Weston Ochse is the author of twenty books, most recently SEAL Team 666 and its sequel Age of Blood, 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 29 years of military service and currently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan. Please contact him through this site.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm up on NPR for a Halloween Special - Boo!

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I'm up on NPR for a Halloween Special. Although they have regular broadcast times, here is a permanent link. Of the 28 minutes, about 8 of them are mine. Not too bad. In addition to my essay and interview, there's a segment on Zombies in Arizona (about 3:30 mark) - a tongue in cheek man on the street parody. Just great! Please post his and pass it on and let me know how you like it.

http://radio.azpm.org/azspotlight/podcasts/2011/10/27/2127-the-haunted-halloween-show-2011/


If you scroll down the link, it looks like the host of Arizona Spotlight, Mark McLemore, parsed the links so that each separate section is available.

For my zombie interview.

For my Halloween story.

But it is worth it to listen to the rest. Jane Eppinga is a folklorist and historian and has some great tales about what's spooky in Arizona.

For those who listened and wanted more information about Multiplex Fandango-- Multiplex Fandango is subtitled "A Weston Ochse Reader" for good reason. This collection contains a comprehensive representation of short fiction and novellas by the Bram Stoker award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee, including his recent powerful Stoker finalist short story, "The Crossing Of Aldo Rey" and his brilliant Stoker finalist novella, Redemption Roadshow, as well as acclaimed favorites, "Catfish Gods" and "Big Rock Candy Mountain." Also included in this omnibus volume of sixteen short stories and novellas are six original new works of short fiction written especially for this collection including such future classics as "Tarzan Doesn't Live Here Anymore," "Low Men Weeping," and the stunning, "City Of Joy."

“Multiplex Fandango. 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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Velvet Dogma Wins for Cover Art!

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The internet has a lot of advice. If one were to stack all the pages of data on top of each other, it would  be a modern Tower of Binary Babble and probably reach the moon, which is made of nacho cheese btw. When I decided to create a cover for my original un-published novel, Velvet Dogma, there were a few sites that I trusted more than others. After all, eBook covers are not created equally. Some are better than others. One such site is called The Book Designer. Joel Friedlander, who runs the site, has a lot of good advice. Since I'm not a publisher and I'm definitely not an artist I decided to use some of that advice. The result is this cover--



The most important thing on book covers to me is the art. It has to be catchy. It has to stop someone in their tracks and make them want to pick the book up, or in this case, click the link. I figure with all the eBooks out there that's more than half the battle. I could have made my own image, but again, I am not an artist. So I went out to find one.

I'd always loved Matt Hults' book Husk. The imagery is captivating. So I asked him who did the art work and he told me, Danielle Tunstall.


So I googled her. As it turns out, Danielle isn't a one shot wonder. She has hundreds of pieces that she created using real models, photography and digital manipulation. The image on my cover is based on an action shot from the model Collette Von Tora, known far and wide for her alternative modeling. She loves Velvet Dogma, btw.


After a few email conversations with Danielle, she and I came to terms. Use of her art for the cover wasn't free, nor did I expect it to be. In fact, it cost enough dough to be painful. But then her creativity should be rewarded as much as mine should be. A lot of hard work went into the creation of the image for Velvet Dogma. There's an old adage about the relative value of something being what you paid for it. If it was free, then it's value would be zero, and I wanted Velvet Dogma to be worth a lot more than zero.

The Vivacious Collette Von Tora
Of course once I got the artwork, then I had to create the cover. One thing I didn't want to do was ruin the effect of the image with a lot of text. I'd read about the use of negative space and tried to apply it. BTW, a very successful friend of mine, Joe Konrath, advised in one of his blogs that one of the biggest mistakes people make is not paying for good art. I didn't want to be one of those folks.

After a few hours on Photoshop, I came up with what was eventually going to be the cover. I sent it to Crossroads Press, the publisher, and they subsequently published the book. Velvet Dogma has received many popular and critical reviews for the content and now it's won an award for Cover Design from none other than Joel Friedlander's site The Book Designer.  Hooray for Velvet Dogma, Danielle Tunstall and Collette Von Tora!

