Week 763

What’s this? I’m blogging about my work on a weekly basis – a simple way to track and archive whatever it is I spend my time on.

Last week I finished the second part of my interview with Derek Yu (and Spelunky review recap sidebar), which appeared in nrc.next on Thursday. Besides that, I edited Rogier Kahlmann’s short review of Wii U game The Wonderful 101, which didn’t appear yet. I also finished my article about auteur games for 609 and worked on a small app project with Codeglue.

But the week was really all about De verdwijners. Tuesday night, I was interviewed about the book by Maarten Westerveen of VPRO’s De avonden, a daily radio programme about culture. It went on for more than 20 minutes and dug pretty deeply.

I discovered that in a weird way, I hadn’t decided yet how to talk about the book, and I now feel I should play it straighter: please slap me if I mention the word ‘postmodern’ again. Not that it’s not postmodern… I just want to discuss it on a surface level, as a book about dangerous people in a dangerous time. Anything else is up to the reader’s interpretation.


On Wednesday, the book was presented in the Polare bookstore in Utrecht. It was a happy moment: many nice people showed up, including quite a few children who weren’t interested in the subject matter at all, which helped to put things into perspective. I got a wonderful speech from my editor Inger Boxsem, after which I took the stage for a slide show about the design process behind the book.

After my talk, I got to pull a ‘one more thing’, presenting the book trailer Bram Ruiter had been making together with Rick Stuart and others (see below). It turned out very well, capturing the vibe of the book and giving some hints about its contents. (It turned out even better if you consider the absurd circumstances under which it was made: you should hire this Ruiter guy and see what he’s capable of with a budget!)

Besides being an introduction to the book, the trailer is intended to be an easily shareable ‘social object’… so if you at all wish me well in this endeavor, and haven’t done so already, please share the trailer with everyone you know in all the ways our modern technologies enable us to.

Signeren 1

When the presentation was over, I signed dozens of copies of my book. A rare occasion: it’s highly unlikely that this will happen again until I write another of these things.

Speaking of which: over the weekend, I started hearing from friends and family members who finished the book already. It’s kind of cruel how quickly one can consume what was worked on for so many months. It’s also heartening that some people apparently couldn’t stop reading.

Signeren 2

As a general reminder, if you’ve finished my book, please fill out my questionnaire. Yes, the novel also contains questionnaires, but honestly, this is not a joke, nor a publicity stunt. I just want to know what you really think about De verdwijners, and I want to explore ways of further improving this and future books with your feedback.

Another thing I did last week is finishing my big article about just this: read testing my own novel. The article is set to appear in nrc.next on September 9th. I’m looking forward to this, as it’s a topic I’ve been thinking about for a very long time.

After my presentation, I ate pancakes with my family and neighbors. For the rest of the week, I was insanely tired and my back ached too.