Undead Anonymous

Breathers in the UK

March 2nd, 2011

The official release date of Breathers in the United Kingdom has arrived, with a spiffy new cover that shows one of the warmer moments in the book.  If you’d like to get your hands on a copy, you can order one through Amazon UK.

I’m also throwing a book giveaway to celebrate the release.   So head on over to www.SGBrowne.com to join in the birthday celebration and enter for a chance to win signed copies of both versions of Breathers, as well as a signed copy of Fated!


October 17th, 2010

This Halloween weekend, the zombie apocalypse will be in Seattle as the inaugural ZomBcon comes to the Pacific Northwest October 29-31.

With a guest list that includes George Romero, Max Brooks, Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Chuck Palahniuk, Malcolm McDowell, and a number of authors of zombie novels (including yours truly), it should be quite a weekend.

The event takes place throughout downtown Seattle, including the Seattle Center, Barnes & Noble, and the AMC Pacific Place and will include author coffee chats, signings, panels, film festivals, and much more.

Check out the full schedule of events.

As for my scheduled appearances, they’re all on Saturday, October 30:

9:00AM Coffee Chat
Barnes & Noble

2:00PM Book Signing
Barnes & Noble Pavilion
Seattle Exhibition Center

4:00PM Panel
Zombies Are People Too
(w/Stacey Graham, Scott Kenemore, and Jesse Petersen)
Seattle Center NW Conference Room

I’m also planning to be at the Opening Ceremonies Friday morning at 10AM and at the VIP Meet and Greet Sunday at 4:30PM.

If you’re already attending, I’ll look forward to seeing you there.  If you’re not attending, then you’ll be missing out on a lot of zombie fun.

Breathers in Germany

July 12th, 2010

Today is the publication date of the German edition of Breathers, which in Germany is titled Anonyme Untote: Eine Zombie – Liebesgeschichte. You can click on the title to view the official page from the publisher (Heyne).

This is the first foreign version of Breathers to hit the shelves, so it’s kind of an exciting day here for Andy and Rita and the rest of the group at Undead Anonymous.  Not to mention me.  If I knew how to say “Woo hoo!” in German, I would do so right now.

The Italian edition is scheduled for release in October, with the UK version set for publication in March 2011.  The Russian translation should hit the shelves sometime next spring.

Breathers & Fated Foreign Pub Dates

April 28th, 2010

One of the bonus features of having a book published is the chance to see it in print in another language. Or at least in another country, even if they speak English.

During my recent trip to the World Horror Convention in Brighton, England, I had the chance to meet with Donna Condon, an editor with Little, Brown in the UK.  Having already sold the rights for Breathers to Germany, Italy, Poland, and France, we hadn’t been able to find a publisher in the UK or Australia, so I was hoping to remedy that.

As it turns out, I had a great conversation with Donna, not only for Breathers but for Fated, which led to the sale of rights for both titles in the United Kingdom.  So never underestimate the benefit of attending conventions.

So far, in addition to the UK, the rights for Breathers have been scooped up by Germany, Italy, Poland, and Japan, while Fated is slated for release in Brazil, Germany, and the UK. As soon as I have images of the foreign covers, I’ll be sure to post them on my web site.

And yes, I realize I mentioned France earlier but have left them out of the schedule.  While the rights to Breathers were sold to France, that version, which was already translated and ready to go, unfortunately never made it into print due to unforeseen circumstances.  Which is disappointing for many reasons, one of which was the title.  It was supposed to be released last fall as Comment J’ai Cuisiné Mon Père, Ma Mère… et Retrouvé L’amour (or roughly translated How I Cooked My Father, My Mother… and Fall in Love Again).

I’m hoping another French publisher picks up the rights and keeps the title. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the upcoming foreign publication schedule for both Breathers and Fated.

August 2010, Germany (Heyne Verlag, Munich)
{Title: Anonyme Untote (Undead Anonymous)}
September 2010, Italy (Valter Casini Editore, Rome)
March 2011, UK (Little, Brown)
(Territories include Ireland, South Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand)
TBD, Poland (Amber Publishing Ltd, Warsaw)
TBD, Japan (Ohta Publishing Co.)

November 2010, Brazil (Leya Brasil, Sao Paolo)
Spring 2011, Germany (Droemer Knaur)
September 2011, UK (Little Brown)
(Territories include Ireland, South Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand)

The Glamour of Book Touring

February 26th, 2010

You wake up at 6:00am PST Wednesday morning in San Francisco.  You spend all day running last minute errands and packing for a 10 day trip and trying to get all those bright yellow Post-It notes with reminders off your desk.  You catch the Super Shuttle, which arrives 10 minutes early and deposits you at SFO two-and-a-half hours early, but at least you saved $30 by not taking a cab.