Here's what Joel said about the cover-
Velvet Dogma by Weston Ochse, Design by Weston Ochse, Art by Danielle Tunstall. A great way to use the cover space without having to look like a print book. There are so many things going right here, from the ultra-cool art to the designer’s deployment of negative space, to the interesting use of a traditional font for this sci-fi cover. Rad.

Glad to see that I stumbled onto the right way to do things my first time out. I guess it pays off following other people's advice. If you get a chance, drop by Daniell Tunstall's and Collette Von Tora's sites and pay them a compliment. And of course, pick up a copy of Velvet Dogma. It's a kick ass book.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rue Morgue Magazine is Awesome

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I've been a fan of Rue Morgue Magazine since they did a spread on by bud Brian Keene in 2002. He wasn't the huge star he is now, he was just Brian and they gave him the royal treatment. Since then they've occasionally turned their Canadian eyes in my direction. I especially like the full page spread they did on me and my buds Mike Oliveri and John Urbancik when we were doing Muy Mal. I think it was the Godzilla issue.  Just awesome.

Our page in Rue Morgue -- Nice!!!
Empire of Salt came out last year as you all know because each and every one of you have read it (nod your heads in unison please-- thanks). I'd heard that they reviewed it, but two different people told me it was a bad review. I was thinking to myself, a bad review? What? Couldn't happen. I asked one of them to get me a copy. When the issue came out, I was traveling and wasn't able to get to the store in time to get it... although it never occurred to me to actually contact the magazine for a copy.

I finally got a copy of the review which came out June 2010 in the mail today. Monica Kuebler, the editor of this might periodic tome, sent me a copy. I opened it today and read it with more than a little trepidation. Then I read it again. Then once more. There wasn't a single thing wrong with the review. It was an awesome review. Are you kidding me?  I like how they said I am 'upping the bar with his tale of undead antagonism" and "challenging other authors to follow suit and keep the subgenre of roaming revenants going strong.

It was just an awesome review. Since the book is out of print in the U.S. (I think it's still available in Canada and U.K.) and the review is more than a year old, I'm going to reproduce it here. If someone asks me to take it down, I'll do so in a hurry though.


Thanks to Rue Morgue. I'm sorry I didn't thank you sooner and more profusely. I know my publisher's going to be thrilled about this. What a wonderful review. You guys are my favorite Canadian magazine!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blood Ocean - Ready for Prime Time

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Blood Ocean. Today I get to do something brilliant. I get to move the folder for my novel for Blood Ocean from the Books-Working folder to the Books-Finished folder, where it joins 16 other books.

Abaddon's edits made it a better novel. The sentences are tough and furious. They punch and jab. This is my most action oriented novel. But with that said, I didn't lose any of the characterizations I'm normally known for. You are going to love the transvestite Filipina heroine, the Hawaiian warrior kids, the drunken Russian sub captain and the wizened sky winker named Tim Lebbon, but who goes by Leb.

This is a good one. I can't wait for you to read it.

Here's Abaddon's page for the book.

Now we're just waiting for Prime Time.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

National Public Radio Interview - Weston Ochse

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Yesterday was pretty exciting. Mark McLemore interviewed me for the local NPR affiliate. We actually spent two hours together. Not only did I talk about writing, SEAL Team 666, Blood Ocean, Empire of Salt and Multiplex Fandango, but we also talked about our shared passion for horror. He'd recently seen the movie The Sentinel for the first time, recently, and we talked a lot about that. Wow. What a terrifying movie.

We also did some fake man on the street recordings, but I won't give that away until I'm sure it made it into the broadcast. Additionally I read a 1000 word essay about a Halloween when I was seven years old.

The broadcast is scheduled for 27 and 28 Oct. Not sure what time yet, but my work and interview should be a good portion of it. When I have times, I'll make sure I post them along with links for those of you who don't live in the general vicinity. That way you'll be able to listen online if you want.

