Daniel Verastiqui

Thursday Roundup 7/30

Reading

This week’s book is We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis Taylor which was recommended to me as a farcical story of a man who wakes up in the future as an artificial intelligence. I love good deadpan dystopian comedy, especially when it highlights how much control we’ll eventually give to technology–robots bossing us around is pretty funny to me.

Unfortunately, I have this bad habit of noping out of a book after a few strikes. Some of the humor just didn’t land for me, and everything kinda fell apart with a line of dialogue that went something like the butthurt is strong with this one. I’ll probably pick it up again later, but for now, it goes back into the Kindle void.

This experience reminds me why I don’t even try to put humor into my books. One bad joke and people might throw your book away.

Writing

If there is one sure-fire way I know to ruin a WIP, it’s to tell people about it. And that’s a damn shame. I get so excited about new story ideas, but much like quantum physics, as soon as an outside observer is brought in, the whole thing changes. It doesn’t even matter whether the observer likes or dislikes the idea; simply talking about it takes all the wind out of that story’s sails for me.

That said, I’m slowly making my way into a new story, after months of false starts and annoyance. Finding a story to write is a lot like taming a horse: I don’t really know what I’m doing in either situation. But, what I do know is that you have to take things slow so as not to spook the story and send it running off into the woods. You can’t get frustrated when there are setbacks, when entire chapters have to be trashed and redone. You can’t worry when you leave things half-finished or not quite right.

Just gotta stick with it until that story lets you climb on its back and ride it into the sunset. We’ll see in the next couple of weeks whether I can break this story’s spirit or not.

Playing

I had to take a short break from playing The Last of Us 2. It’s just so brutal. I’ve never played a game where I spent so much time holding my breath. You know how in Doom you can run into a room with all the confidence in the world and know that whatever comes your way, you’re gonna put a rocket in its bum? The Last of Us 2 is the exact opposite of that. You’re always in danger. You’re always one wrong move away from having your jugular torn out of your neck.

Taking a little break in a familiar space after a harrowing climb.

I’ve spent much of my time playing this game worried about all the bad reviews that plagued it at launch. I just don’t see what people are talking about. This game is amazing. It takes all the good will you had for Ellie at the end of the first game and destroys it. It destroys everything. It turns everything on its head. It’s brutality in video game form.

It’s difficult to even compare it to something like God of War or Doom; it’s just a completely different beast. I can’t wait to finish it so I can replay it.

Watching

There’s only so many times you can cycle through The Office, Parks and Rec, and Letterkenny before you start to go insane. I like to have something streaming in the background while I work, so I was happy to see The Big Bang Theory available on HBO Max when it launched. Much like The Last of Us 2, there is a general consensus that this show isn’t good, and after watching a couple of seasons, I’m more inclined to say this show isn’t great for 2020.

Big Bang Theory is a great show to have on the background while you’re doing something else. You can pay attention to it for a moment to catch a science reference or some dated sexual harassment. Plus there’s the trusty laugh track to remind you when something funny has been said, or more likely, when a random thing has been said.

Ah, white noise television. Who knew it would be so important in my professional work?

Listening

My name is Dan-i-el Verastiqui.

My name is Dan-i-el Verastiqui.

And there’s a million things I haven’t done.

Like eating tuna in a hot dog bun. Or taking my pet rock Pebble for a run.

But just you wait.

Just you wait.

Instagramming

This week’s featured Instagram account is ALV Art Studio (@alvartstudio), who created some custom bookmarks for me to give away as swag with my advance copies of Brigham Plaza. All I had to do was give Amy a couple of reference pictures for the color palettes, tell her how many I wanted, and she took care of the rest.

My Advance Review Club packages started arriving yesterday, and the bookmarks were the first thing people mentioned. I think custom items like bookmarks (and some of the other cool stuff Amy does) make great gifts and swag because they’re unique. These bookmarks are likely to stay with the readers for a long time, constantly reminding them about how they got them.

That’s right. Me, baby.

Quote(s) of the Week

Plot is essentially about desire and obstruction, and the question of whether that obstruction is removed or solidified. 

James Wood, A Debut Novel’s Immersive Urgency

Plot is essentially about desire, obstruction, and robots, and whether those robots can kill all the humans who are too busy arguing amongst themselves about who gets to take a shower first even though all of them are well aware there’s no more hot water.

Daniel Verastiqui, this post

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photo of Daniel Verastiqui and his writing partner Jetson

Hi.

I'm Daniel Verastiqui.

This is my blog.

I'm a Science Fiction author, so I mostly post about my experiences with writing, publishing, marketing, and self-loathing.

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This is my latest erotic dystopian cyber-thriller.

Book Cover for Brigham Plaza by Daniel Verastiqui

It’s about morally suspect celebrity hackers getting revenge for their dead friend.

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