S.G. Browne

Comic-Con Schedule

I’ll be attending Comic-Con in San Diego from July 21-24 and will be appearing at the following signings and panels:

Signing: Geekscape Booth (#4016)
1:00pm – 2:00pm

I’ll have bookmarks, postcards, and a limited supply of 11″ x 17″ posters of Breathers and Fated that I’ll be giving away. While I won’t have any novels with me, feel free to bring along your copy and I’ll be happy to sign it. You can also purchase Breathers and Fated at the Mysterious Galaxy Booth (#1119)

Panel: Room 6A
1:45pm – 2:45pm

Vampires and Others – How to make a relationship work when you or your significant other lack a pulse, or face other mortal-challenged issues.

Relationship advice from: Patricia Briggs (The Mercy Thompson series), Nancy Holder (The Crusade series), Linda Thomas-Sundstrom (The Golden Vampire), S.G. Browne (Fated), Clay & Susan Griffith (The Vampire Empire series), and Christine Cody (Bloodlands).

Autograph session for the panel to follow:

Signing: Autograph Area 8
3:00pm – 4:00pm

At this point I don’t anticipate any additional appearances, so if you’re at the convention on Thursday and/or Saturday, swing by the Geekscape Booth or the panel and say “hi.”

Filed under: Breathers,Conventions,Fated — Tags: , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 7:51 pm

Zombie Haiku: An Interview with Ryan Mecum

Today I have a special guest who has stopped by for an interview.  You could say he’s a supernatural poet, of sorts.  Kind of like the Lorax, only instead of speaking for the trees, he speaks for zombies, vampires, and werewolves. And he does so through the use of haiku.

Please welcome Ryan Mecum, the author of Zombie Haiku, Vampire Haiku, andWerewolf Haiku.


SGB: In Zombie Haiku, you have the narrator writing about the zombie apocalypse and, inevitably, his conversion into a zombie through the use of haiku. What gave you the idea for the book?

RM: I once wrote a haiku as if I were a zombie wanting some brains. It made me smile so I wrote a few more. Soon I had about thirty gross haiku from the zombie perspective which I enjoyed sharing with friends. It wasn’t until I had a publisher interested that I realized I might be able to organize the little poems in such a way that they could all be part of a larger story.

SGB: So what came first? Your love of zombies or your love of haiku?

RM: Zombies came first. 7th Grade, Return of the Living Dead Part II. I learned haiku in 4th Grade, but didn’t fall in love with them until I had a roomful of fellow college classmates laughing at a few I wrote during a creative writing course.

SGB: Can you share one of your favorite entries from your book?

RM: It’s hard to beat the one in Breathers where you compare the sound of maggots eating flesh to Rice Krispies, but here goes…

Blood is really warm,
like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming

(Editor’s note: I love that one!)

SGB: You followed up Zombie Haiku with similar takes on the vampire and werewolf mythos. Did you find that one of these three lent itself to the haiku form more easily than the others? Are vampires more poetic than zombies? Do werewolves know how to count syllables?

RM: The haiku is such a stoic poetry form that, when reading them aloud, they often flow out as gracelessly as a lurching zombie. I have loved writing poems from the voice of a werewolf and a vampire as well, but there is something about a zombie writing a poem that resonates with me. Vampires probably think they’re more poetic than zombies, but there is an innocence to a poem written by a zombie versus a pretentiousness when written by a vampire. Werewolves don’t care, which make them a bit more poetic, but they are so rushed they might miss the moment. There’s a full moon above you, werewolf. Stop, enjoy it, and let out a howl.

SGB: In all three books, the narrative is from the point-of-view of someone who starts out human but who eventually becomes the “monster.” Are you sympathetic to the challenges of being a zombie, vampire, and werewolf? Or are you just channeling your inner monster?

RM: Totally sympathetic to the challenges of the monster. That is probably the main reason why I loved your book Breathers so much. I enjoy wondering about daily life from their perspective.

SGB: Do you have a favorite poet? Are there any other writers who have inspired you?

RM: Andrew Hudgins has a book called After The Lost War, which had a strong impact on my desire to be a poet. Billy Collins is another favorite. Both of these writers helped me realize that poems didn’t have to be riddles the reader had to solve. However, Stephen King is easily the one writer that left the largest impression on me. Not only did he feed my love for things that go bump in the night, but he also helped me want to be a writer because so many of his characters were writers. King gave me glimpses into the life of a writer, which has had a lasting effect on me.

SGB: On Twitter, you write haiku on subjects ranging from breakfast cereals to mixed tapes to Pac-Man. Can you write a haiku for us about public bathrooms?

RM: Would you believe I wrote one on that topic a few months ago? Here it is…

Gas station bathrooms
I cover in graffiti
with your phone number

SGB: How many haiku have you written over the past three years? Do you constantly find yourself counting syllables?

RM: I’m counting syllables all the time. I dream in 5/7/5. I’ve written four books of monster themed haiku, each with about 350 poems. So that’s 1,400. I tweet about 3 haiku a day, and have been doing that for almost two years. That puts me to about 3,500 haiku. That’s a lot of haiku. Hopefully one of them is a keeper.

SGB: Film tri-fecta question: What’s your favorite zombie film? Vampire film? Werewolf film?

