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.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Dark Regions Press

From Dark Regions Press Newsletter today: 

Publishing this on my blog for all of you who don't get the newsletter. It includes a free sample story from my brand new collection - MULTIPLEX FANDANGO

Chris Morey: First off, can you tell us a little about Multiplex Fandango? Is there a theme to the book or are the stories independent of one another? 

Weston Ochse: Fandango means many things. 

It's a dance for sure. Most often using triple meter, it cranks along. Much of the Flamenco music is a Fandango. 

Fandango also means 'a foolish or useless act.' But of course the foolishness of such an act is always in the eye of the beholder. Rarely do those doing something like a fandango think it's foolish or useless. But to me, above all, fandango is a journey. 

Kevin Reynolds, who went on to direct such movies as The Beast, Rapa Nui, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Dances with Wolves and The Count of Monte Cristo, made his directorial debut in 1985 with FANDANGO. Starring a young Kevin Costner and Judd Nelson, it's the story of five Texas college students in 1971who go off on one last journey before they part their separate ways, many of them going to Vietnam.  It's a coming of age movie about how we grow up and change.  Quintin Tarantino, one of my cinematic idols said of the movie, "Fandango is one of the best directorial debuts in the history of cinema. I saw Fandango five times at the movie theater and it only played for a fucking week, all right." 

Multiplex is just what it is - it's a mega theater with multiple screens.  When you put the pair of words together, you get a place with multiple screens delivering a fandango on each one. My writing has always been called cinematic. That was never my intention, but probably a result of being a child of pop-culture.  The results of that cinematic quality in this short story collection are word pictures that will take you places. 

CM: You dedicate the book in part to Ray Bradbury and Joe Lansdale. Can you tell us how they have influenced you?

Weston Ochse: Besides the fact that they are two of the best short story writers in the last 50 years? 

Ray Bradbury's The Sound of Summer Running, which became the novel Dandelion Wine was the most influential story I ever read. It changed the way I looked at literature. In that story alone I discovered literature's transformative nature and am stunned every time I read it. Then of course there's Dandelion Wine's dark brother, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Both set in the same fictional town, Something Wicked deals with the dark in the same ways Dandelion dealt with the light.

Joe Lansdale is a literary barracuda. He's a razor-sharp tumbleweed that rolls right over your expectations. All you have to do is read The Night They Left the Picture Show to learn that. Joe's ability to entertain with both humor and violence, while simultaneously dealing with complex social issues is the model story for me.  In my forward to the anthology I wrote-- Joe Lansdale is a literary samurai. His dojo is the page. His two-fisted katana swings completely eviscerated my sense of what should be when I read "Night They Missed the Horror Show" and "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks." We have a lot in common. Our southern heritage. Our love of martial arts. Our sly look at the world. I'm double honored and humbled that he wrote the introduction to Multiplex Fandango.

CM: Multiplex Fandango contains your Bram Stoker award finalist short story "The Crossing of Aldo Rey" and your Bram Stoker award finalist novella "Redemption Roadshow." What do you think of the awards process?

Weston Ochse: Awards mean many things to different people. I appreciate them and am humbled when nominated or when I receive them.  A literary award is recognition by your peers that for one brief moment you captured magic with your pen. I won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel right out of the gates. That award, which sits on my office shelf, definitely meant a lot to me. When I was writing my first novel I was filled with self doubt. It took me two years to write it and I was terribly unsure if it would even be readable. The award was a world-sized sigh of relief. Since then I've been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for Short Fiction, as well as the two awards you mentioned in your question. Although they didn't win, they were considered among the four best literary works of their type for that year. That alone is an honor that I terrifically appreciate.

CM: Why do you write horror and weird fiction? What draws you to the genre?

Weston Ochse: I never planned on being a horror author. I just ended up that way. In fact, when I started writing I just wanted to be a writer. Frankly, regardless of what I write, that's who I am. That the end result is categorized as horror, or dark fantasy, or weird fiction, well, that's someone else's categorization. Interestly enough, I'm not very well read in the horror genre. I'm not a horror snob, it's just that because of my Master of Fine Arts Degree (or perhaps my degree is a result of that), I'm interested in all sorts of literature, to include what is called literary fiction. I've gone around and around with some friends on this subject when they make fun of me for not knowing this author or that book. What I think I bring to the genre is a fresh voice, fresh blood and a fresh take on horror.

CM: For those who don't know already, how would you describe your writing style?

Weston Ochse: I don't know if I can accurately do that.  Really, that's for other folks to do. That's like asking Megan Fox how she looks so sexy or a girl how come she kisses so well. As far as my writing style, there are a lot of nice folks who have written reviews about it. Read Horror recently reviewed a novella of mine thusly--'The twists and turns of the plot are handled adeptly and the characterization is superbly nuanced, creating fully-rounded and believable characters. The prose is crisp, flowing and at times simply beautiful. The climax, equal parts horrifying and uplifting, leaves you with a sense of one journey ending as a new one begins.' This is a pretty common description of my writing. I've also been called 'a writers writer,' which is a joy every time I read it. To me that says that not only do readers appreciate my approach to a narrative, but so do my peers and other professionals.

