05 September 2014 by Published in: Uncategorized 9 comments

Howey, that is. Superstar indie author of Wool. And genuinely, all-around nice guy.

We spent last evening talking about everything and everything on Authors On The Air radio, with Pam Stack.

We covered a lot of ground. Everything from self-evaluation as writers, to our vastly different approaches to generating content, to our philosophies of writing, to what all this Hachette/Amazon fuss is about, to traditional publishing, to writing romance, to the therapeutic value of tequila, to…well, just about everything.

Perhaps what was most interesting to me was how natural the discussion was, how brutally honest at times, and how easy it was to tackle a host of subjects. Callers chimed in, I got disconnected twice due to God’s wrath (okay, a passing hurricane, which sort of qualifies), and as always, I was mixed most of the time so that I sounded like an old woman screaming from the bottom of a well. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It was interesting to me that he sees a big difference between genres in terms of the nurturing and support offered by established names, or trad pubbed authors to their self-pubbed brethren. My take is that the reason romance is more supportive vs., say, sci fi, is because sci fi is male dominated, and male dominated markets tend to be snake pits because, well, it’s all dudes swinging their dicks around being hyper-competitive and territorial. That’s my theory, anyway. Could be I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. Males tend to engage in a lot of zero sum thinking, which is why men fight and kill each other versus building bridges. A generality, but one I’ve found holds true.

We agreed to disagree on Amazon’s long term business strategy, but were unanimous that everyone should buy my crap.

There we have it. That’s the summary. If you have some extra time, worth a listen.

Oh, and my co-authored tome with Clive Cussler is selling briskly. Thank heavens and Amazon!

Clive Cussler Eye of Heaven

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with AuthorsontheAirbookstoo on BlogTalkRadio


  1. Fri 05th Sep 2014 at 4:48 pm

    A very enjoyable interview. I haven’t read any of Hugh’s books because I’m not into science fiction, but I’m thinking I may like The Shell Collector. When he said he thought it was a romance, but people aren’t sure if it’s a romance or not, I figured it was probably literary fiction, which sounds good to me.

    Of course I will still buy all your crap. Always do. I even buy it for others as gifts too. #catladiesrock!

    • Jim Self  –  Sat 06th Sep 2014 at 12:21 am

      Hmm. Wool is science fiction kinda like The Walking Dead is a zombie show. In other words, it’s not really about the genre, but rather focuses almost exclusively on how the characters have to deal with the situations they face.

      If you like deeply character-centric stories, Wool is one of the best, period.

  2. Gerald Hartenhoff
    Fri 05th Sep 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Great interview. I learned allot.

  3. Sat 06th Sep 2014 at 12:19 am

    Good interview of you guys. Great to hear both of your perspectives side-by-side. Hugh is awesome, and writing Wool means he deserves every penny he gets, but I agree with him that luck is a lot less interesting to hear about than forming a plan and working your butt off.

    Also it was interesting to hear from him about what we were talking about here a few posts ago, about putting smaller works into KU and possibly serializing or breaking works down. He’s right that it’s a worse reader experience, but that’s a lot like saying it’s a worse experience to watch one episode of a tv show per week instead of binging on them off of Hulu. I think the financial realities are going to have an enormous impact on how that goes, which at this point is all in Amazon’s hands. I don’t see a future where they don’t modify the terms after being inundated with shorter work or work broken into parts.

    Obviously you made it through the hurricane. Didn’t lose too many shingles off of your roof I hope.

    • Jim Self  –  Sat 06th Sep 2014 at 12:24 am

      Oh, right, and I agree with him 100% about the gym membership comparison. I don’t think anyone really wins in that situation either. On the one hand I can see how I’d profit off of KU, on the other I wonder if I should feed that beast.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 06th Sep 2014 at 11:13 am

      All’s well. It’s that time of year.

      Yes, if you set up a compensation scheme that intentionally or unintentionally rewards a certain behavior, you can expect that behavior.

      We shall see what the morrow brings…

  4. Sat 06th Sep 2014 at 7:53 am

    Hello Blake,

    Good interview. To improve on your Author Spotlight series, why not have your dog and Howey’s cat do the next face-to-face…

    Blake’s Dog: “I don’t want to grrrripe about it, but this whole Amazon/Hachette thing is a bone in my throat.”

    Howey’s Cat: “Do what I do: KU” (Kibble Unlimited)

    Blake’s Dog: “How drrrrrrrroll…”

    Howey’s Cat: “You going to chase me now?”

  5. Wed 10th Sep 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Russell, this was a great show! I hope you’ll let us know when you do it again. You and Hugh are good together.

    Thanks for taking my call on the show… and glad to hear you made it through the storm.


    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 10th Sep 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Oh, was that you? Glad to have you. Don’t know when we’ll do it again, but I suspect we will. Like a bad penny, I keep turning up everywhere…


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