Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey

Author of Beacon 23

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 21, 2015

Discussion

Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
Hello! I'm Hugh Howey, author of WOOL, SAND, and just a general fan of four-letter words. I have the best job in the world: I make stuff up for a living. I'm also moving onto a sailboat in two weeks to sail around the world, which is kinda cool. Ask me anything!
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@hughhowey Wow! That hour FLEW by. Man. Thanks for the awesome questions, everyone. Hope it was half as enjoyable for you as it was for me. Really appreciate all the support and kindness you have shown over the years. Many more stories to come, so stay tuned!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@hughhowey huge thanks to Hugh for joining us!
Ade Olonoh
Ade Olonoh@adeolonoh · Entrepreneur, Angel Investor
You seem to write new books / stories at an amazing rate. What does your daily writing process look like?
Michelle Nickolaisen
Michelle Nickolaisen@_chelleshock · Owner, Bombchelle Industries
@adeolonoh @hughhowey as a tack-on question I'd love to hear about your outlining/pre-writing processes and the editing/rewriting processes too :)
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@adeolonoh I try to write 1,000 words a day. If you can average that, even with revising and editing, that's two novels a year, easily.
Jeff Umbro
Jeff Umbro@jeffumbro · CEO of The podglomerate
I'm a big fan of your work, and really hope that Wool ends up on the big screen. You've been an advocate of a lot of different publishing processes. A few years later, is there anything you wish you'd done differently? What are some examples of really great publishing stories happening today? When/where are you going to open your bookstore?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@jeffumbro Something I wish I'd done differently: I wish I'd convinced my ex-girlfriend to quit her job and be in charge of me for a few years. We could've traveled the world together, worked together, and I think it would've brought us even closer together. I regret that. THE MARTIAN is coming out soon, and that's a fantastic publishing story. Andy Weir is the bomb. I was going to do a bookstore because I had a few years to wait before the sailing trip could begin. Now the bookstore will have to be after the circumnavigation. I'll probably open it in San Francisco, even if it means losing money every month. That would be a great retirement.
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Is there a specific book from your childhood that inspired you to write?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@rrhoover A combination of Ender's Game and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. After those two, I started my first novel (and abandoned it five chapters in).
CyberZone
CyberZone@cyberzone334
@hughhowey A follow-up to this, since Ender's Game is on my tops list...were you please with the movie? I had to fight from walking out of the theatre when Bean was introduced in the way he was.
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@cyberzone334 I thought it was okay. I try to leave my love of the original work out of it and tell myself I'm seeing a work of fan fiction. It has to be different. You've got hundreds of creative people involved, from the lighting person, to the CGI person, to the actors.
Jeff Umbro
Jeff Umbro@jeffumbro · CEO of The podglomerate
@hughhowey Think they'll ever make more Ender movies?
Tracy Chou
Tracy Chou@triketora
What's your sailing itinerary? An around-the-world sailing trip sounds amazing.
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@triketora I'll leave here in about a month and heat to Cape Town. A few weeks in Cape Town, then across to the Caribbean. Up the East Coast, then back down to Bermuda, then to Cuba, Central America, and through the Panama Canal. West Coast or South Pacific next, New Zealand, back to the South Pacific, then Australia, Philippines, Asia, India, Med, back across the Atlantic. I'm thinking 5 years, roughly. Though I could get to the Caribbean and never want to leave.
Jeff Umbro
Jeff Umbro@jeffumbro · CEO of The podglomerate
@hughhowey Were you a sailor prior to your writing career?
Matt McClard
Matt McClard@matt_mcclard
Do you still read a lot of Sci-Fi now? Any favorites?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@yankeyhotel Not as much as I'd like to. And when I do, it's usually books sent to me for blurbing. One of my favorite authors right now is Ted Kosmatka. I also love Ken Liu. The best place to discover new SF authors, I think, is any of the anthologies coming from Samuel Peralta or John Joseph Adams.