CM: What do you have in the works?

Weston Ochse: Promoting Multiplex Fandango. I want as many people to read it as possible. This is my best work collected in one volume. Of the more than 100 short stories I've written, these are the very best. Plus it has an amazing cover by Bram Stoker winning artist Vincent Chong. Heck, with Joe, me and Vince, that's a Bram Stoker Trifecta. When I'm not promoting this, I'm working on a novel for St. Martin's Press called SEAL Team 666. I also recently finished an apocalyptic novel for Abaddon Books out of England called Blood Ocean. That's due out in mass market paperback in Feb 2012.
CM: To those unsure about ordering Multiplex Fandango, what would you do?
Weston Ochse: I'd send them to you, Chris. Dark Regions has the process down.
CM: If fans want to contact you, what's the best way to do that?

Weston Ochse:  www.westonochse.com is my website. From there you can go to my facebook, twitter, and message board. You can also access my books, free stories, screenplays, etc. It's probably the best place to go. There's also a link there to a page dedicated to Multiplex Fandango, where authors such as Conrad Williams, Steve Tem, Jeff Marriotte, Rain Graves, Rocky Wood, Steven Spruill and Dani Kollin have all provided positive comments.

Free short story from Multiplex Fandango by Weston Ochse now available for download!

We are happy to announce that Multiplex Fandango by Weston Ochse is now in stock and shipping to customers!  We are now offering a free short story from the collection as a downloadable PDF (Adobe Acrobat Reader required):

Image above not loading?  Click here to download the free sample.

Multiplex Fandango. Say it. Multi-plex Fan-dan-go. It's beautiful, isn't it? Just rolls off the tongue. It's almost as beautiful and satisfying as the book you may now be holding in your hands, or reading a review about. What we're seeing here is quite possibly the most comfortable, relaxed, and expert takeover that the horror genre has ever seen. With Multiplex Fandango, Weston Ochse has created an incredible collection, and has given the reader one of the smoothest, most satisfying reads they could ever come across. To drive the point home, Joe Landsdale says in the intro that "This is a book that could almost have been written for me.", but I disagree - this book was written for anyone looking for imaginative, intelligent, and thoroughly awe-inspiring, but strangely uplifting scares that force the reader to think more than react." - Paperback Horror

"This is a book that could almost have been written for me."
- Eight-Time Bram Stoker Award Winner Joe R. Lansdale on Multiplex Fandango

"Multiplex Fandango is a smooth mix of the old school pulp horror vibe and new storytelling, elegantly crafted for the modern reader. - Rain Graves, Bram Stoker Award winner for The Gossamer Eye

"Weston Ochse is to horror what Bradbury is to science fiction -- an artist whose craft, stories and voice are so distinct and mesmerizing that you can't help but be enthralled. Multiplex Fandango is yet another in a long line of exclamation points that reminds us of that fact." - Dani Kollin, Prometheus Award-winning author of The Unincorporated Man

"The truth of the matter is that for all the drive-in movie references, what Weston Ochse has really created in Multiplex Fandango is a travelogue. Acting as narrator and guide, Weston takes you on a trip to places familiar and obscure--New Orleans, the Sonoran desert, Mexico's Pacific coast, and the dark, impenetrable reaches of the soul. He shows off sights that chill the blood, and as with any good trip, the things seen and experienced along the way will stay with you for a lifetime." - Jeff Mariotte, Novelist and Comic Book Author

"Make way for a new powerhouse on the block. Hard work and formidable skills have already shot-gunned Ochse to the front of the genre's exciting new pack of writers. With creative brawn, brains, and balls, the guy's locked, loaded, and switched to full-auto, blazing away with his unique and original brand of modern horror, one of the few new writers, I'd say, who will help re-define the field for the future."- Master of Dark Fiction Edward Lee on Weston Ochse


  1. "Interestly enough, I'm not very well read in the horror genre."

    That's awesome. Mostly because I always thought I would write sci-fi (Ray Bradbury is my favorite author), and since I've been writing seriously, all my story ideas are thriller or horror. (Though, I'm still experimenting with fantasy and sci-fi.) I kept thinking, "I can't write horror! I haven't read a lot of horror."

    But I guess I can. Or at least I can try. ;)

  2. Absolutely. I see horror as nothing more than the human reaction to something so terrible your mind can barely comprehend it. If you can imagine what you would do in any of those situations, then you can write about it. Too easy.

  3. This is me begging you to have a copy of Multiplex for me at TusCon. I'm terrified they'll be sold out on the website before I can shell out the dough (in two weeks.)