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.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Christopher Golden Appreciation from the WHC 2015 Program Book

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In honor of Chris Golden's new book, Tin Men, which I had the pleasure of reading while I was in Afghanistan, I'd like to share with you the appreciation I wrote.  After you read it, consider going over to your favorite bookstore and buying a copy of Tin Men. It's phenomenal.

So...

When I was asked by Eric Guignard to write an appreciation for World Horror Convention Guest of Honor Christopher Golden, I knew I had to do something different. This was the second time I'd been asked to write an appreciation, the first being for the late Adam Niswander. Too many of these read like Wikipedia articles. I wanted mine to not read that way. So I took some poetic license. I think it worked. It certainly allowed me to describe friend and mentor Chris Golden in the way he deserved to be described. I'll let you be the judge.

This appreciation originally appeared in the World Horror Convention 2015 Program Book. I'm reproducing it here for those who were unable to attend the convention. You missed something cool.



IN THE GOLDEN COURT
A Christopher Golden Appreciation by Weston Ochse

Prince Golden stood amidst the NECON crowd, a proud amalgam of Prince Valiant and the black bearded GI Joe with kung fu grip I used to play with when I was a kid. I watched as eager young
scribes moved around him as if his very touch could imbue some magical ability. Seasoned men and women of letters stood near, eyes on him. They were neither wary nor afraid, but instead, also drawn to him by his comfortable manner. Several editors who I’d only heard of through their learned tomes eyed him with their sage eyes, curious smiles curling their lips as if they knew some new work even now was being created behind this man’s bright, intelligent smile. I was a newb to the North Eastern Writers Convention. I was curious about the tidal pull of this man. Ever wary about cults of personality, I had questions which needed answered. Who was he? What was he about? Should I be worried? Was he to be my nemesis?

Over the years I watched as his work became better known until he eventually became a New York Times Bestseller. From his early days writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to his The Boys Are Back In Town, to the Veil Series, and to the soon to be released Tin Men, I’ve increasingly enjoyed his ability to weave a gruesome tale. I found myself to be a fan, not only of his work, but of the man himself. He’s worked with other writers both as partners or as mentors. On occasion I’d ask a question, only to have Chris’s full attention as he offered the breadth of his experience, helping me as he’d helped so many before and continues to help so many others. On several occasions when his creative font was overfilled, he would toss a project this way or that to an author whom he could trust to get it right.

Among these authors was Squire Sniegoski, whose aspirations to become a writer of great fame is equal to Chris’s own. But instead of seeing this young squire as a threat, Chris embraced him as a friend, partner and co-creator. “There isn't a kinder, more supportive creator out there. Chris has been there for me, as well as many other writers, with every kind of support imaginable. He's helped me with plotting troublesome scenes, helped with contract negotiations, and has even been the hard ass when I was feeling sorry for myself, telling me to suck it up and do what I was supposed to do--write.”

Lady Newstein-Hautala holds Prince Golden in tremendous regard. In the dark terrible days after the death of Lord Hautala, Chris became her eternal brother, helping her like none of us ever could, giving of himself because of his love for Hautala, as well as his desire to do the right thing. “Because of his love and care, I got through it all and came out strong. I owe him more than I can ever repay and I love him dearly,” said Lady Newstein-Hautala.

This is perhaps what I like about Chris most. It’s one thing to share experience to one seeking guidance. It’s another thing entirely to give so freely of one’s heart. When I first saw him holding his Golden Court I thought it was something he created, some affectation he reveled in, desiring to stand tall as he looked down upon us all with pride at our attendance. But now I understand. He didn’t create the court; we did in our effort to be like him, share our lives with him, and revel in our friendship with him.

In the end, Chris is a far better friend than I deserve, helping me as he’s helped so many before me. He’s led our army of scribes from the front, occasionally turning to look back upon us, gesturing every now and then for one to join him. None of us are jealous. None of us are petty. We know he leads us to a certain victory, if only we have the courage to follow him, learn from him, and then branch off to seek our own truth. 

No, Christopher Golden was never my nemesis. He was and remains my friend. I’m pleased whenever I see the movement of young eager scribes around him. I was one of them once and know the benefit of belonging to the Golden Court. No, Chris wasn’t my nemesis. I’m my own nemesis and I will remain so, until I can become the prince of my own court, helping, guiding, leading… just being a truly genuine and impressive man like my friend Christopher Golden, Senior Scribe, Prince of the Pen, Knight of the Holy Order of the Bram Stoker, Legionnaire of the Fantastical, and friend to us all. 

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Weston Ochse is a Cavalier of Supernatural Military Thrillers, Knight of the Holy Order of the Bram Stoker, Chevalier of Great Danes, and Consort to Dame Navarro. His SEAL Team 666 tomes have been optioned by the minstrel show MGM with the legendary barbarian bard, Dwayne Johnson, to star. You can find him through the mystical portal, www.westonochse.com.

Visit Chris Golden at his website. I highly recommend his new novel Tin Men!

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