I have been many things, like a computer salesman, a freelance journalist, a spokesperson, chief editor of a press agency, a travel guide and a teacher. I was born and raised in Belgium, a tiny country in the center of Western Europe.
In the nineties I traveled quite a bit. I was intrigued by Che Guevara's legacy and the revolutionary movements of the age, so I visited the Sandinist capital Managua in Nicaragua, traveled around Cuba and became a keen reader of Subcommander Marcos' writings of the Zapatist movement in southern Mexico. At the same time one of my favorite writers was Gioconda Belli, who managed to grasp the romanticism in revolutionary movements as no one else could. If you want to know what other books I like, I've published my library online on LibraryThing.com.
During my travels, I also met the late King Hussein at the edge of the Jordanian plateau, overlooking the Dead Sea in the distance. He didn't say much of any significance but he gave me an autograph in my notebook. When crossing the bridge that bears his name, back from Israel and the occupied West Bank to Jordan a few weeks later, I thought back about the old man and his country I was about to enter again. I described the border post, where the difference between Israel and it's closest neighbor is so apparent, later in my book Golem.
Today I live in harbor city Antwerp with my wife and three kids, and I work for an environmental ngo. Everyday I take a train from Antwerp (boasting the most beautiful station in the world, according to Mashable) to Brussels. The ride takes about 50 minutes, enough to write a couple of pages of a new novel. Train rides are ideal for writing, especially in the company of good music, say Bel Canto, In Flanders Fields, Idan Raichel, or Sting's 'If on a winter's night'. The passing of the landscape never falters to induce my imagination. The destination is my deadline and pushes the words to pour out and construct the world I'm working on. The thrill of carving out a character bit by bit and watch the story-line develop through their doing makes it worth any ride.
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