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.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Corrupts Absolutely - Anthology of Antiheroes

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Corrupts Absolutely is back in a new edition -- this one from Ragnarok Publications -- and it has my story Hollywood Villainy. In the world of meta-humans and anti-heroes, my boy Valiant Fang stands tall, even though he's really just over five feet tall. Ellen Datlow selected the story as an honorable mention to her best horror stories of the year. I thought I might offer you a free excerpt to get you to go and buy the book here, but first, here's what some folks said about Valiant Fang. 

"Ochse delivers an off-beat story with an unconventional character in Hollywood Villainy. His style moves the reader through the story with suspicion of every single character we meet. Has Marvel actually straightened out his life? Is Jimmy a pedophile or just a porn addict? And most importantly, is Valiant (who calls himself The Shadow) as heroic as The Shadow from the radio show? Weston doesn't let us know until and ending that makes us realize that Stephen King could not have penned this story better." - Geeking Cool

"Editor Lincoln Crisler has gathered 21 stories in this fine collection; tales which delve into the minds of beings who possess superhuman attributes. For some, the anomalies are an affliction, while others lose what remains of their fragile human side. It is that loss of humanity and humility that creates the utmost horror. “Hollywood Villainy” by Weston Ochse best exemplifies that horror. The author fashions an individual who is, indeed, absolutely corrupted by his powers. Mired forever in the body of his boyhood, the concocted aged entity revels in sadistic acts. Taking a page from Stephen King’s Carrie and other works concerning vengeance by abused misfits, Ochse superbly executes the deranged venom of his protagonist." - Hellnotes
""Hollywood Villainy" by Weston Ochse delivered a great take on mind-reading, as a Chinese kid hounds a couple of two-bit hoods in L.A. by getting in their heads and doing some Machiavellian-style manipulation." -- Wagging the Fox
“Hollywood Villainy” by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Weston Ochse, was my favorite in this block of stories and ultimately the entire collection. A fifteen year old Chinese boy born Valiant Fang (pretty cool, huh?) hasn’t aged a day since 1937 and now he tools around Hollywood on his old bicycle making a real mess of the world, destroying lives by utilizing his mind-reading powers. Valiant Fang, a.k.a. The Yellow Shadow, didn’t start out that way. In fact, when he discovered his mind-reading ability, he set out to be a hero like the ones all kids admire. Unfortunately, he “soon learned that no one liked a little Chinese kid superhero.” And that’s the hook to “Hollywood Villainy.” - Dreadful Tales 


Hollywood Villainy
By Weston Ochse ©2012


No one pays attention to the body.
Instead they watch the antics of the paraplegic pimp and his one-legged midget hooker. He holds her by a leash attached to a spike dog collar around her neck as she hops around his wheelchair in a crazy cavorting dance. This is what they came to see. Not the stars on the Walk of Fame. Not the hand prints in the Chinese Theater. Not the gargantuan Hollywood sign that had once announced a suburb. But theater in the raw—the misfits and characters that make Hollywood the adult Disneyland promised them by every David Lynch and Tony Scott film.
The pimp has enough studs poking from his face that he could have been a cyborg. A young girl points at them and says as much to her father. The midget hooker has had a boob job that makes her look ridiculous, even if she hadn’t been a half-pint, one-legged fuck machine. The detraction is sad, because the death of the man had been majestic to behold. And that his body lay square atop the Hollywood Star of Orson Welles was a grace note that I’d never thought to pull off. Still, people never look to the heart of things; instead, they grasp at any shiny object that happens by, no matter how shallow or meaningless it may be.
+
 ‘Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. The Shadow knows.’
This is my mantra. This is what has fueled me through these years of too much, too young, forever. The notion of the shadow, of someone who can manipulate the minds of men to his own ends, is something that I enjoy. I say it. “Only the Shadow knows,” and follow it up with dramatic baritone laughter. But I am far from the figure of a tall handsome masked and cloaked avenger. In fact, no matter how many years pass I’ll never be tall, I’d never be old and I’ll never be handsome. Instead of portraying the Shadow like a masked and cloaked avenger, I have no choice but to present myself as I am—fifteen, Chinese-American, short, odd-shaped face covered in acne and glasses the movies referred to as RPGs, or Rape Prevention Glasses, because they were so ugly. Still, even though I was born Valiant Fang in 1922, I AM the Shadow and the Shadow always knows.
“Watch it kid,” an older man growls as he tries to get by.

My 1949 Schwinn Phantom is positioned in the middle of the sidewalk. I’d parked on John Wayne’s star. It is as good a view as any. It also gives me a jumping off point. After all, in an entire world filled with people, how am I to go about selecting my targets? I let the stars guide me. Not those up in the sky, but the ones set in concrete as flat monuments to pop culture greatness.
And then I see him.
And he is perfect.
Especially the pink straw cowboy hat—pink enough to make John Wayne roll over in his grave.
Especially his connection to an old memory that I’d long thought forgotten.
I begin the chase.

//END OF FREE EXCERPT//

Wanna read more? Then you have got to get the book where you can read my story and twenty others. Go here - Quickly! And don't stop if you see a Chinese kid on an old bike wearing RPGs. In fact, press the accelerator hard!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

PARMESAN EGGPLANT FRIES - A Living Dangerously Recipe

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PARMESAN EGGPLANT FRIES
Author: Living Dangerously
Duration: 30 minutes
Average Cost: $3.00 US
Serves: 4-6 (or two who just can't stop eating)

Who doesn't love fries? I could eat an entire plate of them virtually every day. I remember when I was stationed in Afghanistan in 2013. Every Sunday night I'd have three baked chicken breasts and a heaping plate of fries. So nice. So good. So damned fattening.

But now I think I've discovered a way to eat them and get away with it. Yes! Baked Eggplant Fries.
These are seriously good and taste just like they're fried.

I kid you not.

So, get out  your cutting board, baking sheet covered in foil and rack, and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Here we go.

Peel medium eggplant. Starting on the longest edge, slice the peeled eggplant into 1/2-inch pieces. Lay the widest pieces, from the center, cut side down, and slice in half length-ways so all the pieces are equally about 1/2 by 1/2 by 4 inches in length.
 Place the flour in a medium bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Place the egg whites in another bowl and beat until frothy, about 30 seconds. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a third bowl.

Coat the eggplant pieces in the seasoned flour and pat to remove any excess flour. Dip the floured eggplant in the egg whites and then into the Parmesan mixture, gently pressing the mixture into the eggplant. Place the breaded eggplant pieces on a rack on a baking sheet. This should really be done with a rack, so if you don't have one, consider getting one. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Toss in a bowl with a little garlic salt (or not) and serve. 

