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, December 31, 2012

Weston's Favorites of 2012

This is my 2012 Capsule of all my favorites for the year. I'm going to bury it in your psyches and fifty years from now we're going to open it and laugh at how silly we were back in 2012. Of course, I'm sure some of you will already laugh at me, because you are just so damned ahead of your time. All is well, though. Feel free to make fun of me as you get this not-so-rare glimpse into my thinking.

Favorite Word - Slacks. I was pretty upset when the New Yorker pegged this terrific word as the worst word in the English language? I mean, who the hell do they think they are? I'm going to make it my mission to use this word at least once a day. Slacks. Watch for it. There will be a resurgence.

Favorite Saying - "I have binders full of women." Gotta love that joker. He's a peach. I laugh every time I hear it. When I had binders full of women, my mother got mad and threw them away.

Favorite Political Meme - This one of Bill Clinton is so profanely adolescent, I can't help but laugh, with the presidents expression saying, "Oh, here we go."

Favorite Comic Book - Conan the Barbarian, Dark Horse

Favorite Fast Food Sandwich - Carl's Junior Jalepeno Turkey Burger. I know it's Turkey but I can't help it. The sauce, the jalapenos, the crisp lettuce, all serve to compliment the burger.

Favorite TV Show - Californication. (sorry. I'm a HANK MOODY FAN!!!!)

Favorite Song - Hey, Ho. The Lumineers.It's just so damned catchy and I don't want it to end.

Favorite Song You Never Heard Of (with video) - Anywhich Way by Scissor Sisters*

Favorite Video of the Year - Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders "Call Me Maybe" By Carly Rae Jepson Military Tribute by U.S. Military - This makes me smile every single time I watch it. Tell me you didn't smile. Come on. I dare you.

Favorite Weirdest Video of the Year:- Night and Day by Hot Chip or as NPR says, the video that makes you want to join and egg-worshiping disco cult

Favorite Beer - 1554  

Favorite Wine - Cupcake, Petite Syrah, Central Coast, 2010

Favorite Video Game - Skyrim

Favorite Novel -Tie between Westlake Soul (Rio Youers) and The Ritual (Adam Nevill). These books couldn't be more different. In fact, The Ritual (I believe) actually came out in 2011, which would make Rio's the best of this year. But since I read both of them in 2012, they're my 2012 books. I seriously encourage you that if you haven't read either of these, do it. Seriously.  And wear slacks and eat turkey burgers while you're doing it.

Favorite Trilogy - Dog Faced Gods by Sarah Pinborough

Favorite Recipe - This is something special. I don't usually share, but here it is.

Original which inspired my recipe
Weston's Smoke Salmon Pasta

3 tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 large tomato (when chopped, no juice)
6 - 8 oz pound smoked salmon
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound pasta (preferably linguini), cooked past al dente, drained, and tossed with 3 additional tbs olive oil
Freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese

Cut into small, equal-sized pieces tomato, salmon, onion, add dill and let rest in refrigerator for 1 hour in ceramic bowl.

Cook pasta.

In a large skillet, heat half the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add refrigerated ingredients and sauté until translucent, but not browned (about 5 minutes). Pour in the cream and reduce to simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Be careful how much salt you add because the smoked salmon and capers are both salty. Add pasta to each single serving bowl, and add ingredients to pasta in bowl. Toss pasta with ingredients to coat. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of dill. If served family style, then use one large bowl.

*Note: I had this at Anthony's Restaurant at Point Defiance, Washington, and recreated it. It's creamy and has the taste of smoked salmon without being overpowering.
And that's it folks. I hope you can try out my favorites and see if they might become your. Thank you 2012 for all that you have given. Now on to 2013. I wonder what's in store for us all when we're in the middle of next year wearing slacks?

*Song and video created in 2010. I know it's not 2012. So sue me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

SEAL Team 666 Invades WEST COAST

After more than 1900 miles and 16 bookstores in 8 days, my West Coast Booksigning Tour is over.

I've been to bookstores in Scottsdale, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Encinitas, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, San Diego, Rancho Panisquitos, Ventura and Coronado Island.

I've met readers, distributors, store clerks, community relations managers, store owners, event planners, event coordinators, and people just shopping for presents.

I've been asked about my book, where the restrooms are in the store, which Nook is the best one to buy, if I can get them a glass of water, which romance novel is the best one, where I get my ideas, did you know how fast you were going, if they could use my chair, if they could borrow my pen, could I sign their book, could I sign their body parts, could I sign a piece of paper, how to be published, how to get an agent, how to write a novel, how to self publish, where Bill O'Reilly's book is, and if I was single.

I felt like I encountered the full breadth of humanity, and although the recent political climate brought out the beasts in many of us, I found the majority of the people I met people I am proud to share the planet with.

Special thanks to Dirk and Barbara Foster, Greg and Eunice Magill, and Hal and Gene for opening their homes to me.

In Ventura
Special thanks to Barbara and Will at the Poisoned Pen, Del and Sue at Dark Dels, Maryelizabeth for both Mysterious Galaxys, Erna for Bay Books, and the CRMs at all the Barnes and Nobles that had me in to sign books.

Some highlights include-

  • Selling more than 25 book in Ventura
  • Chatting with Amber Benson
  • Staying at the Peirpont in Ventura
  • Eating late night Korean with Hal and Gene
  • Eating Korean pork belly with Dirk and Barbara
  • Waking up to Santa Monica Pier
  • Driving the Pacific Coast Highway through  Malibu
  • Yvonne joining me on Friday
  • Hanging with Eunice and Greg
  • Lunch with Gini Koch
  • The young man from VCU deciding to ditch 50 Shades of Grey in favor of Triple Six
I was asked several times how much the publisher was paying me to do this book tour. I explained that I was being paid nothing, and that I felt that it was part of my job to promote the book. They said why not just do it from your webpage. The answer is all of what I said above. If I had stayed at home, I never would have had those highlights. I also wouldn't have a smiling agent and publisher. And let me assure you, my agent and publisher smiled with every signing, every update, every shared photo, and every blurb.

