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.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ask the Great Guru Weston Anything - Oct 2014

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It's so hard to know so much. Such a weighty responsibility. So from time to time I take time to give of myself to the FOWs of the world (Friends of Weston). This is a service I gladly do. And it's something that allows FOWs to be some of the smartest folks on the planet. Last night I offered my services on Facebook and I will now answer the following sixty-nine questions.

So here we go.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt What is the most true to life situation you've ever used in one of your novels?
Answer: The feeling of fear of a soldier about to go into combat.

Logan L. Masterson What is the airspeed of an unladen African Swallow?
Answer: It's difficult to measure the airspeed of an African Swallow because it's really a non-migratory species. The European Swallow, however,  is more easily measured. A 54-year survey of 26,285 European Swallows captured and released by the Avian Demography Unit of the University of Capetown finds that the average adult European swallow has a wing length of 12.2 cm and a body mass of 20.3 grams. Because wing beat frequency and wing amplitude both scale with body mass,5 and flight kinematic data is available for at least 22 other bird species,6 it should be possible to estimate the frequency (f ) and amplitude (A) of the European Swallow by a comparison with similar species. With those two numbers, it will be possible to estimate airspeed (U).

Hank Garner Who is your favorite comic book character and why?
Answer: The original Captain Marvel- Mar-Vell. He was sent to watch Earth and ultimately defected to us. Even at a young age I realized how cool and right that was.

Frank Raymond Michaels Are your characters ever based on real people in your life?
Answer: Yes.

Rosefyre Flannery Have you ever visited Wickenburg, Arizona and why? Did you eat there and enjoy your visit?
Answer: Yes. To spend time with my son. We had steak at one of the places and it was pretty good.

Darren Mckeeman What does human flesh taste like?
Answer: A little more firmer than cat meat and less tangy than gerbil.

Jeanna Tendean What do you do to make yourself feel better when you're sad?
Answer: Say to myself the worst day in America is better than the best day in Afghanistan.

Ladonna Perkins What is one thing you regret doing in your life?
Answer: I don't have any regrets. The path I chose is what made me who I am today.

Geno Mortensen How did you meet Yvonne Navarro?
Answer: We met at the World Horror Convention in Denver in 2000.

Mark McLaughlin Who DID leave that cake out in the rain?
Answer: Christopher Golden.

S.D. Hintz What inspired you to write your current series?
Answer: The chance to merge military and the supernatural together was too cool to pass up.

Justin Schmid Can you eat just one Lays potato chip?
Answer: Duh... no!

David Wilson I had a dream where you were writing a novel for our O.C.L.T. series, and I wondered if there was any truth to it...
Answer: I dreamed I was getting a five figure advance for writing it.

Ashley Clayton Have you ever done any research on UFOs and the military's refusal to acknowledge their existence (ie Roswell and Wright Patt AFB?)
Answer: I began reading about Project Blue Book when I was ten and am still fascinated by it.

Jordan Baker How will you possibly answer all of these questions without selling your soul for eternal life in order to continue answering these questions?
Answer: The weight of my responsibility is immense.

Sunni Brock What's that on your shirt?
Answer: Dog smutz.

Stephen Kozeniewski My car won't start about 1 time in 24. Do you think it's an issue with the solenoid or the flywheel?
Answer: Neither, it's the orbiting aliens targeting you with their on-off clicker.

Sean Lewis What happened to the rednecks?
Answer: Theyre still there. The good thing is that even when they get a divorce they can still be cousins.

John D. Harvey What is your favorite handgun make and model? Would appreciate reasons for your choice if you have time/bandwidth.
Answer: Sig Saur P226. I put about 5,000 rounds through one and it stood up very well. Love the trigger pull and the weight of the barrel.

Martel Sardina Best concert you've ever been to?
Answer: Styx - Mister Roboto

Rob Meyer What is the scariest thing that has bitten you?
Answer: Brown Recluse Spider, three times on my knee cap. The skin in a four inch area necrotized and then sloughed off.

Danny Evarts What colour is angel piss?'
Answer: Chartreuse.

Mark Dunham They are making a movie about your life. Who do you want to play you in the movie?
Answer: They better hurry up or I'll have to play a grandfather.

Kristin Morris In a battle of the heavens, which pantheon/god would come out on top?
Answer: Melnibonean

Sean Ellis What does the Fox say?
Answer: REE REE REE REE REE REE REE REEE!