Cook's Note: The eggplant fries can be dipped in ketchup, marinara sauce, pesto, ranch dressing, vinaigrette, or really anything you want. We used curry ketchup, but next time I think I'll try a Dijon-lemon-mayo mixture.


Ingredients
1 Medium Eggplant
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free substitute)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 egg whites
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or gluten free substitute)

Friday, February 13, 2015

GARLIC BUTTER SHRIMP AND QUINOA - A Living Dangerously Recipe

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GARLIC BUTTER SHRIMP AND QUINOA: Low country cooking meets high country health
Author: Living Dangerously
Duration: 30 minutes
Average Cost: $16.00 US
Serves: 6 with small salads

Use two kinds of quinoa for added color

Can butter be healthy? Do you mean there's a meal with six tablespoons of butter that's healthy?

Seriously?

Here's the answer- Yes and No. 

The No = If you eat a meal loaded with fats and carbs and then throw in a stick of butter then hells yes it is unhealthy. That much butter, especially on a regular basis is bad for your heart and a big turbo boost to bad cholesterol.  
The Yes = If you eat a light meal with ancient grains and no fat, then a little butter, even a stick of butter won't hurt too bad as long as it's not every night. We're talking once a week or every two weeks. If this is the case then, yest, it can be healthy.

Full disclosure. This is a dish I modified from Taste of Yum. Not that this was the first place I'd seen it. I'd had something like it when I was in the Golden Isles many years ago (Jeckyll Island specifically), but it was served with couscous. When you think about it, this is nothing more than a healthy version of shrimp and grits, a staple of low country cooking.

So why quinoa?  According to authoritynutrition.com, here are the health benefits:

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
  • Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E.
Sautee low and slow for tenderness
This is coming with a total of 222 calories, with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat. It also contains a small amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Quinoa is non-GMO, Gluten Free and usually grown organically. Even though not technically a grain, it still counts as a “whole grain” food (11 Proven Benefits from Quinoa).

So yeah... Quinoa... duh!

I'm also a terrific fan of shrimp. Although deveining is a pain in the back, I always try and get uncooked shrimp because it's the only way to still impart flavor. I cook shrimp really slow which keeps it from getting rubbery. I usually wait until there's about five minutes left in the cooking time for the quinoa before I even fire my pan for the shrimp. Try and find medium to large shrimp. I try and get them to be forefinger-sized.

This is a great recipe for weeknights because it only takes 30 minutes to make. But it's also something to cook and serve with friends over, sitting around and chatting and drinking a nice white wine.


INGREDIENTS
I used meyer-lemon olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
5 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
2 cups uncooked quinoa (1 red & 1 regular)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 yellow, red, or orange pepper (not green)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
2 pounds raw tail-on shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
lime zest for top and juice for shrimp
fresh cilantro for serving
fresh lemon juice for serving

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat the oil in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the uncooked quinoa and ½ teaspoon chili powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1 tsp of chili powder. Saute for another 1 minute to add flavor to the quinoa. Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15-25 minutes (depending on elevation). When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and toss with fresh minced parsley. While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted, add the shrimp and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder directly in the pan and juice of one lime. Season with salt and pepper and saute until no longer translucent and golden brown on the outside. Just at the end of the saute, add 1 teaspoon garlic and swirl around in the pan until the garlic is very fragrant. Melt the
Picture is Too Fuzzy but you get the point
remaining 5 tablespoons butter with the 2 teaspoons garlic to make a sauce for drizzling (for this, crushed garlic or garlic paste would work really well but minced is also fine). Toss finely diced red, yellow, or organge pepper into the quinoa for color and crunch. Serve the quinoa and shrimp together in one dish, with shrimp layered on top, topping with fresh chopped parsley and lemon juice if desired. When the butter is melted and cooled slightly, drizzle over the shrimp and quinoa. Drizzle lime zest over top. Serve immediately, while still hot.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Confession of an Apocalypse Weird Author

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COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET-- Yes. I'm an Apocalypse Weird author. This is a phenomenal shared world concept with easter eggs, rabbit holes, and associative media within each novel. One novel -- THE RED KING -- has already dropped and is free. Five more novels are dropping on February 23rd. My novel is in the next wave. This is a shared universe and it's as gritty and weird and apocalyptic as you an imagine. Each novel is like a friend with benefits.

For more information, to sign up for the news letter, and to get a free copy of The Red King, go here  http://apocalypseweird.com/

To sign up for the Facebook Page you can go here - 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Catcher in the Rye - Is it Still Being Read?

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"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know
the truth."

First line of J.D. Salingers Catcher in the Rye.

I read it in the 1970s when I was thirteen, probably the perfect age to read it. We had to buy a copy in a brown paper bag from under the counter of the local Walden Books. It was very influential to me.

I wonder if young boys even read it now?

Or has it lost its relevance.

One thing was for sure-- it was my Hunger Games.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cormac McCarthy, Ridley Scott, and The Counselor-- Why All The Haters?

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Yeah. There are spoilers, but not a lot of them.

I caught this on TV today. I was frankly enthralled. I loved the characters--
  • Javier Bardeem as a bronzed drug kingpin whose taste in clothes is a cross between Miami Vice and Lady Gaga.
  • Brad Pitt playing an El Paso scoundrel-drug mover, his visage prettied-down with long stringy hair and bruises.
  • Cameron Diaz as an ex-stripper, hypersexual, upward-climbing panther
  • Michael Fasbender as the philisophical foil for the action
  • Ruben Blades dispensing wisdom and justice like the Angel Gabriel
Parts of the movie I thought were beautiful. Like the conversation about snuff films and Ruben
Blades final scene. I said to myself, 'Who wrote this. It's beautiful.'

Come to find out it was written by Cormac McCarthy so of course it's beautiful.

Only I seem to be the only one thinking this.
A great writer's pompous idea of pulp fiction, treated with stultifying seriousness by everyone else involved. - Guy Lodge of Time Out 
It's filthy, nasty, sexy, absurd, appalling, and exhilarating, and it succeeds as a musky union of novelist Cormac McCarthy's bleakness and Ridley Scott's sense of chic. - Wesley Morris of Grantland 
The Counselor is the cumbersome end product of a high-minded writer trying to slum and a slick director aiming for cosmic depth. - Sam Weisberg of The Village Voice


It's been described as MUMBLECORE. What the fuck is mumblecore? A few clicks later and the internet tells me that it's a real thing.