David Shutter
David Shutter@dvshooter · Writer
@hughhowey Can you give out any insight into Sand 2? Will it consist of more survival stories in the desert towns or will we see conflict with the civilization beyond the wasteland?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@dvshooter Sand 2 starts in Hyllel, the city destroyed at the end of SAND. It begins with a girl name Anya, who's the daughter of Brock from SAND 1. Then the story moves to Conner and company as they try to survive the savagery that follows the collapse of the wall. Plus, people are sick from drinking irradiated water. And the gypsies and cannibals mentioned in the first book come into play. It's a big hot mess. :)
David Shutter
David Shutter@dvshooter · Writer
@hughhowey Sounds great, thank for replying. I have a hundred other Sand questions but I'll just wait for the finished product like everyone else. Safe journey!
Luigi Tejadela
Luigi Tejadela@luigitejadela · Business Developer - BDI
Where do you find your inside motivation to keep writing every day?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@luigitejadela I have to write about something that matters to me. Some theme, or some observation about the human condition. Without that, I don't feel engaged with the work, and I don't want to tackle it when I wake up. I ask myself: What does this chapter say about life? And that drives me forward.
Daley Review
Daley Review@daleyreview · Bloggerus Maximus, Daley Review
Your open universe idea for the Wool stories is absolutely the coolest thing I've ever heard of. Letting other authors play and profit from your playground is pretty brave (we got Michael Bunker out of the deal!). Are you at all concerned that someone might tell your story better than you did? (I would be a total chicken)
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@daleyreview I hope they will! Then I can take all the credit for inventing the world that these awesome authors are playing around in. The better they write, the better my original worldbuilding looks.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@hughhowey Hey Hugh! Thank you for joining us today. Few Qs- first, tell us about the sailboat. How did this originate? what's the plan/goal? Are your writing your next book on it?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@eriktorenberg Yeah, I'll be writing while I'm on the boat. This has been a dream since high school. It was something I was always going to do.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@hughhowey What was your path into writing science fiction?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@eriktorenberg It started with a love of reading fantasy. When I ran out of Forgotten Realm and Dragonlance books, I started looking at the Sci-Fi shelved right there. I read Ender's Game, and it blew me away. I read everything I could from the genre. I started dreaming up my own stories.
Leslie Lee Sanders
Leslie Lee Sanders@leslielsanders · Author
@hughhowey You have a massive following. How can a lesser known author build a following too, in addition to writing great books?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@leslielsanders It starts with one fan. For me, it was my cousin Lisa. She loved my first manuscript, and she told others about it. I had 30 Facebook friends. And then 50. And then 75. But to get there, I wrote four novels and a handful of short stories my first year out the gate, back in 2009 / 2010. I wrote obsessively. And I read a ton as well. This was on top of working a full-time job and doing most of the domestic chores around the house. So that's what it took for me. Everyone will have their own results.
Tracy Chou
Tracy Chou@triketora
What do you think is the future of publishing? What's the role of self-publishing vs. the big publishing companies?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@triketora Self-publishing is going to continue to eat market share from the big houses. The future will see even less of a stigma. I think agents (or other authors) will set up boutique publishing houses that help authors self-pub and take 15%. They'll be able to earn that money, I believe.
Jeff Needles
Jeff Needles@jsneedles · Data @ Houseparty & Maker of Things
@hughhowey Thoughts on live streaming as a story telling medium? Think you could share some of your process via an app like Meerkat? 😻
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@jsneedles I'm not familiar with Meerkat. I do think there's more room for live storytelling, but I'd want it to be audio/video, rather than text. Let the author clean up the text later.
Daley Review
Daley Review@daleyreview · Bloggerus Maximus, Daley Review
When I read The Shell Collector, it reminded me of Paolo Baccigaluppi's flooded over worlds. Do you read his work?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@daleyreview I've read some of his short stories, but nothing with a flood. He's one of my favorite authors. Dude is brilliant.