Rob Meyer Weston, you have just discovered your life is a work of fiction. Who wrote it? What genre is it? And who do you most want to have it as their favorite book? (I know, multiple questions, but I hope the question is interesting enough to make it worthwhile).
Answer: Quintin Tarantino. Gangster Bildungsroman. John Skipp.

Joe Miles Your life story is slated for production in '15. Who is going to play you and Yvonne?
Answer: Micheal Bein and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Rochelle Smith Who wins... Godzilla or the Kaijus, colossal monsters which have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Answer: Godzilla!

Scott Glener How did you get interested in cooking & gourmet food?
Answer: If I'm going to injest calories, I want to have only the best. Plus, before I met Yvonne all I could cook was nuggets and hot dogs. I had to learn to cook so I'd have value added.

Larry Meier Weston , have you any aspirations to write the screenplays for any film adaptations of your work?. Also, have you ever thought of making a great Dane a major character in your work, ala Dean Koontz?
Answer: I've already written screenplays adapting my work. Wesley Snipes almost did the movie based on my novel Blaze of Glory. Both Ghost and Goblin appeared as mutants in The Golden Thread.

Rob Meyer Duane Johnson comes to you asking you to coach him for Seal Team 666. He insists you take him someplace risky. Where do you take him?
Answer: Most dangerous place I have ever been Papua new Guinea.

Rob Meyer You wake up in the body of a living celebrity. Who is it?
Answer: Tarantino.

Rose Blackthorn Since you're a bit of a gourmand, I wonder... what's the worst thing you've eaten?
Answer: Hominy. I can't even get it past my teeth.

Rob Meyer If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Answer: As hokey as it stands, world fucking peace.

Jay Chase Has the world ever gone matrix on you??? Where time slowed down, or you sped up and everything was preternaturally clear... Or even better have you ever seen the cat pass by twice, making you question 'all of it'???
Answer: I often think I'm a playtoy of the fickle Gods of Fate.

Jay Chase Or more apropos to reality... Have you ever had to suck down gas twice in one day????
Answer: No.

Rob Meyer Has the world ever gone matrix on you??? Where time slowed down, or you sped up and everything was preternaturally clear... Or even better have you ever seen the cat pass by twice, making you question 'all of it'??? (Damn it! Reboot guys, before he reads it!)
Answer: Yikes!

Bill Kuehl What is the life of meaning?
Answer: The answer of knowing.

Collie James What, and who inspired you to start writing? And what was your scariest battle? Oh, and do you ever get depressed about your writing and feel it's not good? Not saying it isn't, just wondering .
Answer: Reading so many bad published books and telling myself I could do better. An altercation with tribesmen in Papua New Guinea. Yes.

Bill Kuehl What novel or short story do you wish you had written?
Answer: Dune.

Catherine Bader Do you know who I really am???
Answer: No.

Carl Hose When are we getting a cookbook complete with photography that makes us drool?
Answer: Working on it.

Djuana Berlin How much wood would a wood chuck, chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
Answer: Half a rick an hour.

David Gerrold Who sawed Courtney's boat?
Answer: Dean Grennell, but he cheated.

Kimberly K Stewart-Holmes What did u do when u was in the military? Are u still in the military?
Answer: Intelligence. Sort of.

Wendy Protagonist What did I miss?
Answer: 3/4s of the fun.

Chris Ansted When are you going write a book with Jeremy Robinson?
Answer: Who's that? HAHAHA.

Mikel Dornhecker Jr Have you killed a Zombie with a Train yet?
Answer: It's on my bucket list, right after ride a bull named Fu Manchu.

Bob Ford Well, brother, I'll ask my standard question... of your entire life... what's the strangest thing you've ever witnessed?
Answer: Two warring tribes on either side of the fairway of a Papua New Guinea Golf Course stop killing each other long enough for me and the rest of my foursome to play through. True story.

Denise Dumars So, is it REALLY possible to get red wine out of a white tablecloth?
Answer: Yes, baking soda and bleach.

Matthew Harper What rhymes with orange?
Answer: Orange. 

Scott Virtes Where is Attila the Hun buried?
Answer: Grant's Tomb.

Nancy Holder Cavemen or astronauts?
Answer: Cavemen, always.

Maryelizabeth Hart Pluto -- still a planet?
Answer: Hell's yeah!

Morgan Griffith If you could ride Jules Verne's machine back through time, what year and place would you visit?
Answer: Probably sometime in the Dark Ages.

