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, August 31, 2018

Tor Announces September Releases of Horror Books

Tor dot Com just announced the September Releases of Horror Books and it looks like September is going to be a fabulous month. My friend and former editor of my SEAL Team 666 books, Brendan Deneen, starts the month out with his second novel The Chrysalis. I end the month with my new military horror novel Burning Sky.

So what's in the middle of this genre-bending hydrox cookie? Here's a sampling, but for the full list, go here.

The Chrysalis—Brendan Deneen (September 4, Tor Books)
Barely employed millennials Tom and Jenny Decker have to grow up fast when they lose their cheap Manhattan apartment. Leaving the city is hard, but the blow is softened when they stumble upon a surprisingly affordable house in the suburbs. For Tom, the bills, the mortgage, and Jenny’s unexpected pregnancy add up to terror. Then he finds the thing in the basement. It makes him feel like a winner even as it scrambles his senses. A new job soon has him raking in the big bucks—enough that Jenny can start making her entrepreneurial dreams come true. The Deckers’ dream home conceals more than one deadly secret. As Tom’s obsession with the basement grows, Jenny realizes that to save her family, she must expose everything. Before it destroys them all.

The Land of Somewhere Safe—Hal Duncan (September 4, NewCon Press)
The Land of Somewhere Safe: where things go when you think, “I must put this somewhere safe,” and then can never find them again. The Scruffians: irreverent foul-mouthed street urchins, older than their years, waifs who have been Fixed by the Stamp, frozen so that they are immortal, providing perpetual slave labour. But now the waifs have nicked the Stamp and burned down the Institute that housed it, preventing any more of their number being Fixed and exploited. Peter and Lilly: two school kids orphaned by Nazi bombs, who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and evacuated from London during the Blitz. Sent far further north than intended, all the way to the Isle of Skye, they are taken in by Clan Chief Lady Morag MacGuffin of Dunstravaigin Castle. With them are the four Bastable children – a jolly queer bunch – who prove to be far more than they seem. The Reverend Blackstone: no real reverend at all, but an occultish Nazi spy determined to get his hands on the priceless Stamp, even if he has to raise hisself a demon to do so…

Flight or Fright—Stephen King & Bev Vincent, editors (September 4, Cemetery Dance)
Stephen King hates to fly. Now he and co-editor Bev Vincent would like to share this fear of flying with you. Welcome to Flight or Fright, an anthology about all the things that can go horribly wrong when you’re suspended six miles in the air, hurtling through space at more than 500 mph and sealed up in a metal tube with hundreds of strangers. All the ways your trip into the friendly skies can turn into a nightmare, including some we’ll bet you’ve never thought of before but now you will the next time you walk down the jetway and place your fate in the hands of a total stranger. Featuring brand new stories by Joe Hill and Stephen King, as well as fourteen classic tales and one poem from the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Dan Simmons, and many others.

Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling—Philip Pullman (September 18, Knopf)
Nonfiction. From the internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a spellbinding journey into the secrets of his art—the narratives that have shaped his vision, his experience of writing, and the keys to mastering the art of storytelling. One of the most highly acclaimed and best-selling authors of our time now gives us a book that charts the history of his own enchantment with story—from his own books to those of Blake, Milton, Dickens, and the Brothers Grimm, among others—and delves into the role of story in education, religion, and science. At once personal and wide-ranging, Daemon Voices is both a revelation of the writing mind and the methods of a great contemporary master, and a fascinating exploration of storytelling itself.

Burning Sky—Weston Ochse (September 25, Solaris)
Everything is dangerous in Afghanistan, nothing more so than the mission of a Tactical Support Team or T.S.T. All veterans, these men and women spend seasons in hell, to not only try and fix what’s broken in each of them, but also to make enough bank to change their fortunes. But seven months later, safely back on American soil, they feel like there’s something left undone. They’re meeting people who already know them, remembering things that haven’t happened, hearing words that don’t exist. And they’re all having the same dream… a dream of a sky that won’t stop burning.

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.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Is Military Horror Too Much of a Niche?

"Burning Sky is masterpiece that I am more impressed with the longer I think about it. If you like your horror, political and thoughtful, I would say you should pre-order this novel. It will be on my best of the year list for sure." - Postcards from a Dying World

David Agranoff is proprietor of Postcards from a Dying World and the PK Dick Podcast known as Dickheads. He reads heavily in the genre and is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent readers I know, so to have him say those words is immensely humbling.

This is the second review in for Burning Sky. The first review called Burning Sky the pinnacle of the military horror genre. Now on the heels of that to have it being called a masterpiece can't help but make me smile. Too often, during the cold dark moments of writing a novel alone -- months and months of self-doubt- to know that you connected with some people on the DNA level is wonderful.

Will this last? Will every review be so great? Probably not. The odds are that there will be some who won't like it. Plus, and let's face it, the military horror genre isn't for everyone. I have niched myself inside the seventh and smallest of a Russian nesting doll. If people look askance at the horror genre, what will they think about MILITARY horror?

But they say "write what you know," so at least for the time being, I'm the flag bearer. My hopes is that some out there will try military horror and see that the best of them are more about the cost of war than the glorification of it. The best of them are about how a man or woman shuffles through a life made harder by what they were forced to do and survives despite the emotional and physical scars visited upon them. Isn't that what literature is all about?

I urge you to read the whole review.

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.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Burning Sky Represents the Pinnacle of the Military Horror Genre

...so says Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer in the first review of Burning Sky, my 30th published book and the start of a new military horror trilogy.

Wow. What a humbling and inspiring review. The reviewer went into incredible detail, laying the foundation for his approach to the novel and then how it affected him as he read it.

"When I started to read Burning Sky I assumed that I would be looking at a fairly ‘conventional’ horror novel with a military theme – perhaps some kind of ‘creature feature’ that saw the TST members hunt down some occult or extra-terrestrial threat in the deserts of Afghanistan. But as I read on, it rapidly became clear that although there were elements of this, it was actually so much more than the sort of pot-boiler that often litters the genres. Instead, what Mr Ochse offers up is an open and starkly honest portrayal of the mental and physical costs of fighting in a modern conflict, which in turn becomes subtly integrated with elements of cosmic and body horror as time goes on."

When an author sits alone for months writing a novel in the squishy silence of his own brain, he never knows if what he's trying to do will actually translate to the page. Even as I sat in Afghanistan and began working with Rebellion's publicist, laying our scheme for sending out review copies of the book, I doubted myself and the idea that I might have captured the right electric pain in the bottle.

"Burning Sky is a fantastic novel that I enjoyed every minute of reading – engagingly written, sharply plotted and laced with both cosmic horrors and the entirely human-made horrors of modern war. I firmly believe that it represents the pinnacle of the military horror genre, and will be difficult, if not impossible, to surpass."

I urge you to read the review. I don't know who the reviewer was, but as an author who has had hundreds if not thousands of reviews, I can count on one hand the sorts of reviews that read like the best of creative non-fiction. This was one of them and should be a tutorial on how reviews should be written.

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.

Thank you!