Mumblecore is a subgenre of independent film characterized by low budget production values and amateur actors, heavily focused on naturalistic dialogue. Filmmakers often assigned to this movement include Andrew Bujalski, Lynn Shelton, Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Aaron Katz, Joe Swanberg, and Ry Russo-Young. The term mumblegore has been used for films mixing mumblecore and horror gore.

There's even a list of Mumblecore Directors and a list of ten essential Mumblecore films.

Seriously? Which is the problem. Critics take themselves too seriously. so seriously they had to crete a term for movies that don't rely on CGI or big budgets or high paying actors, movies where people talk naturally. Shit. I call those movies. Some of them are pretty smart too like Clerks and Bottle Rocket. Wait? One of the Owens brothers is in that film. Does that make it not Mumblecore? Does Quitin Tarantino write Mumblecore. I'm just asking because there's an awful lot of talking in his movies... NATURAL TALKING even.

Back to The Counselor.

Andrew O'Herir of Salon.com literally hates it. I mean he hates it so much he calls it THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE-- 


There are a couple of decapitations in “The Counselor,” possibly as many as three, along with two shootouts, one of them entirely non-germane to the so-called plot. Oh, and there’s a scene where a woman has sex with a car. We’ll get to that. But the narrative of the film is almost entirely discursive, and largely consists of the Counselor sitting around with his obviously crooked associates —Pitt in a dingy white suit, stringy hair and a black eye; Bardem in hilariously ugly designer duds, accessorized with girly cocktails — having stilted, stylized conversations about women and money and snuff films and the meaning of life that don’t go anywhere. It’s like a mumblecore movie about a bunch of Sarah Lawrence philosophy majors, made by coked-up rich people for 100 bajillion dollars.

And that's a bad thing?

And someone email Mr. O'Herir and let him know that mumblecore movies don't have big budgets or stars or at least according to the definition they don't.

Was the movie stylized? Sure. It's as stylized as a Tarantino film.

Were there long sections where they talked and nothing happened? Sure, like a Tarantino film. But in my opinion all the conversations in The Counselor and Tarantino films are important.

Like Cameron Diaz in the confessional. The priest won't let her confess because she's evil and there is no redemption for pure evil. 

Ruben Blades conversation is characterized as worthless. Check this out--


RubĂ©n Blades, playing some kind of Mexican drug lord. McCarthy really thinks he’s writing up a storm here; the speech goes on and on, signifying nothing beyond sorry dude, you’re screwed. Fassbender, here as throughout the film, stands in for the audience in his blankness, his pigheadedness, his lack of qualities. We were repeatedly told it was a bad idea to watch this movie but we went ahead and did it anyway, and now it can’t be undone. As Blades’ pseudo-Shakespearean soliloquy more or less puts it, whose fault is that?

But it has a purpose. Look at all the other movies out there. Normally, there's a happy ending where the hero wins. The point of this movie, the point against everything Cormac writes, is that you can't win against the very nature of a thing.

Cormac writes about man against nature.The Crossing was a book about man's inability to overcome nature. You can't argue with it. You can't cheat it. You either win or you don't. Blood Meridian was the same way but in this case the Comanches represented nature.  The Road was the same way as The Crossing as was No Country For Old Men, except in an irony, Javier Bardem plays 'nature' as an irrestiable force that cannot be stopped.

It's no difference in The Counselor. It's about man against nature. In this case nature is law/trust. If you break it there's no going back. There's no arguing through it. The justice nature delivers is as immutable and determined and concentrated as the Old Testament. It's fucking black and white with no 50 Shades of Gray.

The only two problems I had with the movie was the title and Penelope Cruz. The title made everyone think this was a movie about a lawyer, which is why I didn't go to see it. Had they changed it, it would have definitely earned out. And Cruz's character was a little flat. The part was necessary, but by casting her, you come to expect more. They could have cast an unknown and had the same effect.

Mumblecore my ass.

The problem is that viewers (especially critics) forgot what Cormac McCarthy writes about. Sometimes there are no happy endings. Sometimes you just can't win. Sometimes you shouldn't do things you know are wrong. Sometimes Bad Shit Happens.

I loved this movie



  .

Friday, January 30, 2015

What's Everyone Cooking for Superbowl Sunday - Chorizo-stuffed Clams and Brie Quesadillas

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I'm going to spend the weekend writing and working out. I'm staring down two serious deadlines and need to get the work done. Yvonne is going to be in art classes all weekend as well. So unless our Great Danes sprout opposable thumbs and fix dinner for us, it's going to be a challenge making something tasty and interesting without resorting to ordering out or using the microwave.

Then I saw this link on my Flipboard and read it while sitting in the Pharmacy waiting for my number to be called.


This one jumped out at me. I think I'll save the recipe for later though.Buffalo-style Pork Chops Covered in Cheese.  Yummmmm!


There are seriously lots of great foods here. I've saved the link. We boiled it down to two recipes we'd make -- well, I'd make. She's going to be in class all day so the least I could do is to have these ready for her when she gets home.

The first one is this:

Chorizo-stuffed Clams

The second one is this:

Spicy Brie and Mango Quesadillas
I get seafood and Yvonne get's her two favorite food groups: Brie Cheese and Mangos.

These aren't the healthiest choices, but hey! It's Superbowl Sunday. It could be a 3,000 calorie pizza followed by 2,000 calories of chicken wings. What's a little 5,000 calories going to do?  HA! Famous last words.

You can check out the recipes for these and all the other great snacks at the link above.

Now tell me, what are you going to eat?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kickstarter, Viking Babes, and Machine Guns on Dinosaurs

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I've been a big fan of Kickstarter since it launched. The very idea of crowd-funding something warms my heart. Not only does it enfranchise everyone, but it allows for the democratization of ideas.

There have been some truly stupid Kickstarter campaigns that have been funded like the $8,000 dollars raised for a squirrel census, seeing Lionel Ritchie's head inflated, or the Grilled Cheesus Sandwich Press that was funded with $25,000 and promises getting the face of Jesus on any of your sandwiches. Wait a minute. Did I just say that seeing Lionel Ritchie's head inflated was stupid? Now that was actually uber cool and the first time a member of the family has had a head bigger than Nicole Ritchie since she partnered with sex-bot heiress Paris Hilton.


Okay. I can get behind that. Performance art for a dollar? They got my buck.