Jamey Philipp If you could ride Jules Verne's back through a machine, what machine would that be?
Answer: A Volkswagon.
.
Rick Hipson A food fight rages on in your fridge while you sleep. By warning there can be only one victor. Which food will prevail?
Answer: In my fridge, the Siracha mayo would win.

David Mariotte Are you Jimmy Ray?
Answer: No, but you should ask Jimmy Ray if he is me.

David Mariotte What is the best bear?
Answer: Any bear not chasing me.

And that my FOWs is a wrap. I'm sure by now your brain has swelled with all your new-found knowledge. Use it wisely.

Now go forth and take over the world!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Letter to My Dead Dog

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Dear Ghost, 

Thank you for giving us your heart and your happiness. I remember when we got you from the rescue  

in Phoenix. It was like matchmaking. We took Goblin up to make sure he'd get along as if it was a blind date. When you began to nibble at his toes we knew everything was going to be okay, especially when Goblin gave us that look which meant can we keep her? You came home with us and became part of our lives. Every day you were happy to see us. Every day you were thrilled to be a part of our lives. Even as you were dying I knew that you were happy we were there. I could see it in your eyes even as you faded away.

I am so happy you were a part of our lives.

But there are some things I am sorry for.

I'm sorry that you were set on fire when you were six months old. If I could find the man who did it, I'd let him know what it felt like. Sometimes when you slept and dreamed and were howling, I knew you were reliving that moment. I'm so sorry that ever happened to you.

I'm sorry you were born deaf because an asshole breeder was trying to breed a merle even though he or she knew there was an 80% failure rate and didn't care. Because of this you were never able to hear the love we heaped on you. You were never able to listen to your mom as she spoke the most loving words to you.

I'm sorry you were turned over to a rescue. Okay, I'm only half sorry for that. Because had you not
gone to a rescue, we never would have found you.

I'm sorry that I wasn't always patient. You were a spastic little beast. You shook your ears too loud and you never learned to lick. You'd just hover your face in front of ours knowing you should do something, but not knowing what to do. Now I wish I could hear your too-loud-ear-flaps again and that you'd do that face-hovering thing.

I'm sorry that I yelled at you in frustration. It was stupid of me. After all, who yells at a deaf dog?

I'm sorry for so many things, but most of all, I'm sorry that you are dead.

We will meet again someday. Until then, run free in the fields of heaven, chasing forever rabbits, howling at the moon, and listening to the great big universe with ears that can finally hear. And every once in a while, pause, listen, and you can hear us talking about you. You might even hear us calling you. If that should happen, come to us, and let us love you for a time before you return to the fields of forever rabbits.

I love you, Ghost.

Until we meet again.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BOOKLIST REVIEW of REIGN OF EVIL

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Reign of Evil.
Ochse, Weston (Author)
Oct 2014. 336 p. St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne, hardcover, $26.99. (9781250056009). St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne, e-book, (9781466859586).

"The latest in the SEAL Team 666 series, which craftily blends horror with elite military action, opens with an absolute shocker. A reenactment at Stonehenge turns into murder when the “fake” sacrifice becomes all too real. For one of the team, the death is personal, and he is willing to sacrifice the mission and his life for revenge. Will his loyalty keep him from going rogue? Will his colleagues be able to trust him to do the right thing? Throw in creepy beasts and King Arthur, and the end result is another winner from Ochse. The military action is first rate, and the horror is tight and scary. Readers who enjoy Brad Taylor's and Brad Thor's military thrillers, but who don’t mind stories that add to the military mix some over-the-top terror in the manner of Jonathan Maberry, will find this the perfect diversion. The ending screams for a sequel, which would be most welcome. - Jeff Ayers"

WESTON'S 2014 BOOK CONTEST

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2014 has been a big year in publishing for me with four novels being published. For the next 21 days I'm going to hold a contest. To participate in the contest you must take a picture of at least three of the books published this year in your possession. These books are Reign of Evil, Grunt Life, Ghost Heart, and Halfway House. Two of the books MUST BE Reign of Evil and Halfway House.


HOW TO PARTICIPATE: Take a picture with the appropriate books. Post the picture to Facebook and tag me. Also go to my website (www.westonochse.com) and under the contacts tab, send me an email telling me you've done this with the SUBJECT LINE as BOOK CONTEST (in case I miss the FB photo). Include your name in the email so I know to go to your page. I know some of you have these books as electronic only. I encourage you to use your phone to take pictures of the covers on your electronic medium, then feel free to photoshop them.

