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.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blood Ocean Primer (3 of 3): Why I Wrote This

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As promised, here is your third and final primer for Blood Ocean. If you haven't read the first one, which discusses the Pali Boys, you can find it here. And if you haven't read the second one, which discusses character and setting, you can find that here

So why did I write this? I mean besides the fact that I'm getting paid a fine sum of English pounds with worldwide distribution of a beautiful-looking paperback book. I can't include that in my reasons, because I never knew any of that when I first pitched Abaddon when they first started out way back when.

I don't know where I was at the time, but I do remember that I heard about a new publishing house called Abaddon Books and asked for their bible about Afterblight. I sent a quick pitch, and I mean quick, and I got back an email from Jon Oliver, then Editor-in-Chief of Abaddon, now Editor-in-Chief of both Abaddon and Solaris, that he was intrigued about the idea and would I send him a full pitch, which has a sample chapter as well as a chapter by chapter outline. So I found myself working on this for about a month. In fact, I finished the pitch while I was in a hotel room in Alexandria, Virginia, working on my laptop while the Steelers beat the Colts in the Superbowl.

My pitch at that time was about Native Americans in the Southwest, who must team up with an L.A. gang of biker samurai to fight off the Radiant Dawn - the white folks who want their blood. It was a damn good pitch. I sooo wanted to write that book. But the problem was that every Tom, Dick and English Harry submitted a pitch about Native Americans too.

Needless to say they didn't need me.

So I did what every other writer would do in my shoes... I sulked and wrote something else.

Then about a year later, I was at the Book Expo of American in Los Angeles. My agent and I went around and had some table-side chats with a few of the editors, one being Jon. This was our first face to face. Being an outgoing person - those of you who know me will agree with this - I enjoy face to face conversations. I thrive on them. Jon and I got to talking. He mentioned that he liked my pitch and was sorry to have to pass on it, but why not send him a pitch for a zombie novel.

Sweet Nadine who was too scared to go past Chapter 3
A zombie novel? It had never occurred to me to write a zombie novel.

But I did. I sent him a pitch and it became Empire of Salt which sold out everywhere and was a smash hit! (still available as a used book and on kindle)

But I still wanted to to write an Afterblight novel. There'd been a burning inside of me that had not gone away. So even as Empire of Salt was premiering in Brighton, England at the World Horror Convention, I was verbally pitching Jon a sprinkle of an idea. He told me to put it on paper when I returned to America and send it to him. I think he saw how eager I was, plus, I think I was keeping him from the pub. So whether or not he meant it or not, I took that as a YES, mentally pumped one arm, and began to work on an idea which revolved around an idea of a monkey being surgically attached to a person's back.

And when I returned to America, I wrote the pitch. Took me about a month as everything came together. And to be totally honest, at first he wasn't sure and didn't accept it right away. But like a dog with a dead rabbit, I shook that idea and shook it, and tweaked the pitch until finally he liked it enough to say those magical five magic words - I'll send you a contract.

And in a few days everyone can read Blood Ocean.

I'm extremely excited about this book. There's some violence. I've done some horrendous things to some nice people and made a nice race do something terrible. As I was writing this, I tried not to pull any punches. I wanted this to be as graphic a novel as anything I've ever written, but with my usual characterization. A few reviewers have socked me for doing some of these things, but I didn't write this for them. I wrote this for me. And I wrote this for you. And I wrote this for all of you who grew up on Post-Apocalyptic novels and movies. Fans of The Horseclans and Road Warrior will dig the hell out of this, because they know that when society crumbles, so do the niceties. Our behaviour is traded in for survival and we'll do whatever it takes to do that, whether it is to kill, maim, lie, cheat, or eat our neighbor.

Please drop me a line when read Blood Ocean.

Until then.

Shaka!

Weston Ochse
Enroute to Australia
Somewhere over the Pacific

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