You board your 11:40pm flight and get as comfortable as you can, hoping to catch some sleep during the five hour flight.  But you’re not sitting in first class, so you know that’s not going to happen.  Especially since someone a few rows back thought it was a good idea to bring their two three year old boys on the overnight flight and one of them screams and throws a tantrum every twenty minutes.

You land at Ft. Lauderdale at 8:00am EST, awake now for twenty-three hours, and rent your car from Budget and get on the Florida Turnpike to drive up to Orlando for your book signing later that evening.  As you drive on the Turnpike, you blow through the SunPass lanes, the prepaid/pre-registered lanes that avoid the hassle of having to stop and pay the tolls or dish out exact change.  You do this because the guy at Budget who checked you in told you that was how it worked and the credit card you rented the car with would get charged for the tolls.  As you blow through toll after toll, you read the sign that says $100 per toll violations and wonder if you’re racking up a lot more than toll charges.

You get to Orlando at noon and spend a few hours having lunch and hanging out with Tommy Castillo, zombie artist genius and karaoke god (who sang “The Rainbow Connection” in the voice of Kermit the Frog in Winnipeg) and eventually realize you’re about to pass out, so you crash on his couch but can’t sleep because his two dachshunds have decided they really, really want to climb all over you and lick your face.  So you rest instead.

At 6:00pm, after a shower and a change of clothes, you’ve been awake for thirty-three hours, so you drink the 5-hour energy drink you bought at the airport and head over to Barnes & Noble in Colonial Plaza for your 7:00pm signing.  Geoff and the crew at B&N make you feel welcome and have up great displays and there are actually people waiting there for you and you talk and read and sign and it makes the fact that you haven’t slept in a day-and-a-half worth it.

At 9:00pm, you get on to the I-4 to Tampa because you’re booked at the Hilton in St. Petersburg, courtesy of the editors of Zombie St. Pete, the zombie anthology you wrote the introduction for and the reason you’re in Florida in the first place.  You get on the Interstate and see the EZPass lane and blow through the gate, the same you’ve been doing all day long, only this time under the red light instead of the words DON’T STOP it says WAIT FOR GREEN.  You don’t notice this in time, so you don’t stop.  An alarm sounds behind you and you wonder if you’ve just earned yourself a ticket for running a red light.  But at least you can write it off.

At 10:00pm, you pull off the freeway to use the bathroom at Burger King and because you haven’t eaten in eight hours, you cave in and order a BK Big Fish value meal.  You decide that the BK Big Fish is considerably superior to the Filet of Fish from McDonald’s.  You also realize you’ve just used the word “superior” to describe fast food.

At 11:00pm you check into the Hilton in St. Petersburg and you’ve now been awake for thirty-eight hours.  Before you go to bed, you get on the Internet to post a few comments to Twitter and to check e-mail.  Only the Hilton doesn’t provide free Internet service and because this annoys you, you go downstairs in your jeans and bare feet to sit in the lobby instead.  The next morning, you cave in and pay for the Internet service.

Andy’s Favorite Things

December 21st, 2009

Andy Warner here, reanimated corpse and undead hero of Breathers, filled with human flesh and holiday cheer.

As it’s the time of year for consumer consumption, and as I’ve been asked what I would like to find under the tree, I thought I’d let everyone know what is on Andy’s Christmas wish list. But rather than a list of stocking stuffers, I thought I’d share my thoughts to the tune of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things.”

With all due respect to Julie Andrews and singing Austrian governesses everywhere…

Blood drops on noses and bite wounds on screamers,
Fresh tender kidneys and warm toasted femurs,
Fraternity pledges all tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Blueberry brain stems and crisp Breather strudels,
Eyeballs and earlobes and tonsils with noodles,
Undead Anonymous pot luck meetings,
These are a few of my favorite things .

Dead guys in coffins with red gaping gashes,
Corpses that wake up from fatal car crashes,
Embalming treatments and Pine-Sol soakings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When my flesh rots,
When my skin slips,
When I lose a limb,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so grim.

A Breathers Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2009

To commemorate the holiday, I thought it appropriate to share the Thanksgiving chapter from Breathers.  But if you’re really looking forward to digging into some turkey, you might want to avoid the part about sloughage.  So don’t blame me if it ruins your appetite.

Happy Thanksgiving!

BREATHERS – Chapter 28

In light of my recent displays of “spirited rebellion,” as she put it, and my father’s exponentially increasing resentment towards me, my mother thought we might patch up our problems and differences if we all sat down and shared a nice, family Thanksgiving dinner together.

“Just like old times,” she says.