And No Cheating! Cheaters will be hunted down and eaten by a starving cheetah the publicly humilated using the best of what social media has to offer!

 JUDGING: There will be FIVE prizes. Points WILL be given for originality.

GRAND PRIZE: Signed original manuscript for SEAL Team 666. Yes. This is the final galley proof that I edited prior to it going to publishing. And I will kill you (see below)

FOUR OTHER PRIZES: Each of you will win a free signed book from me and I will kill you in the upcoming Solaris Book Grunt Traitor. We can discuss which book of mine you don't have and want and I can see if I have a copy to spare. Regarding your joyful murder at the hands of an alien, we can also discuss how you want to die.

DEADLINE: November 4, 2014.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Less than 24 Hours Until SEAL Team 666 Reign of Evil Goes Live

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SEAL Team 666 Reign of Evil hits the streets in two days. Ordering a copy now will help make sales go through the roof. A book is largely judged by how well it does with the first days of being for sale. So I need your help. If you're planning on buying one, want to buy another as a gift, want to buy one to give away, or just want to buy one to throw at the next guy who solicits at your door, please do it within the next 72 hours. 

I'm including a link that has a bunch of buying options. And if you have a favorite store like The Poisoned Pen Bookstore or Barnes And Noble's/Starbucks (in Fayetteville) or Barnes and Nobles (Ventura) or Barnes & Noble Booksellers (Phoenix) or Mysterious Galaxy, give them a call or go to their website and order from them. 

Also don't forget on opening day to also go down to your favorite bookstore and buy a copy from them. This is when I need you to help me so I can keep bringing you great fiction.



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Soda Pop Soldier Review - Prepare to Level Up

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Nick Cole's new Soda Pop Soldier is as different from The Wasteland Saga as Skyrim is to Donkey Kong. Not that The Wasteland Saga is as emotionally bankrupt as Donkey Kong. It's not. And it's awesome. It's just so different it seems as if someone else wrote it. In a way, it was. It's clear that John Saxon wrote this book while Nick Cole wrote the other one--John Saxon being both an actor who starred in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon as well as being the nom de guerre of the main character of Soda Pop Soldier.  And Nick Cole can level up with 10,000 cool points for channeling the great unsung pop-culture icon of the 1970s.

The great great grandchild of Neuromancer (Gibson), Soda Pop Soldier shares its inventiveness, themes of moral bankruptcy and greed, and isolationism with it's siblings Reamde (Stephenson) and Ready Player One (Cline). But it achieves more. I'm not sure if John Saxon used these as stepping stones, or came up with the premise whole cloth in the vacuum of his shag-carpeted, spinning disco ball, scotch soaked mind, but whatever +5 Potion of Inventiveness he sucked down, it worked.

But that's all creation myth. 

Soda Pop Soldier has not one but two online universes John Saxon interacts with. The first is the corporate war gaming universe of a pseudo-Vietnam where megacorporation victories are rewarded with mega-advertising. The second is The Black, which is a truly vile hole in the internet where within the constructs of a game, players can do some truly terrible things that have consequences in the real world, all the while viewers pay to watch. What's most interesting is that behind all that vileness is a Tolkeinesque quest MMORPG that shines with its brilliant reincarnations of all the questings we have come to know and love as fans of high action high fantasy, roleplaying, and online gaming.

All this set on a timer that if it goes off could mean the end to our fabled hero and true author of the book, the venerable John Saxon.

On a personal note, as a fellow writer, I can tell Nick Cole is a foodie. The way he describes food in this book is nothing short of old-school Ventura-based porn. I can almost see him leering as he wrote about garlicky fries and mile-high club sandwiches. And of course there's the scotch. Never forget the scotch. Our hero drinks enough of it to fuel a pair of funny cars at San Bernardino Motor Speedway.

As an author and a soldier--fellow soldier it appears--the fighting and combat sequences rang true. Having written knock-down-dragged-out fight scenes for my SEAL Team 666 series as well as my Grunt series, I know how mentally challenging these are to get right, to keep track of all the personnel and havoc we're choreographing. 

And I loved the nod to Corporal Hicks. I wanted to scream Punch it Bishop! every time there was an Aliens reference.

So here we are.

When I read Reamde I thought that was the best thing I'd read using online gaming as a theme. 

When I read Ready Player One I thought that was the best thing I'd read using online gaming as a theme.

