S.G. Browne

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.


Monkey Launch Day

I’m excited to announce the official launch today of Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel, my exclusive eBook short story collection that contains ten twisted tales of dark comedy, social satire, and the supernatural.

Back in the 1980s when I read Night Shift and Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, I imagined one day having my own collection of short stories published. When I penned my first short story in 1989, a rambling, forgettable Catcher in the Rye inspired tale titled “The Dog Died,”  I figured I was on my way. Now, more than twenty years later, that moment has finally arrived.

A few of the stories in Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel have appeared previously in other print anthologies. More than half of them are brand-new tales, while several are ancestors or descendants of novels I’ve written or have yet to write. And one story took third place in the Gross-Out Contest at the 2008 World Horror Convention.

But this is the first time these stories have gathered together in one place. Kind of like a family reunion, if the family included a serial killer, a zombie gigolo, extraterrestrial sex toys, a group of professional guinea pigs, and the Seven Deadly Sins.

And you thought your family had problems.

So I invite you to order up a copy of Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel for your Nook, Kindle, or iPad. Or, if you’re like me and don’t own an eReader, you can download FREE (that’s right, FREE) software from Barnes & Noble and Amazon for your PC or Mac.

And as always, thanks for reading!

*No monkeys were harmed in the writing of this collection.

Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooks




Filed under: Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 10:02 pm

Name My Monkey Contest on Facebook

Meet my monkey. He’s going to be accompanying me around San Francisco as I promote my newest novel Lucky Bastard, on bookshelves April 17. We’ll be visiting and blogging about all the places frequented by Lucky Bastard’s main character Nick Monday—a private investigator, luck poacher, and corporate coffeehouse whore. That’s my monkey on the left, sitting on a barrel out in front of O’Reilly’s Irish Pub in North Beach, which is one of the locations that appears in the novel.

Why a monkey? Because monkeys are funny. Just the name “monkey” is funny. Say it out loud. I dare you not to laugh. See? I told you so. But what makes this monkey relevant is that I just so happen to have an eBook exclusive collection of short stories coming out on March 27, entitled Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel. The problem is, my monkey needs a name.

So what’s this all about? Well, a giveaway, of course. And what am I giving away?

  • Signed collection of my books (Breathers, Fated, Lucky Bastard)
  • eBook of Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel
  • $50 gift card to Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble or Amazon (your choice)

So how can you enter? All you have to do is pre-order a copy of Lucky Bastard, follow me and my monkey through my blog posts, and then suggest a name by entering the Sweepstakes through my Facebook Author Page. (Unfortunately, I’m not able to accept contest entries left here on this blog post. Sorry.)

Only persons residing in the United States who are at least 18 years of age can enter. Contest runs through April 16, 2012 at 11:56pm PST. Check out the Official Rules.

And good luck!


Lucky Bastard & Shooting Monkeys Pre-Order

I’m proud to announce the (almost) two month countdown to the publication of my third novel, Lucky Bastard, which is scheduled for release on April 17 in hardback and e-book. I’ve marked the occasion by publishing information for the novel on my web site, including:

Cast of Characters
Chapter 1 Sneak Peek

And, of course, at the bottom of each page I’ve included links for various sites where you can pre-order a copy.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be blogging about the book, how it came about, and taking pictures of various locations throughout San Francisco that appear in the book and giving some background on the writing of the novel as it relates to those locations.

Also, since I found inspiration from a number of authors and novels in the writing of Lucky Bastard, I’ll be spotlighting the novels that influenced me in a series of blog posts on Fiction Fridays.

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In addition to the upcoming release of Lucky Bastard, I’m excited to announce the impending e-publication of my first collection of short stories, Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel, an original e-book of ten dark and twisted humorous tales scheduled for release on March 27.

Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel is a mix of never-before-published tales and stories that have appeared previously in print anthologies, all gathered together for the first time. It includes stories about extraterrestrial sex toys, a group of professional guinea pigs, a zombie gigolo, and a reality TV show starring the Seven Deadly Sins. It also contains the stories that gave birth to both Lucky Bastard and Breathers.

If you’d like to learn more about the stories included in Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel, or if you’d like to pre-order it for your Nook or Kindle, just click on the image for the book cover. Or just CLICK HERE.