Weston Ochse is the author of more than twenty books, most recently SEAL Team 666 and its sequels Age of Blood and Reign of Evil, which the New York Post called 'required reading' and USA Today placed on their 'New and Notable Lists.' His first novel, Scarecrow Gods, won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel and his short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in comic books, and magazines such as Cemetery Dance and Soldier of Fortune. He lives in the Arizona desert within rock throwing distance of Mexico. He is a military veteran with 30 years of military service and currently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Bitch-slapped the Universe with my Apocalypse Weird Book

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I was asked to play in the Apocalypse Weird Sandbox and dove in head first.

What is Apocalypse Weird, you ask? 

From an article that appeared in The Guardian: "Think of an apocalypse, and Apocalypse Weird has it covered. Zombies? Yes of course. There’ s clearly a little inspiration from The Walking Dead here, but Apocalypse Weird takes things much further. Cannibal hordes, cities sinking beneath the waves, genetic mutants, electric fog, frozen arctic winds and gojira are the backdrop for this shared world, in which some dozen or more established indie authors are each creating a standalone book series."
You can read the full article here.  

The first book in the shared world is Red King, which is still available for free! You can get it here.
“The Red King is something of a literary seed, the first chapter in an innovative collaboration between bestselling indie authors that sees the creation of an entire world for them to play around in. The creators have ambitious plans for this sandbox series and there are a huge number of popular authors involved and already busy writing new episodes in a huge interconnected world. A clever viral marketing campaign has attracted readers like moths to a floodlight with the promise of something big…” ~ Eamon Ambrose, Eamo the Geek Reviews




And then came MY BOOK!
Book 1 of The Red Palm

Once a warning whispered to bad children, the Black Bishop is all too real. With armies of Black Monks to seek out new recruits and a select coterie of self-amputeed nuns, his power is spreading like a plague, both in the real world and in the astral plain.

The great windmills on the plains of Palm Springs are now home to the crucified; I-10 has been shut down and is used as an asphalt strip where 'the staked' live their last joyous hours in a chrysalises of pain; and in Cathedral City cutters try and outdo themselves, slashing and cutting into their skin in epic contests against each other.

The problem is that these people aren't being forced to do these things... they beg to do it… they ache to do it…

And things are only getting worse.

Notice it says Book 1. In this universe, each author will establish his or her area, the players and what's happening. Other authors can come in and write, taking over your piece of the sandbox. They can send you characters anywhere, do anything, be totally crazy. They can cause the troubles in your area to interact with the troubles in another area. There is no limit to the destruction one can do. After all, we're kids throwing sand in the air. How much fun is that.

At the very least get Nick Cole's Red King for free. You're crazy not to. Then pre-order mine. You can read all the books in whatever order you want. There is no order at this point. Or you can just read one. For those fans of mine who are completists, it's perfectly cool to just read my book and move on. The Apocalypse Weird gestapo will leave you alone. I know they will because I arranged it that way. 

If you're interested in getting Red Palm for the introductory price of 99 cents, you can grab it here.


How I Destroyed the World - A Day's Log

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Upon writing the novel Red Palm for the Apocalypse Weird Universe I was asked how easy or hard it was to destroy the world. Here's my answer:

I'm an expert at breaking things. Just ask my parents. Or my grandparents. So when I was asked to destroy the world I hardly broke a sweat.I mean, look at me (if you could). I have scars all over my face. By the time I was five I had over a hundred stitches. I was a one kid demolition machine. God save you if you were anywhere near my wake.

So when I destroyed the world it went something like this.

Here's an average day.

7 AM - Woke up. Picked up dog poop. Watered the plants. Googled missile payloads on UAVs. Drank cofee and ate yogurt.

8 AM - Created  charismatic character that encourages people of all ages to self mutilate themselves as a sign of individual freedom. Lots of blood. Preaches like a traveling revivalist under a big tent with a rock band. Hmm. Maybe use this character later too. He's like the Good Rob Lowe but Evil.

10 AM - Commented on dog pictures on Facebook. Checked Twitter to see what Sam Sykes was doing. Googled random thoughts. Turns out that the The pleistocene epoch is the geological timer period which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. Google glaciations next.

1030AM - Brainstorm. I decided I want giant worms to eat people and things. A montage of Tremors footage flashed through my mind. I bow my head to Dune. Then I create the Sonoran Death Worm.

