donderdag 8 mei 2014

Een reis naar de plekken in De Jongen Uit Het Woud (in English)

Fifteen years ago, I lived and studied in Salzburg. That's why I chose this beautiful town as the setting for one of my books. However, I hadn't been back to Salzburg ever since writing The Boy From The Woods, so it was high time to revisit all those places I'd used in my story and see if they were like I remembered them!

Salzburg 2014 (with my sister Marije, who proofreads all my books!)

The first thing we did was walk around town. Quite a lot of the story happens in the Old Town (or Altstadt, in German) of Salzburg, so walk around with me.

The river Salzach that flows through Salzburg and features in the story quite a lot, and the castle up on the mountain overlooking the town

Höllrigl, the bookstore where Julia works, outside and inside - plus the loading/unloading quadrangle where she takes a cigarette break with Michael after their kiss. The real Höllrigl employees were all giving me some weird looks when I was taking pictures of this patio :P

O'Malleys, the pub where Julia hangs out with her friends, outside and inside.

Florian's house is in the left picture, and Michael's house bordering on the river is the middle house in the right picture. :)

The front of Mirabell Gardens, overlooking the town and castle, and the quieter woodland part where Julia goes on a real date with Michael for the first time.

After strolling around town, it was time to take the bus to Birkensiedlung, where Julia and Thorsten live. Of course, this is also where Julia's forest is. :)

Thorsten's house, front and back.

Julia's house. (this is where I used to live)

The main trail leading into the forest, and one of the oak trees in the woods.

... and this is me, going off-track to venture into the woods, just like Julia. :)

It was a wonderful, inspiring trip! If you've never visited Salzburg, Austria before, I suggest you go ASAP :) Lots of friendly people, good food, and almost everybody speaks English.

donderdag 1 mei 2014

Hij is er bijna...

De Jongen Uit Het Woud komt deze maand uit! Als je het boek in de webshop van koopt, krijg je er gratis een mooie ketting met eikenblaadjes bij. Tijdens het lezen van het boek wordt vanzelf duidelijk waarom eiken belangrijk zijn in het verhaal. Wil je weten wanneer het eenmaal verkrijgbaar is, schrijf je dan in voor mijn mailinglijst (rechtsboven op deze pagina te vinden) en dan krijg je bericht!

Binnenkort komt hier ook een fotoreportage van mijn bezoek aan Salzburg (waar het verhaal zich afspeelt), dus houd mijn site in de gaten!

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A trip to a world I have written and dreamed about

Every writer knows that it is best to write what you know. And yet, I ignored that pearl of sacred wisdom when I started work on my first full novel Shadow of Time three years ago, because I decided to set it on the Navajo Reservation - a place I had never visited.

A Carefully Planned Road Trip

My husband and I saved up for a full year before setting out for the US West Coast. My main goal during our road trip was to make it to Navajo Nation. I'd written about Antelope Canyon, the town of Page, Lake Powell, Lone Rock Beach, Canyon de Chelly, as well as a couple of villages that didn't even really exist. The villages of St Mary's Port and Naabi'aani were invented by me; however, I knew exactly where they were supposed to be on the map.

Time For Some Visuals!

People who've already read the book know that St Mary's Port is close to the beach of Lake Powell, between Page and Wahweap. The actual place is completely empty, but there's plenty of space to build a village, in my humble opinion! :)

In 'Shadow of Time', the two main characters go on their first date in this slot canyon: Antelope Canyon. I used a picture of this canyon on the first English edition of the book, and Antelope Canyon is still on the front cover of the Dutch and Chinese edition. Visiting this place and being able to get in there before the hordes of tourists showed up was truly majestic.

In Chapter 1, Hannah runs into Josh at a gas station without realizing it's him (she knew him as a young boy). I imagined the station to be next to South Lake Powell Boulevard, but alas, there was no gas station... however, there is a square spot of soil that LOOKS like they're going to build something there, so there might be one in the future!

A pivotal moment in the book comes when Josh tells Hannah his secret. They are sitting right here, on Lone Rock Beach, when he tells her his story.

For the historical flashbacks in the book, I used the location of Canyon de Chelly. This is what the canyon looked like at seven o'clock in the morning, just as the sun was rising. Visiting this place was one of the highlights of the vacation for me.

And this is Spider Rock. In the book, Hannah keeps having nightmares about the rock plateau overlooking this part of the canyon. Why? If you haven't read Shadow of Time yet, I suggest you should! :)