RM: I usually say Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead for my favorite zombie film, but I’ve been leaning a bit more toward his Night Of The Living Dead lately. My favorite Vampire film is Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark. My favorite werewolf film is Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers.

SGB: What’s next? More haiku? Or are we going to see zombie verse in iambic pentameter? (To rot or not to rot, that is the question.)

RM: I’m trying to stay away from mixing monsters and other poetry forms. Something about wicked witch limericks sounds like a tougher sell than haiku. My next book, Dawn Of Zombie Haiku, comes out this summer and I am really excited for people to read it. It’s written from the perspective of a young girl keeping a haiku journal during a zombie outbreak. Ever since the first book, I have wanted to write another zombie story in haiku. It took me a while to find a story that I both loved and felt would stand out as original in the growing cannon of zombie fiction. It was fun to write.

SGB: Where can people find you on the Internet to learn more about you and your books?

RM: People can find more info about me at www.ryanmecum.com and they can be fed a few daily haiku via my Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/mecumhaiku.

SGB: Thanks for taking the time to visit with us, Ryan. Good luck with the new book and with all of your future endeavors!

RM: Thanks S.G.! And thanks for creating Andy Warner. He’s a friend of mine.


Y is for You, Z is for Zombie

We’ve reached the end of the alphabet, which culminates with a single title for each of the letters Y and Z. And with the dearth of titles I’ve read for both of them, I decided to combine the two letters here.

And by dearth, I mean I haven’t read, or can’t recall having read, any other books that begin with the letters Y or Z. Is there something I should have read? Something I should read? Like I need to add more books to my TBR pile, which is already almost an entire shelf on one of my bookcases.

But before I get to the final two titles of my Favorite Reads From A to Z, I just wanted to thank everyone who’s given this a glance and stopped by to thrown down the occasional comment. I hope you enjoyed the posts and found some titles that you’d never considered picking up before. Happy reading!

And now, to wrap this up…

You Suck: A Love Story, Christopher Moore
The sequel (after twelve years) to Bloodsucking Fiends, this one picks up with Tommy, the frozen-turkey-bowling night shift employee at Safeway, discovering that he’s just been turned into a vampire by his girlfriend, Jody, who recently became a vampire herself. Things get complicated when Tommy’s turkey-bowling buddies find out he’s a vampire. Throw in a a homeless Emperor, a blue-dyed Vegas call girl, and a vampire cat named Chet, and what you get is classic Christopher Moore. The diary entries from Abby Normal, Tommy and Jody’s goth minion, steal the show.

The Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks
Arguably the book that laid the groundwork for the zombie madness that has engulfed film and fiction. This always practical, often enlightening, and frequently amusing manual about how to survive a zombie attack is filled with helpful advice such as: Use your head, cut off theirs; and Blades don’t need reloading. With weapon and combat techniques and case histories of recorded zombie outbreaks, this book has it all. A must read for anyone who wants to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 5:58 am

Zombies vs Vampires

No.  The title of this blog entry does NOT refer to the Facebook application where you can build an army of zombies and vampires and fight other zombies and vampires to become bigger and stronger.  I stopped playing months ago because I just didn’t have enough time to keep feeding my zombie and taking care of it.  But apparently, in my absence, my zombie has become a Level 6 Samurai.  I have no idea how that happened.But I digress.

Zombies vs vampires.

I’ve always been a zombie fan.  Ever since I saw Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead on Creature Features back when I was in 6th grade. I even used to dream about them chasing me or surrounding my house or doing my taxes.  And I will admit that I enjoy the fast moving zombies as well as the shuffling ones.  They’re both terrifying in their own way.

Vampires?  They’re okay, if you want an immortal, supernatural creature with superhuman strength and the ability to shape shift. I don’t have anything personally against vampires, I’ve just never been that enamored with them.

For the most part, fans are either in one camp or the other.  At least most of the zombie and vampire fans I know.  But I like to generalize, so for the sake of me being right, we’re sticking to this argument for the time being.  You don’t get a lot of fans straddling the fence, loving zombies AND vampires.  And there’s a good reason for this.

Vampires are like fraternity boys.  All pretty and full of themselves and constantly trying to get you into bed.  They primp and they pose and they get all dressed up to go out for a night of partying.  Every move the make, all the posturing they do, is just a smoke screen to lure you in so that they can feed on you.  Drink your blood.  (Okay, maybe not the vampires in From Dusk Till Dawn or The Lost Boys, but your stereotypical vampire, sure.)

They’re insincere.  Hiding their true motives.  Bullshitters.

Zombies, on the other hand, don’t try to impress you with their good looks or their charms or their fancy outfits.  They don’t pretend to be something they’re not.  They wear their decomposing hearts on their sleeves and aren’t ashamed to say, “I’m a zombie and I want to eat your brains.”

I admire that in a monster.  Plus, they’re tragically comical.  Shuffling along, losing their hair and teeth and nails and the occasional appendage.  Add the fact that they used to be us, that we could all become them one day, and it creates a sense of empathy that, ultimately, was the reason I wrote Breathers in the first place.

So how about it?  Zombies or vampires?  Which camp are you in?  Or do you go both ways?

Filed under: Zombies — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 11:50 am