Daley Review
Daley Review@daleyreview · Bloggerus Maximus, Daley Review
@hughhowey in his worlds, the world is pretty much past the point of saving. The Shell Collector fit into a continuity I set up in my own brain as a prequel. A small story in the phase of a global flood where it's undeniable that things have changed, but people still can't quite deal with it. Thanks for the reply... Give Windup Girl a read if you have time.
popi chalkidiou
popi chalkidiou@popic · architect
How close are you to writing a sequel for "Halfway Home"? I would love to read it!
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@popic I would say 2-3 years away. A few other books I have to write first. Sorry for the wait! I know it's a fan favorite.
Annie Fanelli
Annie Fanelli@sweethomeannie · Smart Cremation Pre-Planning Consultant
Hello!!! I've read that you posted the first installment of Wool online, and that later (at some point), after massive fan encouragement, you added the rest. When the first part was published, how much of the rest of the story had you written? Did you know the ending/characters/etc already, ala Lost (*chuckle), or was it simply an idea you had to write about?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@sweethomeannie I didn't have anything beyond the first story. I'd never written a serialized story before. All I knew was this was the first thing readers went nuts over, and I had to give them more. So I brainstormed the rest of the novel (the 5 parts), and published as quickly as I could, fearing my five minutes would be up any second.
Annie Fanelli
Annie Fanelli@sweethomeannie · Smart Cremation Pre-Planning Consultant
@hughhowey Thanks for your reply! I was hoping that would be your response :) *Annie pulls out her idea file(s) and gets to it...
Michelle Nickolaisen
Michelle Nickolaisen@_chelleshock · Owner, Bombchelle Industries
@hughhowey Some overlap with Erik's question but, if you had to give a new author one or two tips about getting their work out there and finding an audience for it, what would they be?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@_chelleshock Take the very long view. The VERY LONG view. Tell yourself you're going to write and publish for 10 years before you care how big your audience is or how much money you make. You have to be that dedicated and that patient. The goal should be to write and publish 20 novels. If you write that many words, and publish that many works, you'll make it. Anything less is a gamble.
Eliot Peper
Eliot Peper@eliotpeper · author
@hughhowey This is the best advice I've ever heard on this front. You wrote something similar on your blog years ago and when I started writing, I took it to heart. Now I'm three books deep and just starting to find my audience. When I started, I committed to publishing 1+ million words over my 10 years. Beyond finding readers, it's payed off again and again in terms of developing craft. There's no better way to learn than to make loads of mistakes and get right back in the saddle :).
Michelle Nickolaisen
Michelle Nickolaisen@_chelleshock · Owner, Bombchelle Industries
@hughhowey Had to go work so I missed responding during AMA time but thank you! That's what I'm trying as I already have a FT living doing writing (albeit business writing) and teaching and I do enjoy it, so my goal is to create as much fiction as I can and just put it out there even if it's not absolutely perfect, starting with the first book in a trilogy next month. :) Thanks for the encouragement and for taking time to do the AMA!
George Smith
George Smith@smitti77
@hughhowey is there any serious concern for you in regards to pirates while sailing? And what are you doing to protect yourself if so?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
 Manda Meow
Manda Meow@mandameow · Housecat
George Smith
George Smith@smitti77
@hughhowey I meant the literal kind, not the digital!
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@smitti77 I figured. Just playing with you. I don't worry about pirates in most places. There are a few areas of concern, but I have a few years before I get there. 99.9% of pleasure boats pass through safely. You travel in numbers. You can hire armed escorts. The bigger concern for me is the number of places where crime against boaters has risen. Stolen dinghies. People getting robbed. There are beautiful places I'll have to avoid, and that's a shame. These places could all get more wealthy by being safe for tourism, rather than preying on those who stray too near.
Sandra S
Sandra S@sandras55828377
@hughhowey What book to movie adaptation is your favorite?
