Vandaag willen we Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem en Pat van Beirs harte welkom heten in onze club!*
Today we are absolutely delighted to introduce Pat van Beirs and Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem - all the way from Belgium!
What can't this pair do? Sometimes separately, sometimes together, they write and produce films, they translate screenplays, they write books and they win awards - loads of awards. For instance, their novel Jonkvrouw has won six (6!) major European awards for Young Adult fiction. Jonkvrouw is the reason that we are welcoming Pat and Jean-Claude to the House of Onion.
Only we aren’t calling it Jonkvrouw, which, according to Pat, is an untranslatable word that in Dutch means ‘maiden, noblewoman, virgin, lady of free spirit and fiery spinster.’ (That may very well be the best word ever.) In April next year we are publishing our edition, which is called With A Sword in My Hand.
Of course, the text is in Dutch too, not just the title (I know, who would ever have guessed?) so it is being translated into English by the esteemed John Nieuwenhuizen, who has himself won many awards.
So, With A Sword in My Hand is being brought to you by the letters M, A, W & T, or what Hollywood might call a multi award-winning team. John has long been a valued member of the Onion family – and we’re so pleased that he’s opening this window for us into the utterly believable world created by Jean-Claude and Pat. It is the world of Marguerite van Male – only daughter of the Count of Flanders.
And you know what? We don't even need full sentences to convey how awesome this world is. Behold:
based on a true story
See? That is one exciting collection of words.
However, if you are a stickler who does insist on full sentences and maybe even a paragraph, we can’t do better than the author’s own description:
'During the Middle Ages, troubadours told their ballads by the blaze of the fire and by the light of many far too expensive candles. They gave colour to grey winter nights and brought romance into the monotonous lives of castle folk. Our With Sword in my Hand is such a ballad.
So… Jean-Claude and Pat – welkom, bienvenue, welcome to the House of Onion. We feel very privileged to be your Australian home!
*Dank je Bruno, for the Dutch lesson.