The three of us are sitting around the dining room table in a stifling, uncomfortable silence. My father shovels cranberry sauce and turkey into his mouth, refusing to speak to or make eye contact with me or with my mother, while Mom abandoned her attempts at making conversation after my father told her to “Shut it.” Now she just sits in her chair, holding back tears and biting her lower lip as she picks at the stuffing and green beans on her plate.

My parents don’t appear to be in the holiday spirit.

Meanwhile, I’m thankful just to be eating at the table. It’s the first time my parents have invited me to join them for a meal since my third day back, when one of the stitches on my face popped and a piece of rotting tissue fell into my mother’s homemade gazpacho.

Needless to say, Mom hasn’t made it since.

Fortunately, my stitches seem to be holding fast these days, better than I would have imagined after four months. So I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for a lot of things, more than I would have imagined barely more than a month ago.

I’m thankful for my support group.
I’m thankful for Rita.
I’m thankful for meeting Ray.
And I’m thankful my speech is returning.

It’s still rudimentary, but when your vocabulary has consisted of grunts and screeches that make Leatherface sound like a Rhodes scholar, anything is an improvement.

In addition to “I Eeta,” I’ve managed to vocalize a few other expressions:

“Ooo ook ate.” (You look great.)
“Sss eese.” (Yes please.)
“Hank ooo.” (Thank you.)
And “Ow oo I ell?” (How do I smell?)

Coming from a nine-month old in a high chair with creamed corn dripping down his chin, the brief explosions of half-English would probably sound adorable. But coming from a thirty-four-year-old decomposing half-corpse with mashed potatoes and gravy dripping down his chin, well let’s just say it’s probably not going to make anyone reach for the video camera.

So I keep quiet and eat my dinner and look around the table, at my disappointed mother and my brooding father, at all of the food and splendor of this silent, oppressive Thanksgiving feast, until my gaze falls on the turkey with its blistered skin and its vanishing flesh. The more I stare at it, the more I realize that I can relate to it, empathize with it, and it strikes me how much we have in common. True, it’s dead and cooked and partially devoured, but is that so different from me?

As it’s slowly consumed, the bones appear bit by bit, the cartilage and ribs revealing themselves as meat is stripped from the skeleton. Eventually, it will be nothing but a carcass. And I wonder:

Am I being destroyed by Breathers?
Is the process of decomposition gradually consuming me?
Or am I being consumed by the degradation of having to exist in a world ruled by the living?

The longer I stare at the turkey, the more I begin to feel a sort of kinship with it. The more I see it as a metaphor of my current existence. The more I began to understand why Tom would want to become a vegetarian.

Before my father can cut off another slice of breast or tear off another drumstick, I reach over and grab the turkey by its leg and drag it off the serving platter, across the table toward me.

“Hey,” says my father, his mouth filled with stuffing, pieces of it spraying across the table. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”


Take your pick. All I know is it feels right.

The turkey overturns the gravy boat on its way toward me, dumping its contents on to the tablecloth and into the cranberry sauce.

“Goddamn it!” yells my father, dropping his knife and fork and reaching for the turkey.

“Honestly, honey,” says my mother, happy just to have some sort of interaction taking place. “If you wanted some more, all you had to do was ask.”

Before my father can grab the other drumstick, I pull the sixteen pound Butterball into my lap, knocking my plate aside and off the edge of the table, where it lands on the hardwood and cracks in two, spilling my dinner across the floor.

“Andy!” says my mother. “Those are my best dinner plates.”

“Give me that turkey,” says my father, who gets to his feet and comes around the table with his head thrust out in front of him the way does whenever he means business. It used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid. But I’m not a kid anymore. And I’m not giving up my turkey.

I push back in the chair and stand up, more sure of myself than I’ve been in months, and cradle the holiday personification of my essence against my stomach with my right arm as I back away toward the cellar door. Just before my father reaches me, he steps in my spilled mashed potatoes and goes down hard, smacking his elbow on the table.

“Are you all right, dear?” asks Mom, who is still sitting in her chair as if all of this is completely normal.

My father doesn’t answer, just gets to his feet and comes after me. I’ve almost reached the wine cellar door when he catches up and grabs hold of an exposed drumstick. I don’t think he even cares about eating the turkey anymore. He just doesn’t want me to have it.

Part of me wonders just what the hell I expected to accomplish. How I expected this to improve my situation. Another part of me finds this more fun than any recent Thanksgiving I can remember, so I start to laugh.

“This isn’t funny,” says my father, trying to pull the turkey away from me, but I’ve got a firm grip on the other drumstick with my right hand and I’m not letting go. Over my father’s shoulder, I see my mother cleaning up my broken plate as she complains about how we both ruined a perfectly lovely meal.

