
What’s the first thing you remember reading that inspired you to want to become a writer?
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub during my sophomore year in college. While not my favorite work of either King or Straub, the story pulled me in and took me on a journey that left this world behind, and I thought: I want to make people feel this way.
Who’s your favorite author?
While Chuck Palahniuk has definitely been an inspiration and I would have to consider him a candidate, Stephen King is the reason I wanted to become a writer. I believe that when all is said and done, he’ll be considered one of the greatest story-tellers of the 20th century.
What’s your favorite word?
Dude. I know some people think “fuck” is more versatile, but you can say dude ten different ways and give it ten different meanings simply by changing the inflection. In both Breathers and Fated, I have a character who regularly uses “dude” as part of his vocabulary.
Fun fact: Ten years ago on New Year’s Eve in Santa Cruz, I backed into a BMW while parking my car and the owner of the BMW was still in it. We both got out and the conversation went like this:
Me: “Sorry dude.”
Him: (Appalled) “Sorry dude?”
Me: (Speaking slowly) “Yeah. Sorry dude.”
What’s your favorite non-zombie film?
That’s really kind of a tough call. My snap answer would be Fight Club, but depending on my mood, I could throw Being John Malkovich, Alien, or The Graduate into the mix.
But as far as an all-time favorite, I’d have to go with Star Wars. I’ve never had a movie-watching experience like the first time I saw Star Wars at the theater in 1977. Awestruck pretty much nails it. And I’ve still never been part of an audience that cheered and applauded and booed like that. It gave me chills. I think my mouth was hanging open the whole time.
If you weren’t writing about zombies, what would you write about?
I’d probably write romantic comedies, but with an odd or quirky twist. Hmm. Come to think of it, that’s what I’ve done with Breathers and Fated. Okay, no romance in the next book!
If you had a theme song that played when you walked into a room, what would it be?
“Bullwinkle Part II” by The Centurions. I first heard it on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. You can give it a listen here: Bullwinkle Part II – Pulp Fiction
Shameless self-promotion bonus question: What’s coming up next?
My second novel, Fated, is scheduled for release in November 2010. Fated is a dark, irreverent, supernatural comedy about fate, destiny, and the choices people make to screw up their lives. You can read the synopsis at www.sgbrowne.com. Also, later this year, my short story “Zombie Gigolo” will be available in the zombie anthology The Living Dead 2, edited by John Joseph Adams.