Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Dinner With Hugh Howey

Best. Night. Ever.


Hugh Howey, NYTimes Bestselling Indie Rockstar, came to Chicago last night on his US tour celebrating the hardback/paperback release of his fantastic book Wool.
Hugh's one of those people who's incredibly at ease in his own skin. 
The crowd (50+ people) loved him.

The new hardcovers were gorgeous.

Because Hugh is cool, he invited his fans to meet him for dinner before the signing.

To say I was excited to meet the indie author whose meteoric career I've been following for over a year, would be a massive understatement. Hugh is just as funny, self-deprecating, and genuine in real life as he is online. And generous? Crazy generous. Several times (several!) he mentioned to people at dinner and in the audience at the signing that I was an indie author too, plugging my trailer and generally being an incredibly nice guy. I only embarrassed him a couple times by telling him how much I respect him - his writing, as well as how he's paved the way for indie authors with his success and his ground-breaking print-only contract. Mostly I focused on harassing him for being goofy on his videos and telling him not to listen to anything my mother says when she comes to his signing in LA on Sunday.

I also asked him for a favor (because he's the kind of guy that would do it). I told him about my mom having cancer last year, and how she beat it, but that it left her wanting to fulfill a lifelong dream: writing a novel. I explained that she had watched me embark on my indie adventure, and followed his success as well, and was inspired to try NaNoWriMo last year (Hugh is a big fan of NaNo). I didn't expect her to finish, but instead she finished before me! I am SO proud of her - for going for it, for finishing, and for fulfilling her childhood dream all while still recovering from chemo. I asked Hugh to write something like "keep writing" or "congrats on finishing NaNo" at the signing in LA - that it would mean a lot to me. And to her. 

He gave me a hug and said some very nice things to me. I'm proud of myself for not actually crying at that point. It's not often you get to meet someone and they exceed even your sky-high expectations. 

Like I said, Best. Night. Ever.

So, naturally, I need to share a bit of it with you! Enter below to win a signed hardback copy of Hugh Howey's Wool.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


45 comments:

  1. I totally would have cried. What a class act.

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    1. He's the real deal, Matt. If you ever get a chance to meet him, you need to do it.

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  2. OK, and then you made ME cry at that part about your mom just now. I think this is all TOO COOL. And you are too cool, and I'm glad you told me about this Hugh Howey guy b/c HE'S too cool (LOL!)... What a great night. Love you, girl~ <3 #maximumcoolnessoverdrive

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    1. I'm still floating a bit. If you had been there, LT, I think I probably WOULD have cried. #justbarelymadeit

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  3. Wow! That's wonderful. (I would have started sobbing.)

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  4. That's awesome! He's a fabulous guy. So glad you had dinner with him.

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  5. He does seem like the real deal. So glad you got to meet him. He's definitely an inspiration to all us indies who are somewhere along the path--you being much closer to his rock-star status than me! :-)

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  6. Very cool! What an awesome experience :) I'm happy for you.

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  7. I just snatched your first book. I love this post and I'm so glad that Hugh Howey pointed me (and the rest of his FB friends) to you.

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    1. Thanks, Jali! I hope you enjoy it. Hugh is incredibly generous - a real inspiration, in so many ways.

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  8. This is so great--what a fabulous experience. And he IS setting a new path--I've been looking at his serial strategy for one of my stories, so I'm watching him carefully.

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    1. He talked a bit about his serialization of the first five eps of Wool - amazing story and speaks to his incredible work ethic! He outlined/wrote/published eps2-5 from November-January. THREE MONTHS. It's almost incomprehensible to me. But he said he worked 12 hour days on top of his regular job and was inspired by the fan feedback. Just amazing.

      BTW, I'm also inspired to do a serial! My Debt Collector series launches next week. :)

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    1. Let's try this again.

      I'm the bald guy on the right and this is my second time to a meetup with Hugh and fans. He really is the same guy online and in person. A great person to be around. Really nice meeting you too, Susan. I'll be jumping into your trilogy soon.

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    2. Rick! Hi! It was great meeting you too! And thank you for giving the trilogy a try! I hope you enjoy it. :)

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  10. Hugh is a class act. I hope I get the chance to meet him in person one day as well. I think he may be inspiring more indie writers than anyone else in history. It's truly remarkable.

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    1. I think he may be inspiring more indie writers than anyone else in history.

      THIS.

      As I was telling my friend on the way to the signing, I think each sea change (or revolution) needs certain leaders at certain times. The early leaders of the indie revolution had to have a certain flintiness to them, to buck so hard against tradition. But at some point, as the revolution matures, it needs people with that same strength of character, but with a more charitable face. Hugh is that kind of leader, which is part of why he is so inspiring to me.

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  11. How fun. That is so very very cool! He seems like a class act!

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  12. Goodness! I'm tearing up now just reading about it, so I don't know how you didn't cry. Hugh is awesome!

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    1. By the way, just saw the comment for the giveaway. My answer: not yet, but it's on my to-read list and I've been dying to read it but sometimes as a book blogger I have to read other things first.