And they were... at the time I read them.

Now that I've read Soda Pop Soldier, I know that this is the best thing I've read using online gaming as a theme.

And it will remain so right up until the point that it isn't. When something else comes along. But that eventual usurpation will have no effect on the lasting quality and immoral goodness John Saxon nee Nick Cole created with this masterpiece the megacorporation HarperCollins calls Soda Pop Soldier.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

An Update On My Upcoming Projects.

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I could probably say that I'm Busier Than...
  •     a five dollar hooker
  •     a Jehova's Witness at doors unlimited
  •     handicapped parking at the special olympics
  •     O.J. Simpson in a white meat slaughterhouse
  •     Michael Jackson in a day care center  
Ahh. The way we do love to turn phrases.

So what's on my radar?

GRUNT TRAITOR - This is the second book in my alien invasion series following the exploits of
PTSD-suffering heroes trying to save the world.  About 100k words. Due January 1st.

SNAFU II Novella - I will return to the time of Cold War Gothic and bring back Special Unit 77 in a tale of ultimate survival against the Bohemian Grove. About 15k words. Due January 31st.

V-Wars Volume 4 - I already have my story planned out for this. It will come in at about 8000 words. It's due sometime in the spring of 2015. This will mark my third V-Wars story.

LIMBUS Novella - I've been contracted to write in the world of Limbus. Much like V-Wars, this is a book of integrated stories telling a larger tale. In this case, that there's a secret society really controlling everything. This should be a lot of fun. About 25k words. Due March 31st.

Urban Allies Collaboration - I'm working with David Wellington to create a collaborative tale staring Jack Walker from SEAL Team 666 and Laura Caxton from his eponymous series. About 7500 words. Due May 31st.

Then there's the very strong possibility of a fourth SEAL Team 666 book, when if contracted, I'll need to begin January 1st with a deadline of April 22nd. About 100k words.

Add to that two novels in progress, 4 short stories I need to complete for my next collection, and one super-secret project.

There will be some new fiction coming out as well.

The Shade of My Chinaman will appear in the upcoming anniversary edition of Carpe Noctem. See their Kickstarter here for goodies. It's a story in which the shades of murdered people suddenly appear to their murderers and will not go away. This worldwide phenomenon has virtually crippled the world and will be the downfall of an already troubled married couple.

On Tranquility Tides I Rise is a novella which will appear in the Dark Regions Press anthology Behind Enemy Lines. This is the story of a young sergeant in the Iraq War, his relationship to his dead brother, and the effect of the moon on our souls.

The Devil Until the Credits Roll will appear in the Clive Barker anthology Midian Unmade to be published by Tor. I've created a new Midian monster for this one. But just know, there are times when humans can be so much more the monster.I wrote this in Afghanistan. 

American Golem will appear in OPERATION ARCANA edited by John Joseph Adams. The story involves a familiy's desire to have revenge on the IED-maker who killed their son in Afghanistan.

The Art of Courage will appear in The Dark Phantastique anthology from Cycatrix Press. It revolves around bull fighting in Spain and the idea of Schadenfreude, and stars Ernest Hemingway. 

Reliving Through Better Chemistry will appear in the anthology Library of the Dead. It's the story of some teenagers who discover how to relive moments of someone's life by combining ADHD
medicine with the ashes of the dead. It's rollicking good fun right up until they decide to relive the life of a child abuser.

A reprint of Tarzan Doesn't Live Here Anymore will appear in SNAFU: Heroes due out the same day as Reign of Evil below.This story originally appeared in my collection Multiplex Fandango which was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award in Best Collection.

Let's not forget that SEAL Team 666: Reign of Evil is due out in two weeks. In this edition, the SEALs must come to the aid of one of their own, who while mourning the loss of a loved one, becomes embroiled in the worst supernatural calamity to ever befall England.

And of course the novel Halfway House which is due out now. Featuring a L.A. gangs, a quest for an Elvis Presley Double Platinum album, Hollywood Porn Directors, a WWII curse, and a haunted house.

I think that's all that's coming. I can't be sure. I have so much shit going on. Still, these are some stories to look forward to.

Yep. I'm surely going to be busy. 

I'll be as busy as

  •    Richard Simmons on a fat farm
  •     a gopher on a golf course
  •     a bar of soap at San Quentin
  •     Ted Kennedy in an all-girls school
  •     and those poor 72 virgins.

Well, now. 

Hold the phone.

Not as busy as all that, I suppose.