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@sandras55828377 to follow up to that, how should authors deal with movies? be heavily involved? don't do it? what's your recommendation?
Judy Roseta
Judy Roseta@jeroseta · Retired nurse
@hughhowey You have been a vocal advocate for self-publishing and champion of authors rights. I am wondering if you derive as much pleasure in assisting other writers as you do from writing itself?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@jeroseta I wouldn't say I derive pleasure from it as much as I would feel awful if I didn't speak my mind and try to bust myths that hold creative people back and stifle voices. It feels like an obligation. I had people try to dissuade me from self-publishing, and they were wrong. But I had to overcome crippling self-doubt and unsurety to make those good decisions. It should be easier for the next generation to believe in themselves and this process.
Judy Roseta
Judy Roseta@jeroseta · Retired nurse
@hughhowey I am much older than you but that answer sounds like a psyche formed by a Benedictine ruler-wielding nun at Catholic school. Guilt as motivator always worked well for them!
Elaine Bak
Elaine Bak@elainembak · VP, CyberZone
Accidentally found Wool, loved the entire Omnibus, followed it with I, Zombie, then the After the Apocalypse trilogy, Beacon 23, Half Way Home, and plan to read Molly Fyde next. Questions - What are the chances that you and Ernie Cline could work on a project together? What's the status on the Wool movie? Can I play Juliette? Don't you think with the fascination with Zombies that iZombie would make a great movie/mini-series? Actually, just popping in to say I am moved by your writing. You're a true inspiration for improvements of the mind, body, and soul.
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@elainembak Ha! Ernie is a friend, and I can tell you that Ernie is way too damn busy to work on anything with me. Besides, he wouldn't want to take the pay cut.
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@elainembak Wool movie has a screenplay. Looking for a director. The option reverts in October, so time is short. Thanks, Elaine. :)
Ben Holewinski
Ben Holewinski@ben1084ben
@hughhowey After the success we saw from Wayward Pines heading to Fox, hopefully something happens. :D
Slick
Slick@slick_video · SLICK
Hi Hugh ! We love your work ! You have a way of writing that is totally awesome! Have you heard of SLICK (motorized stabilizer for GoPro) ? We would love to have your success, the success you've had ! We are on Indiegogo , we would be honored to have your support! https://www.indiegogo.com/projec... Thanks <3 SLICK TEAM
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@slick_video Hey, I just got my first GoPro for the sailing trip. I'll look into this.
Slick
Slick@slick_video · SLICK
@hughhowey Awesome ! Thanks :)
Kaety
Kaety@kaetybowers
@hughhowey Thanks for agreeing to let us pick your brain! My question is (hypothetically speaking of course) what modern day companies would be sponsoring and vying for a piece of the Silos if they were to begin construction next year?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@kaetybowers Monsanto.
Josh Owens
Josh Owens@joshowens · Owner, Meteorjs.club
@hughhowey it seems like marketing an eBook is hard to do in this age of the market being flooded with options. What types of out-of-the-box marketing ideas have you seen work?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@joshowens What I've seen work the best is to write lots of great stuff. Give some of it away to get people hooked (and so they'll take a chance on an unknown). Wow people with your writing everywhere (like on FB, Twitter, blogs, etc.). Interview yourself. Do videos, so people can connect with you. Be creative and be yourself.
Daley Review
Daley Review@daleyreview · Bloggerus Maximus, Daley Review
Do you have any more Wool stories in you? When they come out in those anthologies, I always find myself re-taken by the same feeling I got when I first read Wool. That "I want to know more" feeling.
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@daleyreview Yeah, plenty. I can see another trilogy following DUST, telling the story of the rebuilding, and going back for other survivors.
Theodore Smith
Theodore Smith@hopeseekr · CEO, PHP Experts, Inc.
@hughhowey What is the approximate year / millennium that the Silo series takes place?
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What advice do you have for people who want to do exactly what you do? People coming out of college, let's say.