There are also some terrific projects out there that have never been funded, however. I guess it's all in how you get attention, hold attention, and make someone want to be a part of your campaign. I've contributed to dozens over the years. I've been a part of one or two, most recently the revival of Carpe Noctem. This was a print magazine that I killed back in the day when they actually accepted one of my stories. They accepted and the magazine folded. I did that with a magazine called Bloodsongs too! The folks at Carpe Noctem wanted four grand to fund the 20th Anniversary Edition. They got nearly five grand. Here's the link to that campaign.

Success!!

I recently stumbled across a campaign that I would have thrown some pretty serious money at had I known. Not the $10,000 which put you on screen and in the movie, nor the $4,000 for Thor's hammer... (he says now that it is safely over), but certainly a hundred bucks which is serious money for this goucho.

It's none other than Kung Fury. Have you seen it? An ex-cop goes back in the past to fight Kung Fuhrer (Hitler), goes back to far, and enlists the help of a Viking Babe (aka machine gun-weilding valkrie) and Thor. They wanted $200k and they got more than $600k.

Hell yes they did!




I know. This isn't about saving a puppy, or feeding a family, or raising a herd of cattle for a poor Indonesian family.

I got it.

This is about entertainment.

This is about jumping the shark on everything you've ever known. This looks so bad it looks good and this coming from the guy who thinks that Barry Gordy's The Last Dragon is one of the best martial arts movies ever made - SHO NUFF!!

More importantly King Fury is about Viking babes, Machine Guns on Dinosaurs, Thor in Nazi Germany, and kicking the shit out of a Kung Fu Hitler.

I for one hope that I get to see this. 


Here's the link to their uber-cool kickstarter.

Word has it that it will be released on Youtube for free in March.

Want to keep track of them?  GO here.

You'll thank me later.

Or you can thank me now.

Whatever.

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Best Reads of 2014 - The Shibboleth, Red Rising, Soda Pop Soldier - Plus a Surprise Recommendation

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Every year I like to take a moment and call out some great works. As an author, I know how soulless it can be sitting alone and writing and wondering if you're not writing crap. As narcissistic as we are, we are also terribly afraid that we're only an inch deep. So I want these folks to know how good I think they are. I want them to know that they need to keep writing because they're terrific. I'm sure they already know it, but now it's my turn to lend my old raspy voice to the chorus. So in no particular order, here are my top three of 2014.

THE SHIBBOLETH by John Hornor Jacobs. Now Jakes and I go way back. I remember when he hadn't even penned his first work, Southern Gods. So far, everything he writes is gold. So when I had the chance to read the first two books of his new YA trilogy, I leaped at it. This fits nicely in the YA kids with super powers subgenre. But the narratives doesn't rely on the characters strengths. Instead, it relies on their weaknesses. I read this as a 49 year old adult and loved it. You will too.

Here's the starred review from Booklist: *Starred Review* Jacob’s The Twelve-Fingered Boy (2012) was exactly what the teens-with-powers subgenre needed: a full-body beat down that reminded us that having such powers would really, really suck. This hefty sequel follows 16-year-old delinquent Shreve, who can possess people’s bodies, as he shifts from juvenile facility to psych ward to, at last, the Society of Extranaturals, a boot camp of sorts for “post-human” kids run by the highly untrustworthy Mr. Quincrux. Their (supposed) goal: to destroy “the elder” that is causing a nationwide wave of deadly insomnia. This is a dyed-in-the-wool middle book—filled with training, planning, and sinister omens, its chief achievement is to foment excitement for the finale. And in that it succeeds splendidly, courtesy of new friends and new foes, none of whom exist in either camp comfortably. As before, Shreve’s appealing truculence is weighed down by the anguish of sharing the memories of too many damaged people. Jacobs works his ass off here; that’s the best way to put it because you can feel the work, in the best of senses, to make each paragraph a battling push-pull of bruising toughness, electric wit, and dazzling metaphysicality. This fits uncomfortably in every box in which you’d try to put it—in other words, it’s totally unique. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

RED RISING by Pierce Brown. When I saw the cover, I thought to myself, oh, another book about angels, and I passed it by. Not that I dislike angels, I just wasn't in the mood for angelic-inspired-starring fiction. But when I asked Pat Heffernan at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego what the best book he'd read recently, he pointed to that one. So I bought it sight unseen. I picked it up the next morning and finished it that night. It's not about angels. It's a far future story about caste systems, bio genetics, and intergalactic posturing. What's stunningly unfair is that it's Pierce's first book. Worse yet he's a good looking and likable guy, so I can't even hate him for his incredible success. Instead, I'm super happy for him and hope that he has a long successful career. 

Again I'll  let Booklist tell you what they think: A lot happens in this first installment of a projected trilogy. Darrow, living in a mining colony on Mars, sees his wife executed by the government, nearly dies himself, is rescued by the underground revolutionary group known as Sons of Ares, learns his government has been lying to him (and to everybody else), and is recruited to infiltrate the inner circle of society and help to bring it down from within—and that’s all inside the first 100 pages. This is a very ambitious novel, with a fully realized society (class structure is organized by color: Darrow is a Red, a worker, a member of the lower class) and a cast of well-drawn characters. Although it should appeal to all age groups, there is a definite YA hook: despite being a veteran miner and a married man, Darrow is 16 when the novel begins. If told well, stories of oppression and rebellion have a built-in audience, and this one is told very well indeed. A natural for Hunger Games fans of all ages. --David Pitt --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

SODA POP SOLDIER by Nick Cole. This is a truly awesome book. I actually reviewed it on my site, which I rarely do. But I was so engrossed in the book and loved it so much, I just had to say something. Here's what I said. 

Nick Cole's new Soda Pop Soldier is as different from The Wasteland Saga as Skyrim is to Donkey Kong. Not that The Wasteland Saga is as emotionally bankrupt as Donkey Kong. It's not. And it's awesome. It's just so different it seems as if someone else wrote it. In a way, it was. It's clear that John Saxon wrote this book while Nick Cole wrote the other one--John Saxon being both an actor who starred in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon as well as being the nom de guerre of the main character of Soda Pop Soldier.  And Nick Cole can level up with 10,000 cool points for channeling the great unsung pop-culture icon of the 1970s.


The great great grandchild of Neuromancer (Gibson), Soda Pop Soldier shares its inventiveness, themes of moral bankruptcy and greed, and isolationism with it's siblings Reamde (Stephenson) and Ready Player One (Cline). But it achieves more. I'm not sure if John Saxon used these as stepping stones, or came up with the premise whole cloth in the vacuum of his shag-carpeted, spinning disco ball, scotch soaked mind, but whatever +5 Potion of Inventiveness he sucked down, it worked. To read the rest of the review, you can go here.


