Outlier On Air | Interviewing Founders, Disruptors, & Mavens
214: Andy Weir Interview - The Martian

"It's easy to stay motivated on something you're really enjoying." - Andy Weir

About: Andy Weir - Computer Programmer, Author, and #1 New York Times Best Seller of The Martian

Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.

Overview: With 20 years of dedication and experience, Andy has become an overnight success through his book, The Martian. Throughout this interview, he shares with us what that process was like and what some of the perks of being a best-selling author are.

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Highlights:

Background: Growing up, Andy always wanted to be a writer but went into computer programming instead for financial security reasons. For 25 years, he was a programmer but was also writing on the side. While working for AOL in the late 90's, Andy was laid off, given a nice severance package and was then forced to sell his stock options. Little did he know this was a push in the right direction. With the money from his stocks, Andy decided he was going to start writing. He spent three years working on a book but unfortunately did not get any traction. He returned to programming. When the internet came about, Andy starting writing again for an online audience and slowly built his reader base. Eventually, Andy starting writing chapters of The Martian for his fans and it was a hit. From there, Andy pursued turning his online writings into a book.

The Martian: This book is about a 3rd manned mission to mars. In summation, an astronaut becomes stranded on the planet after his team undergoes an emergency evacuation. The book/movie is about how this astronaut strives to survive with equipment that was made for a 31-day mission.

How The Martian Came to Publication: When Andy posted his eBook to Amazon, it was #1 in the Sci-Fi section and in the top 10 Best Sellers on Amazon. An agent from Random House found his book, read it, and contacted Andy to see if he was interested in a literary agent. Andy agreed and things fell into place. From negotiations with the publisher to editing finalizations, it was only an 11 month process until Andy's book was on shelves.

The Martian, the Movie: During the same time the book was being finalized, the movie studio reached out to Andy about buying the rights to make the movie. The contract was not activated for them to produce the movie until the day they started filming it. The movie will be coming to theaters on October 2, 2015.

Next Steps: Andy is currently working on his next book, Sophmore Slums which should be released mid 2016.

*The movie edition cover of the book, The Martian is on sale now!

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Direct download: Andy.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:47pm MST

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