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@eriktorenberg 1) Get a day job you enjoy that leaves time for daydreaming. 2) Say "yes" to all adventures that come your way. 3) Keep living expenses to an absolute minimum. 4) Write every single day, and finish what you write.
Can you share some insights about your self-improvement method, the "wayfinding"?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@sc3wnet Sure. It's nothing new, just a collection of things I've learned from other books, teachers, and experimentation. The idea is that we were meant for a much different world than the one we live in, and our bodies are tuned to achieve a goal (make lots of copies) that might not align with our chosen life goals. So the trick is to be aware of cues and reactions to stimuli that are no longer in our best interest, and no longer make sense in the modern world. Only by looking for these reactions, and modifying our responses, can we achieve anything like free will.
 Manda Meow
Manda Meow@mandameow · Housecat
What do you think of Anime? Has it influenced your writing in any way? How do you think it has influenced the scifi genre overall? And don't you think Beacon 23 would make a fantastic animated miniseries?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@mandameow I would love to see BEACON 23 as an animated series. I think it would work great as anime. I watched a lot of anime as a kid. I wore Akira out, as well as Fist of the North Star. The storytelling in that medium can be top notch. I'd wager a lot of SFF authors have been influenced by anime.
Crystal Watanabe
Crystal Watanabe@pikko · Freelance Editor
All three of my kids (ages 1-11) loved Misty. Any plans to write another children's book?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@pikko I have another one roughed out, but I haven't had the time to push the project forward yet. It's an idea that I think will do very well, because it's activity-based. I think it will bring families together. I hope to work on that in the next few years. And squeeze your awesome kids for me. :)
Jason Hart
Jason Hart@dcdjason
@hughhowey I'm currently reading "Dust" and am really enjoying it. Earlier this year I read "Sand". Any word on if the TV version of Sand is going to see the light of day?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@dcdjason My assumption is always that the projects will never go into full development. You never know, of course. They've got a great writer on the project, and the team is enthusiastic. But the chances are always slim, and so I don't get my hopes up.
Adam Mac
Adam Mac@iamadammac
When you are at sea, will you have much time to write? Or will you write more in port?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@iamadammac Probably more in port. I'll do most of my reading while underway. My guess is that 80% of my time will be spent at anchor. 10% in marinas. And 10% underway.
Eliot Peper
Eliot Peper@eliotpeper · author
@hughhowey what have you learned about yourself through the process of making stuff up for a living?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@eliotpeper I've learned not to listen to my self-doubts, and not to listen to naysayers, and not to listen to experts, and not to listen to critics. Instead, be very quiet and listen to the faint but distinct belief in myself that crops up now and then, and the seize on that. Chase after it. Hear it some more.
David Shutter
David Shutter@dvshooter · Writer
@hughhowey From the Indian Ocean to the med...through the Suez or the long way around?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@dvshooter Through the Suez. I know, right? Not a nice run.
David Shutter
David Shutter@dvshooter · Writer
@hughhowey Errr...you're worrying me man. I sat through briefings during my Navy med cruise last year and while the Somali pirate action is a shell of what it used to be (we sank pretty much all the mother ships they were using and have made piracy too cost-inefficient) it's still nasty out there. Corrupt officials might be a much bigger concern for a wealthy American on a yacht. On top of sand storms. 1800 miles between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and not a lot of friendly places in between. I'll think happy thoughts for you. And I recommend stopping in Haifa, Israel and Hania, Creete. They were amazing places.
Susan Thomas
Susan Thomas@speedknitterskt
@hughhowey my 10 year old daughter is really enjoying the Molly Fyde series! Do you think you will do any more "YA" fiction? Do you think the Wool series fits into that category as well as adult sci-fi?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@speedknitterskt Yeah, I have two other YA books planned. One sci-fi and another straight up YA. THE HURRICANE is also YA.
