Bob Van Laerhoven – Stories of Inspiration anthology

Bob Van Laerhoven has been previously featured several times on Reading Recommendations. He’s here now to tell us of him inclusion in a new anthology of mystery writers.

Stories of Inspiration: Mystery Fiction Edition
mystery fiction writers trace their journeys from starting point to finished work

Volume 1
edited by Suzanne Fox
Published by Stories of You Books
Genre: Anthology of non-fiction

Where do works of mystery fiction find their starting points? How are those seeds, sources and inspirations transformed into a well crafted, compelling story? Why is murder such an enduring starting point for fiction? How do elements such as setting, period and milieu help drive and define mystery writers?

Collecting insights from both established authors and new voices and reflecting mystery moods from the cozy to the chilling, Stories of Inspiration: Mystery Fiction Edition charts the often surprising journey from an original point of departure to a finished mystery novel.

Illuminating the writing of exceptional authors, celebrating one of fiction’s most long- and deeply loved genres, and illuminating the nature of the creative process itself, Stories of Inspiration: Mystery Fiction Edition will appeal to readers of literature and fiction, lovers of mystery, and writers seeking inspiration for their own work.

Contributors include:
Diana Bretherick, Frances Brody, Elizabeth Buhmann, Nancy J. Cohen, Christine Goff, Steven Gore, Erin Hart, Linda Hengerer, James Tate Hill. Andrew Hughes, D.E. Ireland, J. Sydney Jones, M.R.C. Kasasian, Jennifer Kincheloe, Mary Lawrence, John Mackie, ​Edith Maxwell, Grant McKenzie, Camille Minichino, Joe Moore & Lynn Sholes, Toby Neal, Chris Nickson, Ann Parker, Eliot Pattison, Michael Ransom, Holly Robinson, Barbara Ross, Joanna Campbell Slan, Maggie Toussaint, Wendy Tyson, Bob van Laerhoven, Tina Whittle, Michael Wiley, Max Wirestone, Michael Zolezzi.

Bob Van Laerhoven says: I’m honored to have been invited to contribute, as the only Belgian author, to this American anthology of essays on writing mysteries, from inspiration to the final result.

Where to purchase:
Amazon
Stories of You Books

Bob Van Laerhoven – update and a special offer

Belgian author, Bob Van Laerhoven, has returned to Reading Recommendations to tell us of a new English translation edition of his novel, Baudelaire’s Revenge, and a special price for the eBook at Amazon for the rest of December.

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Baudelaire’s Revenge: A Novel
by Bob Van Laerhoven
Translated by Brian Doyle
Published in English by Pegasus Books
Genre: Fiction – mystery, thriller, suspense

Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Best Crime Novel – Winner of the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category Fiction: mystery/suspense

Paris police commissioner Paul Lefèvre, robust and hirsute, hardly seems like a poetry lover. Nonetheless, he instantly recognizes the messages accompanying murder victims killed in flamboyant ways as excerpts from poems by the scandalous, recently deceased poet Baudelaire. Is this gruesomely inventive serial killer exacting revenge on Baudelaire’s enemies? Paris is in an uproar in 1870. The Franco-Prussian War is on full boil, the poor are hungry and insurrectional, and the decadent rich are partying. As Lefèvre and longtime comrade Inspector Bernard Bouveroux—they served together as soldiers in Algiers—seek to stop this diabolical, perhaps otherwordly serial killer, the philosophical Lefèvre is haunted by traumatic memories of war and a childhood abomination. He is also longing for his sharp-witted beloved, the now-missing prostitute Claire de la Lune. In this superbly crafted Hercule Poirot Prize–winning mystery, Belgian writer Van Laerhoven vividly and astutely evokes a city under siege and keenly portrays the complex and controversial Baudelaire. But he also constructs a wildly convoluted and sexually explicit gothic tale of monstrous urges and violently broken taboos.

Some great news: Amazon has selected BAUDELAIRE’S REVENGE for their Kindle 100 promotion for the month of December. From 12/1 to 12/31, it will have a promotional price of $0.99, and it will receive featured placement on the Monthly Kindle Deals page and in Amazon merchandising materials. (Availability of this special may be limited to North America.)

Amazon Canada

Bob Van Laerhoven – update on a new story

My favourite Flemish author, Bob van Laerhoven, returns to Reading Recommendations with news of his participation in a new collection of short stories, now available in English.

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After the French publication of the collection of short stories Bruxelles Noir, the English version, Brussels Noir, is now published in the States by Akashic Books in their famous Noir-series.

The collection shall also be published beginning of next year in Poland by Editions Claroscuro.

I’m the only Flemish author in the collection. My colleagues are all Walloons from the French-speaking part of Belgium.

I wrote Paint it, Black, my contribution, originally in English.

