The story of “The Martian’s” unconventional path to publication

About four years ago, Andy Weir gave a talk at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on The Martian‘s path to success. As an editor who works with primarily indie authors and authors querying agents, I found it very interesting to hear Weir’s explanation of how he “failed” at publishing when he really, really tried, and then how he found profound success with a book he started out giving away for free. I also, on a personal level, find it really fascinating that his success came only after he let go: when he stopped trying and let things kind of run their own course, pursuing writing because he enjoyed it but without the pressure to “succeed.” Just interesting to ponder as we go about our lives, don’t you think?

Also, I’d like to just add here that I commend the screenwriter for sticking so closely to the book. There are differences, of course, and Weir goes into some of them in the talk, but it is remarkably close. I read the book after seeing the movie, and that often ruins the book for me but in this case it definitely didn’t – it’s the same story, with SO MUCH MORE DETAIL, and it’s fascinating (though not all scientifically accurate!). I just searched back so I could link to my review of the book, but apparently I never wrote a review (oops)…suffice it to says it’s AWESOME. And funny 🙂

Check out this video to hear the story straight from Andy Weir!

Misplaced Monday – The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger


So this is a new meme I learned about from The Cozy Pages, and hosted by Merv Reads. The idea is to review a book you read a long time ago — either before you started blogging or from early in your blogging career, or that you just plain forgot to review (more info here). I’m also going to borrow the bullet-format review from Merv (which I also discovered at The Cozy Pages) this week (with commentary, of course!), because I don’t have a lot of in-depth stuff to say about this book since I read it in January of 2016. Bottom line, though, is that it is phenomenally well-written. I remember thinking, at the time, that it was one of the best-written books I had read in a long, long time. So, without further ado — my bullet review of The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger:

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea


○ i have a physical copy
○ read an e-version, will definitely purchase physical book
○ read an e-version, a physical book will be appreciated
● read an e-version, not interested in its physical book — Mostly because I own waaaaay too many books and I’m trying not to be a hoarder
● a page-turner — I remember reading it in the backseat of my in-laws’ car on my Kindle in the dark on the way home from Disney. I read it any chance I got.
● less than 500 pages
○ diverse in any way
○ something’s lacking
○ took me a long time to finish
○ an LMAO read
○ i laughed more than a few times
○ it’s j u s t awkward
○ gave me goosebumps
● one of the best books I’ve read — Like I said, SO well-written. Also, the story is particularly gripping because it’s true, and it’s incredibly well-researched. I learned so much.
● painful & sad — If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s about a fishing boat that disappeared in a huge storm. Junger recreates what happened, including the rescue efforts. It’s a tragic story by its very nature.
● tear-jerker — Like I said – they disappear at sea, lives are lost. Enough said.
● a roller-coaster of emotions — Junger catalogs the emotions of the crew, the rescuers, and the surviving loved ones, which packs in a lot of ups and downs and varying coping mechanisms.
○ thrilling
○ confusing
○ sooo relatable
○ it is kind of annoying
○ it has a lot of flashbacks
● it moved me
● would recommend!
● great even for a reread
● definitely a YAY
○ i’m sorry it’s a NAY
○ it’s between YAY and NAY

It’s been over two years since I read the book, but I still think of it as one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s definitely one of the best non-fiction books. I would, at some point, love to see the movie but I know that it’ll be an emotional one…maybe I should wait until I’m not a pregnant emotional mess! Ha!

Five stars!!!