Here are some photos, courtesy of Yvonne Navarro:

Being interviewed by NPR










Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shout Out -- Scott Bradley

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This blog isn't all about me. I mean it is, but even I need a break from myself. Sometimes I like to talk about folks I like. Sometimes I just like to explain why some people are cool.

Take Scott Bradley for instance. I first met Scott at the Stoker Weekend in Burbank in June 2009. A bunch of us were lounging on some outdoor furniture-- Larry Roberts, Cody Goodfellow, John Skipp, others -- and Scott was there as well. I was at the Stoker Weekend because of my novella Redemption Roadshow, published by Burning Effigy. It was one of four long fiction finalists for the Bram Stoker Award. Scott was there for the non-fiction category, The Book of Lists, which he contributed to and edited along with Del Howison and Amy Wallace. We must have sat around drinking and talking and just having a solid evening. I remember how intrigued I was about his pending trip with his father to Vietnam.


He promised that he'd send me a postcard. And if you look at this, you can see he did. I have to admit, I added something to it. You probably can't figure out what it is. But the overwhelming feeling of someone taking the time when they are overseas having what is probably one of the best trips of their lives to send you a postcard-- well, in this case it was like a 7,000 mile handshake and inclusion into something special between him and his father.

Scott and I converse on FB all the time. Last year during my Poisoned Soup Book Tour, where I appeared at Book Soup in L.A. and The Poisoned Pen in Phoenix the same weekend, I was supposed to hook up with him, but it wasn't to be. But because Scott couldn't come, I was able to meet Pete Giglio instead, who I'm also very pleased to know.






So this year, out of the blue, I get another postcard, this one from Thailand.

Now that's just badass. I miss Thailand. I've been there six times and wish I was there again.

So where can you find Scott, besides googling him or facebook friending him? You can find a fairly amazing and insightful article of his in Vince Liaguno's Butcher Knives and Body Counts fiction book. Scott's contribution is an essay about The Hitcher titled 'There's Something Going on Between the Two of You.' I have the book because I'm looking at it for a possible award and Scott's essay is one of the finest they have. There's something about the way Scott approaches things that is different from most people.
 He's also working on a novel with Pete Giglio for John Skipp's Ravenous Shadows. Can't wait for that to come out.

Most of all, just send good thoughts his way. He deserves it.

Here's Scott. I like this picture because it could have
been taken on the Left Bank in Paris had we been part
of the Lost Generation.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blood Ocean and Demons

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Many of you probably know that I finished my first round of edits for my Abaddon Books novel, Blood Ocean, at the beginning of September. Although I didn't have enough time to send them out to my Beta Readers before I sent the novel to my editor, I did send them nonetheless, hoping for comments and corrections I could add in the final round of edits. But that was it. Since then, it has been a black hole of comments, the gravitational pull so severe, it had begun ripping free ideas that my novel was a crapfest where nothing happened that anyone cared about. But then, one of my Betas, Paul Legerski, who I first met when I lived in L.A., Twittered the following comment to me--

"Combine parts Tarzan, Three Musketeers, Peter Pan, add a splash of Hawaiian Horror, a splash of Far Eastern Martial Arts, a dollop of 1970s flair, a skewer of WWII Nazis, shake well, and serve-- call it BLOOD OCEAN and drink deeply. Brilliant! This is gonna be huge!"


Yeah. Paul saved me from myself and that vigorous and vicious monster, self-doubt. Now to hear back from my editor. I expect it any day now. If it's true to form, the manuscript will bleed red from track changes. But that's okay. It's never as many edits as I think and ultimately not as many as it needs.

Do me a favor. I've already had several people email me that they pre-ordered it. Not sure if they charge you now or later. What I would like you to do is add it to your wishlist either on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. Even better would be to contact your favorite bookstore and ask them to put you on a waiting list for the book. I recommend Mysterious Galaxy for one of the best brick and mortar stores on the planet. Although they have stores in San Diego and Redondo Beach, they do heavy business online as well. You can contact them there. Tell them you'd like to be on the 'Reserve List' for Blood Ocean.





