Sunday, March 9, 2014

Local Writer: Hugh Howey, Writer, Roofer, Yacht Captain, Hero and Inspiration

  Hugh Howey, Writer, Roofer, Yacht Captain, Hero and Inspiration

I have to say, that I became aware of Hugh Howey when a friend ask me if I had read Wool.  I said “no, is it at Barnes and Nobles”? He said, “I read it on my Kindle through Amazon”.  I told him I did not have a Kindle and I would wait till it was on Audible. I explained I have limited time to read anything new with all the stuff I do for my classes but I could listen to it on my way to work since it takes me approximately a 50 minute drive. That was last year; now flash forward to Sunday 9/15/2013, sitting at my favorite breakfast restaurant Glady's in Okeechobee, Florida leafing through the Palm Beach Post when I turned to the Accent section of the paper. There in bold letters on the main page was, Jupiter E-Book Sensation with a photo of Hugh Howey playing catch with his dog on the beach

The article about Hugh Howey in the Palm Beach Post was awesome, especially when he discussed his experience as a yacht captain in New York City docking his ship next to the World Trade center on 9/11 just before the first plane crashed into the twin towers on that fateful day

Excerpt from the Palm Beach Post written by Scott Eyman 9/15/2013

Twelve years ago, writ­ing was still far into the fu­ture. On Sept. 11, 2001, Howey was in New York, captain­ing a 74-foot Sunseeker mo­tor yacht for a wealthy hedge fund manager. The boat was moored in North Cove Mari­na, at the base of the World Trade Center.         
"When the planes struck, they did so directly over­head," he remembers. "The first one was an accident, of course. That's what we all thought. I remember watching the second plane bank hard and came screaming down Lower Manhattan and I thought this was some sort of accident. Your brain just turns off. I was silently yelling for the pilot to pull up, was thinking of some sort of malfunction, the kinds of things I was too smart to be­lieve. But the truth was too evil for me to comprehend.
"I remember the heat from the fireball. I remem­ber thinking 'It's just like the movies.' And then the people started running and screaming, and I thought that was just like the movies as well - the panic in everyone's eyes."
Howey's boss said they had to get out of there - everybody believed more planes would be hitting momentarily. "I cranked the engines and start­ed throwing the dock lines. People asked if I was leaving;  ' I said that I was, and if they wanted to come, they should get on board. I remember ask­ing them to take their shoes off, and how that seemed wrong even in the moment. My wires were crossed."
Howey steered the ship across the Hudson to Liber­ty Landing Marina, but there was no room, so Howey tied up at a restaurant. A group of construction workers asked if Howey would take them back to the site of the Trade Cen­ter. They wanted to help. He agreed, dropped them off and then picked up others. He would see the same construc­tion workers later when they came back for the lunch pails they left on the docks, and told him about the looting they witnessed.
"It's easier to talk about now, but I didn't for the lon­gest time. We sat on the bow of the boat and watched WTC 5 (or was it 7?) fall, the radio bursting with the news be­fore the rubble even settled. We watched both buildings come down. The night before, we had sat in Windows on the World at the top of one of the towers and looked out over the city. That spot was now in empty space. "It seemed surreal. Still does."
The first thing I did after reading the article was go directly to Audible to check the release date for Wool and downloaded it. (Now available)
Below is a link to the Palm Peach Post video chat with Mr. Howey

Mr Howey began his SILO series in 2011, writing Wool as a stand-alone short story. He published the work through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing system. He has said that he choose Amazon's system because of its freedom of self-publishing.

 (From Wikipedia) "The story of Wool takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Humanity clings to survival in the Silos, subterranean cities extending over one hundred stories beneath the surface. The series initially follows the character of Holston, the sheriff of Silo-18, with subsequent volumes focusing on the characters of Juliette, Jahns, and Marnes. An ongoing story line of the series is the focus on the mystery behind the Silo and the secrets that it holds. The Silo's mystery is eventually revealed by the end of book five, with First Shift being a prequel to the series. The series has grown in popularity, and recently Ridley Scott has optioned the book Wool for a movie".

It is inspiring to read about people who have truly lived life and fulfilled their dreams. Mr Howey has done that and continues to do so through his writing. We can only hope to follow examples like his in our own lives.

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