A new decade, a new start. With tremendous pride and happiness I can announce that I signed a two-book dream deal with Meulenhoff Boekerij, my new Dutch publishing house. A long-cherished dream to be working with fantastic editor/publisher and long-time friend Hajnalka Bata has come true. I cannot wait to join forces, passion and ambition with my newfound family, and present to you the first of the new novels within the coming year. Thank you Maaike LeNoble, Peter van den Bogaert, Paloma Sanchez and Hajnalka for your trust, and for welcoming me with such open and convincing arms!
At the same time, it is with a heavy heart that I’m saying goodbye to Luitingh-Sijthoff.
I wanted to be published with Luitingh-Sijthoff since I was eleven years old. They published all my childhood heroes in their pocket line: Stephen King, Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Dan Simmons, Dean Koontz. As a kid, lurking at all their titles in our local bookstore, I told myself: ‘When I grow up, I want my own books to be published with them.’ Yes, I was that kind of kid.
It happened, and it wasn’t just good – it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was twenty-two when Luitingh-Sijthoff’s publisher Jacques Post picked up my second novel at a signing, read it, and emailed me four months later: ‘Do you happen to be looking for a new publisher?’ Did I ever.
Jacques became my mentor. He taught me everything I know about storytelling. He introduced me to books that blew my mind away. And he made me a better writer. He published my third and fourth novel, and then told me, after listening to my idea for HEX, that if done right, it could become a modern classic. Jacques encouraged me to always dig deeper, explore beyond borders, and improve. Then he retired. And with him, his expertise in a genre that I considered mine.
By then, Luitingh-Sijthoff was run by Geneviève Waldmann, who brought a riveting new energy and know-how to the company, and who changed many things for the good. When she moved on, Febe van de Wardt took her place with unrelenting passion. I adore both of them, personally and professionally. Yet even though they both went to all ends for me, for which I am eternally grateful, the void that Jacques left as an editor and publisher was never closed in a way I personally felt confident with. And more: the house evolved. None of my childhood heroes are still with them. I do not blame anyone for this. I merely say that in recent years, it was harder and harder for me to recognize my own voice in their midst. And thus came the time to move on.
Luitingh-Sijthoff and I still cherish a warm bond, and they will continue to exploit my existing work. Starting late this spring with an AWESOME new mid-price edition of Echo! (More on that later). For now I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Febe, Geneviève, Annelies, Tom, Maarten, Yvonne, Kristel, Marijn, Jan, Tonny, Ilona, Jessica, Saskia, Romany and everyone else for your incredible and passionate hard work on HEX and Echo – book and campaign – and for giving me the opportunities you have given me. A special shout-out to Jill Tio, the best person in pr I’ve ever worked with, and a dear friend too.
Every new start is scary. But this one isn’t, because I know it’s the right choice. Still, a choice I couldn’t have made without Marianne Schönbach, my fabulous Dutch agent, who has been rocking with me all the way. Marianne, even if you know how incredible you are, I still wanted to tell you again.