William Jacques
William Jacques@williamjacques4
Are there any "innermost" secrets about yourself which you have felt, and still feel, apprehensive about telling. Regardless of whether or not it would affect your popularity? Even without explaining in detail.. why do you believe you are hesitant?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@williamjacques4 Absolutely. I've got a few that I've only told one or two people in my life. Shameful things I did when I was younger. I assume we all have secrets like this. Nothing that would land me in jail, mind you, but aberrations that I wouldn't want people to think were my true self. Mistakes, you know?
Jared Dees
Jared Dees@jareddees · Content Marketing Manager
Do you remember the exact place where you had the idea for Beacon 23? Or did it develop slowly over time? Love the concept for the book.
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@jareddees I don't remember exactly. It was a while ago. The whole "Lighthouse in outer space" thing came to me, and I thought about how you could write a ton of stories from different beacons. It must've been three or more years ago.
Jeanne Sullivan
Jeanne Sullivan@aaapicklechips · Writer/Singer, Jeanne Sullivan
@hughhowey Hi Hugh! I'm very much enjoying the "Wayfinding" series. At what point in your life did you discover that you thought about things differently and felt that you could share that valuable knowledge with others? You talk about your past addictions, so obviously a change happened at some point. Was it a pivotal moment in time? (Absolutely love your short stories! My fave: "Peace in Amber.")
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@aaapicklechips Oh, I knew I thought differently very early on. When I was 12, I started doubting my religion and looking for my own answers. But it wasn't until recently that I got the courage to share what I feel like I've learned. Because I know I have so much to learn. The change didn't all happen at a single point. I'm constantly discovering ways that I disappoint myself and ways I want to get better. I tackle them as they arise. And I slide back now and then. Being a good person is hard. No clue how I'm doing, but I have the desire.
Jeanne Sullivan
Jeanne Sullivan@aaapicklechips · Writer/Singer, Jeanne Sullivan
@hughhowey Thanks for answering my question! I think you're doing a swell job. You are very generous and gracious with your fans. Thanks for the inspiration!
Ben Holewinski
Ben Holewinski@ben1084ben
Here is a simple question for you. What is your favorite word?
Jeanne Sullivan
Jeanne Sullivan@aaapicklechips · Writer/Singer, Jeanne Sullivan
@ben1084ben Great question!
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@ben1084ben Swivel.
Ken Nickerson
Ken Nickerson@kcnickerson · CEO, iBinary LLC
Hugh, I finished the Beacon 23 series and was curious about the lack of AI / Robotics, your story, writing and style was very Hemingway (great), but you seemed to take a non-automata view of the future. can you explain that a bit?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@kcnickerson Yeah, I touched on that in part 1, I believe it was. I used the excuse of human flexibility. But really, I wanted to tell a human story about human emotions. AI would've gotten in the way of that. Especially the solitude angle and the unreliable narrator angle.
Dhayaa Anbajagane
Dhayaa Anbajagane@dhayaanbajagane
@hughhowey I'm a seventeen year old writer trying to get a foot hold onto being a professional indie author. Do you think I'm being realistic here? Or should I just nurture this as a passion for now?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@dhayaanbajagane Nurturing it as a passion IS the answer! Don't try to make a living doing what you love out of the gate. You need to go work as many kinds of jobs as you can to learn as much about life as possible. I envy you your age and knowing what you want to be. Go volunteer on the weekends. Go talk to strangers with a notepad. Take pictures of the details of life. Describe passersby. Publish a short story every month for the next five years. Write a novel a year while going to college and getting a job in computer science or something practical. Do those things, and in ten years, you'll have a career. The reason this is true is that 99% of your peers WON'T do these things, and you'll pass them all right by.
Chris Serfustini
Chris Serfustini@serfustini · Nyet
So the whole concept of Wayfinder permeates your writing and your persona. Where did this come from?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@serfustini I think it comes from being a flawed perfectionist. I see all the ways I'm broken, and I want to fix them, and I find it so very difficult, and then I want to understand that process as well.
