“… embraces modern development and warns against ancient magic that never dies, waiting for the right time to manifest itself.” Koos Verkaik
Good evening sir. This is Personality Friday With Mimi. Can we meet you?
I am Koos Verkaik.
Koos Verkaik is one of the hardest working authors today; 60 different titles under his own name, even more than 60 under pseudonym! He a true master of the genre: Magic, Mystery and Adventure!
For Outer Banks Publishing Group, he wrote the intriguing novels Heavenly Vision and The Nibelung Gold, plus the series of children’s books Saladin the Wonder Horse and Alex and The Wolpertinger.
Now Outer Banks Publishing Group comes up with his new novel, the sensational, breathtaking Nicolaes Nimbus; high tech science vs ancient magic.
What brought about your rescent book “Nicolaes Nimbus” ?
Scientists and wealthy owners of high-tech companies have pumped millions of dollars into the search for immortality. But does the future look bright or is there disaster waiting behind the horizon of time? The world is getting more complicated by the day, but who’s actually in charge?
A group of scientists in Germany have unmasked a cheating visionary. An intriguing phenomenon from the past turns up.
Who is Nicolaes Nimbus? Is he an immortal man of flesh and blood from our ancient past? The hunt is on! The secret is priceless! Who is in control, the scientists or the mystic? The intriguing novel Nicolaes Nimbus embraces modern developments… and warns against ancient magic that never dies, waiting for the right time to manifest itself.
Modern development and ancient magic that never dies?
So, it’s a book that had to be written for this day and age?
Right. We live in a very interesting time, with a period of magic and superstition behind us and a period of unknown technical progress in front of us. You might say that we live in an interim. Allow me to tell you the facts in short lines:
We see the world through the filter of our brain – brainstem, midbrain, frontal lobe.
As human beings we are still in evolution and we cannot imagine how we will see our world after our frontal lobe has grown more and more.
Scientifically intervention will make us almost immortal, hyper intelligent and totally different from what we are now.
Today we stand with one leg in the past (the magic and superstition I mentioned) and one leg in the future (longing for all possibilities that makes us live healthy and strong for ages).
Magic is still around us and more than often we are afraid of the future, of what eventually will happen to the human race.
That is what Nicolaes Nimbus is about; ancient magic vs high tech science!
So, you studied both the past and the future for this novel?
Oh yes! I always do a lot of research before I start working on a new novel. I am a collector of books about history, magic, strange phenomena, science, etc. There are over 2000 different books in my workroom and I know exactly where to find the facts I need for new novels. For Nicolaes Nimbus, I read a pile of non-fiction books. To mention some: Religion and the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas, almost 800 pages of stunning information; The Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins; What We Cannot Know, Explorations on the Edge of Knowledge by Marcus de Sautoy and of course the great works of Yuval Noah Harari; From Animals into Gods, and Homo Deus. And I admire the German author Hoimar von Ditfurth, who explained about the universe, about the developing of the human brain and about the way life became possible on our planet.
Heavy stuff – but your books are so easy to read…
That is right. You can read my books as pure entertainment. On the other hand, you can read between the lines and discover interesting thoughts. My fiction is easy to read. I take you by the hand and lead you through my odd worlds of fantasy. All my work is pure adventure.
Writers’ charm! Amazing!
Have you written about magic and science before?
Many times before. I wrote my first novel at the age of 18 and it was published right away. It was about a young man who offered his brain to build an intelligent starship. The main character, Adolar (also the title of the novel), said no to this weird proposal from the scientists, but his friend and colleague Jit said yes. More than often I have performed tricks with the human brain in my books.
So, you started very early as a writer. And it is said that you never had a writer’s block…
I was the youngest comic writer in Europe at the age of 16. Then, started to write novels. And I worked as a copywriter for a big agency. Always working, every day. I write in Dutch and then translate into English. Nicolaes Nimbus was edited by Mr. Dennis De Rose of Moneysaver Editing.
Can you tell us more about Nicolaes Nimbus?
One of the main characters is Rein Vulpes, a young master painter from Rotterdam:
He always made use of his stage name, derived from Vulpes vulpes, the Latin name for fox. His first name was real and he felt a strong affinity to Reinaert, the fox from medieval Europe portrayed in adventurous animal stories as a very sly rascal who is always one step ahead of the others. Rein always managed to push things his way, he knew how to lead everyone up the garden path, how to set a trap for other animals, from cat to dog, from badger to hare and even the strong wolf, the bear and the royal lion. He knew many lines from poems about the fox and every now and then, when the situation asked for it, he recited:
“Then hear me, noble gentlemen, I will be happy to inform you how I, innocent like the hares, came to my first tricks and snares…”
Rein Vulpes was given to laughter, he was pliable, but was not to be trifled with and he was used to going his own way. He lived from day-to-day with the illusion that he owned the town; he diminished all people around him to mere walkers-on in a play that was especially written for him.
“And when the curtain falls, when I breathe my last, it is all over and done – then nothing exists anymore.”
You come up with odd, colorful characters more than often. It has become a Koos Verkaik trademark.
Nicolaes Nimbus is full of strange people. Scientists and charlatans, for instance. And then there is, of course, Nicolaes Nimbus himself, a most mysterious figure from the past, a sorcerer, a magician – but no one knows if he actually exists; is he a saga figure or is he still alive, is he immortal?
For that is what it is all about in this novel – the search for immortality. A group of extremely clever and rich German scientists hope to live forever. They search for different possibilities to prolong life and spend lots of money to reach their goal. Then they hear about that wizard who was supposed to have lived ages ago – Nicolas Nimbus. If Nicolaes Nimbus is still alive and has found the secret of immortality via magical ways, the scientists want to find him – and examine him in their labs!
They need master painter Rein Vulpes to set a trap for Nicolaes Nimbus.
And then high tech science meets ancient magic…
Yes, this book had to be written… before magic has completely vanished from our societies.
Here we stand, halfway the ladder to perfection, with a brain that has not completely developed, the earthly past beneath us, the heavenly future high above us…
What do you do aside writing?
I play guitar and make my own songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enpHqcvcBZQ
What would you advise an upcoming writer do?
Actually, advise should not be necessary. If you are convinced that you will become a writer, then let nothing stop you and just go ahead. Be sure to read both literature and non-fiction and try to write a few lines every day. It is not an easy job. Send your work out to publishers and literary agents, ask their advice. Especially a good literary agent can help a starting author further.
Ultimately, what advise would you give writers scared of publishing a book due to fear of being accepted?
In that case you are not a writer. As an author you have to take risks. “Stay out of the kitchen, if you can’t stand the heat.” It’s as simple as that.
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