Introducing the award winning Belgian/Flemish writer, Robert Van Laerhoven


As readers if you have never heard of him before, it’s not really surprising. Until now, few of his books have appeared in the English language. Usually they are published in Dutch and French, only available in paperback and hard cover. Hopefully that will change in the not too distant future. Like all of us, all he wants is to ensure his books are read by the widest audience possible.

Bob, as he prefers to be called, is an award winning Belgian/Flemish writer. I’ve known him for years. So far he has written more than thirty books. Among the awards he has won is the much coveted Hercule Poirot Prize for his crime novel Baudelair’s Revenge, published in 2007, (paper and hard cover) set in Paris in the eighteen seventies.

A few days ago he contacted me via chat on Facebook to ask if I would be willing to participate in a project to our mutual benefit. On Saturday he sent me an email explaining exactly what he had in mind.

In essence, if I was prepared to read and review the English language version of his collection of short stories Dangerous Obsessions, he would like to do the same for one of mine. Needless to say I readily agreed. So I suggested that for his part he read and review my novella Cataclysm published in 2014. He emailed me to say he had ordered the paperback version yesterday (Sunday).

Normally this is an arrangement that I would not enter into. But Bob is such a likeable character, it would be churlish of me to refuse. So why not oblige him?

He offered me a link to a free PDF version of the collection to read. But, if I’m going to fully support his wanting to break into the fastest growing English language literary market – eBooks, particularly in the USA, I’m going to do it properly. So I started as I mean to go on by purchasing a Kindle copy.

He went to the expense of having the collection translated by Bryan Doyle here in the UK – accredited by the Flemish Fund for Literature. Bob asked that I review it on Amazon and Goodreads. I told him that I’m more than happy to place a review on Amazon, but not Goodreads, explaining that the latter is still riddled with author hating trolls.

So from now on my evenings will be taken up with reading through the short stories in the collection. The following link is for the interview with him that his US publisher Anaphora Literary Press produced – Bob’s Interview.

If this writer who’s first language is English can’t support another who is more comfortable writing in Flemish, what is the world coming too?

PS – why not join me in helping Bob out. Get your Kindle copy by clicking on the Dangerous Obsessions link, or go to the Amazon site you usually use. Then read and review it. Come on folks, let’s help a fellow writer.

PPS – My fellow bloggers, you can all do your bit by reblogging this post. Bob’s name and his books need to become known to the entire English speaking world.

PPPS – before anyone thinks of pointing out the obvious yet again – I only use links in my posts. Why? Because the majority of my readers live there. Ok?