Koos Verkaik is a Dutch writer, having published over 60 different titles. First novel written at the age of 18, during a long weekend, published right away. Writes series of children's books and novels. This year (May) Righter's Mill Press. Princeton, USA, starts publishing his novels, Three Corners Entertainment contracted 14 titles for film.
You are a Dutchman. Many of your books are in English. How does that work?
I have written over sixty different titles, both novels and children’s books. I think and write in Dutch, then translate my work. Anthony Policastro from Outer Banks Publishing Group, publishes my series of children’s books Saladin the Wonder Horse. He can work with my English texts and takes good care of the necessary editing.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
For me writing is work and work can make you tired. I am used to write till late at night.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I wrote lots and lots of books under pseudonym, mainly to make money. That work has nothing to do with the 60 titles I wrote under my own name, Koos Verkaik. I wrote four novels each month for a publisher/distributor: adventure. Using different nicknames. My full name is Jacobus Jan Verkaik. One of my pseudonyms is Jan Jacobs. Wrote a series of children’s books under that name: Slimmetje (somewhat like Smarty). It sold over 450.000 copies, in The Netherlands only!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I had only one job in my life, working as a copywriter for a huge agency in Rotterdam. There I learnt to write what people want. And my commercial books also gave what people wanted to read. My own novels come straight from the heart and I don’t wrote them for a certain audience. So, in short, I know how to attract attention and I know how to get to the point in a pleasant way.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Each novel stands on its own. I have a contract now in the USA with a publisher and a film company for 14 different titles. All stories on itself. In May this year Righter’s Mill Press, Princeton, comes with my novel HIM, After the UFO Crash and in the summer they will publish Dance of the Jester. Both books are also considered for film. And then they will publish 2 to 4 new books each year.
For children I love to write series. Alex and the Wolpertinger will be published in May this year – the first two books from a series of 30.
Outer Banks Publishing Group has published number one of the series Saladin the Wonder Horse, book two is ready for print.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I was only 18 when my first novel was published. And 16 when I write scripts for comics. It did not change my process of writing. I wrote fast, I still write fast. That first novel was written during a long weekend. 5000 copies sold.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I started writing stories at the age of seven. I was amazed by the fact that I could make all characters act the way I wanted them to do. That gave me a miraculous feeling of power.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
None. All books I ever wrote have been published.
What’s the best way to market your books?
Use all possibilities that the internet gives you. Never be lazy, take your time to look for new ways, new chances. The world is changing. The internet makes it possible for me to work with an agent in New Zealand and publishers in the USA. This is an amazing time. Facebook is important, when you are writing. And of course you need your own website.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I have a personal library containing about 3000 books. I read lots and lots non-fiction, about science, about the paranormal, about everything. And I am always able to find thing back, I know exactly in which book I can find what I am looking for. And the internet is very helpful when you want to do good research.
How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
As I told, I have been a copywriter once. I was only 20 then. When I quit, I became an adventurous writer, finding my way in the labyrinth of the publishing world. Writing commercial stuff under pseudonym, novels and children’s books under my own name, wrote hundreds of scripts for comic artists, articles for magazines, recorded albums etc.
How many hours a day do you write?
I am used to get up at half pas six and start working at half past eight, to about seven o’clock in the evening. And often I work till late and I also work in the weekends. I write children’s books and novels. More than often I write two books at the same time. Start writing at half past seven in the morning. All I need is one single idea – that is enough to start writing, I never know how it will end. There is a chaos in my head and I need to put an avalanche of words on the screen of my starts all over again and concentrate on writing new things. As a boy, I was, of course, not allowed to write to late at night. The bookkeeper of my father’s business knew I had that drive to write after midnight. He gave me a special old light bulb, that was used during the Second World War; lights were forbidden then, they could attract bombers. I used the bulb to write at night: a small beam shone down on my paper. Only was able to see it. It was exciting to write my stories in the dark. The old bookkeeper encouraged me to write my stories when I was still a kid…
Can you tell more about the new series Saladin the Wonder Horse?
Book 1: Saladin the Wonder Horse
Angie looks after the horses of Lord Baltimore.
It is a rough time in England, where Prince John sits temporarily on the throne of his brother Richard the Lionhearted.
The girl plunges into wild adventures when she tries to keep a colt out of the greedy hands of the prince. She meets a mysterious knight, who gives her his horse—Saladin, the black wonder horse.
With the two faithful animals Angie manages to reach the camp of Robin Hood, bringing him an important message.
Silver, the colt she saved, learns quickly from the clever Saladin.
The exciting adventures of Angie, Silver, and Saladin come to a head as the girl resolves to outsmart Prince John.
And of course she cannot achieve that without her special horses . . . and some very special friends.
Book 2: Saladin and Silver
Angie roams the country, that is reigned by the ambitious Prince John.
An encounter with a mysterious knight saddles her with an even mysterious horse: Saladin the wonder stallion. This horse reveals himself as the teacher of Silver, her own, silver colored horse. This way Silver becomes a wonder horse as well.
Angie has gone far away from Nottingham and the castle of the prince.
Of course she rides Silver. The beautiful horse is no longer a colt, hardly seems to feel the weight of the young girl and loves it to be together with her.
Again Angie meets the most odd people – a tinker, Joe and his bear Bruto and especially the spoiled Princess Wanda, daughter of Prince John, who is after her favorite horse! Angie has become an outlaw and a fugitive: she has to keep Silver out of the hands of the greedy princess!
Book 3: Silver and the Ghost Horse
Again Angie and her wonder horse Silver plunge into the most dangerous adventures. It all starts, when a sly councilor and a giant soldier decide to destroy the camp of Robin Hood. No one knows where to find that camp of Robin and his men. No one, except for… Angie! Soon everyone is looking for her and things don’t look good for the girl. But she can count on the help of Silver and Saladin and of her friend Joe and his bear Bruto. And another party is interested in Angie and Silver! A strange man, who calls himself Sultan! And where do these mysterious ghost horses come from? Angie and her horse stay tough. For together they are strong, together they stand tall in a land full of enemies and problems…
Book 4: The Jester of Nottingham
Prince John reigns over England, now his brother Richard Lionheart is not there. He exploits the people and wears Richard’s crown. Everyone fears this mean prince. Except for men like Robin Hood and… girls like Angie!
Angie roams the country on the back of her wonder horse Silver and comes across the most odd persons. She runs into knight Rush and his little son Arthur, she meets a merry rat catcher en returns to the camp of Robin Hood. In the meantime Prince John organizes an election: the man who becomes the Jester of Nottingham, is allowed to reign the country for one week. He does not know that King Richard has set foot on English ground again! Angela knows where she can find the king and looks him up with Silver and the mighty Saladin…
And the king can use the help of Angie and her wonder horses!
The novels All-Father and Wolf Tears gave him the name of the Dutch Stephen King. Koos was invited by Bill Thompson, the editor of the first Stephen King and John Grisham books. In New York's Empire State Building they polished one of his best and most intellectual books: Dance of the Jester (it will be published this summer by Righter's Mill Press, Princeton, USA.
Learn more about Koos here ==> https://koosverkaik.com
Get the copy of his book : https://amzn.to/2HRCsHo
Koos Verkaik Music: https://soundcloud.com/user-224641692
Koos Verkaik Books: https://readwatchandthink.wordpress.com/tag/koos-verkaik/
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