NOON - Damn folks over at Apocalypse Weird say they're doing a cookbook. Whatever? Now I have to come up with a recipe. Luckily I have one handy. Chupacabra-stuffed Clams. Wrote and email, attached it and sent it out. Now to find lunch.

1 PM - Ate a Shrimp Burrito. Had to change shirts. Thought about the giant windmills near Palm Springs. Wondered if anyone is cruscified on them? Wondered if they were if anyone would notice?

2 PM - I require more blood. For a book about cutters and self-mutilaters, there isn't enough blood. Time to flip the novel and change the reality. Now my blood runneth over. I think I'm going to hell. I giggle as I respond to an email from my agent.

3 PM - Doorbell rings. Wine delivery. A box from Club W. I unpack the wine, put it in my winerack, and place a bottle of Little Sur Chardonnay in the fridge to cool. Then I remember I forgot to give my main character extra razor blades.

4 PM - Jesus Christ on a Pogo Stick! I've been on Facebook for the last hour. Where did the time go? You were supposed to be writing, you knucklehead! All I know is that even with a face full of dirt and blood Charlize Theron is hot, puppies like trampolines, don't ride your bike off the roof into the pool, and there should never be any memes ever about the People of Walmart.

5PM - To make up for the distractions I destroyed an entire town. Sonoran Death Worms and giant
crows are even now consuming the populace in great greedy gulps. Children are running, screaming down the street. Houses are on fire. Men and women are being cut in half, chewed up, and spit out. I find myself singing the theme song from Sesame Street and laughing. Oh Joy! This is what it means to be a writer.


6 PM - I do Yoga, then chase it with some Chardonnay. I sit outside afterward watching the sunset and wondering if I've killed enough people. Part of me wants to go kill more.

7PM - I'm chopping onions and crying. Robert Irving is screaming at some poor southern couple on television because they have no idea how to run a restuarant. My iPad is open before me. I've gone back to kill more people. Blood runs in the streets. Now that the death toll feels appropriate, I think I can make Lamb Marquez Sausage Pasta for dinner now.

9PM - Damn bottle of wine had a hole in it. Throw away the empty and get another.

10 PM - I stand in the backyard screaming, Unleash the Dog's of War into the starry night. My neighbor shouts for me to shut up. I scream back at him like a mad man. I am the conqueror worm. I am the devourer of worlds. Nothing can stand in my way.

10:01PM - My wife calls me back inside.

11PM - I'm in bed. The walls are slightly swimming, my stomach is a bit uneasy, but I smile, knowing that I've destroyed enough for this day and that what's left can be destroyed tomorrow.

1101PM - I dream of unicorns farting rainbows. All is right with the universe until tomorrow I start all over.


If you're interested in getting Red Palm for the introductory price of 99 cents, you can grab it here.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

How In the Hell Did I Write 25 Books?

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It's hard to believe I've had 23 books published with two in the queue. It seems like just yesterday that Darktales published Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors. David Whitman and I didn't even know what we were doing, but we somehow managed to outsell many of the mass market books with this thin horrific tome of 21 short stories. And now here I am with book 24 - Red Palm and book 25 - Grunt Traitor. Wow. Just Wow. I guess this is what happens when you keep your head down and just write.

Let me see if I can remember the books in chronological order.

1. Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors
2. Natural Selection

3. Appalachian Galapagos
4. Scarecrow Gods
5. Recalled to Life
6. The Golden Thread
7. Blaze of Glory
8. Empire of Salt
9. Velvet Dogma
10. Babylon Smiles
11. Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way
12. Lord of the Lash and Our Lady of the Boogaloo
13. The Loup Garou Kid
14. Redemption Roadshow
15. Blood Ocean
16. Nancy Goats
17. Multiplex Fandango
18. SEAL Team 666
19. Age of Blood
20. Border Dogs
21. Grunt Life
22. Halfway House
23. Reign of Evil

24. And very soon Red Palm
25. and this summer Grunt Traitor

Someone will have to correct me if I made a mistake, after all, it's math. If you want to see the covers for all these, they can be found on my website at www.westonochse.com

And to think that I was once 32 years old, sitting in military housing on Fort Bragg, dreaming I could become a writer. And then one day I started writing and would you look at me now. I'd like to point out that not a single book was self-published. Each one was bought and paid for by publishers ranging from the small press to the Big Five. It was a hard row to hoe and it took longer for my first novel to be published (7 years), but it gave me time to refine my craft.