My father and I continue to fight over the turkey, each of us pulling on a drumstick, skin and meat sliding off in our hands. And I’m reminded of sloughage.

During the initial stages of human decay, liquid leaking from enzyme-ravaged cells gets between the layers of skin and loosens them. Sometimes the skin of an entire hand or foot will come off. As the process continues, giant sheets of skin peel away from the body.

Like the piece of skin that just slipped off the drumstick my father is holding.

If I hadn’t already ruined my appetite for turkey, that definitely did it.

An instant later, the drumstick in my father’s hand rips away and he stumbles back and falls into the antique black buffet hutch containing my mother’s tea cup collection. The hutch topples over backwards and lands with a thunderous crash of wood and broken china cups as I fall to the floor laughing with the turkey in my lap and my mother starts to cry.

Just like old times.

Reader’s Poll: Favorite Chapters

November 11th, 2009

I’ve done a number of readings over the past eight months and have found certain chapters that I enjoy reading more than others.  Part of that has to do with the content of the chapters, which include a combination of narration and dialogue, and part of it has to do with the reaction I get from the audience.

My favorite chapters to read include:

Chapter 4 (Andy comes upstairs to help his dad install the garbage disposal)
Chapter 20 (the attempted retrieval of Tom’s stolen arm)
Chapter 28 (the Thanksgiving dinner scene)

I also enjoy reading Chapter 48, the scene where Andy’s being interviewed by the media at the SPCA, but I don’t read that one as often because it borders on revealing spoilers.  That’s one of the limitations I have when doing a reading is avoiding chapters that contain spoilers, since I haven’t done an event yet where everyone has read the book.

But I like to mix things up a bit, not read from the same chapters over and over, and see how the audience reacts.  Which brings me to my Reader’s Poll question:

What are some of your favorite chapters in Breathers that you would like to hear at a reading?

It doesn’t matter if the chapters contains spoilers or are chapters I’ve already mentioned, but I’d like to hear what you think.  And everyone who responds either here or on SGBrowne.com will be included in a random drawing for a chance to win a personalized and signed copy of Breathers.  Feel free to answer more than once and on both sites, but only one entry per person for the drawing.

All comments posted up until Friday, November 13th at 11:59PM PST will be entered in the drawing.

Breathers in Pittsburgh Part II

September 22nd, 2009

So I’m back from Pittsburgh, where I spent the weekend at the Horror Realm Convention meeting lots of new writers, hanging out with a bunch of great people, and watching movie clips from a bunch of low budget 60′s and 70′s horror films with titles like Cannibal Girls, The Hanging Woman, and Scream Baby Scream.

Though my favorite movie clip was from the classic The Vampires Night Orgy, which prompted a discussion about how vampires have the best orgies, werewolves have the best pajama parties, and zombies have the best pot lucks.  Though I can’t take credit for the discussion.  That goes to Emily Fear and Maureen White of Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Pittsburgh, who graciously hosted me at their booth for the weekend signing books with Jonathan Maberry and eating gummy body parts.

In addition to the wonderful staff at Joseph-Beth, I met a bunch of zombie authors from Library of the Living Dead and Permuted Press, including, Rhiannon Frater, Eric  S. Brown, Rob Fox, Kody Boye, Kim Paffenroth, and James Melzer, among others. You can read about all of the authors on the Author Page of the Horror Realm web site.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Pus, the force behind Library of the Living Dead, as well as Rebecca May, Sandy Stuhlfire, Rich Dalzotto, and the rest of the organizers of Horror Realm.  Having never traveled to an event on the east coast south of Manhattan (and even then, not since 2002), I hadn’t met the majority of those who attended the convention but soon found myself enjoying their company and sharing in the camaraderie of the weekend.

However, in addition to the wonderful memories, I also brought a cold back with me from Pittsburgh and have been laid up the last couple of days trying to kick it out of my apartment, so if you’ll excuse me, I have to go exorcise my germs with some green tea and a shot of vitamin C.

Next time I’ll talk about why I think Tom Cruise should win the lifetime achievement award for running in movies.

Breathers in Pittsburgh

September 18th, 2009

I’ll be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pittsburgh South this weekend, September 18-20, for the Horror Realm Convention.

Although I’ll be hanging out and available most of the weekend, I do have a couple of scheduled signings and readings:

On Friday, from 6-7PM, I’ll be doing a sit and sign in the Dealer’s Room with Jonathan Maberry, author of Patient Zero and Zombie CSU.  If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan, he’s a great guy.

On Saturday, I’ll be doing a reading followed by a Q&A from 11:30AM-12:30PM, followed by a solo sit and sign in the Dealer’s Room from 12:30-1:30PM.

So if you’re in the area, come on by. There’s lots of zombie goodness to be had.