Write Here, Write Now: SEARCHER by Daniel D'Augustino

In Season 2 of Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast, host Erica Wagner interviews winners of the Vocal+ Fiction Awards

By Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal PodcastPublished about a year ago 4 min read

Science fiction often gives a glimpse of “what could be,” but less often does it leave the reader with lingering feelings of “what could have been.” In "Searcher", Daniel D'Augustino creates an intergalactic cosmos where hard choices can change the path of history.

What was the impetus for your winning story? Walk us through your initial act of creation.

SEARCHER is the first thing I have ever written. I saw the Vocal+ competition in an Instagram post, and decided to write something to toss my hat in the ring mostly as a lark. I never imagined that it would result in the publication of my writing. I am overjoyed.

The content of the story was developed in the pursuit of originality. Many of my favorite science fiction stories involve the human race's discovery of and/or interaction with some form of extraterrestrial life. Additionally, I think in reality we are approaching the day when life beyond Earth is conclusively identified. Already the potential for evidence collection is mounting; the launch of the James Webb telescope, declassification of government documents, a shift in public opinion...

I think we as a species are somewhat comforted by the possibility that we are not alone. It is a profound, frightening, exciting prospect that could potentially address some of our most fundamental collective questions. Who are we? How did we get here? What is our purpose?

But what if those questions were never answered? What if we were indeed completely and entirely alone? What if technology advances to the point where we are godlike in our abilities, but we have no friends to share it with, or foes to aim it against? What would that knowledge do to us as a civilization?

I tried to explore that possibility in my story, and am thoroughly pleased that readers enjoyed pondering with me.

What does it take for a story to grab you? How do you grab your audience?

I appreciate stories that toss you into a fully fledged universe where things are already happening, and trust you to keep up along the way. No need for an exposition on what everything is, where people are, or who they are. In SEARCHER, I opened the story with a protagonist in a potentially deadly situation. My hope was that a reader would want to get past that first sentence to find out what was happening. That's what I like to see, and I hoped it would be compelling to others.

Who are your favorite writers and why? Do you have any favorite Vocal Creators?

I have been a huge science fiction fan for as long as I can remember. Starting with Ray Bradbury's Illustrated Man in elementary school, and progressing into longer epics like the Dune series, or The Expanse series more recently - I always have a science fiction book I am working through. I love how the genre lends itself to the exploration of individual characters internally, against the backdrop of a vast and complicated universe. Human stories in an alien setting.

I have not yet taken the time to dive into the work of other Vocal Creators, and could not name a favorite, but I am very much looking forward to seeing what the talented people on this platform have been working on.

How has sharing your writing in life and on Vocal affected you as a Creator?

It has opened up a whole new avenue of creativity for me. The immediate and resounding recognition of my work was shocking, and made me reassess my whole relationship with science fiction. The transition from reader/admirer to reader/admirer/creator was abrupt, but I have apparently hit the ground running, and plan to continue to write and build out the SEARCHER universe. I doubt I would have continued writing with such intention had it not been for this platform and this competition. Thank you Vocal Creators.

What advice do you have for other Creators?

Just go for it. Write what you want to write, and share it with people. Even if you think the concept or content is silly at the outset, you never know who might appreciate it!

Stay tuned for new episodes of Write Here, Write Now Season 2 launching weekly.


About the Creator

Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast

Sex, death, relationships, nature, families... If you like to stop, think and consider things a little differently, join host Erica Wagner as she introduces a new Vocal creator’s story each week.

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  • Owen Schaeferabout a year ago

    This podcast series was a fantastic idea.

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