Yes, I'm proud, but it's more than that. I am that guy who wanted it, went for it, learned the craft, and got what I wanted. I'm you. I'm your brother-sister-cousin who wants to be a writer but doesn't know how. 

I could be anyone. 

It just takes time.

I definitely feel like a winner.

Now enough of this bullshit.

Time to get back to writing.

I think the number 50 sounds good!

Look for me in the stacks!

#    #    #

(A funny note about that picture. That's Brian Keene and Norman Partridge holding up my arms. It wasn't planned. We had like fifteen seconds to do as many poses as we could to get these free pictures. Somehow I got in the middle and they just jerked my arms up. So crazy. Good times.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Author Photos - Styling like Mad Men

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World renowned photographer, John Urbancik, recently took some head shots at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta. Not sure which one I'm going to use for book covers. What do you think?





Black and white like this, I look like I stepped off an episode of Mad Men.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Speech for the Horror Writer's Association Lifetime Achievement Award for Jack Ketchum

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I speechified at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta on Saturday. I was nervous. Standing in front of so many of the literati, my friends and peers, and a world-wide-streaming audience sent butterflies with switchblades carving through my confidence. I'm told it was awesome and was a highlight of the Bram Stoker Award Ceremony. Thank God.

I do owe some thanks, however. Thanks to Brian Keene for being my first reader. Thanks to Yvonne Navarro for making sure I didn't make a fool of myself. Thanks to Marsha and thanks to Stephen King for his kind email and comments, which I included. Thanks also to Brian Keene and Monica O'Rourke for your comments. Thanks also to Linda Addison for your comments. I'm sorry I wasn't able to include your heartfelt words because the speech was getting too long. They were magnificent. And finally, thanks for Lisa Morton for asking me to speechify. It was tremendous honor.

I was given free reign with the speech, so I made it a little roasty. When I mentioned this to Chris Golden he said, "Dude, this isn't NECON." No it wasn't, but once you've been to NECON, it's in  your blood.

So without further ado, here is the speech.

Congratulations Jack Ketchum, you are so deserving.


Speech for the Horror Writer's Association
Lifetime Achievement Award for Jack Ketchum
By Weston Ochse
 


When I first met Rob Lowe, I couldn’t get over how timeless he looked. His hair was a shade darker and his smile was a degree or two whiter, but it was definitely the same guy I’d seen in St. Elmo’s Fire and Hotel New Hampshire groping Brat Pack actresses.

And to think that Rob Lowe was also a horror author.

Wow.

Just wow.

Call me a fan boy.

I mean who knew?

And then some dumb ass popped my Rob Lowe bubble and told me the guy’s name wasn’t Rob Lowe and was really Jack Ketchum. I said that sounded like a fake name and asked if maybe this Rob Lowe-looking guy wasn’t actually the real Rob Lowe slumming in the horror gutter pretending to be a Rob Lowe-looking Jack Ketchum but was really Rob Lowe all along?

Right?

Can’t you see it?

In fact, I was told that Jack Ketchum WAS a fake name. The Rob Lowe-looking guy-named-Jack-Ketchum’s real name was Dallas Mayr.

Right.

Dallas.

Mayr.

How many of you think that Dallas Mayr sounds like a fake name too?

Dallas Mayr. Sounds like Texas pork product.

Dallas Mayr. Something you eat along with the pickled eggs at a bar.
Dallas Haranguing Me for Pronouncing His Last Name to Rhyme with Oscar Meyer (as in wiener)

Dallas Mayr my ass.

And I was right. You see, it turns out that Dallas Mayr isn’t the only name he’s gone by. Turns out that his real name is Jerzy Livingston and he was a regular contributor to the iconic literary tome known as SWANK for a considerable number of my formative years. I remember reading Swank as a kid. You’d think I’d remember Jerzy Livingston, but in all honestly, I never knew there were actual words in the magazine.

Back to my hypothesis. Maybe this guy sitting here really is Rob Low pretending to be a horror author who just looks like Rob Lowe?

Can you see it?

