Q&A With Hugh Howey

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Q&A With Hugh Howey 

Today I’m doing a Q&A with author Hugh Howey. Hugh is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Wool series and on October 4th comes out his newest release “Across The Sand”. 


Q: So Hugh where do you get all your ideas to write your novels? 


A: Mostly from current events. When I start a new novel, I’m often thinking about something that’s happening in the world that I want to explore. It might be the ways we live through our screens (which was part of the inspiration for WOOL). Or it could come from thinking about refugees and what it must be like to leave home during a time of severe conflict (which is why I started writing SAND).

Within my books, a lot of the interpersonal conflict and resolution comes from my own life, my relationship with my family, with my partner, and with my friends. There’s a whole lot of me in every book, sometimes in ways I’m only dimly aware of.

Q:  Does Hollywood have the rights to all your novels? 

A: Not all, but quite a few. We just wrapped filming on the first season of WOOL, and the filming for BEACON 23 is well underway in Toronto. It’s been exciting to watch these shows come together. A few others are in development now, but they have a long way to go before they’re being filmed.

Q: What were your favorite books you read this year so far? 


A: This is How You Lose the Time War really blew me away. And Pure Invention, which is a book about how Japan has influenced so much of world culture. I also went back and read Camus’s The Outsider again, and it was so much more powerful reading it as an adult than it was reading it as a student.

Q: What advice do you give to anyone wanting to be a writer, especially a sci-fi writer like you? 

A: Read a lot, and try to read the best stuff out there. Not just in the genre, but across a wide spectrum. When you start to write, take a marathon view. You shouldn’t try to write a bestselling novel out of the gate; that’s like trying to make the first song you write a hit. Just enjoy the writing. Settle into it. When you finish that first work, try to get it in shape for people to read, but don’t get stuck revising that book forever. Write the next thing. And the next thing. You’ll get better every time.

I also recommend writing a lot of short stories and smaller works of fiction. This will help you explore many more ideas and get used to finishing what you begin. You never know… one of those short works might inspire you to expand the idea and turn it into a novel.

Q: I saw somewhere that you’re traveling the world. Where are you currently? 


A: I’m in Edinburgh, Scotland. And yeah, I travel a lot. Being a writer allows me to work from anywhere, but I also find that traveling helps my writing. Especially when your genre calls for you to write about strange and exotic places.

Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so, can you spoil what it’s about? 


A: I’m always working on something! Or many somethings. I’m currently working on the third (and final?) book in the SAND trilogy. I have a few other little projects coming out soon as well.