The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Author/Reader Discussions > WOOL Author/ Reader Discussion

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Dec 01, 2012 05:43AM) (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Awww yeah guys! That's right!

We're hooking up with Hugh Howey to give away 10 copies of WOOL this month!

Hugh will be joining us here at TNBBC in January to discuss the book!

The giveaway is available internationally, and requires a comment on the blog to get your name added thrown into the hat!! ----> http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.c...

Just let us know which you would prefer: A signed paper copy of Wool or an electronic copy of Wool Omnibus (all 5 Wool books)

The giveaway ends December 8th so don't wait!!


message 2: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Winners are announced! Were you one of them?

http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.c...


Jill Zimmerman I won!!! So excited! My question is - which book will we be discussing - the first book or all five? (I won a copy of all 5 Wool books) THANK YOU!!!


Suzanne Thomas (SiouxsieT2012) | 2 comments I have won a copy too, the signed print version! So excited to read it and participate in the discussion with Hugh, just concerned that the Christmas post will delay delivery to me here in the UK. Have looked on Amazon but release date isn't til Jan 13th here so unable to order a copy to read in the meantime :(


Dee Doanes (deedoanes) | 3 comments Thanks to Hugh Howey and Lori for choosing me! I can't wait for the discussion :-)


Chandni (decembersdream) | 10 comments Yay I won too! The only thing is my e-mail address is decembersdream31@gmail.com, not decemberdream31..hope my e-mail doesn't get lost.


Will (willmw) | 14 comments Big Fan of Hugh's books. Excited to be a winner and part of the discussion!


message 8: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Hugh is coming! Hugh is coming! Are we ready to begin discussing on January 15th?


Pragya  (reviewingshelf) | 8 comments I have got my copy by my bedside. All ready!


Dana * (QueenofEgypt) | 68 comments I'm almost finished. Are we discussing all books, or juct the first one? I'm reading the omnibus.


message 11: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
When we discuss anything in books 2-5 I would recommend covering the questions and answers with the spoiler html so we don't ruin things for others.....


Jill Zimmerman Interested to know if the discussion will be on all the books or one in particular. Haven't started yet. Great idea about a separate page for spoiler alerts. Thanks!'


message 13: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Jill, we won't be making a separate page for spoilers. They will be covered up using the spoiler hmtl code listed in the (some html is ok) link above the comment box.

Since we gave out copies of OMNIBUS, I would like the group to be able to discuss the entire series without ruining it for those who only read the first book.


Jeremy | 817 comments I know I am a stranger here, but I will be joining in on the discussion as I thought this was an excellent series.


message 15: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Yay Jeremy!!! So glad to see you're going to join us!


Lauralee (Grammagie) I am new here also. I looked up the review on Wool, and just ordered them for my kindle! The best part is, I was able to order them in separate parts..so I have the first four:) Looking forward to starting them and joining the discussion:)


Will (willmw) | 14 comments Getting excited for the discussion. I loaned WOOL to my father recently and he told me on the phone yesterday that "WOOL was a 'bad' book". I asked what he meant and he said "I can't put it down!" :)


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Hello, all! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on WOOL. I'll start checking in tomorrow and be as available as possible.


message 19: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Jan 14, 2013 03:33PM) (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Hi Hugh! So glad to see you're setting up house in here so early. Get nice and comfy!

Let me start by thanking you for your generosity with the discussion copies and for taking the time to be with us this month. It's wonderful to have you here.


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments No problem. I'm on the road for the next two weeks and in and out of meetings, so my comings and goings may be a bit sporadic. If I miss anything important, please message me and call my attention to it!


message 21: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Haha, no worries! Thanks for fitting us into your schedule. This is an incredible time for you and Wool!


Darko | 2 comments Such a great opportunity for a book discussion can't be missed. Plus the author is here so even us newbies can come out and play :D Can't wait..


Dee Doanes (deedoanes) | 3 comments Hugh, thanks so much for doing the giveaway and writing such great books :-)


message 24: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
For those of you who are new to TNBBC and our author discussions, there's really no format.

