A few questions sent in by a reader. Maybe they’ll answer one of yours. Beware of spoilers!
1. How exactly are the stairs in the silo? (This is such a heated discussion in my house) Are the stairs wrapped around the central shaft similar to a spiral staircase, with the levels on the side (essentially creating one long stair case)… or are the stairs (spiral shape or not) broken up by each level, thus creating individual “sets” of stairs?
It’s one continuous spiral staircase! The central “pole” is much thicker than normal, however. A good six feet in diameter. The stairs wrap around this center pole and are wide enough for two people to walk abreast (or pass in opposite directions). Beyond the railing is a gap of ten or so feet to the concrete wall that forms the inner shaft. The landings span this gap and jut off at various angles.
2. What exactly is a “proof” copy? I see people winning these all the time, but am not sure actually what it is.
These are the early versions of books that publishers send around to get reviews, blurbs, and excitement from booksellers. They are usually not final versions (typos and imperfect layouts), and they are almost always paperback. When I reviewed books for a stint, I became swamped in free proof copies of upcoming works. They poured into the bookstore where I worked as well. They aren’t for resell (it’s not legal, actually).
3. After WOOL 6, do you find yourself leaning more toward being a conspiracy theorist (or do you consider yourself one already)?
Whatever the opposite of a conspiracy theorist is, that’s me. A believer in coincidence? A coincidencist? I think people are bad at getting away with shit and even worse at keeping secrets. If the most powerful man on the planet can’t get a blowjob and get away with it, I don’t see how any of the more fanciful schemes could work. Having said that, I write fiction. And the way I think the world works would make for boring stories.
4. Half way through the series I told my wife, that a part of me does not want a “happy ending” with Jules making it back to Lukas, did you ever consider going in the opposite direction with the end?
Oh, I consider every sort of ending. It’s like playing chess. You consider crazy moves, even if for only a moment. I toyed with killing Jules at the end, with the “bad guys” winning, with Lukas dying, all sorts of possibilities. Now, remember what you asked for because I’m not done telling the story.
5. Do you think it would be better to not know the “truth”? (Another hot topic in the house)
This is a tough one. I always say I’d rather know the truth. Even if it hurts to know or is dangerous to know, you can’t make sound decisions without the best data at hand. This will be tested, of course, as we see how Juliette and Lukas attempt to manage their silo with the truth flooding the place. I’m not done exploring this question, not by a long shot!