About Sjoerd

33, Male, Amsterdam.

How’s that?

Not enough?

Ok, how’s this:

When I was only nine year old,
I realized that life would always be dominated by unwanted obligations.

 

I used different words, but remember thinking exactly that, as I stood on my schoolyard.

Life would only get worse as it progressed.

I had hated school and despised homework, because it took me away from the time with friends and the worlds in my mind, books, toys and cartoons.

Only those worlds seemed worth it.

♫ teacher, leave those kids alone! ♫

This is how school and life felt:                                       a conveyor belt into a hopeless grind

The world I was forced to live in only had ever more homework, more things that I had to do.
And those existed only to prepare me for a job that I didn’t want.

Nothing changed, so I trudgeoned on in school, while escaping into books, cartoons and fantasy as much as I could.

 

When I was 18, we were all made to read around twenty-five books from a pre-selected list.

Instead of adventures and hope, these books all felt like they were written by depressed adults, reflecting on their past and what was wrong with life.

And every book had to be analysed following the system the school dictated.

When school even started to mold the way I experienced books, I stopped reading.

I don’t doubt they meant well, but they corrupted my one escape into just another tool, to turn me into another worker-drone.

Yet now I’m (obnoxiously) positive and goal-oriented.
What happened?

I slowly realized that feeling like this was killing me. I was surviving, not living.

So, for the first time in my life, I stepped off the conveyor belt.
I took chances.

Adventures or bust.

 

On my first real adventure, I met the one who would change everything

Me and G

G and I

I was ready to learn,
to turn my life into an adventure when I went abroad alone for the first time in my Life.

That’s where I met G (no, “G” is not a privacy thing, that’s what she goes by).

Dating first, then a long-distance relationship and traveling the world, then a break-up (ok, several) and we are now friends and soulmates.

And generally at least an ocean apart.

 

At 33, my resume looks like it was typed by a mad-man…

On a mountain course

Leading a mountain course as an outdoor guide

Among other things, I’ve been an…

  • Outdoor guide (experiential education) for youth in the mountains and forests of Germany
  • Waiter in an Indian restaurant in New Zealand
  • Supervisor of juvenile convicts in the backwoods of Arizona
  • Tour-guide at a zoo and rescue center for Kiwi birds
  • Caretaker at a center for severely mentally disabled people (the poop throwing, hair pulling and biting kind)
  • Oh, and I’ve been a high school English teacher, data-entry specialist, civil servant in two continents and have made ends meet by cleaning office buildings. But those were less fun.

 

All this has lead to a wild mix of experience to inspire my stories…

I’ve:

  • worked with actual princes as well as meth-heads who hear voices;
  • changed diapers on a toothless midget;
  • heard humpback whales sing underwater in Hawai’i;
  • seen a 12-year-old pupil whip out a can of beer in a high-school classroom;
  • learned Spanish on the beaches of Ecuador (five languages and counting!);
  • been in a room with parrot of which only 120 total remain in the world;
  • was taught how to make fire from a sad, detained Navajo boy;
  • had to remove ticks from places you really don’t want to know;
  • as well as been refused a cashier job at KFC for lack of experience (although I already had one MA then and now have two);
  • and I’ve had to connect with somber, disillusioned boys who had turned into neo-fascists,
  • but also with incredibly talented, optimistic and intelligent muslim girls in hajib headscarves.

 

And so I write.
I write about my experiences.
And I write novels in styles and genres as varied as my life.

 

Often, I write about people who have to step out into extraordinary circumstances to achieve what the world needs.
And about the consequences of choosing –  or not choosing.

3DThis can be an American teacher finding himself traveling the world, and his life frequently in danger.

As he comes into the service of the Viscountess Maynar-Tudor.

A brilliant, yet almost intolerably haughty detective who has a lust for bizarre and seemingly impossible crimes.

Which is what happens in my Viscountess mystery/thriller series.

 

Anna's Frog 3D CoverOr it comes in the form of a socially awkward college student, desperate to meet girls – which he sees as the last step into overcoming his past depression.

But he lives in the very near future, where the world reacts in fearful agression against a tiny minority of its people – who seem to develop special abilities for no reason.

Then his childhood best friend sends him a package containing a curious stuffed frog from their youth.

He finds out he must choose between extraordinarily gifted people such as his friend, and his chance at a normal life.

All this in the upcoming Anna’s Frog science fiction/fantasy series.

That’s where you find me now.
If you need me, I’ll be writing- but feel free to say hi!

I love hearing from readers, fellow-travelers and basically anyone who’s interesting. 

Thanks!

Sjoerd