On Thursday, I received the John Skipp-edited anthology DEMONS in the mail. It's a big, hardback-sized, paperback book at 631 pages. I am so happy to be in it. Frankly, it was touch and go. Skipp loved my story, but there was some concern that the publisher Black Dog and Leventhal might find the subject matter a little too disturbing.


But after Dinah Dunn at Black Dog read the story, it was a done deal. In fact, I was at the World Horror Convention when I got the text from John telling me I was in. PSYCHED!

So I was so excited when I got the book in the mail that I immediately set about creating this video. You'll note it starts with Take 57. Let's just say I had trouble starting it. Then about halfway through, my wife walks in the front door, coming home from work. Jeese. What a soup sandwich. Still, I left this up and posted it to Facebook because I need to be true to my fans and friends and you need to be able to laugh at me from time to time.

I hope you enjoy it. I also hope that when you pick up a copy of DEMONS that you turn to my story first and learn the glory of a forest filled with demonic still-born babies and a hero you don't want to root for.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Dark Regions Press

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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

Monday, October 3, 2011

Freedom to Write

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Freedom to Write is a loaded title. On the surface, it seems like this would be an essay about being free to write what you want-- politically? Most of us are, unless we live in countries like Myanmar or North Korea.

No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm really talking about limitations-- writing limitations --but I don't want to use that word. I hate the word limitation and despise its existence.

Limitation is the opposite of freedom. If words have power, then limitation has power, after all, it is the result of self editing, self imposition, and self doubt. The common theme in all those words is the word self. That is you!

So okay, I'll just come right out and say it -- Self-imposed Limitations.

I once said I'd never write a zombie novel. I thought my gawd, how prosaic is that? Zombies have been so done they are over done. Then I spoke with the editor of Abaddon Books in England and he said that he'd be interested in seeing a pitch for a zombie novel from me. That's the sort of motivation we all dream of-- to have an editor ask you for something that could be made into a mass market paperback? So I pitched Abaddon and ultimately wrote the book Empire of Salt, which has done Great Guns for Abaddon. I was able to put my own stamp on the genre, creating a work that adds to the collection of zombie literature. I am so glad that I didn't succumb to my self limitation not to write a zombie novel. There's a good chance that my current success is predicated on this.

  • Self-editing. Self-editing is the interference in the creative cycle of one's ideas on what should or should not be included in a narrative. Self-editing is the choice we make as we write something regarding which word to use. This is normally fueled by what we each individually bring to the narrative. I've often found that the first word is the best word to use because it is the product of creativity rather than the product of a 20/20 editorial vision. I'd rather change the context of the word than change the word. Anything less is being untrue to the narrative.

  • Self Imposition. What the hell does that mean? I mean when you the writer impose yourself on the narrative construct. Who you are when you are writing informs the characters you write. You have to consciously remember this because your character might not share your point of view. It probably won't even share your gender or sexual preference. If you want to get good at this write some stories with as far an opposite of yourself as possible, then re-read it and see if it rings true? You'll find out more about yourself in this process than any three trips to the psychologist AND become a better writer.

  • Self-doubt. Lee Child wants you to have self doubt. Stephen King wants you to have self doubt. Danielle Steele wants you to have self doubt. Hell, I want you to have self doubt. Because if you stop writing and working because of some internalized belief that your work is substandard then it makes all of us who write without self-doubt, or who are able to conquer it, better able to be published. The more of you self doubters there are the easier my path is to publishing success.
Me with zombies from the Tucson Zombie Walk whom I never would have met if I'd allowed self doubt to creep into my creative process

So you have the complete freedom to write as long as you beware of your SELF. You can be the biggest roadblock to your own success. In fact, you probably are. Talent is one thing. Hard work is another. But the inculcation of freedom to do whatever we want to and with the narrative is something only those of us brave enough to write live with out a net can perform.

I'm fearless. I have no self limitations. I have another novel coming out from Abaddon in Feb 2012 called Blood Ocean and a novel coming out from St. Martin's Press in the Fall of 2012. 

And you ain't like me.

Or are you?

Do you not have the freedom to write?

Then figure out why not.