L-R: Nancy Holder, Eunice Magill, Yvonna Navarro, and Me
Yep. SEAL Team 666 invaded the West Coast.

And the West Coast is better for it.

I wonder who will be next.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

As The Tour Ends

I've already covered more than 2000 miles. I've been to bookstores in Scottsdale, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Encinitas, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Ventura and Coronado Island. I've stayed with friends, in hotels, and once, I was so tired it was beside the road.

But this isn't about being tired.

This is about fifteen years of writing, nine novels, more than a hundred short stories, and god knows how many conventions.

This is about me finding my stride.

This is about walking into stores and having clerks excited to see me.

This is about seeing old friends who know how long and hard you've been working and seeing the love in their eyes.

This is about meeting new people and watching them as they get excited about what they are about to read.

You know, Charles Dickens went around America, reading his novels in installments, often writing them just before he presented them. He sold his books and looked into the eyes of the readers. I get why he loved doing it. I also get how tired it must have been.

This is a great life. I do not take it for granted. This morning I awoke in a suite with an ocean view and wrote 3500 words on Age of Blood, the next Triple Six book. I also talked with my agent about a possible signing of a few more books (more later). I have other projects. And it occurs to me I could just start playing video games and never write another word. It might be cool for about three weeks. Then I'd go crazy. You see, I have to write. I love to create. It's part of my DNA.

Yeah. It's a great life.

Now on to tomorrow.

Say, do you have Triple Six?  If not then WTF? How can the NY Post, USA Today and the Denver Post be wrong?  Lol.

Thanks for listening.

Ignore my blather.


Hotel Room
Torance, California
1152 PM

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Italy, SEAL Team 666 and Wine Sabotage

SEAL Team 666 has invaded Italy.

How do we know?

Could they have been part of the mysterious night raid that destroyed 80,000 bottles of wine?

The mystery night raiders turned on the taps of Case Basse winery's giant wooden casks in which the wine was maturing, and let more than 62,000 litres of prized Brunello di Montalcino pour out.
Bottles of Brunello di Montalcino red wine are displayed at a wine shop in the Tuscan town of Montalcino in central Italy in this September 22, 2004 file photo. The United States will not allow shipments of Italy's Brunello di Montalcino to enter the country beginning on Monday, unless U.S. importers attest that the bottles actually contain the storied wine. But the action comes too late for many U.S. consumers as several importers said they had already brought in between half and 95 percent of their allotments of the 2003 vintage. Italian authorities seized hundreds of thousands of bottles in April because they suspected winemakers were using grapes other than Sangiovese -- the only grape allowed in Brunello di Montalcino -- to produce more of the premium Tuscan wine. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files       (ITALY)

Some 80,000 bottles of wine were lost, each of which can sell for at least 170 euros – a total estimated value of more than 13 million euros. The saboteurs did no other damage to the estate's "cantina", nor did they steal anything, suggesting that it was less a random episode of vandalism and more an act of spite.
The raid wiped out the last six vintages of the 6.5-hectare vineyard in the hills of southern Tuscany, from 2007 to 2012. Case Basse is a small but highly acclaimed producer of Brunello di Montalcino, making around 10,000 bottles a year.  (Entire Article)

Was SEAL Team 666 involved? Until someone steps forward we can't rule them out.

But what we do know is that they've been sighted in Vicenza, Italy.

On the marksmanship range?

In the tactical command headquarters?

At the ammo resupply point?

No. At the Hair Salon. It seems like one of my old friends and fans discovered that Consuela and the other stylists had SEAL Team 666 wishlisted for audiobook. Once my friend, Tracy, found this out, she convinced them to download the book and listen to it as they work.

So if you find yourself in Vicenza and are in need of a haircut, you might want to be careful. After all, the lady with the scissors wearing the headphones might just jump while she's cutting.

And then all bets are off. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thank You Sarah Pinborough - Dog-Faced Gods

Let me introduce a concept to my fellow Americans.

Dog-Faced Gods.

Yep. You read it right. Dog-Faced Gods. This is the trilogy (Gollanz) from London author, Sarah Pinborough and it's unbelievably incredible. I picked up the first book, Matter of Blood, at our local bookstore that someone had remaindered. It was the British edition, so I don't know how it got to this dark and sandy corner of the American desert.  Short version is that I read it and just loved it. The writing reminds me of Peter Straub, but with the certain grace that Sarah continually pulls off. My guess is that she doesn't even realize she's doing it. It's just something natural she does. I even find it hard to describe what it is, but once you read it, you know.

So I went online and bought the second book in the series - The Shadow of the Soul. I read that in just a few sittings and was like, "Damn. This is so good." I emailed Sarah and told her so. Then she offered me the third book to read, since it wasn't out yet in America. I took her up on it.  About halfway through The Chosen Seed, this third book, I began to get depressed. I was realizing that I would soon be finished and there would be no more story.

And the story?

Cass Jones is a London detective who can see the glow. What the glow is and why its there is at the heart of the story. Why Cass is special and how it all fits together is a brilliant piece of architectural plotting. I really can't get more into it without giving it away. Let me just say that this is a story that really began a long, long, time ago and Sarah begins in media res.

If you've never heard of this, or if you've been putting of reading them, then I'm excited for you. You're in for something special. Go find this trilogy and buy them.