Series: Silo Saga #9
» Buy on Amazon
WOOL introduced the silo and its inhabitants.
SHIFT told the story of their making.
DUST will chronicle their undoing.
Welcome to the underground.
DUST (the 9th book in the Wool/Silo series) by Hugh Howey releases tommorow, August 17. Wool is a dystopia about a group of survivors of an apocalyptic event who live in an underground silo. The Shift series followed up by showing how it came to be. And now both series will conclude with DUST. See the book at Amazon.
Interview with Hugh Howey
From a short story now to 9 books, Wool has really done well and Dust wraps it up. Do you think you’ll be revisiting the Silo universe or is it done for good?
There are a few stories left untold. What I might do is write these and publish them in the Kindle Worlds program under a different name. I want to tell the story about Juliette losing her first true love and working with Holston on the case. I think readers would enjoy seeing them interact with each other.
I have another thought, but it’s too crazy to bring up. Let’s just say that if I get caught up with my other stories, I might look at the Silos again.
You have been working on several novels concurrently. How do you choose which book you work on at any given moment? Do you set deadlines and put the others on the back burner?
It has to do with my mood, what I feel like writing, which characters won’t get out of my head. My problem right now is having so many books I want to write all at once. I hope to get another three novels out by this time next year. Maybe four.
You are working on a novel called Sand. Can you describe what is will be about?
It’s a desolate wasteland book. The land to the east of the Rockies is covered in sand. Hundreds of feet of sand. Weather patterns have reversed. To survive, people tunnel and dig through the sand and recover scraps of the old world. It features pirates, hookers, sand divers, water mules, dune dogs, and condors. I doubt it’ll be any good.
What are you favorite genres to read, and do you have any favorite authors or books you’d like to share?
My favorite genres are all non-fiction. In history, I love Bill Bryson and Rick Atkinson right now. In philosophy, I enjoy Daniel Dennet. In psychology, my favorite authors are Stephen Pinker and Judith Rich Harris.
You’ve been a self-publishing success and have often been an advocate for it. Some publishers and industry traditionalists have felt threatened by it. Much like other media industries, the book industry has been struggling with the physical to digital transition and often do stupid things like collude to set ebook prices. Where do you see the role of publishers in the future of the industry?
I think they will have a very powerful role, especially once the dust settles and minds clear up a bit. E-books should be priced a lot lower. Publishers should embrace their backlists. I think they’ll figure these things out and continue to curate great reads. But I think more and more readers will be exploring indie offerings and finding just as much to love, if not more.
There is a whole slew of Silo Saga fan fiction out there now including through Kindle Worlds. How does it feel knowing that you’ve created a universe where other’s wish to contribute?
It feels weird. I don’t quite understand the draw to this world I made up. But I love and celebrate it, and I can’t wait to catch up with all the fan fiction myself. What pieces I’ve read are better than the source material!
When you are writing do you do rigid outlines or do you let the story choose it’s path? Are you ever surprised with where the story goes or how your novel ended up?
I do both. I set an outline, a goal, but I often allow the players to choose their own paths in getting there. I often write the last chapter ahead of time, so I know where I’m going. There’s a balance between allowing the story to unfold organically and getting so off-track that it’s obvious you’re making it up as you go. *glances at LOST*
You’ve said you never did much marketing for Wool but ended up being wildly successful. What advice do you give to writers who are still working a day job and trying to get their novel noticed?
Write a lot. I had 8 or 9 books out before one took off. You get better with each book, and the chances of one catching on improve. Don’t write in the same genre or the same length book every time. Experiment. Knock your own socks off.
And a spoiler question regarding Wool:
View Spoiler »
In Wool, it would appear the whole point of cleaning the cameras was to dispose of dissidents and to reinforce (through a clearer screen) that the outside would was dangerous and not to leave the silo. But what was the purpose of the helmet screen showing a false world to the cleaner?
Without that false euphoria, very few would clean. People sent out are given a secret, and they want to keep it with themselves or share the view of the world with others. Selfish or selfless, all clean. Except for Juliette, who understands that she’s being manipulated. She’s the first to go out with true knowledge, and the first not to clean.
« Hide Spoiler