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, January 27, 2014

The Privilege and Honor of Being Read

Driving to work, listening to an NPR story about a hard-working fisherman in Jamaica Bay, NY, I was struck by something I hadn't realized until this very moment. Sometimes an author can become so insular, so much a part of their work, that they fail to realize the effects their work might have on the population as a whole. I suppose there are those of you who knew this all along, but I'm just getting to this now.

When I first started writing, I wrote for myself. I was the only audience, and if I liked it, I was happy.

Then I wrote for my family.

Then I wrote for my friends and acquaintances.

Then I wrote for the community of like-minded horror and dark fantasy authors.

Then, in 2008, I began to write for the masses. If you don't fall into any of the above categories, then this is you. I wrote for the public. For the first time I was intentionally writing for people I didn't know.

I wonder why it's taken until now for me to realize this.
Circa August 2013 - Kabul, Afghanistan

What does this have to do with that fisherman in Jamaica Bay, you ask? He came across as an honest spirit. He's a hard working man, trying to raise a family. More often than not, when his kids ask him for some money, he doesn't have it because all of his money goes into supporting his job and his life. And it occurred to me that people like this probably also read. I mean, why not, right? How many books can they afford? If it's a new book, it better be a good book, because they might not be able to afford another for awhile. I know we joke about if we had a choice of eating or reading, we'd choose  reading, but for folks like the fisherman, it's a reality.

What a responsibility that is for me.

How fortunate I am.

It's truly an honor to write for people I don't know. This past year, more than any other year, I've received emails, IMs, tweets, and FB posts from hundreds of people whom I've never met. These are the people I'm writing for. These are the folks I'm spending 60 hours a week trying entertain. And if I can take them away from their life for one moment, transporting them to an adventure that carries them to unexpected and exciting places, then I am happy.

It's an honor to write for you.

I hope I can continue to write for you for many decades to come.

Thank you for this honor and privilege.

Weston Ochse
Renaissance Man
Super Hero for Rent
Yakuza of the Written Word

1 comment :

  1. It's an honor reading your work as well, sir.