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    2. You won't regret it, Cherie, when you get the time. The first volume/novella is short, so that would be a good place to start! ;)

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  13. Living in the wilds of Northern Idaho, I am presented with the fact that my chances of meeting Hugh are very slim... so I live vicariously through others on the internet. Reading about your experience just leaves that hollow place a little more empty and makes me wish I didn't live in such a rural environment. I just need to repeat the mantra of, "I WILL get to meet Hugh one day!"
    I also picked up your first book and hope to get my wife reading it soon.

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    1. Hugh's star will continue to rise, so I can totally see that happening some day!

      And thanks for picking up the book! I hope your wife enjoys it. :)

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  14. I can't believe HH was at The Book Cellar and I missed it! He seems like such a genuinely nice guy. His success is well deserved. I'm glad you had such a good time.

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  15. Hugh seems like such a cool guy. What a fun time you had!

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  16. I have not had the chance to read this yet. I have heard such great things, especially from you! So great that you got to meet him and spend time with him.

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  17. Sounds like you had a great time!! And sadly, no, I haven't read Wool yet =(

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  18. Hugh Howey is a new to me author. Thanks for the intro.

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  19. That's AMAZING. Everyone who meets him says he's awesome. I wish he'd come to Charleston! I'd totally go and make a fool of myself. Haha! :D I'm so glad you got to meet your idol.

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  20. Wow, such a great treat to meet Hugh! I am reading the eVersion of Wool right now, and it is amazing. I want to meet him too! How inspiring that must be.

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  21. Oh, and your Debt Collector series sounds cool!

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  22. That's so awesome!!! I'm glad you had an amazing time meeting an amazing author! He's one of those people that you can see the kindness just shining out of their eyes.

    And tell your mom for me - Keep writing! Make those dreams come true! (I know I'm not famous but I hope she is encouraged anyhow)

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  23. It seems every time I read your blog, I have to add more books to my "to read" list (and I must say it is now VERY long). I hadn't heard of Hugh Howey before reading your blog, but since I adore authors who are genuinely nice, appreciative of fans, and generous, I had to check out reviews about Wool. Wow! Lots of people have raved about it! So, you guessed it, on to my "to read" list it goes. I even bumped it up towards the top :) Sadly, it looks like Hugh won't be coming to my area during his tour, so I won't have the pleasure of getting to meet him in person. But, I've subscribed to his blog! That's gotta be the next best thing, right? I hope your mom has a wonderful time meeting him in LA! And kudos to her for finishing her first novel! Can't wait for 3/20 - looking forward to Debt Collector!

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  24. Thanks for writing this. I want to think you wrote it just because I asked, but then I would be a bit self-center. Regardless, I was so happy to see you two hanging out. You really both are heroes to us Indies. I know if you guys can do it, I can do it too. And is Hugh as cute as he seems in his photos? Jealous.

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    1. You... and about 25 Indelible friends who were insisting on pictures and details. Hugh doesn't have a fanbase, he has like an everpresent fan CLOUD. One can't resist. :)

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  25. I haven't read WOOL but I've heard so much about it! :)

    -K8
    http://froze8.blogspot.com/

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  26. Thank you everyone for your great comments! You guys rock my world. :)

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  27. I haven't yet read it, but I very much want to. Congratulations on having such a wonderful dinner and lovely experience! Thanks also for the giveaway!

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  28. Wow, what a great story. I haven't read Wool yet, but I've been hearing a lot of buzz about it.

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  29. Your mom must be one tough cookie to tackle NaNoWriMo and finish before the end of the month! :) My mom had cancer, so I've seen the effects of chemo and know how much that takes out of a person. And Hugh sounds like an amazing and selfless person. What a fabulous evening that must have been!

    I haven't read Wool yet, but I've wanted to for a long time. I wish I could remember the author's name of a blog post I read quite a while ago that outlined everything that makes Hugh's writing so stellar without giving away any of the story. I knew I had to read it, not just to enjoy but also to study from. :D

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    1. My mom has always been an inspiration to me - from when I was a teen and she was 1) getting a Ph.D. 2) working, and 3) raising two kids. All at the same time. She showed me how much you can accomplish, if you just set your mind to it. And her running her own private practice was part of what made me want to run a small business of my own... something that I didn't have a chance to do until I went indie.

      Thanks for the wonderful comment!

      (And I've studied Hugh's writing for the literary qualities of it as well - he has an amazing way of turning a phrase and making it beautiful, yet still crystal-clear without the over-wrought-ness of some literary writing.)

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  30. Looks like you had a great time! I haven't read Wool, but I look forward to it.

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  31. Still amazes me that during the exact point in his career that Hugh is taking off like a rocket, he takes the time to encourage fans to come have dinner with him. We could all learn a thing or two from Mr. Howey.

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  32. How wonderful. I'm so glad you got to meet Hugh! I would be so starstruck I probably wouldn't get two intelligent words out the entire night. Wool is an incredible books series - I unbelievably don't yet own a physical copy of the book, just my Kindle version, so this would be awesome! Thank you!

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  33. That sounds like a wonderful night, and Howey sounds like a wonderful person. Isn't it awesome when the people whose work you admire turn out to be admirable people as well? :) Thanks for the great giveaway.

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Erudite comments from thoughtful readers