Let me just point out the obvious. This Dallas-Jack-Jerzy person and Rob Lowe have never been in the same room at the same time.

Or have they?

Just saying…

Back to the lifetime achievement award presentation. Here’s how it works. To be eligible for this award, a candidate must either be at least sixty years of age by May 1 of the year of the award's presentation, or must have first produced professional work in the field of Horror at least thirty-five years prior to May 1 of the year of the award's presentation. All recipients must be alive at the time the President is informed of the committee's choice.

This guy checks all the blocks.

What the criteria doesn’t say, but is certainly implied, is that the recipient must have had a significant impact on the genre and that is definitely a block Dallas has checked with a giant marker.

Look at this Rob Lowe lookalike. Beneath his craggy whiskey-scented exterior, behind the shifty eyes, and hidden within his lean, teenager’s body, is a nurturing soul.

I know, right? It’s not so obvious. To think that the man whose mind created The Girl Next Door is a nurturer is like having the Good Rob Lowe and the Bad Rob Lowe in the same body.

I can remember when I first started writing back in 1997. I met up online with a group of other writers who would come to be known as the Cabal. Folks like myself, Rain Graves, John Urbancik, Mikey Huyck and Brian Keene huddled in front of our respective computer screens as we texted in hushed characters in a solemn but now lost place known as the Horrornet Chatroom. On occasion a real writer would come by. Folks like Ray Garton, Dick Laymon, Doug Clegg, F. Paul Wilson, and Tom Picirrilli would slide in and we’d shut our yammering to hear how it was to be a real writer. Jack Ketchum was one of these guys who would slide in and give us advice. Not that he needed to. He just wanted to.

He was the same in person as he was online. He always offered an eager smile. He always acknowledged a fellow writer, even if that fellow writer hadn’t published anything other than a letter to his mother. When asked for advice, he was quick and confident, bestowing everything one might need to know about the craft of writing and the nature of surviving the publishing industry. He might look like the Bad Rob Lowe, but he’s always been the Good Rob Lowe to us writers scrabbling and scraping up the sheer wall of literary possibilities.

One stultifyingly hot NECON afternoon, found me getting a leg up. I had my first mass market book contract and was writing Empire of Salt for Abaddon Books. While everyone else was outside in the quad loudly getting their drink on, I was inside working. I got to the point where I needed to take a walk and get my thoughts together. I went outside, strolled around the building and through a parking lot, and ended up bumping into Dallas. He asked what I was doing and why I wasn’t with the others. I said I had a book due and that I needed to get some pages done before I could party. He then asked about the book and I meekly said, “It’s a work for hire zombie book,” as if work for hire was a disease. He locked me in that stern-take-no-shit-gaze he can produce on dime and asked, "Are you getting paid?" I nodded. "Is it a mass market book?" I nodded. "Then don’t apologize. You’re writing. They’re partying. My guess is that you’re going to keep writing for longer than they’re partying."

I never again felt bad writing a work for hire book. And I always remembered that it’s the work, not the partying, that makes a writer.

The success I’ve had in my own career can be directly attributed to the advice, mentorship, and friendship Jack Ketchum gave me and continues to give me.

And I know I’m not alone.

Here’s what my good friend Brian Keene had to say - "I received my first mass market contract at a convention. I was sitting at the hotel bar by myself, looking over it, when Dallas sat down next to me. He asked me to buy him a drink and let him see the contract. I did. He then asked the bartender for a red pen. Soon, he was going over my contract, adding things and crossing others out, all while not spilling a drop of his drink. When he was finished, he handed the contract back to me and said, "That's how you negotiate a contract. Keep a copy of this and use it as a template." That contract was for a book called THE RISING, and I have used Dallas's template on every book ever since."

I asked Monica O’Rourke if she had anything to say, knowing she’s been a longtime confidant and co-conspirator. She said, "do you mean something I can say in public? Something that doesn’t involve alleged sex, alleged drugs, and tons of booze?"

Notice we didn’t use the word alleged with the booze, man.

And I said, yes, something we can say in public and something that doesn’t involve alleged sex, alleged drugs, and tons of booze.

So after six months of thinking about it….

