March 16, 2009

Interview with S.G. Browne

S.G. Browne is the author of the new release BREATHERS, which I first heard about from Amanda Ashby. I recommend checking out the excerpt on his website because the framing story begins with quite a scene. I've enjoyed what I've read of the book so far. It's gory, socially aware, and romantic. You can also check out Scott's MySpace or el jay.


1. Your novel BREATHERS is a zombie romantic comedy. What caused you to write a zom-rom-com?

Well, I always thought romance and zombies was a natural fit. The rotting of flesh, the smell of hydrogen sulfide, sheets of skin peeling off. Why should vampires have all the fun? Plus I wanted to explore the age-old question: Is it necrophilia if you’re both dead?

2. Which are you more afraid of: the zombie apocalypse or the beespider apocalypse? (It would fly and have eight legs - legitimately scary.)

The beespider apocalypse. I love bees. But spiders creep me out. So do snakes, needles, close-talkers, children with runny noses, paraplegic mannequins, and the woman wearing the cosmetic tool belt at Macy’s.

3. What is it like to write the in-character blog Andy's Diary?

Blogging as Andy is a bit of a challenge. When I wrote BREATHERS I channeled Andy’s character, so it’s kind of tough to channel him a couple of times a week when I’m working on something else and inhabiting another character’s skin. Or when I’m distracted by ice cream. This happens frequently.

Book Cover

4. I really like the BREATHERS cover - it reminds me of silver screen romance. Do you like it? What did you think when you first saw it? Was the title your suggestion or your editor's?
I came up with the title while on vacation in Kauai in 2003, though my editor suggested a reading line to clarify it was about zombies. We ended up using the title of the original short story, which I’d written in 2001. So it was very cosmically circular. When I first saw the cover, there weren’t any skulls and the inside of the heart was pink and the title was a florid, looping, cream-colored script. Not exactly what I’d envisioned for a dark comedy. But the creative team at Broadway Books is great and they listened to my suggestions and came up with this. Everyone was happier. I love the cover.

5. What are some novels you're looking forward too? What are some of your favorite books and movies?

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk. He’s my favorite author, along with Christopher Moore. And I have The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy on my TBR list. Favorite books include Lullaby by Palahniuk, Lamb by Christopher Moore, and STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. I could throw in Lord of the Flies and The Great Gatsby to add some literary depth, but I wrote a book about zombies. Movies? Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, and I Heart Huckabees. Really, anything by Charlie Kaufman, Wes Anderson, the Coen Brothers, and David Fincher.

6. A friend has been bitten by a zombie. Do you give them the benefit of a doubt or shoot first and ask questions later? Did you check that the gun was loaded?

No benefit of the doubt. I’ve seen enough Hollywood propaganda to know that it’s only a matter of time before my friend starts drooling and I’m on the menu. But since I’ve never fired a gun or even held a real one in my hands, I probably wouldn’t remember to check if it was loaded. So I’ve been practicing my screams for when I get eaten alive.

7. What is your weirdest hobby? Strangest skill that could be considered practical?

Weirdest hobby? I put movie quotes on my iTunes shuffle. Gene Wilder just turned down Cloris Leachman for some warm milk and Ovaltine in Young Frankenstein before kicking in to “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry. My strangest practical skill? Like most men, I can recite movie lines to cover up for the fact that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Or when I want to avoid emotional intimacy.

8. So, you write. But what else do you do? What don't you do that you'd really like to do?

I golf. I bike. I do tai chi, which is actually a martial art, in spite of the fact that most people think it’s just a bunch of elderly Asian people in the park doing synchronized calisthenics in slow motion. But what I’d really like to do is learn how to play a musical instrument. It’s the exhibitionist in me.

9. What is the greatest snack food? Why?

White cheddar Cheez-Its. They’re the crack of snack foods. Does that count as “Why?”

10. How would you convince people to read BREATHERS, without referencing the blurb?

It’s Fight Club meets Shaun of the Dead, only with the zombies as the good guys. Oh, and the necrophilia thing.


Remember the rules? If you don't, you'll want to refresh yourself on them. I'm giving away two copies of BREATHERS, courtesy of Random House. The book is seriously cool, so you'll want to give it a chance.

Also, Scott clearly has good taste in books and movies. Isn't that reason enough to give his book a try?


  1. Zom-rom-com? Love it! What a great new genre! This book sounds really fun and I'm glad to hear him mention Shaun of the Dead (any true zombie connoisseur who didn't would be suspect in my book) but what about Romero? It all began with George...

