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, June 14, 2013

GRUNT LIFE Update #1 - Free Excerpt

So Solaris Books has contracted me to write a military science fiction novel. I can't tell you how excited I am to write this. I've been trying to work with Solaris for years. They are top notch in the Science Fiction community and have published some of my favorite books and authors. To be a part
of their catalogue is humbling and thrilling. To make it even more fun, I get to write this while I'm in Afghanistan. Makes you wonder if my being here effects the content of the story. You be the judge.

PLOT: A private company grabs several thousand PTSD sufferers right at the point where they're about to commit suicide and makes them an offer they can't refuse. If you want to kill yourself, fine, but why not make it mean something by doing it in the protection of your own species. Thus was formed TF OMBRA, who is mankind's singular hope for the savior of planet Earth.

Here's an (unedited) excerpt from Chapter 1:

By Weston Ochse © 2013



It was my love of movies that made me choose the Vincent Thomas Bridge to kill myself. Although it was relatively convenient, joining Long Beach to my home of San Pedro, California, it had also gained a certain notoriety over the years. That it had been a shooting location for the films Gone in Sixty Seconds, Lethal Weapon 2, To Live and Die in LA, Heat and The Island was a bonus. The real reason I’d chosen to jump from it was because of my love of film director Tony Scott and the fact that he’d jumped from the same bridge back in 2012. The director of Top Gun, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance and the incomparable Man on Fire had one day parked his car on the bridge, climbed over the rail, and leaped to a better life. Some people said that Tony hadn’t meant to kill himself that it was the result of a bad combination of drugs that had given him suicidal thoughts, but I knew better. The truth was that sometimes life was just shit and there was nothing to be done about it.
     I stared out across the lights of the harbor. A cruise ship was pulling in. Beyond this the giant cranes used to load and offload containers of consumer goods glowed with warning lights. The San Pedro hill to my right was dotted with a thousand lights, each one housing someone in a home, watching television, eating dinner, fucking, or simply staring off into space. To my left was the great plain of Long Beach where another million souls did the same, unaware that a man who’d been awarded two silver stars and three bronze stars was about to swan dive just so he could see if there was something else on the other side of oblivion.
     I’d come prepared. I wore black fatigues, boots and gloves. A black skull cap covered my head and I’d painted my face with black camouflage. I wasn’t there to draw attention. I wasn’t there to make a statement. I was there for one final selfish moment, to do something for myself. I’d stepped over the rail and had backed into the shadow of a beam ten minutes ago. Cars sped past behind me, many of them with their windows open to catch the sea air, leaving me with a random montage of music by which to die.
     Grasping the beam behind me, I leaned forward and stared down at the stygian black water. I let my mind wander back to Iraq, then to Afghanistan, then to Mali, then to Kosovo. Like a badly edited film it flipped back and forth with no context other than death. The death of children lying like discarded dolls in the middle of an Iraqi street, at the bottom of a Serbian burial pit, or atop a mountain near Tora Bora. The death of women, raped and left bent over, a position so much like prayer, but never so fierce. The death of men, body parts raining like confetti at an end of the world party where those with the better ammunition and weapons were bound to attend if only they could survive the deaths of so many of their own. Death. Death. Fucking more death.
     Somewhere along the lines I’d ceased to be a hero and had become a death merchant. The very term hero had become a laughable idea. “Who do you think you are, a hero?” my platoon sergeant had once asked. I’d wanted to respond that I did, that I was, but I knew that the platoon sergeant had already turned that corner. It was then that I’d realized that there would come a time when I’d be just like him. If I'd ever get to the point where I didn’t know the difference between a hero or a zero and lose my grasp on what’s right and wrong, I promised myself that I'd end it.

     So there I was.
     On the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

More Updates will be coming soon.

Leave comments.

Now back to work.

Weston Ochse
Currently in


  1. When I got back after my med discharge I went down to the Canal in downtown Indy and the MoH memorial there. I knelt and wept with shame at the spot where MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randall Shughart have their names. I didn't know how to live with the fact that I'd done such a piss poor job of living up to the example set by those who gave so very much. I still don't.

    I expect this is going to be a hell of a book. I shall eagerly and more than likely impatiently (I hate the waiting part) await the rest.

  2. Jack, Shughart and Gordon were tremendous--unbelievably, really. Everytime I watch BW Down I cry. Do you know that that at JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) at Fort Polk, LA, they have a MOUT town called Shughart-Gordon (or at least they used to). I'm really trying to make this a book about soldiers and something that will stand the test of tiem.

  3. With the very best ingredients and one of the finest chefs I know, I see no reason not to expect success.

    1. Thanks Jack. Ever so kind.

      One thing I'm waiting on is the draft cover. I heard that phenom Clint Langley is doing the cover. I don't know if the editor, Jon Oliver, remembered that I told him how much I looved the covers of Rowena Cory Daniels' books, but I got the same artist. To see his work, go to google and cut and past these words, then look at images - solaris books artist clint langley

      I can't wait!!