Seriously, Monica thought about it and after lots of tears and wringing of hands she provided this. "Dallas has always been one of my most critical readers, and while I didn’t quite appreciate it at the time, I sure do now. When Dallas read something I’d written, I wanted glowing praise, not, “Here’s what you should have done with the ending,” or “No, if you plug up that orifice with metal, blood will come out here, not here—and this is how I know.” I didn’t know how to overcome the horrifying fact that Dallas didn’t consider me the next Hemingway. I dreamed of ways to convince him I was brilliant, but most of my ideas involved chloroform and a lobotomy. Then, a few years ago, Dallas read something I’d written and had nothing but nice things to say about it. Of course I’d convinced myself he was just being kind. But isn’t that the sort of stupid thing we writers tend to do? Especially, when you finally manage to listen to the advice and apply what your literary idol has been telling you all these years."

Even Stephen King recognizes Jack Ketchum’s contribution to great literature. When I asked him to comment about Rob Lowe—I mean Dallas, he said, “Beginning with Off Season some thirty years ago. Dallas Mayr—writing as Jack Ketchum—almost single-handedly created a new form of horror/suspense fiction, marrying true crime to the horror genre and adding an unflinching realism that few other writers had the chops—or the guts—to equal. His stories are not for the fainthearted, and were never intended for them. His ability to create gripping situations and indelible characters is unparalleled.

As you can see, this man has definitely made an impact on the industry. He’s always been easy to approach, he takes time out of his day to help new and old writers alike, and oh yeah—somewhere along the way he helped create a whole new subgenre.

Yes, he did that.

I’m pleased to call Dallas my mentor and friend, just as many of you are.

So Mr. Rob Lowe or Jack Ketchum or Dallas Mayr or Jerzy Livingstone, whoever the hell you are, please allow me to present to you the Horror Writer Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

There are none more deserving.

__________________

Photo Credits: First two courtesy of Yvonne Navarro. Third Photo courtesy of Jonathan Maberry.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How to Eat Healthy and Live Dangerously

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Living Dangerously is all about rejecting the norm. It's about deciding you're not going to take the simple path. As Robert Frost would say, I took the one less traveled by. Is there danger with doing things other people don't do? Some people think so. To them the very idea of change is dangerous. I've been doing it for so long danger is the norm.

I need change.

I reject commonality.

I want to be different.

So as you noticed in yesterdays post, I explained how a 4 day vacation resulted in 4 pounds gained. Most people would lock themselves into a fall out shelter and eat oatmeal and smoothies the rest of the week. That's the easy way to lose the weight. The dangerous way is to confront the food. Eat well. Eat healthy. And exercise.

Here's my menu for the week:

Monday - Leftover cauliflower fried rice with leftover bbq pork ribs. That's like a double leftover meal. Served over steamed cabbage.

Tuesday - Scrambled eggs with onions, capers, white wine, garlic and fennel. Served with a sunburst tomato and mint salad. Yes, you can have eggs for dinner.

Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Salad with leftover bbq chicken breast, grilled corn, black beans, onions, lime, cilantro and low fat blue cheese dressing.

Thursday - Grilled Trout with Sardinian Couscous with steamed clams. I caught the trout but haven't made the couscous before. But I do have a recipe so we'll see how it turns out.

Friday - Farmers Market Pappardelle Pasta with Pan-seared Scallops. I love this pasta. Drizzled with a simple sauce of meyer lemon olive oil it's going to be fantastic. I might use shrimp instead if scallops are too expensive.

Saturday - Out for Dinner with a friend from out of town.

Sunday - Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Quinoa Salad. I love love love grilled salmon. I could have it every day. The cucumber quinoa salad is a nice bright fresh accompaniment.

Notice what you don't see. You don't see any beef or bread. You don't see anything premade or processed, which usually contain unholy amounts of sodium as well as other unsavory ingredients. You don't see anything cooked in butter. I'll use EVOO instead.

What's for breakfast? Usually coffee, yogurt and a piece of fruit.

What's for lunch? Either a salad, soup or leftovers. Small portion.

What's for snack? Fruit. We have 4 pineapples cut up in the house this week. I graze on that.

And of course, exercise. Yesterday I burned 600 calories by doing a spin class and lifting weights. Today I'll probably run and burn about 400 calories. It's important to exercise every day, if only just a little.

So what are you eating?

Are you living dangerously?

Or are you living safe?

Come on, live dangerously. I dare you!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Whoops! What Did I do? Need to exercise Quick!!!

