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.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blood Ocean Primer (1 of 3): Who are the Pali Boys?

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One of the major groups I populated the floating city with in my new post-apocalyptic novel Blood Ocean are the Pali Boys. When constructing the Pali Boys it wasn't hard to use both Peter Pan's Lost Boys and William Golding's Choir Boys from Lord of the Flies as a jumping off point. Both had groups of boys who threw caution to the wind and reveled in their own freedom. But this was just the beginning. To know the Pali Boys, you also have to know where the name derived and how their culture dictates their actions.

Cliffs of Pali
Pali Pass is rich in history. It 'was here where King Kamehameha I fought his last battle in his war to unite all the Hawaiian Islands with an army of 10,000 soldiers. In 1795, a few hundred warriors were driven off the cliff to their death 1,000 feet below by Kamehameha’s men. Legend has it that on certain nights, one can still hear the screams of the warriors. According to reports, workers unearthed 80 skulls believed to have belonged to the warriors during a road construction in 1848.(Cite)'

A Hawaiian friend of mine, Kimo Kalanui, once told me a story about how the trade winds were so fierce that many a young wanna-be Hawaiian warrior would leap out from Pali Pass into the tradewinds, leaving their fate to Pele. Having stood at the edge of the pass, it was a place I could lean at a forty-five degree angle and not fall over; and that was on a normal day, so it was easy to imagine how on a windy day someone could jump out and be hurled back by the strength of the winds.

So I took the idea of the young warriors leaping out and turned it into a rite of passage aboard the floating city; a rite of passage for my Pali Boys.

Blood Ocean takes place sometime between 20 and 100 years into the future. It really doesn't matter, because everything has gone to shit. Here's the premise of the novel:

Survivors of the Cull, a Plague that wiped out people without the blood type O-neg, struggle in the floating Sargasso City jigsawed together with ships, submarines, barges and oil tankers off the coast of what was once known as California.
Separated by demarcations of turf, ethnicity and fear, it’s not so much living as existing. High above it all swing the Pali Boys: descendants of Hawaiian warriors, they desire to lift themselves and the spirits of the residents below by performing an increasingly impossible series of extreme stunts, designed to test their manhood, and demonstrate the vibrancy humanity once had.

But as a conspiracy of murder unfolds and blood attacks increase, Kavika a single under-sized Pali Boy must strive to overcome his lowly status and the condemnation of his peers in order to save them all from an enemy living within.
The floating city is filled with many groups. These groups are separated first by ethnicity, then by social strata. There are groups of transsexuals, drug dealers, scavengers-- The Boxers, He-Shes, Water Dogs, etc (More on those in the next primer.) Then there are regular folk. Because the O Neg plague spared more Asians than Caucasians, the ship is populated with many of the ethnicities found along the Pacific Rim.

The Pali Boys comprise the male youth of Hawaiian contingent. To become a full-time Pali Boy one must be without fear and leap into the face of a typhoon to allow the goddess Pele to hurl you back. They raise hell with pretty much everyone, flying through the rigging like wanna-be Tarzans, playing games of follow the leader all across the length and breadth of the city. They deliver messages, steal fish, perform petty crimes, and do good deeds. They work on their stick fighting and Kuai Lua martial arts. They seem to be out of control... BUT!



There is a method to the Pali Madness. How do you keep a host of young men ready to be warriors at the end of the world when there's really no one to fight? How do you keep them from getting board? How do you keep their skills sharp and ready as a honed blade in the event they are needed?

Yep. You know the answer. The Pali Boys.

And they will be needed.

Stay tuned for the next Primer where I will talk about all the other groups. Then the last primer, to be published later next week will talk about the process of writing the novel.

For links to bookstores in virtually every country around the world, go here.

And remember. Blood Ocean premiers 14 February in the U.S. and 16 February everywhere else.

Ciao.

Weston Ochse
Tarantula Grotto
Sonoran Desert

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