    Great interview!!

  2. zom-rom-com is really fun to say and I agree that white cheddar cheez its are the best snack ever!

    I am a follower

    sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com

  3. I really want to read this book! =) Sounds something I would enjoy greatly!

  4. Great interview. Your book looks really good. I would love the chance to read a copy.

    I am a follower.


    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  5. Sounds like an interesting book so I'm going to check it out otherwise my bookslut status might be revoked.

  6. I adore zombie books, and this one sounds awesome. I'm wondering, what's the next book/project you're working on?

  7. "6. A friend has been bitten by a zombie. Do you give them the benefit of a doubt or shoot first and ask questions later? Did you check that the gun was loaded?"

    OMG, I almost choked and died with laughter. This is seriously one of the greatest interview questions ever!

    I want to read STIFF, thanks for the reminder!

    o.O Beespider apocalypse?! Scary!!!

  8. The beespider apocalypse was invented by a friend for a class report. Ever since I've been a bit worried.

    As for question 6 . . . I'm sure all horror movie watchers have thought it at some point or another.

    Leigh - glad you like Shaun of the Dead too! Love the scene where they use records as weapons. As for Romero . . . my dad wrote a paper on how Dawn of the Dead was a sociological commentary on consumerism in college.

  9. Your dad did that? That is complete awesomeness! For a sociology independent I wrote a paper on the Sociology of "Dune," the Frank Herbert trilogy...

  10. Great interview!

    I've only seen a love story with zombies in the movie Fido, but that was between a human and a zombie. I loved that so I'm sure I'll love this as well.

    And I don't even want to think about beespiders. *shudders*

    ~ Popin

  11. Zom-Rom-Com? That's an intriguing idea!! Thanks for the interview!


  12. I think I'm in love now. I want this BOOK. And I love Chuck Palahniuk too...I'm sooo looking forward to Pygmy. It sounds amazing, as does this book.

    I'm already a follower, by the way. :)

    Nice interview!


  13. Wait...hold on...I want to get one thing, IS it necrophilia if you’re both dead?? You know, just so we're on the same page.

    Heh heh. ;)

  14. Great interview!

  15. This book sounds like a VERY fun read. I'm a follower, please count me in. Thanks!

    Sararush (at) Hotmail (dot) com

  16. This has to be the best interview EVER! I loved Shaun of the Dead. And I love that the author is practicing his scream for being eaten alive instead of practicing target practice! Way to resign yourself!

    Please count me in. Thank you!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  17. Wonderful interview, the book sounds fascinating!

  18. okay, i had the stupidest and most sincere grin on my face EVER when i read that Browne adores Palahniuk and Christopher Moore (particularly Lamb). if his writing is anywhere near the awesomeness of those two (and all indicators point to yes), then i am all about reading "Breathers". plus...the title...seriously, how cool is that?

    i too am adoring zom-rom-com.

    i am a follower.

    lisa at schensted dot com.

    thanks for the contest and the rockin' interview!

  19. Since I saw the first mention of Breathers about a week ago, I've been really interested in it. I am a huge zombie fan, and I also like rom coms, so this is the best of both worlds. Thanks for the chance to win!

  20. I would really love to win!

    I am a follower.

    Thanks for haing this contest and a chance to win a copy of Breathers as I have been wanting to read it since I first heard about it.

    Great interview.

  21. I loved the interview. The book sounds great. We love zombie stories.

  22. Please include me in your giveaway. Great inverview.

  23. I love zombies and romance. Sounds like my kind of book!


  24. I'm a follower.


  25. Ohmigod! BEESPIDERS?! That brings me back to my terrifying childhood nightmares... *shiver*

    Team Zombie here!

  26. I do believe you may be right ... white cheddar Cheez-Its probably are the best snack food.

  27. Well great another white cheddar Cheese Its fan! I look forward to reading this book whether I win it in this giveaway or not. Sounds like something that would be pure pleasure to sink my fangs into.

    espressogurl at hotmail dot com

  28. I love the term zom-rom-com! This book sounds amazing. Also...beespiders sound horrible! And another qeustion number 6.

  29. This sounds very interesting.

    I follow

  30. Zombies in love? That would make a very good horror punk song. Great idea for a book. I can't get the image of people kissing and their lip falling off. I saw something in a horror movie culture magazine once about zombie romance that was pretty funny, so this sounds like a great book.

  31. Forgot to say that I blogged:


  32. Happy birthday?



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