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We took a mini-vacation to Jerome, Arizona the last four days in celebration of yet another of my mother's 21st Birthdays. We had an incredible time, especially our stay at the Surgeon's House Bed and Breakfast. You know you're having a great time when you're still there and trying to figure out when you can come back. Yeah, it's that sort of place.
One of the Brekkies we had at the B&B

I managed to exercise only once during the four days by doing some stretching and yoga exercises as I stared across a thirty mile view. It was stupendous. 

But alas, with all the food and lack of exercise and wine -- oh boy was there food and wine -- I gained four pounds. One for each day, I suppose. Good thing I wasn't there for a week.

But no regrets. This was a vacation. You're supposed to enjoy yourself.

I don't regret the 12 oz NY strip.

I don't regret the almost pound of shrimp I had for breakfast one day.

I don't regret the 1/3rd pound venison burger or the heaping French Fries.

I don't regret the copious amounts of wine I drank.

You know why? 

Because I'm allowed to cheat every now and then.

But you gained four freaking pounds? What are you going to do about it?

I'm not going to panic. I know my body and I know how to exercise. Here's what I'm going to do for the next week-
  • Limit my carbs
  • No beef
  • Watch salt content
  • Eat yogurt for breakfast and take probiotics
  • Increase fresh veggies and fruit intake
  • Drink lots of water
  • Daily Exercise
I mean, Who Can Say No to a Venison Burger
The last one (Daily Exercise) means I have to do something every day. For me, something constitutes at least 400 calories burned during a session. I have a Suunto Ambit 2 watch, so it tracks it for me.

Today I did a spin class and some bench presses, burning 600 calories. Tomorrow I'll probably do a long yoga workout. If my legs aren't killing me, I might run and then do a short yoga workout.

It's all good.

No reason to panic. 

I bet that I'll be 4 pounds lighter by Friday.

Easy Peasy Japanesey!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Trout Fishing on the Lower Provo

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Accidental selfie.

You can't live dangerously without a little fishing. If you're a follower of this blog, then you'll remember when I posted the blog about fishing when I was in Afghanistan called When I Used to Be a Fisherman. Somewhere along the way I'd stopped fishing. No more.


Ever since I came back from Afghanistan in the fall of 2013, I've been trout fishing where I can. We have a little alpine lake close by that has rainbow stockies. Really no more than 9 or 10 inches if you're lucky. On day I latched onto a school of them and caught 30 8 - 9 inch trout (or maybe there were only two and they took turns leaping onto my lure). But these fish are small and hard to find. The best part about Parker Canyon Lake is that I can take my fishing yak on there. Now that's fun.

My son and I went up to Silver Creek last fall. We tried to fish, but a deluge and subsequent flood spoiled that for us. Seriously. The creek flooded within 30 minutes of us arriving. Sigh.

I recently tried to fish the Lower Salt River in Arizona and was skunked. Nothing. It was a freezing morning and no one was catching anything.

Then in January I tried to fly fish the Lower Provo River in Utah. I'm not a very good fly fisherman yet. I tried nymphing. But again. Freezing. And nothing. Not even a strike.

So when I returned to the Lower Provo River this time, I decided to fish the way I normally fish and that's with spinners. Only question was which spinner to use. And oh yeah. In the middle of April it snowed and got down to --you guessed it-- freezing.

But the day I went fishing dawned nice and beautiful. No snow and the temp raised to the mid-50s. So I hit the river, found a spot and began working through my spinners. First one I tried was one the guy at Cabellas told me to use. Ten minutes and nothing. The next one was a spinner mimicking a rainbow. Nothing. Then the next one mimicked a little brown trout. Still nothing.

I was beginning to wonder if I'd lost the touch. I'd done my research. I'd read the blogs. I'd bought what others had said worked. But still nothing.

Sigh.


Then I noticed that my lures were a little large. I also didn't like their action. So I tried a little spinner mimicking a brown trout. Three casts in and a fish rolled it's belly towards the lure, showing me the yellow and white of the brownies tummy. My heart leaped into my throat. I told myself to move slow.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Don't fumble this.

I was working my way up stream with waders, casting up towards the deeper waters at a 45% to 60% angle. I cast over where the fish rolled, retrieved the spinner, and BAM! It took it with only about ten feet of line left, so near I saw it take the lure and try and run with it.