Go ahead and ask Hugh questions about Wool, Wool Omnibus, writing, publishing....

And start discussing the book amongst yourselves as well!!


message 25: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Jan 14, 2013 03:49PM) (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
I'll start with a couple of questions for Hugh...

How does it feel to have Wool getting so much attention this past year?

And how did you come up with that first line? In my review, I explain how the first line threw me off for a bit.. till I got lost in the story. How did you decide where Wool was going to begin?


Gen (Gen0001) | 4 comments I love the series! I read all the books within 24 hours. Couldn't put it down.


message 27: by Gen (last edited Jan 14, 2013 04:19PM) (new)

Gen (Gen0001) | 4 comments Question for Hugh: Where did the idea of a sub level silo come from?


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments How does it feel to have Wool getting so much attention this past year?

And how did you come up with that first line? In my review, I explain how the first line threw me off for a bit.. till I got lost in the story. How did you decide where Wool was going to begin?"


It has felt surreal. This is something I used to lie in bed at night and dream of. A year ago today, I worked in a bookstore, shelving other people's books, reading the New York Times Book Review every week to see what we needed to stock. A year later, I've seen my name on the NYT list three weeks, received a hardback copy of my book in German, watched it release in Australia, got an email from Ridley Scott complimenting my writing . . . none of it makes sense!

I've been in a daze, in other words.

As for the very first sentence . . . I knew the entire plot of the first Wool before I started writing. I'd been tossing it around in my head for five years. And then that sentence came to me, the sad juxtaposition of a man dying while children are playing. And I wanted to spell out Holston's intentions from the get-go. I wanted to spoil the ending, and thereby leave the reader in doubt. These days, everything is a twist ending. But in Wool, the ending is just what's been laid out. The world outside is indeed a nightmare. A man is indeed walking to his death. The lack of twist is what catches modern readers off-guard, I think!


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Gen wrote: "Question for Hugh: Where did the idea of a sub level silo come from?"

When I wrote the original Wool, the silo was in my mind more of a missile silo. I had no idea at the time that people were actually converting those to apartment bunkers. The silo grew as a character when I outlined the rest of the series. Originally, it wasn't as much of a character or a concern. It was just a prop for the wallscreens.

Those of us who grew up in the Cold War always knew people would live underground when the endtimes came. Films like TWELVE MONKEYS (one of my all-time favorites) didn't so much as influence me as myself and its creators were influenced by living through the same times.


Chandni (decembersdream) | 10 comments Hi Hugh,

Firstly I wanted to thank you for all the copies of your books you sent out. I really enjoyed Wool and already bought the next books!

This is a question I ask a lot of people, but I'm curious as to what you think. Why do you think people are so interested in dystopian/post-apocalyptic societies? It started with books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 but nowadays it seems to be a popular topic to write about. Why do you think that is?


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Chandni wrote: "Hi Hugh,

Why do you think people are so interested in dystopian/post-apocalyptic societies? It started with books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 but nowadays it seems to be a popular topic to write about. Why do you think that is?"


Oh, it goes back further than that. Look at Revelations. Paul the Apostle was a prepper. The end of the world was supposed to come in his time. And it didn't start there (or let up over the years). The first millenium saw fear and fervor. Every generation thinks (some seem to hope) that they'll be the last.

I ascribe it to a mix of the fear of one's own mortality and narcissism. Surely the world is going to end when we end, right? How can it carry on without us? The time that I live in is special. I am special. This is the generation that all the signs and prophecies foretold.

And yet . . . each generation dies out and a new one comes along and believes the same thing.

What's interesting is that people think post apocalyptic fiction is having a boom phase. It really isn't. When I was a kid, the world was going to end at any minute. We lived in the shadow of nuclear annihilation. Films like War Games and Red October, books like Alas, Babylon and Lucifer's Hammer. The original zombie films. Everywhere you looked, civilization was crumbling. Crime in NYC. Gang wars in LA. Times were bleaker then, and our entertainment reflected that.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that we are always going to be fascinated with the end of the world. And it'll probably be another 10,000 years before it happens! :)


Sandra Heinzman (VASandra) | 22 comments Are we supposed to start reading Wool today or start discussing it (already read it, in other words)?


