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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

John Skipp Forced to HALO by SEAL Team 666

The 42 Days of 666 are over, and we weren't going to talk about SEAL Team 666, but we had to, because Triple 6 snatched John Skipp, put a bag over his head, took him up to 25,000 feet with no oxygen, then tossed him out, clawing and gasping at air, doing the airborne cat climb, finally managing to remove the bag on his head, John Skipp realizes he's HALOing through the sky, where he cries like a little girl as he crashes into the triple canopy rainforest, ricocheting from branch to branch, until he gets just above the ground where he finds a trampoline that lets him bounce across a field of dead-headed daisies to a wrestling ring, where he rebounds off the top rope, somersaulting into the face of Hulk Hogan where he is picked up, body slammed, neck cranked, figure foured, and super wedgied, then hurled into a squad of chaste cheerleaders, knocking them down like porn star bowling pins, only to come up in an open armed salute with the International Kazoo Korps of Kalamzoo humming Tadaaaa!

Yeah. That's the Skipp I know and love.

A survivor.

I've known Skipp long enough for an entire generation to grow up and not know what the after midnight static on a television was or what a treat the monthly centerfold was. 

His official bio says: John Skipp is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning anthologist turned filmmaker. His latest books include the anthology PSYCHOS (with a story by guess who!), the twisted-triple bill of horror screenplays SICK CHICK FLICKS, and THE DARK, a metaphysical thriller by Scott Bradley and Peter Giglio on Skipp’s Ravenous Shadows line of books. You can watch his short film STAY AT HOME DAD (co-directed with Andrew Kasch, from a script by Cody Goodfellow). 

But really, Skipp is who I wanted to be except I grew up. I tried not to. I really did. But the army forced me to change. So when I start feeling old, I look to Skipp, our Dark Knight Peter Pan, and gleefully become as silly and as badassed awesome as I want to be, without fear or retaliation from a society that just doesn't get it.

But enough of me.

Let's hear from Skipp.

1. What’s your favorite military movie, book or television show?

I’m gonna go with Joseph Heller’s novel CATCH-22. One of the greatest, most importantly formative books I’ve ever read.

2. Why is it your favorite? Here’s where you can ramble a bit.

CATCH-22 captures the immensity of the insanity of war on so many levels that it’s fucking ridiculous. The catalog of black comic absurdities is so thick and hilarious – from the out-one-tube-and-in-the-other eternally-hospitalized Soldier in White to Colonel Cathcart’s careerist obsession with “black eyes” vs. “feathers in his cap” to Milo Minderbinder’s wholly amoral chocolate-covered wheeler-dealing – that when the genuine mind blowing horror of Snowden’s secret is revealed, or the “friendly propeller” bisection of Kid Sampson sends McWatt into suicide shame, you’re not so much blindsided as gut-punched into emotional recognition.

I can’t even tell you how much this book defined me as a horror writer, a satirist, a young thinking man trying to grapple with the Big Picture. Almost everything I’d ever want to do to a reader is in that thing, one way or another.

3. What themes are overused? And is it overused, or just truthful observation?

 I don’t think you can say “war is hell” often enough. Anything that tells the human truth is a-ok with me.

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Thanks, Skipp!


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