Tag Archives: SG Browne

MIND MELD: Blurring the Lines in Genre Fiction

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

I love novels that can walk the lines of multiple genres, so, in that spirit, I asked our panelists these questions:

Q: As a writer, why do you think it’s important to step outside of your comfort zones when writing, perhaps to explore other genres? What books have you read that blur the lines between genres and do it effectively?

Here’s what they had to say…

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger and The Marbury Lens. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle is his seventh novel, followed by 100 Sideways Miles, his eighth, coming in September 2014. He lives in Southern California.

I honestly do not think of “genres” at all when I write. I also don’t envision a targeted audience. I know that this goes against the philosophy of the majority, but it’s how I write. I write the story that pleases me, and I write it entirely for myself. I’m not a big fan of “comfort zones” when writing, either, because being comfortable sounds too much like sticking to the same old formula. I like to experiment with plot, narrative style, content, and structure every time I start something new. This is frequently challenging, but it keeps things interesting, too. I don’t like feeling bored or boxed in by a particular brand. So it’s always been the most difficult thing for me to precisely categorize any novel of mine in terms of genre and what it might be comparable to.

I think a lot of Vonnegut’s work scatters across the constraints of genre. I also admire Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume and Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. In terms of YA literature, I’m a big fan of A.S. King’s work.

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INTERVIEW: S.G. Browne Talks About Big Egos

S.G. Browne is the author of the novels Breathers (2009), Fated (2010), and Lucky Bastard (2012), as well as the novella I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus (2012) and the e-book short story collection Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel (2012)

His brand new book, Big Egos, just came out and he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions!


Kristin Centorcelli: You have a producing background in Hollywood and your bio says you wrote your first short story while in college. What was it about? What made you decide to take the plunge and write your first novel?

S.G. Browne: My first short story was titled “The Night Before” and was about a student writing a story for his Creative Writing class the night before it was due. He’s typing away on his keyboard when there’s a small popping sound, followed by a loud pop and a puff of smoke, the computer monitor flashes brightly and then goes blank. This part was autobiographical, except the story I was writing was not called “The Night Before.” I don’t remember what it was called but it was gone in a literal puff of literal. This was 1988, so there were no flash drives or online drop boxes to be found. Eventually I borrowed someone’s electric typewriter and started writing a new story from scratch, which has our frustrated hero make a comment about giving anything to get his computer back up and running, so he ends up calling a computer repairman named William Zebub, or Bill, for short. By the end of the story, our hero unknowingly sells his soul to get his computer fixed. Real original stuff.
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