Bob van Laerhoven is a fulltime professional Belgian/Flemish author. His novel “Baudelaire’s Revenge” - winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize and the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “mystery/suspense” - was published in hardcover by Pegasus Books in April 2014. The paperback version will be released in April this year.
This is the first episode of a blog I'm going to start: "Conversations with Archimeda:
"Hiiiiih….Hey boss, a small question, if you please…
Archimeda, how many times do I have to tell you? Don’t call me boss, you devious female. I’m your two-legged best friend.
Yes boss, sure boss….Why do you like to read on my back?
Because it makes me sensitive like you are, my beauty. Reading has to be done in a refined mode of the mind. That mindset is natural for horses, not for humans.
Okay, got it… But why are you now sitting in reverse position?
Because I don’t want to upset your delicate nature, my darling…
Oh? Pray, enlighten me, b-
Only when you drop the “boss”.
Well….Pray, enlighten me, Bobbbb….
I’m reading about war, destruction and tragic suffering, my treasure. Mary Borden wrote The Forbidden Zone when she was a nurse in World War One.
Humans killing humans for incomprehensible reasons, Archimeda.
Mmmm….Why you want to read about things that make me shudder?
It is research for my new novel, you graceful creature. The Shadow of the Mole has WW1 as a backdrop but its main theme is the exploration of our damaged souls…
Souls? Are they edible? Like apples?
I don’t think so, sweetie.
A shame. They should be.
You have a soul too, tender one, and often I think it’s better than mine. But I don’t see you eating it, although you devour a lot of hay, you glutton.
Now that I know what it is, a soul, I think I’ve seen you doing it. But it was the other way around.
What do you mean?
I’ve seen that your soul was eating you…
Explain, my beauty.
When you wrote the book Baudelaire’s Revenge you were surrounded by a black cloud.
You saw that?
We horses see things that humans don’t.
And what did that black cloud do?
It tried to eat your heart and it succeeded partly. Each time when you came in our corral you didn’t see me. You just saw a beast. You were elsewhere. It went on for months. It saddened me very much.
I’m so sorry, Archimeda. I…
Before you bought me, I was used to being treated harshly. Shouts, whips, bits that cut in my mouth, curses. You were different. You groomed me, you told me over and over again that you loved me. You calmed me down when I was nervous and afraid. You kissed me a thousand times on my nose. And then it stopped.
I apologize, Archimmeke. Baudelaire’s Revenge was such a dark book to write, so hopeless, so violent, so gruesome. And yet, the man I was writing about, the poet Charles Baudelaire, was someone who sought beauty and love and light, just like I do. But for humans, each thing has its opposite and Baudelaire got lost in the darkness. I realize now I did too.
Humans are strange beings. I am beauty. I am love. I have no opposite.
I know, Archimeda.
You know it with what you call a brain. You still have to learn to know it with your heart. I’m afraid that when you’re writing The Shadow Of The Mole you will be eaten again, this time completely.
You’re an equine philosopher, my treasure. I’m going to dismount now and give you thousand kisses on your nose. I promise you, this time, I will not be eaten.
Yes, my darling?
I’m glad I can’t read your books.
But you can read my heart, my lovely, you can read my heart…."
(I don’t have an author page…I don’t believe in that: I’m not just an author, I’m a human being with many interests)www.youtube.com/bobvanlaerhoven.be