ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why I Hate Kevin J. Anderson

I hate Kevin J. Anderson. It seems like every day he's taking a hike on some mountain, hill, monument, in some place far far away, dictating another fabulous new novel that he turns into a private secretary to transcribe. He's not strapped to a chair. He's not face diving into a monitor or passing out on the ASDF keys. In fact, he doesn't even use a keyboard for first drafts. Instead, he combines two fun activities into one and let's someone else get carpal tunnel.

Telephoto shot through a sniper scope of the hated author
as he dictates the last 42 chapters of his latest novel

Yeah. I fricking hate Kevin J. Anderson, especially now when I'm strapped to a chair in the dining room (because I moved my entire setup upstairs to get more done) with two deadlines looming. If he was me, he'd be somewhere in the Grand Tetons (note that the French named an entire mountain range after breasts), hiking, dictacting, and grinning form ear to ear that he is so adept at multitasking that his bank account goes ching ching ching.

And he's probably stress free too. I mean what's to stress about? Which hiking boots to wear?

Taken after KJA Dictated two new Dune novels
and the proposal for a new Star Wars trilogy

Earlier in the week I was reminded that I had an editing job to do on a project. I'd let it lapse as other projects piled up. Eunice Magill, a great friend of mine, emailed me about it, and I snapped at her. I was short, too short for such a good friend. At the end of the day, I appologized for being an ass and for allowing the stress to get to me. WWKJAHD (What would Kevin J. Anderson have done)? He'd have shrugged it off, taken another hike, and listened to the ching-a-ching-ching as it echoed through the valleys.

Oh to be Kevin J. Anderson and be able to tra-la-la through the world instead of sitting at the computer hammering in desperate bursts, hoping beyond hope that my inspiration and creativity won't be snatched away by Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, eMail, GMail. Google Plus, Linked-in, Shocklines, HWA message board, my message board at BrianKeene.com, this blog, my wife's blog (because sometimes that's the only way I know what's going on), the news, chat windows and the daily adorations of my three Great Danes.

So what's the stress?  Here are the projects I'm currently working on-

     Novel - Blood Ocean (Abaddon)

     Novel - Seal Tealm 666 Outline (St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne)

     Novel - Living Death Race 2000 (Books of the Dead)

     Novel - Black Fever (With Mike McCarty)

     Blight (Comic Book)

     Killing Time (Comic Book)

     4 short stories

     2 Novellas

     And promoting the releases of Multiplex Fandango and Velvet Dogma which are happening this month and next.

Blood Ocean (Afterblight Chronicles)In reality, I'm only really working on Blood Ocean. My deadline is for sometime in September. I'm about 100 pages shy of the end of the book. Normally, I could make that no sweat. In fact, I probably will make it no sweat. I plan on this weekend to be a 50 page weekend and I'm already 18 pages into that goal. But two things happened this week. Although they were good things, they were the sort of things that sent my blood pressure sky high.

The first was that Abaddon Books, bless them for keeping me on as an author, decided to put Blood Ocean up for pre-order everywhere books are sold. Isn't that neat? I mean, there's no stress with that, right? Except for the fact that I haven't even written the freaking book yet! I imagine people from India to Montana cliking pre-order buttons, looking forward to this book, maybe even planning to take it on a special trip with them, only to have it not be there when they expect it. Readers will be crushed. Bookstores will be burned. Entire populations will be let down. The United Nations will have me as an international pariah and starving children in Africa will weep.

Okay, maybe that's a little overboard, but I wanted to share with you some of the insanity I have to wade through in my brain just to achieve a coherent thought.  I actually think these things. Sure, I realize they're hogwash most of the time, but it takes awhile.

And the second thing? Now this is good news. St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books (not sure which or what the difference is) accepted my outline for Seal Team 666. This is a big project. I got the contract on Thursday. All 26 pages of it. I do believe they have the intention of publishing this in Swahili. Not sure. So much gobbelty gook in the contract, all I do know is that it's coming out as a trade hardback first, then all the other editions. I also saw the line that said they want the book turned in by November 1. That actually stopped my heart. So check this out, kids. In the middle of feeling wonderful, my heart actually stopped, the floor opened up and I fell through into the lava pit of Oh Shit!

Let's do the math. Let's say I get Blood Ocean done by Sept 1. Then that leaves 2 months to write a 90,000 word novel. That's 45,000 words a month. That's 1500 words a day, which comes out to anywhere between 6-8 pages, depending on dialogue and decription. And that's if I don't do anything else at all, like, edit Blood Ocean, which I definitely will. So if I miss a week for editing, the daily required total goes up to 1800 words a day. If I get sick for three days, it goes up to 2000 words a day. If I get jury duty and get sequestered for another two weeks, that means that I have to write 3000 words a day and get it done in a month.

Oh. My. God.

Breathe. I need to breathe. Okay, I know. WWKJAD? Then when I got the answer, I realized that it didn't help. Well, it did help in a sort of way. I discovered that my fear of deadline was replaced by an intense hatred for Kevin J. Anderson, because it became obvious what he'd do if he was beset with my problems.

He'd go on a freaking hike and have it done by noon.

Here KJA shown after his arrest
for inappropriate contact with
wildlife in Redwood Ntnl Forest
So thank you KJA.

Thanks for having so much damn fun and for making it look too easy.

Now back to writing. I've only done 8 pages this morning and I need to do 12 more by the end of the day.

Wait? Did someone just friend me on Facebook?


(Note that KJA was not actually harmed in the making of this post--although he might have been had I been able to get out of my +4 Chair of Miserable Confinement (D&D reference) and track his happy ass down. I'd spot him right away because he'd be the one hiking away, seemingly talking to himself, dollar signs falling out of the sky behind him.)

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, also check out fellow Abaddon author Chuck Wendig at Terribleminds

P.S.S. Feel free to click on one of the quick take boxes below or leave a comment.


  1. All is forgiven. Still luv ya.


  2. ROFL. Reading this makes me grateful that I'm still an "aspiring" author. Geez. Writing is work, ain't it? Whew.

  3. It's a lot of work. It's 0630 and I'm sitting down at the 'puter for another 5 hours of uninterrupted work.


    And thanks E!