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
@hughhowey 💯! Is there anything weird that you do to stay super productive?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@mscccc Not weird, really, but eating healthy and exercising helps a lot. It also helps to remove other decisions from my life. I have the same breakfast and lunch every day, and I wear the same wardrobe every day. Leaves me plenty of time to daydream my plot.
Ben Holewinski
Ben Holewinski@ben1084ben
I saw someone ask this earlier up but it was in a reply to another question but I cannot recall you ever mentioning this on Facebook (maybe on your blog you might have) but are you a plotter or pantser?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@ben1084ben Is there a difference? All plots are written by the seat of our pants (we don't get to look up any recipes). And all pantsed works are just detailed outlines. The process is the same; one is just lean while the other is fat. Another way to think of it is this: Nobody sits down as a pantser, writes the word "The" and has no frickin clue what comes next. They have a concept. Or a character. Or a genre. Or a voice/tense. That's an outline, just a bare one. Similarly, no one sits down to write an outline knowing the whole damn thing. They have to muse and twiddle and erase and get surprised, and basically plot by the seat of their pants. I find the distinction strange, because we're all doing the same thing.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
How do you see the form of a "book" evolving? Will it look radically different a few years from now + if so, how?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@eriktorenberg I hope it becomes more and more dynamic. Rather than "book," I like to think of it as "story." I hope it becomes more communal, with readers getting involved, and more multi-media, with the same story told across mediums. We're getting there already. Back to the roots of story, which was oral, live, and would bleed into song, dance, art, myth, etc.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@hughhowey like combined with music or video at certain parts? tell us more about your ideal experience if you could, perhaps for one of your books or a book you've read.
Mike Pjura
Mike Pjura@mikepjura
@hughhowey The emotional arc of Beacon 23's main character is beautifully written. Even a little therapeutic. It seemed intensely personal to me. Was he inspired by anything or anyone specific?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@mikepjura Yeah, it was inspired by my life. I've had a rough year, losing the love of my life. I've lived alone and on the road, far from what I feel is my "home" for the last seven months. It's been brutal. And it was all my fault, of course. It helped me to write about it.
Matthew Park
Matthew Park@mp9652 · Texas A&M
@hughhowey when do you plan on being in Panama?
Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey@hughhowey · Author
@mp9652 Late 2016, I hope. Or early 2017. Depends on whether I'm going to go up Cabo and the West Coast, or to Galapagos first.
@hughhowey I read Beacon 23 interspersed with reading the Wayfinder series. I thought they complemented each other. Was there intent there?
Tard Bash
Tard Bash@tardbash
@hughhowey I've been trying to find stats on the percentage of books that have been optioned actually end up making it to production. Have you ever seen any numbers regarding that?
Erik VanScyoc
Erik VanScyoc@erikvanscyoc
@hughhowey I've always wanted to write a story. NO IDEA how, but its a bucket list item. My problem is every time I think I've come up with something original, in the back of my mind I worry about it being a distillation or copy of something else someone has already done. How do you leave aside everything you've ever read/watched and create a new world free from influence?
Cara Wilson
Cara Wilson@caraflower40 · Stay at home mom
@hughhowey What helps keep you grounded in light of all of your success? BTW, I think I've read everything you've got out! I love the fan fics too! Do you ever read the fan fics?
Wendy
Wendy@wendy_802
Hi Hugh, do you tend to see one story though to the end or do you jump around between a few? Do you have a say "I'm going to work on this story 3 days a week and this story 2 days a week" or do you just bounce around as things come to you for each respective storyline? Thank you!!!
Artur Kiulian
Artur Kiulian@arturkiulian · Partner at Colab
Do you use shopping lists/shopping list apps? :)
Marcus Tallhamn
Marcus Tallhamn@tallhamn · CEO, Otelic
Did you collaborate with David Forsyth on Submerged? Will there be more stories like that in the Wool Universe by other authors?