OUR LOVE WILL GO THE WAY OF THE SALMON. I know I said my top three, but I think one more shout out is necessay. There's a guy living in the Pacific Northwest I want to give some literary love to... a fellow authorly high five and a backslap. His name is Cameron Piarce. I was able to pre-read Our Love Will Go the Way of the Salmon before publication. Cameron sharpened his blade on the bizzaro grindstone, so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. As many of you know, bizarro fiction can take you to places you've never gone, never thought of going, and in some cases, never ever EVER want to go again (much love Carlton!). There's a hint if bizarro in this collection of short stories. But the stories also contain a literary sensibility that I appreciate. The writing is as lean and spare as Raymond Carver, who described his own style as "inclined toward brevity and intensity." I loved this book. I'd like to see more of Cameron's fiction. In fact, and I told this to Cameron, I'd like to see the first story wholly fleshed out and made into a novel. I want to visit that world again and not just with the tip of my toe. I want to swan dive into Desolation Lake so I can swim with the memories of when there were Salmon.

I actually blurbed this book. Here's what I said: "Part Terry Bisson, part Cormac McCarthy, part rocket launcher--Pierce's Our Love Will Go the Way of the Salmon brilliantly uses the fishing prism to examine loss, living without, and never having had."

You can order these books from Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore at this link

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elitest Book Review Selects Grunt Life One of 2014s Best

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Grunt Life was reviewed by Elitist Book Reviews (Steve Diamond) back in August. Here's a link to that review. Bottom line is that they liked it--liked it so much that in a recent interview they chose it as one of the best books of 2014 according to an interview with Stuart Charles Flynn at scflynn.com!

'Ochse has an excellent narrative voice. Line to line, paragraph to paragraph, page to page. It’s all extremely smooth. I never had to go back and reread a section for clarity—though I did reread sections because of how much I enjoyed a turn of phrase, or a character moment. The action—and there is a TON of it—is super clear and effortless to follow.' -Elitist Book Review of Grunt Life

'Weston Ochse is an awesome author. I put his stuff next to Correia and Maberry without hesitation. While I was curious about Ochse’s work before, now I’m excited to read it. All of it. It's pretty easy to see that Ochse is one of the better authors for action SF out there, and GRUNT LIFE was an absolute blast to read.' - Elitist Book Review of Grunt Life

They also selected Grunt Traitor - sequel to Grunt Life - as one of their most anticipated books of 2015. This is the first mention of Grunt Traitor in the wild and most welcome. 

You can read all about Steve Diamond, Elitest Book Reviews, and their other picks at this link. Looks like I'm in terrific company with Joe Lansdale, Brandon Sanderson, Jim Butcher, Larry Correia, Sarah Pinborough, Robert McCammon and others.

Very humble. Thank you Elitist Book Reviews. Solaris Books is going to be extremely happy about this.

Eating, Restraint, and the Best Thing I Cooked in 2014

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I've been slacking. There are a bunch of blog posts I've been wanting to make--I actually have a list of them-- but I've been sick on and off for a month and deep in the nightmare realm of writing deadlines and edits. I know it's a terrible excuse, but it's all I got, so it will have to do. 

As many of you know, I take a lot of food pictures and do a lot of cooking. I even host a FB group called Taste of Sierra Vista highlighting the foods of the town and region in which I live. I'm not doing it to show off. I'm also not doing it to brag about my mad cooking skills because as a chef I am a complete work in progress. I cook like I live life, two steps forward and one step backward. No, I write and blog about food on the occasion because I once weighed sixty pounds more than I do now. I got that way by eating crap. And a lot of crap. Basically, I'd shove down my big fat maw anything that tasted good. I was like a kitchen krakon, eating anything you'd offered me.

But no more.

That was then. This is now.

If it's something loaded with calories, then it better be damn good and special. I need to be convinced to expend the calories and it has to be a rare occasion.

For instance, if I'm going to have a burger, I'm not going to go to a  fast food restaurant. I'm going to
APE Burger - Brie, Bacon and Apple Burger
expend those calories on the best burger I can think of-- best burger available. I'm not going to do it often, but when I do, it's going to be the best ingredients, cooked the best possible way, and in the coolest place. For instance, my go-to burger spot is a place called The Cafe in Sonoita, Arizona and run by Chef Adam Puckle. They have the APE Burger (APE-Adam Puckle Experience). It's a half pound of either farm-raised beef or bison, prepared your way, with his choice of toppings. It's mad good and an experience to boot. So when I said it needs to be special, THAT'S what I'm talking about.

By the way, I wrote about this burger place back in September in an article called Burgers with Chefitude. You can find that here.

Don't get me wrong. I expend calories for food all the time, but most of the time it's pretty healthy. For instance, last night I cooked Miso Glazed Cod over Steamed Cabbage and Basil with a sesame, mirin, and lemon vinaigrette, with quick pickled cucumbers in matcha mirin. It was pretty freaking awesome. But I'd be surprised if the entire plate was more than six hundred calories. It was light, it was filling, and it was sumptious and it's something I'd definitely cook again. (I can provide the recipe to anyone who asks.)

So driving into work today, I listened to a Mimi Sheraton being interviewed about her book 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die. You can listen to it here if you want. It got me to thinking what was the best thing I ate last year. I was surprised to say that it was probably the Razor Clams I had in Portland back in May. Razor clams are one of my new favorite foods. I'd move to Oregon if I could have them everyday. THAT's how much I love them.

Then I asked myself what about all the food you cooked--which recipe do you like the best? It came to me right away. There was a simplicity to this dish, but there was also a depth and combination of flavor that I loved. This wasn't my wife's favorite dish by far. I think she'd say the Pacific Lobster Tails or Penne Con Ragu di Mortadella, which is a dish I love that I stole from Chef Michael White, which is his go to dish when he's hungry late at night. 

No, this is merely my favorite and I'll share it with you here.

Let me start by saying that this isn't my recipe. Sometimes I make up my own recipes based on ingredients available and the taste I want to cultivate. Other times I look at a recipe and tweak it, making it my own. In this case, I followed someone else's recipe-- Master Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. 

The Recipe is -- Orecchiette with Shrimp, Pancetta and Fresno Chiles

Orrechiette is sort of the perfect pasta. It means small ear in Italian and is the perfect pouch for containing small ingredients. I want to use it more. In fact, in 2015 I WILL use it more (You didn't see it, but I just pinky swore to myself).

