MM: You started out as a self published author, and now The Martian has been traditionally published and is a feature film. How does it feel to be living every author’s dream?
AW: Feels great! It’s all of my dreams coming true. Only problem is now I have to write another book. Will it be as good? I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out. But there’s definitely pressure.
MM: If NASA were to plan the ultimate mission to Mars, would you be on the first launch out of here?
AW: No way. I write about brave people, but I’m not one of them.
MM: What are some of the coolest space nerd things you’ve gotten to do as a result of publishing The Martian?
AW: I got to do a four-day tour of Johnson Space Center in Houston, which included a visit to the Mission Control Center. They let me sit at one of the stations there and control a camera mounted on the outside of the International Space Station.
MM: Your book is 2016’s One Book, One Marin selection. What part of the partnership are you most excited about?
AW: The part where a bunch of people read my book. I think deep down, every author is motivated by that: the knowledge that someone out there is reading and enjoying his or her work.
MM: How involved were you in the cinematic retelling of your novel? What was that experience like?
AW: Mostly my job was just to cash the check. Though they did send me the screenplay to get my opinion, they weren’t required to listen to anything I had to say. They kept me updated on the production because they’re cool. And in the end, the film is very true to the book, so I’m happy.
MM: What drew you to this subject matter? Space junkie? NASA enthusiast? Other?
AW: I’ve always been interested in space travel, ever since I was a little kid. So yes, I’m a space junkie and a NASA enthusiast.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition under the headline: “Author Talks.”