Dutch bestseller author Koos Verkaik is a phenomenon, one of the hardest working writers of this time. He published over 70 different titles and still produces novel after novel.
Pharos Books in New Delhi recently contracted him for many, many titles; they will publish his remarkable novels and his series of children’s books in English, Hindi, Spanish, French and even Japanese…
A great opportunity for an author!
High time to ask Koos Verkaik a number of questions…
You started writing as a seven years old kid and published your first novel when you was only 18 years old. Where does that drive come from?
When you are so young, you hardly realize what you are doing or why you are doing it; I just took up a pencil and started to write. Soon I used the different typewriters in the offices of my father’s company and took one with me during the weekends. It came naturally. Before I published that novel, I also wrote scripts for a comic that was published in a magazine; three pages per week.
When I was 19, I started working for an advertising agency. The owner was a grumpy ex heavy weight boxer. So you might say that I learnt to write smart texts the hard way…
A year later I had an argument with him and went my own way – never had another boss in my entire life. Later I met this remarkable man again and then we could get along together in a much better way…
So you started to work for yourself. Must not have been easy.
No. But it was my own choice. The editor-in-chief of a dozen magazines asked me to come and work for him as his right hand. I could work half my time to write comic scripts. For well-known artists. But I said no. I was young and full of hope, but of course a lot of trouble came my way. Eventually things turned out the right way…
You live in The Netherlands. But soon you also started publishing in the USA.
Yes, I write in Dutch and then translate into English.
Two novels were very dear to me; All-Father and Wolf Tears, published by the prestigious De Arbeiderspers in Amsterdam.
I started with these two titles to get aground in the USA.
Mr. Bill Thompson, the editor the early work of both Stephen King and John Grisham, invited me to New York.
I found different publishers in the USA for my work and learnt a lot by talking to publishers, editors and literary agents.
Of course they always asks for writers with a personal style and I could offer them my specialty: Magic, Mystery and Adventure.
And they are always interested in your sales and fortunately I could tell them that one of my series of children’s books had sold over 450,000 copies – in The Netherlands alone!
And then Pharos Books from India came on your path…
Right! A wonderful story. I call it my New Delhi Connection and Pharos Books turned out to be the most generous publisher I evet met.
It started with Mr. Mahip Bhatia approaching me.
He had found me on the internet and was interested in publishing my work.
I had no idea where this was going to, but I am always in for new adventures.
So I made a simple deal with him. I gave him the manuscript of a children’s book, The Sandman Stories, published before in The Netherlands.
I said: “If you make a nice paperback of this, I have much more material for you.”
Guess what? He sent me a contract. The book came out a few weeks later, printed in English and Hindi!
Great! And funny at the same time. On the cover of the Hindi edition I can’t even read my own name…
So they contracted you for more books…
Contract after contract! Incredible! For translations into Hindi, English, Spanish, French, Japanese… Contracts for all my novels and for my series of children’s books Saladin the Wonder Horse and Alex and The Wolpertinger.
Mahip Bhatia turned out to be a serious man and I also started to work together with the sympathetic Mrs. Neeharika Lodhi, the editor-in-chief.
Pharos Books – the New Delhi Connection – took me on the road to success and adventure.
I have always been a happy writer, but you will understand that my smile became even brighter since I signed this pile of contracts.
Mention some titles, Koos…
Well, I already talked about the series of children’s books.
Saladin the Wonder Horse contains 4 different titles and they published them all.
Alex and The Wolpertinger is very dear to me. They already published 7 titles and will come up with many more.
You can see a trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKRWAIrV48k
And then my novels!
All-Father and Wolf Tears, of course. And Neanderthal Dreams, Nickel Dime Boulevard, Legio, The Nibelung Gold, Heavenly Vision, Mortals and Gods… and many, many new titles will follow.
So it all went very easy for you…
That is so right. First of all, Pharos Books takes care of everything – translations, covers, editing, you name it. They pay full attention to my work and that means the world to me.
And there is more.
I am represented by a wonderful agent, Mr. Emerantia Antonia Parnall-Gilbert, from the Gilbert Literary Agency.
And Pharos also wanted to publish some of my titles in English, exclusively for the Indian market – titles that are also published in the USA.
And the USA publishers were very nice to me and said yes: Outer Banks Publishing Group signed special contracts to make this all possible and so did Angry Eagle Publishing.
They gave all way for me to reach my goals and I am very grateful for that.
Has everyone been so nice to you during your career?
Haha! No, of course not. I had contracts for my books for the film industry. They treated me like a rookie and every time I asked a serious questions, they answered somewhat like this: “You don’t know how the business works…” Finally they got broke.
More than often a contract turns out to be worth nothing at all.
It is the person behind the contracts who can make it worthwhile of make it end in a bad way.
And there were more sad things.
I had good contracts with a publishing company in Canada. The published passed away. She was a wonderful person, I lost a good friend. A company in Texas, that published many of my books, had to close the doors.
It is a fact that a writer more than often stumbles and falls and has to get up again. It is all part of the game and everyone knows I will always remain smiling.
Up to success now!
You bet! I write every day, I still have a lot to tell.
New Magic, Mystery and Aventure Novels and new children’s books.
I thank all the good people at Pharos Books for making this all possible.