I'm not going to rewrite the recipe. You can find it here. You should try it. It's awesome. Truly.

I'd be curious to see if you'd make it and then get your opinion. Please share it here if you do.

I'm also curious to know of all the things you cooked last year which is your favorite. I'd like to know.

Now back to writing and editing. So many ideas, so many works in progress, so much glorious life to live and so little time.

Ciao!




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Dinner 2014 - or what to do with two turkeys, 33 Onions and a pound of Chorizo

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My mom and dad live in Tucson and we always flip flop who does Christmas Dinner and who does Thanksgiving Dinner. They had Thanksgiving this year, so Christmas is on me and Yvonne. Sometimes we make a huge turkey. Sometimes we make ham. Sometimes we have a turkey and a ham. My mom's a fan of having a turkey and a goose, but for some reason I'm never fond of the goose. One year we had a standing rib roast. It was awesome, but we discovered that we didn't then have any turkey meat for Christmas sandwiches for which my wife is famous for and one of the reasons I was tricked into marrying her.

This year we're going to have two small turkeys. How'd I come to that decision? Well, after Christmas and Thanksgiving I usually go out and buy hams and turkeys the stores put at ultra-cheap prices, trying to get rid of them before they go bad. We have a full size upright freezer that is packed with food. We decided this summer that we need to start eating some of the food from it instead of our normal store and forget policy. So I noticed that I'd bought a small 12 pound turkey last year after Christmas. Well, 12 pounds is about enough to feed my nephew and too small for six people and the planned leftovers we're looking forward to.

Then it came to me. Let's have two small turkeys!

So we're having two small turkeys. One is going to be traditional, probably with rosemary and lemon flavors. The other is going to be southwestern so I think I'm going to baste it in chipotle butter.

The cool thing about the way I cook turkeys is that it only takes about 90 minutes. You see, I crank the oven up to 500 and they cook very quickly. They still stay moist and their skin is nice and crispy. I think it was in the food network magazine or one of those that detailed exactly how to do it. I've been using it now for 5 years and it has worked perfectly every time. If anyone needs me to, I could probably make a copy of the pages from the magazine that provide this magical advice.

I also cook the dressing(s) at least a day ahead. Not only does it make things easier the morning of, but it gives me time to warm them up while the meat is resting and I am carving. One of my staple dressings is a Southwest Cornbread and Chorizo Dressing with Butternut Squash and Fennel. Not only is it good with turkey, but it makes an amazing breakfast hash. I've been known to make it throughout the year, just so I can have some of the hash. Incidentally, I got the dressing out of a November 2005 Sunset Magazine where it won the Best Dressing Contest. A lady named Victoria Johnson really needs the credit for this. It was her recipe.

The other dressing is going to be more traditional. It's a sausage and rye dressing, made from scratch, of course. I'll make these the day before which will allow for  time for cooking other things and won't make the morning such a rush. We traditionally have dinner at 2 PM and open presents at about 11 AM, so we need the time.

The only other thing I'll make a day ahead is the little amuse bouche I like to make. It's a very small portion of cold coconut and corn soup that awakens the tastebuds and gets them ready to disco through dinner. I like to have this waiting in the middle of everyone's plates to start the meal.

So, enough blathering. One important point before the list, though. You see, I'm very thankful for being able to put out a spread like this. There were many times growing up where we were so poor we only ate pancakes for every meal for weeks at a time. There were many holidays in the military where I had to get a turkey and fixings from the Chaplain, which is something that still goes on in the military. So I appreciate now being able to afford such fare... much of it thanks to my fans.

Christmas Dinner 2014

  • Deviled Eggs
  • Corn & Coconut Soup
  • White Cheddar Cheese Marinated in Honey
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • 2 Young Turkeys (one traditional and one southwestern)
  • Southwest Cornbread and Chorizo Dressing with Butternut Squash and Fennel
  • Sausage and Rye Dressing
  • Lumpy Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Brussel Sprout Slaw
  • Roasted Onions with Lemon
  • Kings Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
  • Orange Cake
  • Vanilla Ice Cream with Pistachios and Thyme
Yvonne makes a great Christmas Sandwich with turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and cream cheese on white Italian bread. I'm almost looking forward to that more than the big meal.

And of course there will be drinkage. 

Probably lots and lots of wine.

I hope everyone has a terrific Christmas. 

I'll snap food porn for you all later.

Now it's off to a Christmas Party.

Laters.

Introducing GRUNT TRAITOR

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Grunt Traitor is the sequel to my ground-breaking first book from Solaris-- Grunt Life, a PTSD-positive military sci fi novel where PTSD sufferers are specifically recruited to join a special task force because there's something in their brain chemistry that makes it easier for them to fight the aliens who are about to invade planet Earth. Grunt Life has been hugely successful, selling out the first print run within days of release.

Here's what some are saying about Grunt Life.

From Pop Cults - 'Ochse goes beyond the normal chaos of combat and asks of the tough questions that we, as a greater society, are just starting to ask. In this novel, he addresses one of the biggest killers of our veterans these days: suicide.  While the taking of one’s life has been addressed before, Ochse embraces it and integrates it into his story without making it the focus of the book or glorifying it. The book starts out with a suicide attempt, but it isn’t for the reasons that you would expect. Ochse was willing to get past the Hollywood and mainstream media explanations of military suicide and try to address some of the real reasons why veterans would be willing to end their lives. This is a subject that needs to be addressed openly and honestly, and Ochse was brave enough to risk turning some readers off to do it. I think that many of the readers who do get turned off by his frank observations on this subject might feel that way because it hits way too close to home. I don’t want this to sound like a challenge, but for some folks out there, this might be the book that makes them stop and think.' 

From Elitest Book Reviews - 'Weston Ochse is an awesome author. I put his stuff next to Correia and Maberry without hesitation. While I was curious about Ochse’s work before, now I’m excited to read it. All of it. It’s pretty easy to see that Ochse is one of the better authors for action SF out there, and GRUNT LIFE was an absolute blast to read."'

Now to introduce Grunt Traitor

Their spies were among us for years. They mapped our electrical infrastructure, learned our weaknesses, then they flipped the switch, throwing us back into the Dark Ages. Only OMBRA and its battalions around the world seem capable of defending Earth from the next wave of attack—terraforming.

This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

But at what price can we gain our freedom from these yet to be identified aliens?

