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Interview with Koos Verkaik





Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself.
A. I am from the Netherlands. I was born in the neighborhood of Rotterdam and it is a (harbor) city of workers - that’s exactly what I love to do: work, work, and work on my books. Novels (Magic, Mystery, and Adventure) and a series of children’s books (Alex and The Wolpertinger, Saladin The Wonder Horse). It is said that men from Rotterdam buys their shirts with rolled-up sleeves - always ready to start working.

Q.2 Tell us your latest news.
A. Well, that is the best news; Righter’s Mill Press published my new novel HIM: After The UFO Crash and their other company, Three Corners Entertainment offered me a contract for a film - for this book, and ten other novels. They will bring them under the attention of Hollywood producers. I am extremely grateful that they have so much confidence in my work. They are searching for the finest written works to develop for film and television; just imagine how happy I was when they offered me all these contracts. Next year they will also publish Dance of The Jester, probably my very best book.

Q.3 When and why did you begin writing?
A. I have been writing since I was only seven. Told it often before: was Europe’s youngest writer of comic scripts (16 years), and wrote my first novel when I was 18, and it was published right away. Can you imagine how proud I was when I saw my own book (Adolar, a science fiction novel) in a shop window? I just stood there, gazing at my first book! And I was there when it got printed. Bam! Bam! All those sheets are full of text. And then the cover and the bookbinding… And still, I am very excited when new books come rolling from the press.

Q.4 What inspired you to write your first book?
A. This is a very interesting question. Now I read a lot of nonfiction about our future. Yuval Noah HarariRichard Dawkins etc. About us, people, becoming semi computers… Back then, when I was just a boy, I wrote about that; about a young astronaut who was asked to give his brain to science. 

Adolar, the leading character, refuses, but his friend says yes and his brain becomes a part of a space ship. Who is happier - Adolar or his friend? Besides, I wrote that novel during a long weekend, I was so inspired, that was the right Sturm und Drang, as the Germans say. And I still have that in me. Write, write, write.

Q.5 To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
A. I mostly travel by car. From my home in the Netherlands, it is easy to reach different countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland. But I don’t have to travel to craft my works. I have a couple of thousand books, mainly nonfiction, in my workroom, and always know where to find the information I need.

Q.6 Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer?
A. Number one will always remain, Edgar Allan Poe.
Numbers 2, 3 and 4: Jack VanceTheodore SturgeonRoger Zelazny.

Q.7 Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A. Well, to be honest: no one. A ran away from home, went my own way, and no one supported or taught me. I had to learn it the hard way, and that went very fast. 

Q.8 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
A. Not a single line. I am very concentrated when I write. And… I don’t write THE END, I write EINDE… Dutch! Then I start to translate my work into English, and during that process, I can change things as I please. And when I finally write THE END, the text must be perfect.

Q.9 What book are you reading now?
A. The Secret History of The World by Jonathan Black, about secret societies through the ages.

Q.10 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
A. Play guitar, drive a truck, who knows? Well, now you mention it; a traveling band, I would play lead guitar, blues and rock, and sing. 

Q.11 You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
A. I don’t smoke, hate drugs, and only drink a cold beer every now and then. Just let me sit somewhere, all by myself. Sit there, and stare. Enjoying the fact that I can still breathe. I will be wrapped up in thoughts when the curtain finally falls.

Q.12 What do you want to be written on your headstone?
A. He did what he wanted to do, he does not regret anything, and really enjoyed his life.

Q.13 Do you remember the first book you read?
A. I was 5, and could not read, and underlined all words in a children’s book, imagining that I understood what all those letters meant.

Q.14 Any advice for other writers?
A. Yes and no. I mean; just write. It is a hard road, believe me. You have to go your own way. 

Q.15 Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
A. You always learn when you write. You have to look up things, you have to search for facts, even when you write Fantasy books. HIM brought me back to the time of space travel, UFO’s, rocket engineers, hippies, old psychiatric tricks. I read a lot about history, psychiatry, alchemy, UFO’s, just name it, and I have it in my library. Writing a book is always a huge adventure.

Q.16 Do you see writing as a career?
A. Yes, absolutely.

Q.17 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A. A message is a big word. I write to entertain. But you can read my books in different ways. Just for fun, or more serious. I have quite something to say and express my opinions. We live in a dangerous world because we cannot predict our future, and too many people love to get us under their spell. Science can be a blessing, but can also be dangerous.

Q.18 Who designed your book covers?
A. The different publishers decide that. But I am always allowed to say what I like to see and say yes or no. I am satisfied with all my covers. Especially when you see them all together.

Q.19 How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A. Where HIM: After The UFO Crash, is concerned, nothing is based on events in my own life. I studied the sixties, I know a lot about that time. The music, the race for the moon, the atmosphere, the books.

Q.20 Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
A. Website - www.koosverkaik.com
HIM: After the UFO Crash for the film - http://www.3cornersentertainment.com/project/him/
If someone wants to write to me, here is my e-mail address: verkaik@koosverkaik.com 















3 comments:

  1. Awesome interview Koos! I really enjoyed it! I love getting to know a more personal side of my fellow authors. To see where they come from; what makes them tick; why they chose the genre they write about. Thank yoiy for sharing!!��
    I wish you the best, with much success!
    - Ilene Goff Kaufmann

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice interview Koos. I never read that one.

    ReplyDelete

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