A Q&A with Hubert Wiest (author of The Shadowsurfers)

Hello everybody! Today I got the great opportunity to do a Q&A with Hubert Wiest! I had a lot of fun coming up with the questions and reading the responses. A big thanks goes to Bree at The Book Octopus for organizing this Q&A, and the review I posted last Monday (click here to read my review for The Shadowsurfers).    

About the Shdowsurfers

 CHA belongs to all humans. All humans are CHA.

Set in a dystopian future where technology and humanity have united to create society’s collective consciousness, Computerized Human Accomplishment, CHA is mankind’s most meaningful invention. Through CHA all of humanity’s thoughts and secrets are recorded and saved for the betterment of society.

Fourteen year old Sansibar is preparing for her final exam to become a part of society – a part of CHA. The only thing standing between her and her the Crystal Exam is a whisper of a memory almost forgotten… and a boy with blue-ink eyes named Luan.

Luan is a gifted programmer living as an orphan until a petty theft drives him from his only home. Without a place in society, Luan escapes to the forbidden city of shadows to live as a fugitive… with the help of a girl with purple hair named Sansibar.

Together they find they’re not the only ones with secrets.

Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an author?

A: Yes and no. I started writing detective stories at the age of 12 and I wrote screenplays, which have never left my drawer. After school I joined an advertising agency, because aiming at becoming an author seemed not to be an appropriate career choice. It took me a couple of years to learn that you should be led by your dreams and that you have to reinvent yourself several times in your lifetime.

Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

A: Write, write, write, read, write, write, write.
Don't wait for the big idea. It will never show up, if you don't write. And work on your skills. It helps to to attend creative writing courses and meet fellow authors for an open discussion.

Q: How do come up with ideas for your books?

A: I have never asked this question myself. The ideas come when I sit down: I sketch the plot, create the characters and start writing. 

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

A: I love to spend my time with my family. And during my spare time I go sea kayaking. I like being on the open water experiencing the challenging forces of the water, wind, sun and rain. Every day, when I feel salt water on my skin is a good day.

Q: Do you have plans for any books in the future?

A: I just finished the first draft for two new manuscripts: One is a childrens’ book about a world, where you can create things just by thinking of them. But every thought works only once. 
The other manuscript is a YA novel: Pollution has the world in it’s tight grip. In order to survive, the polluted air is kept out of a mega city by a huge dome. Everybody wants to live under that dome, but there is not enough space for all and the government decides irrevocably, who is allowed to live under the secure shelter and who has to leave. 

Q: Can you describe The Shadowsurfers is five words or less?

A: Will secrets exist in the future?

Anna: That's six words, but I like it! 

Q: What is your favorite part of being an author?

A: For me writing is incredibly rewarding, much more than all corporate jobs I did before. And I like being independent.

Random Questions:
Q: Favorite animal?

A: Our Hong Kong street dogs, Pepsi and Cola.

Q: Favorite Superpower?

A: Please no superpower, because that would make life less challenging and less surprising. Wait! There is one superpower I would like to have: Writing in English! I am a German writer and my English is not strong enough to write books in English. I would like to encourage all kids to learn foreign languages. It broadens your horizon and gives you more options in your life.  

Q: Favorite snack? 

A: I have no favorite snack, but I couldn't live without tea – all kinds of tea: white tea, black tea, green tea, Oolong, Roibosh. I always need a pot of tea on my desk while I am writing. But I don't like ready-made ice tea.

Q: Favorite book?

A: There are too many wonderful books to have only one favourite book – and there are new ones published every month. I really like Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I recently read Panic by Lauren Oliver, which kept me thrilled from the first page to the last. 

About Hubert Wiest 

Hubert Wiest Hubert Wiest is an author of ten German children's books and YA novels. THE SHADOWSURFERS is his first US release. In addition to giving classroom readings, Hubert also produces audiobooks and the podcast Radio Lomoco together with Nina von Stebut.

Hubert was born in Germany in 1964. He studied at the Bavarian Academy of Advertising and also took courses in business administration. In the 1990s he founded the internet company FREIRAUM Multimedia, leading it through the stormy new economy of the millennium. He has also worked as head of marketing and sales in international companies. Hubert lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, their three children and their dogs Pepsi and Cola.



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