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked this question over and over as he dives deep into the nasty heart of an alien transformed Los Angeles. And in the end, he might just be the last person on Earth defending what it means to be human… our humanity.

Grunt Traitor will be available in July 2015. It can be preordered from your favorite store at Simon and Schuster. Go there now and help me get the first print run sold out before it's even released.

And if you have the time, read my blog post about the REAL and IMPORTANT issue of PTSD. More people have it than you know and it's not merely limited to the military.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Southern California Signing Tour for SEAL Team 666, Grunt Life, and many more

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For the third year in a row I have the privilege of signing books in Southern California. In what has become an annual tradition, I'll be signing books next week at stores and libraries from Ventura to San Diego and points in between. Along the way I'll eat some great food, meet some fans, new and old friends, and booksellers, and be witness to the spectacular Pacific Ocean. This year I'll have my wife with me which will make it even more special. Gosh knows we've taken some personal hits recently and this time away from things will serve to rejuvinate us for the new year.

I'm posting my schedule below. Please come out and join me. You'll find that I'll be more than eager to talk about writing, books, and publishing. I'm linking
these to my Facebook Events Pages, in case you need more information.

 
Sunday Dec 7
4 - 7 PM
Barnes and Nobles, 4820 Telephone Rd, Ventura, California 93003 


Mon Dec 8 

4 - 6 PM
Gatsby Books, 5535 E Spring St, Long Beach, California 90808


Tue Dec 9
7 - 9 PM
Dark Delicacies, 3512 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505
Link to Event

Wed Dec 10
4 - 5 PM
San Gabriel Library, 500 S Del Mar Ave, San Gabriel, California 91776



Sat Dec 13
Mysterious Galaxy at their NEW LOCATION 
5943 Balboa Ave, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92117


 I hope to see everyone. Come see me in person. I don't get out much and this might be your only chance.




Thursday, November 13, 2014

SEAL Team 666 and Grunt Life Make the Newspaper

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I was interviewed on Veteran's Day by the local paper about the release of Reign of Evil -- the third installment of the SEAL Team 666 series from Thomas Dunne Books. The photographer showed up and took some snappies. Then the reporter arrived-- a young man fresh out of Penn State. We spent roughly an hour talking about this and that in our front room surrounded by books.

Today the article came out. A two page spread in the special Thursday Temp edition of the Sierra Vista Herald. The last time I was in the paper it was as part of an article about my wife and stud author Yvonne Navarro where the reporter called me the 'smiling Rotarian.' I come out much better in this article. HAHA.

There are a few factual errors. I was asked about my bracelet seen in the picture and said it was sent to me from a fan (Sean Neeld). I never mentioned it was given to me at a signing. There's also a that-who grammer error that I might have made verbally, but should have been changed textually. And then the Coen brothers are mentioned-- Fargo and Oh Brother Where Art Thou fame. Imagine what a movie from them would look like -- Oh SEAL Team 666 Where Art Thou.

But other than that, it looks like a great article.

The reporter also laments the fact that the script for SEAL Team 666 (Thomas Dunne Books) is being written by another team - the Hayes Brothers. It's actually very common to have multiple versions of the script with many different writers. It's actually a good thing.

We also spent a lot of time talking about the PTSD-positive novel Grunt Life (Solaris) and about the awesome reception its had within the PTSD community. Thankfully, the reporter was able to capture some of that conversation. Although it's a military science fiction mass market paperback, I think it has some important things to say about PTSD and the men and women who have it.

 All in all it is a terrific article.

Here's a link to the article. Thank you Sierra Vista Herald.

http://www.svherald.com/content/robert-charette/2014/11/12/391916


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ask the Great Guru Weston Anything - Oct 2014

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It's so hard to know so much. Such a weighty responsibility. So from time to time I take time to give of myself to the FOWs of the world (Friends of Weston). This is a service I gladly do. And it's something that allows FOWs to be some of the smartest folks on the planet. Last night I offered my services on Facebook and I will now answer the following sixty-nine questions.

So here we go.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt What is the most true to life situation you've ever used in one of your novels?
Answer: The feeling of fear of a soldier about to go into combat.

Logan L. Masterson What is the airspeed of an unladen African Swallow?
Answer: It's difficult to measure the airspeed of an African Swallow because it's really a non-migratory species. The European Swallow, however,  is more easily measured. A 54-year survey of 26,285 European Swallows captured and released by the Avian Demography Unit of the University of Capetown finds that the average adult European swallow has a wing length of 12.2 cm and a body mass of 20.3 grams. Because wing beat frequency and wing amplitude both scale with body mass,5 and flight kinematic data is available for at least 22 other bird species,6 it should be possible to estimate the frequency (f ) and amplitude (A) of the European Swallow by a comparison with similar species. With those two numbers, it will be possible to estimate airspeed (U).

Hank Garner Who is your favorite comic book character and why?
Answer: The original Captain Marvel- Mar-Vell. He was sent to watch Earth and ultimately defected to us. Even at a young age I realized how cool and right that was.

Frank Raymond Michaels Are your characters ever based on real people in your life?
Answer: Yes.

Rosefyre Flannery Have you ever visited Wickenburg, Arizona and why? Did you eat there and enjoy your visit?
Answer: Yes. To spend time with my son. We had steak at one of the places and it was pretty good.

Darren Mckeeman What does human flesh taste like?
Answer: A little more firmer than cat meat and less tangy than gerbil.

Jeanna Tendean What do you do to make yourself feel better when you're sad?
Answer: Say to myself the worst day in America is better than the best day in Afghanistan.

Ladonna Perkins What is one thing you regret doing in your life?
Answer: I don't have any regrets. The path I chose is what made me who I am today.

Geno Mortensen How did you meet Yvonne Navarro?
Answer: We met at the World Horror Convention in Denver in 2000.

Mark McLaughlin Who DID leave that cake out in the rain?
Answer: Christopher Golden.

S.D. Hintz What inspired you to write your current series?
Answer: The chance to merge military and the supernatural together was too cool to pass up.

Justin Schmid Can you eat just one Lays potato chip?
Answer: Duh... no!

David Wilson I had a dream where you were writing a novel for our O.C.L.T. series, and I wondered if there was any truth to it...
Answer: I dreamed I was getting a five figure advance for writing it.

Ashley Clayton Have you ever done any research on UFOs and the military's refusal to acknowledge their existence (ie Roswell and Wright Patt AFB?)
Answer: I began reading about Project Blue Book when I was ten and am still fascinated by it.

