Q & A with Breathers author S.G. Browne discussion

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message 1: by S.G. (new)

S.G. (sgbrowne) | 12 comments Mod
Thanks for stopping by the first official Breathers Q&A group. I almost feel like a grown up.

While this is technically a two-week forum for any questions you might have about Breathers, cadaver impact testing, or what wine goes best with a Mom and Pop roast, I'm happy to field questions prior to August 21 and after September 4, but I may not be able to respond as quickly. So don't be offended.

I'm also happy to answer questions that aren't related to Breathers, zombies, or decomposition. So if you're curious about my favorite authors, my next novel, or what kind of ice cream I have in my freezer, give me a shout.

message 2: by Richard (new)

Richard Kelly (rwk0007) Thanks for writing Breathers and for creating the forum. Got to say loved the book. Found it on a B&N shelf under employee suggestions. And now it is quickly become conversation with my family and friends. But what are you working on now? How far are you into it and all those things?

message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo I would also like to know what you will be working on in the future. Will it be the same kind of stuff or something completely different? Was "Invisible Monsters" an influence in anyway?

message 4: by S.G. (new)

S.G. (sgbrowne) | 12 comments Mod
Hi Richard and Jo. Thanks for the questions. I think I can manage to answer both of them here in one shot.

My follow up to BREATHERS is a novel about fate and destiny told from the POV of a disgruntled Fate. Like BREATHERS, it's a dark, irreverent comedy with some social satire, but rather than zombies, it's populated by characters such as Destiny, Karma, Death, Sloth, Gluttony, and a bunch of humans who make bad decisions.

The title of the novel is FATED and it should be coming out some time in the summer or fall of 2010.

In addition to working on the edits of FATED, I'm in the early stages of my next novel, the title and concept of which I'll hold off on for now. But like BREATHERS and FATED, it'll be dark comedy told from the first person POV and involve an aspect of the supernatural.

As for INVISIBLE MONSTERS, yes. Definitely an influence. You can throw SURVIVOR and FIGHT CLUB in there, too. Chuck Palahniuk's novels, especially his early ones, had an influence on the direction of my writing, which had primarily been straight supernatural horror. Especially the three novels I'd written prior to BREATHERS. Though I had written some short stories that were more dark comedy than horror.

Actually, Palahniuk's LULLABY gave me the inspiration to write BREATHERS, which started as a 2000 word short story titled "A Zombie's Lament."

By the way, "A Zombie's Lament" will appear in the John Skipp edited anthology ZOMBIES, which I believe is due out in early October.

message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo Thats cool. I look forward to reading Fated! I like that Chuck P influenced your work, I think he's a great writer :)

message 6: by Kemper (new)

Kemper I just finished Breathers, and I thought it was great. I don't think I've ever read anything where I was rooting for the flesh eaters to win before.

I usually hate when authors get asked "Where do you get your ideas?", but Breathers had such an original idea that I'm very curious how you came up with the concept?

message 7: by S.G. (new)

S.G. (sgbrowne) | 12 comments Mod
Hi Kemper. Thanks for the comments. I initially set out with the challenge of writing a novel with a zombie as the main character so that if/when the zombie gave in to his archetypal desire for human flesh, the reader would be right there cheering him on. So it warms my heart to know that you were rooting for Andy.

The idea for Breathers originated with a two-thousand-word short story I wrote in 2001 titled "A Zombie's Lament." (Most of what I'd written from 1990-2001 was straight supernatural horror, with a little dark oddball story every now and then.) While I'd always been a fan of zombies, I'd never written a story about them, but I didn't want to write the standard flesh-eating zombie fare.

Instead, I imagined what it would be like if I woke up and realized I was a zombie. What would I see and think and feel? What would it be like to be able to smell my own decomposing flesh? How would my friends treat me? How would my parents react? What would I want for breakfast?

A few years later, I was inspired to try turning that short story into a full-length novel. Which, of course, became Breathers.

