Sunday, 19 January 2014

Interrogating Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey has taken time out his extremely busy schedule to go under my spotlight.  Hugh is the author of the Silo series of books which starts with Wool.

How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?

I write the things I want to read. And it never fails that there are thousands of people out there with the same tastes as me.

What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.

My goal is to write in every genre. I read all sorts of books, and I don't want to get trapped writing the same story over and over. So I'm working on a children's picture book right now and a romance novel. I enjoy jumping around.

Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?

I have a file on my laptop where I keep book ideas. And I save all the big chunks of my drafts in a file rather than delete them. I'll never use them again, but it feels nice to quarantine them rather than kill them. 

How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed

If I have them, I'm not aware of them. So they're like ninja bunnies.

How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?

A lot. We write what we know, and we know ourselves better than anyone else. If I could be any of my characters, I would pick Cole from my Molly Fyde series. If I could be with any of them, I would pick Molly. I just love their relationship. It's based on mutual respect and admiration. 

Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?

Not really. My wife loves it when I write. I get quiet.

What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?

I mostly read non-fiction. Science, history, philosophy, psychology. The stuff I'm not smart enough to write. 

What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?

I don't know that I do. I just write what appeals to me. I want to be moved by books. I want to learn from them. So that's what I aim for. 

How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?

I love it! I thank them, and then I fix it.

What do you like most about visiting forums?

The sense of community. Learning from peers and from readers. They are great places to unwind. 

What is on your near horizon?

I can barely see two days ahead. I just flew back from Seattle, where I gave a few talks, and now I'm at the airport to rush up to NY to record an audiobook. And then I'm off to Taiwan for a book fair. I get back, have one night at home, and then it's the Savannah Book Fair. That's just my next few weeks. 

Where can we find you for more information? But I'm hard to avoid. I get around.