Jordan Baker How will you possibly answer all of these questions without selling your soul for eternal life in order to continue answering these questions?
Answer: The weight of my responsibility is immense.

Sunni Brock What's that on your shirt?
Answer: Dog smutz.

Stephen Kozeniewski My car won't start about 1 time in 24. Do you think it's an issue with the solenoid or the flywheel?
Answer: Neither, it's the orbiting aliens targeting you with their on-off clicker.

Sean Lewis What happened to the rednecks?
Answer: Theyre still there. The good thing is that even when they get a divorce they can still be cousins.

John D. Harvey What is your favorite handgun make and model? Would appreciate reasons for your choice if you have time/bandwidth.
Answer: Sig Saur P226. I put about 5,000 rounds through one and it stood up very well. Love the trigger pull and the weight of the barrel.

Martel Sardina Best concert you've ever been to?
Answer: Styx - Mister Roboto

Rob Meyer What is the scariest thing that has bitten you?
Answer: Brown Recluse Spider, three times on my knee cap. The skin in a four inch area necrotized and then sloughed off.

Danny Evarts What colour is angel piss?'
Answer: Chartreuse.

Mark Dunham They are making a movie about your life. Who do you want to play you in the movie?
Answer: They better hurry up or I'll have to play a grandfather.

Kristin Morris In a battle of the heavens, which pantheon/god would come out on top?
Answer: Melnibonean

Sean Ellis What does the Fox say?
Answer: REE REE REE REE REE REE REE REEE!

Rob Meyer Weston, you have just discovered your life is a work of fiction. Who wrote it? What genre is it? And who do you most want to have it as their favorite book? (I know, multiple questions, but I hope the question is interesting enough to make it worthwhile).
Answer: Quintin Tarantino. Gangster Bildungsroman. John Skipp.

Joe Miles Your life story is slated for production in '15. Who is going to play you and Yvonne?
Answer: Micheal Bein and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Rochelle Smith Who wins... Godzilla or the Kaijus, colossal monsters which have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Answer: Godzilla!

Scott Glener How did you get interested in cooking & gourmet food?
Answer: If I'm going to injest calories, I want to have only the best. Plus, before I met Yvonne all I could cook was nuggets and hot dogs. I had to learn to cook so I'd have value added.

Larry Meier Weston , have you any aspirations to write the screenplays for any film adaptations of your work?. Also, have you ever thought of making a great Dane a major character in your work, ala Dean Koontz?
Answer: I've already written screenplays adapting my work. Wesley Snipes almost did the movie based on my novel Blaze of Glory. Both Ghost and Goblin appeared as mutants in The Golden Thread.

Rob Meyer Duane Johnson comes to you asking you to coach him for Seal Team 666. He insists you take him someplace risky. Where do you take him?
Answer: Most dangerous place I have ever been Papua new Guinea.

Rob Meyer You wake up in the body of a living celebrity. Who is it?
Answer: Tarantino.

Rose Blackthorn Since you're a bit of a gourmand, I wonder... what's the worst thing you've eaten?
Answer: Hominy. I can't even get it past my teeth.

Rob Meyer If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Answer: As hokey as it stands, world fucking peace.

Jay Chase Has the world ever gone matrix on you??? Where time slowed down, or you sped up and everything was preternaturally clear... Or even better have you ever seen the cat pass by twice, making you question 'all of it'???
Answer: I often think I'm a playtoy of the fickle Gods of Fate.

Jay Chase Or more apropos to reality... Have you ever had to suck down gas twice in one day????
Answer: No.

Rob Meyer Has the world ever gone matrix on you??? Where time slowed down, or you sped up and everything was preternaturally clear... Or even better have you ever seen the cat pass by twice, making you question 'all of it'??? (Damn it! Reboot guys, before he reads it!)
Answer: Yikes!

Bill Kuehl What is the life of meaning?
Answer: The answer of knowing.

Collie James What, and who inspired you to start writing? And what was your scariest battle? Oh, and do you ever get depressed about your writing and feel it's not good? Not saying it isn't, just wondering .
Answer: Reading so many bad published books and telling myself I could do better. An altercation with tribesmen in Papua New Guinea. Yes.

Bill Kuehl What novel or short story do you wish you had written?
Answer: Dune.

Catherine Bader Do you know who I really am???
Answer: No.

Carl Hose When are we getting a cookbook complete with photography that makes us drool?
Answer: Working on it.

Djuana Berlin How much wood would a wood chuck, chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
Answer: Half a rick an hour.

David Gerrold Who sawed Courtney's boat?
Answer: Dean Grennell, but he cheated.

Kimberly K Stewart-Holmes What did u do when u was in the military? Are u still in the military?
Answer: Intelligence. Sort of.

Wendy Protagonist What did I miss?
Answer: 3/4s of the fun.

Chris Ansted When are you going write a book with Jeremy Robinson?
Answer: Who's that? HAHAHA.

Mikel Dornhecker Jr Have you killed a Zombie with a Train yet?
Answer: It's on my bucket list, right after ride a bull named Fu Manchu.

Bob Ford Well, brother, I'll ask my standard question... of your entire life... what's the strangest thing you've ever witnessed?
Answer: Two warring tribes on either side of the fairway of a Papua New Guinea Golf Course stop killing each other long enough for me and the rest of my foursome to play through. True story.

Denise Dumars So, is it REALLY possible to get red wine out of a white tablecloth?
Answer: Yes, baking soda and bleach.

Matthew Harper What rhymes with orange?
Answer: Orange. 

Scott Virtes Where is Attila the Hun buried?
Answer: Grant's Tomb.

Nancy Holder Cavemen or astronauts?
Answer: Cavemen, always.

Maryelizabeth Hart Pluto -- still a planet?
Answer: Hell's yeah!

Morgan Griffith If you could ride Jules Verne's machine back through time, what year and place would you visit?
Answer: Probably sometime in the Dark Ages.

Jamey Philipp If you could ride Jules Verne's back through a machine, what machine would that be?
Answer: A Volkswagon.
.
Rick Hipson A food fight rages on in your fridge while you sleep. By warning there can be only one victor. Which food will prevail?
Answer: In my fridge, the Siracha mayo would win.

David Mariotte Are you Jimmy Ray?
Answer: No, but you should ask Jimmy Ray if he is me.

David Mariotte What is the best bear?
Answer: Any bear not chasing me.

And that my FOWs is a wrap. I'm sure by now your brain has swelled with all your new-found knowledge. Use it wisely.

Now go forth and take over the world!