Tony Slater (TonyJamesSlater) | 4 comments Hi Hugh!
I'm a huge fan of the WOOL series. Not that I'm huge - actually more like a desk fan I guess...
Now, you're a perfect example of an 'overnight success' that was years in the making. What I'd like to know is, how do you feel your writing has changed (or evolved) since your first books?
Thanks man!
Tony


Gina (ginaisabel) | 2 comments Hugh wrote: "How does it feel to have Wool getting so much attention this past year?

And how did you come up with that first line? In my review, I explain how the first line threw me off for a bit.. till I got..."


Thanks so much for pointing out the "lack of twist" in the first book. I'm an MFA student who loves loves loves plot and I'm always studying other people's stories and trying to figure out why they work. I've found Wool truly gripping from the end of Book 1, which took such a risk with its ending.


Gina (ginaisabel) | 2 comments I have a question: How much of Wool's plot developed naturally once you'd figured out how the silo would be? The plot seems to develop so organically from the way the silo is constructed. Also, how did you decide what level of detail you needed for the silo's environment to be believable? (Have you gotten any people complaining that "it would never work"? haha!)

Also, thank you so, so much for the giveaway copy!


message 36: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
Sandra wrote: "Are we supposed to start reading Wool today or start discussing it (already read it, in other words)?"

The reason the books were made available to the winners a month in advance was to give them enough time to read it before the discussion takes place.

If you haven't read it yet, no worries. Once you hunker down, the books reads quite quickly. In the meantime, feel free to engage Hugh with writerly questions!!


message 37: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8470 comments Mod
For those of you who have read further than just Wool 1, mark your questions as spoilers so people are not accidently thrown off by reading or seeing something they would rather not.

You can do that by either writing WOOL 2 or WOOL 5 (for example) above your question or hide the question with the spoiler html that is listed in the (some html is ok) hyperlink at the top of the comment box.


Adam Bender (adambender) | 2 comments Hi Hugh,

As it happens I'm also an author of self-published dystopian fiction, though so far I haven't quite had the same success.

Just interested to know if you had initially tried sending Wool around to agents and what kind of feedback you received. Also, was there a particular turning point when the book caught fire (not in the Fahrenheit 451 sense)? Or did it just kind of happen?


message 39: by Gen (last edited Jan 14, 2013 10:04PM) (new)

Gen (Gen0001) | 4 comments Possible Spoiler in answer!!!!

Hugh Question - All Books: If you had to choose, which character would you be in Wool(1-5) and why?


message 40: by Lisa P (last edited Jan 15, 2013 09:43AM) (new)

Lisa P | 1056 comments Hugh, Thanks so much for joining us here! One of the things I appreciate about you, other than your excellent writing, is that you are so accessible to your fans. My question to you is any chance for a sequel? I know you have a prequel with First Shift - Legacy, Second Shift - Order, and Third Shift, which I am looking forward to reading next. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Wool, and was left with wanting to know more about the characters lives. I felt such an emotional attachment to the characters (especially Juliette-love strong, courageous females)that I'm not ready to let them go yet. So will we possibly be seeing any more from these characters in the near future?


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Tony wrote: "Hi Hugh!
What I'd like to know is, how do you feel your writing has changed (or evolved) since your first books?"


Sometimes I think it's gotten worse, to be honest. I feel like I'm getting dumber every year. But everyone says they can see improvements over each book and into the Shift books, so I'm not the best judge. I think the biggest change is my self-doubts. Knowing hundreds of thousands of people will read my work makes each sentence a crippling endeavor. Not that I'd have it any other way!


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Gina wrote: "How much of Wool's plot developed naturally once you'd figured out how the silo would be? The plot seems to develop so organically from the way the silo is constructed. Also, how did you decide what level of detail you needed for the silo's environment to be believable? (Have you gotten any people complaining that "it would never work"? haha!)"