Oh the joy and excitement. There's nothing like it. Catching a fish, especially a big fish like this after so long not catching anything is an almost indescribable feeling.

I brought it in, took a picture, then released it.

Funny thing. I've never done catch and release before. But I was traveling. Hell, my suitcase had my two travel rods, two reels, my lures, my Simms waders, and my Korkers boots. What was I going to do with a fish? Stuff them in my socks? I had to let it go.

Of course before I left my wife had said, You spend all this money on fishing gear to catch a fish just to let it go. You're so weird.


I thought it would bother me not keeping the fish. But you know what? I enjoyed it. And yeah, dear, it did feel a little weird.


That first brownie was not the last. Over the next six hours I worked different parts of the Lower Provo and caught and released ten fish.

Let me share them with you.

2nd Fish caught about two minutes after the first.

3rd fish caught about ten feet from where I caught the second. I was constantly inching upstream. 

I think this was the 3rd fish's brother.

Last one at this location. Then I moved on. When I returned to my car I met a fly
fisherman who'd come all the way from Switzerland to fish. He was in for a great time. 

This one wasn't as fat as the next one, but it was long and rangy.

I caught this one on a first cast in a place where I knew a lot of people had passed.
Just goes to show.

This is the same as the last one. It was a huge fish and fought the hardest of all of them.
I was pleased to return it to the river.
This one was barely a keeper but it fought like it's big brothers.

Two guys were about thirty yards down stream fishing
from a bridge. I walked up and first cast. Boom!

How'd this Rainbow Get here?? About 15 inches.
So that's it folks. After the rainbow, I called it a day. I drove around a little looking at spots I might try next time. 

Here's my Gear:
  • Akuma Trio High Speed Reel
  • St. Croix lightweight Travel Rod
  • 6 pound test
  • Simms Waders
  • Korkers Boots
  • Licence from Cabellas
  • and some lures.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Grunt Traitor Gets a Cover Blurb

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As a young man, I remember leaning against the inside of  the TC turret of my armored personnel carrier and reading a new book called Legion of the Damned by this author named William C. Dietz. I really should have been watching the road, especially if we were about to be attacked, but Legion
of the Damned was such a damned good book (see what I did there?) and really something new to hit the military science fiction streets in ages, I couldn't put it down.

Lucky for me, we were just driving the APCs from the rail head at Yermo to the cantonment area at Fort Irwin. There were no real bad guys who were going to attack us. At least not until the exercise at the National Training Center started in a few days. So while every other TC ate dirt and stared squinty-eyed at the vehicle ahead of them, I wore a dust rag around my face and descended into a world where the dying or incarcerated could have a second life as cybernetic soldiers. I was so entranced, that I barely noticed the 104 degree heat. Okay, that last bit wasn't true. The heat had bitch slapped me good and proper and was an unrelenting hell of a gal. 

But at least I had Legion of the Damned. 

Fast forward 22 years - God, has it been that long? - and I'm writing my own military science fiction. Grunt Life was the first in my new series. I had the temerity to send it to Mr. Dietz. We'd corresponded a few times (he asked that I call him Bill). So I sent him a copy of Grunt Life and after some time, I received an email that I could not have imagined receiving those 22 years ago riding in the hatch of an APC in the middle of the Mohave Desert. 

He'd sent me a blurb.

This is what's going on the front cover of Grunt Traitor, the sequel to Grunt Life.

“Add Grunt Life to your list of must-have books.  
This is action adventure at its best.”
 —New York Times bestselling 
author, William C. Dietz

To say that I am honored is beyond words.

To say that I am stunned is obvious.

And to think that a young corporal with dreams of becoming something more, managed to do so.

One of the best things about growing old and becoming a successful author is being able to make friends with those whom I've grown up reading.

It's an awesome benefit to a ton of hard work and inspiration.

If you haven't yet pre-ordered Grunt Traitor, you might think of doing so. Selling out the first print run means I can write more books.

If you haven't yet red Grunt Life, then what are you waiting for. After all, if William C. Dietz likes it, then you know it's great.

You can pre-order them from the links on the right, or you can order them from Mysterious Galaxy or Mostly Books, who both have signed versions of Grunt Life they can ship to your door.