Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?
First I want to thank you for this interview, dear Fiona. My name is Koos Verkaik.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am just a Dutchman. I was born in the neighbourhood of Rotterdam.
Fiona: A little about yourself.
And Rotterdam 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 series of children’s books (Alex and The Wolpertinger, Saladin The Wonder Horse).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Well, Fiona, 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 contact for 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! So, the big news is that they have published HIM, AFTER THE UFO CRASH and started working with it. And all the other books will follow. This year they will also publish Dance of The Jester, probably my very best book…
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Fiona, 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 full of text. And then the cover and the book binding… And still I am very excited when a new books comes rolling from the presses!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After the publishing of that novel when I was 18. The editor-in-chief of several magazines asked me to come and work as a chef for a huge Dutch company. I would work for a handful of magazines (Donald Duck was one of them) and could make time to write scripts for comic artists. But I said no and went my own way. I had ran away from home after serious conflicts, worked as a copywriter for a big Rotterdam agency and started writing book after book, novel after novel.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
This is a very interesting question. Now – 2019 – I read a lot of nonfiction about our future. Yuval Noah Harari, Richard Dawkins etc. About us, people, becoming semi computers… Back then, when I was just a boy, I wrote about that; about a young astronaut whom 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…
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Adolar means as much as eagle. And eagles fly – just as astronauts do.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I have my own, very special style, I write Koos Verkaik Books and never imitate other writers. Which is what every writer should do!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
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.
This is what the book is about:
The race for the moon.
Arthur Croft, great rocket engineer, will sent a special capsule into space, hoping that it will be intercepted by extraterrestrial creatures.
Then he commits suicide!
Arthur Croft and many others who deal with space travel strongly believe that UFO’s are a reality.
Jasper Froch, an American hippie, learns how to control the phenomenon of synchronicity and finds out that all kinds of coincidences lead him into a certain direction. A Swiss psychiatrist, asks Jasper to make friends with a special patient: a rich American by the name of Francis Lockhart.
Sanguine, Florida. A UFO crashes there.Sanguine changes: people act strange, and many of them turn out to be a genius!
There are also murderers who are so clever that they become a danger for the USA.
The army is ready to destroy the town, but then Jasper finds out about the influence of the UFO, about Arthur Croft and his own role in a very dangerous game…
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
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.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The different publishers decide that, Fiona. 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!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
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 bless, but can also be dangerous.
Just finished an important novel about that: Nicolaes Nimbus. It will be published soon by Outer Banks Publishing Group, North Carolina, USA.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Number one will always remain: Edgar Allan Poe.
Numbers 2, 3 and 4: Jack Vance, Theodore Sturgeon, Roger Zelazny.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
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.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
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.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
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!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
No… Three Corners Entertainment is talking to different producers right now, so that film might become reality very soon. I think I can act, but not a leading role. Would do it if one asked me – just a tiny little role, for fun!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Yes and no. I mean; just write! It is a hard road, believe me. You have to go your own way.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Please, search for my website, search for my name on the internet, search at Amazon and you will find lots of books you will like to read. Without readers I would still write, I am sure of that, but let’s be honest – my readers are very, very, very important to me! And everyone is allowed to write me, I will answer all questions as soon as possible.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Secret History of The World by Jonathan Black, about secret societies through the ages.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
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…
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I play several instruments, love my guitars. Record at home, compose songs.
For instance this one, via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enpHqcvcBZQ
I combine books and music, this is a blues with the title of one of my best books: Heavenly Vision. Hope everyone likes it!
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
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.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I don’t smoke, hate drugs, 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, Fiona.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
He did what he wanted to do, he does not regret anything and really enjoyed his life.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Koos Verkaik website: www.koosverkaik.com
Dance of the Jester for film: http://www.3cornersentertainment.com/project/dance-of-the-jester/
HIM, After the UFO Crash for film:http://www.3cornersentertainment.com/project/him/
If someone wants to write me, here is my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org