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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Trigger Warning - Iconic Imagery in Burning Sky

I was recently interviewed by My Life My Book My Escape where I talk about Cormac McCarthy and how iconic images change us. I specifically talk about The Falling Man, Napalm Girl, and the Burning Monk, who are all part of Burning Sky and the idea of them intrinsic to the plot.

We all know how seeing something can change our lives. Many things we've seen we can't unsee. I remember when the video of the poor man being beheaded was being passed around. There were those who would eagerly see it and those like me who wouldn't. My imagination filled in the blanks. I didn't need to see the real thing.

Because I knew it would affect me.

When I was a child I saw both the pictures of the Burning Monk and Napalm Girl in a big Time Life book and they haunted me to this day. Then after 911, the image of the Falling Man came to light. All these images are touchstones to history, mnemonics of how terrible we can be to each other.

Excerpt from Interview:

DJ: What were some of your influences for Burning Sky?

Weston: Cormac McCarthy was a huge influence in the book. His continuing theme of man vs nature and man’s inability to overcome nature is the fulcrum in the novel which the plot circles. I especially mined his masterpiece Blood Meridian, using some of the motifs like how he never names any major character but instead uses titles for them. In Burning Sky, the members of the team are never referred to by their names while in Afghanistan. I also loved the way McCarthy landscaped Blood Meridian and tried to use some of the landscape in Burning Sky as a dark mirror to the McCarthy’s terra damnata. I also mined several cultural icons that when seen, can’t help but bring us memories and stir our thinking. Images such as The Falling Man from the Twin Towers during 9/11, or the Burning Monk and the Napalm Girl from black and white photos from Vietnam. Each one of the images is shorthand to something terrible and I used them as interactive touch points for readers.

If you want to read the entire interview, which I urge you to do, please go here.

Burning Sky will be available September 25th. Please pre-order so we can sell out the print run before publication. That will help guarantee more books in the series. You can click on one of the book links on the left, or go to the following links for your favorite stores.

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