Hope that answered your question. I know there was no "aha" moment or weird dream that gave me the idea. Mostly I just wanted to address the mythology from a different POV and see what happened.

message 8: by Kemper (new)

Kemper Mission accomplished. I can't believe anyone managed to make zombies sympathetic, but you did it. Nice work. Your next one about fate sounds interesting too.

message 9: by S.G. (new)

S.G. (sgbrowne) | 12 comments Mod
Thanks. I'm hoping all of those readers who enjoyed Breathers because it was about zombies will appreciate Fated even though there isn't a zombie to be found.

message 10: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Well, I enjoyed the book as well.

I came upon it by luck one day at the bookstore (on my birthday no less!) I had been bitching about how vampires were so romantic now and no one wanted to see them as what they used to be -- zombies, before zombies were zombies. I vowed to find a zombie romance novel and when I saw Breathers I rubbed the cover into my friends’s non-believer faces.

Unfortunately, the cover was the most romantic part. I loved the book though. I always side with the bad guy or the monsters (or whatever team has the cutest color uniform, because my pretty head can't comprehend statistics or strategies) so I was very pleased all through the book. I wasn't having a paradigm shift or anything, but that's usually easier for people to induce in me than the mere emotion of pleasure...So, total win, I'd say.

My question...Or suggestion....Do a zombie bodice ripper now. Really own it too.

"Make love to me darling!"
"I will, my love, as soon as I find my penis. It fell off somewhere between Larry King Live and Anderson Cooper 360. I'm sure it rolled under the couch, I'll be right there, go lube up."

That scene went down hill fast....Anyway, that's just a suggestion. Do THAT but do it GOOD.

You're the writer, not me.

message 11: by S.G. (new)

S.G. (sgbrowne) | 12 comments Mod
I have to say, that was a well-done scene, nothing I could top at the moment, at least not with a PG-13 rating. But I did pen a short story titled "Zombie Gigolo" that should be appearing next year in the zombie anthology The Living Dead II. The story was originally a performance piece that I read for the annual Gross Out Contest at the 2008 World Horror Convention (I took third, by the way) so I never expected it to see print. While I can't reprint any of it here, it does include sloughage and body cavities bursting open at inopportune moments.

As for the romance angle of Breathers, I always thought of it more as a dark comedy than a romantic zombie comedy. Yes, there is necrophilia, but it's more about Andy's search to find his undead purpose than it is about his romance with Rita.

Thanks again for the lovely scene.

message 12: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) S.G. wrote: "it does include sloughage and body cavities bursting open at inopportune moments."

Now, THAT is romantic. I'll look out for the Living Dead II.

message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris Bowsman "Sloughage" is such a fantastic word. Even if you've never heard it before, what it means is totally obvious.

I'm looking forward to checking out "Zombie Gigolo". Sigler's CONTAGIOUS has a pretty fantastic sloughage incident.

message 14: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Sloughage is the second word I learned today, the first was 'pinchbeck'

message 15: by S.G. (new)

S.G. (sgbrowne) | 12 comments Mod
Another good expression in the "sloughage" family tree is "frothy purge." It kind of sounds like a new drink at Starbucks.

message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel S.G. wrote: "Another good expression in the "sloughage" family tree is "frothy purge." It kind of sounds like a new drink at Starbucks."

mmmmm frothy purge...yummy :)

message 17: by S.G. (new)

S.G. (sgbrowne) | 12 comments Mod
By the way, for anyone who lives in the Los Angeles area, I'll be doing a reading and discussion of Breathers in Torrance at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library on Saturday, Oct 3 at 11:00AM.

I'll also be at the West Hollywood Bookfair on Sunday, Oct 4, doing a panel and a signing with, among others, Amber Benson, author of Death's Daughter and Seth Grahame-Smith, co-author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Panel begins at 1:30PM

You can find more info on my web site events calendar:


If you're around, come on by. I'd love to meet you.

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