The plot for WOOL unfolded very easily. The same was true for my Molly Fyde series and Half Way Home. For the Shift series, it was brutal to construct something that had to end up where Wool begins.

I added enough detail to make myself happy as a reader. The people who complain about the realism are missing the fact that 99% of science fiction is allegory and metaphor. If the silo won't work, then every book about interstellar and multi-generational ark ships wouldn't work. In my mind, the scale of the silo is what makes it feasible. Enough spares for hundreds of years. Backup power from a reactor in a distant silo. A limited population. I think it would be doable.


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Adam wrote: "Hi Hugh,

Just interested to know if you had initially tried sending Wool around to agents and what kind of feedback you received. Also, was there a particular turning point when the book caught fire (not in the Fahrenheit 451 sense)? Or did it just kind of happen?
"


Hey Adam, congrats on your own writing. Much respect.

I never shopped Wool to agents. After my first book release with a small press, I decided that self-publishing was for me. I never looked back. It wasn't until agents and publishers began approaching me that I engaged in a dialoge. I actually predicted this before it happened. Over a year ago, I told anyone who would listen that every book should *begin* as a self-published work. Let it prove itself in the market and then allow agents and publishers to approach you. I was mocked for espousing this view, but it has now become more and more common. DBW recently posted a story about the 300 6-figure advances in 2012, and how 45 of them were for books previously self-published. That's a healthy percentage.

How did Wool take off? Completely by word of mouth. I think it helped that I had 7 other titles and an established readership and platform, but I never promoted the work. I only began promoting it after it had already hit the charts.

Best of luck with your writing!


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Gen wrote: "Possible Spoiler in answer!!!!

Hugh Question - All Books: If you had to choose, which character would you be in Wool(1-5) and why?"


***SPOILER ALERT****

I would want to be Elise, Queen of the Wastelands.

;)


Hugh Howey (hughhowey) | 49 comments Lisa wrote: "My question to you is any chance for a sequel?"

Thanks for the kind words, Lisa. Yes, I'm working on the sequel right now. It picks up where Wool and Shift BOTH leave off. I just wrote a great conversation between Lukas and Juliette that I'm sure you're going to love!


Lisa P | 1056 comments Hugh wrote: "Lisa wrote: "My question to you is any chance for a sequel?"

Thanks for the kind words, Lisa. Yes, I'm working on the sequel right now. It picks up where Wool and Shift BOTH leave off. I just wrot..."


Thanks Hugh, I'm really looking forward to it! I think its intriguing to find out where authors get ideas for their characters. Are any of your Wool characters fashioned after anyone specific in your real life?


Dee Doanes (deedoanes) | 3 comments I can't wait to read the sequel too. Hopefully Hugh can give the group a preview later :-)


Adam Bender (adambender) | 2 comments Thanks, Hugh, that's an interesting perspective on going self-published first. Will have to work on my platform!


Tony Slater (TonyJamesSlater) | 4 comments Got another one for you Hugh, if you don't mind.
I just saw on Facebook that you're working your way through a huge pile of edits requested by Simon & Schuster. It made me wonder just what kind of changes they felt were necessary, given that the book is so universally loved - are they mostly nitty-gritty grammar fixes, or are they requiring you to make story alterations?
Just curious!
Tony


Chandni (decembersdream) | 10 comments Hugh wrote: "Chandni wrote: "Hi Hugh,

Why do you think people are so interested in dystopian/post-apocalyptic societies? It started with books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 but nowadays it seems to be a popular..."


Thanks for your reply Hugh. It was definitely the most entertaining one I've gotten. Also I'm secretly hoping that your "Crime in NYC. Gang wars in LA" reference was to the John Carpenter movies ;)


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Wool (other topics)
Wool Omnibus (other topics)
First Shift: Legacy (other topics)
Second Shift: Order (other topics)
Third Shift: Pact (other topics)
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