Best wishes,
Bob Van Laerhoven-Belgium

Where to purchase:
Akashic Books

Bob Van Laerhoven

I discovered the writing of Bob Van Laerhoven recently when Jack Eason promoted his longtime friend. I took particular notice of this author, because he is Flemish-Belgian, just like my grandparents and mother who emigrated to Canada from Belgium in 1919. (I wrote about my grandfather previously on my other blog.) Bob has been a pleasure to work with in preparing this promotion post and I’m very pleased to now present to you “a fellow Belgian”!

C Studio Schrever Bob Van Laerhoven

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Dangerous Obsessions, published by the Anaphora Literary Press, is a collection of short stories, set in different countries and time-slots. It’s a bit difficult to describe the genre. In general, I try to write cross-over between literature and the mystery genre, but in this collection the “connecting factor” is that all the stories, except one, take place in war-zones. They are not tales of pure mystery. Let’s just say that the stories are “noir” and that I try to write in a style that is appropriate for the “mood” in each story. I’m a novelist at heart, I don’t write many short stories, but I consider them an excellent introduction to my theme(s) and style(s). My novel Baudelaire’s Revenge, published by Pegasus Books in 2014 in hardcover, and in April of this year in paperback, has stirred up a lot of response in the USA. Some find the novel “controversial” and I take that as a compliment because Charles Baudelaire, the main subject of the novel, was controversial in his time, the 19th century, too.

It’s not easy for an author from a small language community – Flanders has 5 million people, to venture into the vast English-reading market. Therefore I’m happy with this fast “follow up” on Baudelaire’s Revenge with Dangerous Obsessions while the last details in the translation of Return to Hiroshima, my second English-translated novel, are being completed.

Quick description: I chose for variety in Dangerous Obsessions: different settings and different styles. I was a travel writer in conflict-zones from 1990 till the end of 2003 and echoes of my experiences trickle through these confronting tales, set in civil war-torn Algeria in the fifties, in a gypsy-populated concentration camp during WWII, in a Peruvian border-town where stealing is a deadly art, in Liberia during the civil war in the nineties, and in Belgian Congo during the bloody uproar in the sixties.

Laerhoven - Front Cover - Dangerous

Brief biography:
A fulltime Belgian/Flemish author, I made my debut as a novelist in 1985 with the novel Nachtspel (Night Game) and quickly became known in Flanders for my ‘un-Flemish’ style and my kaleidoscopic novels in which the fate of the individual is closely related to broad social transformations. I became a full-time author in 1991. As a freelance travel writer I explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from 1990 to 2003: Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Lebanon, Mozambique, Burundi… to name but a few.

During the Bosnian war I spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later I was working for MSF – Doctors without frontiers – in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings. At that moment the refugees arrived from the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. I was the first writer from the Low Countries who had the opportunity to speak with the refugees. These conversations resulted in a travel book: Srebrenica – getuigen van massamoord (Srebrenica. Testimony to a Mass Murder). The book denounces the murder and torture of the Muslim population of this Bosnian-Serbian enclave and is based on first-hand testimonies. I concluded that mass murders took place, a notion that was questioned at the time but later was proven accurate.

In 2007 I won the Hercule Poirot Prize for the best mystery novel of the year with De wraak van Baudelaire. In 2013, the French translation La Vengeance de Baudelaire was published in France and in Canada. The English translation, Baudelaire’s Revenge, was published in the US by Pegasus Books in 2014. Also in 2014 came the publication in France and in Canada of Le Mensonge d’Alejandro (Alejandro’s Lie), a second novel in French translation. Baudelaire’s Revenge won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “mystery/suspense”. Currently, the English translation of Terug naar Hiroshima – Return to Hiroshima is almost finished. A French translation is in the making. In April 2015, The Anaphora Literary Press released the collection of short stories Dangerous Obsessions in paperback and in e-book.

Links to buy Bob’s book:
Amazon: “Dangerous Obsessions” Kindle
Amazon: “Dangerous Obsessions” paperback
Amazon: Baudelaire’s Revenge hardcover
Amazon: Baudelaire’s Revenge paperback
B&N hardcover
B&N e-book
IndieBound

Bob’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Goodreads
3D-“Parisian” Inkflash-room for Baudelaire’s Revenge and Dangerous Obsessions

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new novel in Dutch (I have spent my advance already some months ago, so my Dutch publisher is frowning and yelling that there is also a writer’s life outside being translated and published abroad and that I must not forget the country in which I was born. The novel is set in Berlin in 1922. Paul Van Ostaijen, a famous Flemish avant-garde poet, is one of the main characters. This WIP is a mix of a literary novel, a mystery with a grim social background, and an unusual love story. I don’t have a title as yet, but luckily I have progressed during the past two months to roughly two thirds of the novel. But there is still a lot of work ahead. Usually, I write 3 to 4 versions before I’m satisfied…

Bob’s reading recommendation:
The very elegant Italian author Curzio Malaparte with his novel “De Huid” (The Skin). This is a master stylist who writes phenomenally about WWII. His novels are really fascinating.