When we were creating the marketing campagne for Kursk my publisher send me six questions to answer before starting. Just to get to know me a little he said. So here they are, thinking maybe there’s someone out there who wants to know the same things about me.
1. Where were you born?
Born in the Netherlands, 1062, in the fourth largest city named Utrecht. Real name is Bert Klinkenberg but since no English speaking person can pronounce Klinkenberg I literally translate my Dutch name to the English pen name, Clinch-and-hill.
Not married but living together since 2000 with my girlfriend Nathalie who I do call my wife. No kids. Just living together with some dogs, cats and fish.
Mother Dutch nationality but born and raised in Indonesia (In part in the Japanese prison camps), Father Born in the Netherlands but of German descendants. Father, 82 still alive mother died in 1999. No brothers or sisters. In part I grew up with my niece named Elizabeth who lived nearby with her parents. My father was a salesman of medical equipment. We had a pretty good life. In winters we lived in the city and summers on a yacht on nearby lakes.
4. Career path?
Wanted to study photography after my graphic arts study but wasn’t accepted due to a lottery). Not being accepted I was called to serve the military. I was stationed in the Netherlands and at the Berlin Wall in ’81 – ’82. After the military I started working as a photographer (‘82). After a few years I had a hard time making money from my profession and I got the chance to start a job as project manager in IT (‘90) at the time a hobby of mine). I also started to study IT-management in my free time. After years of doing IT projects most of my projects were in the financial sector and I changed my vocation from IT to banking and insurance (’00). To keep up with the business I also studied banking and finance in that period. Around 2011 I got fed up with all the negativity in the financial sector and I started looking for a job with a bit more social dedication, a bit more free time in a more friendly environment (the financial world is all about bonuses and such). So in 2011 is started a new career I health care, especially, elderly heath care, currently as director of Finance and Support at one of the larger care groups in the Netherlands. Because of that career move I have found the (again) time to spend with my wife and animals and on writing.
All the from 1990 up till now I also have my own (small) internet-company that occasionally develops new internet platforms and web experiments.
Currently as a private initiative also developing a nearby old farm to a care facility for the demented elderly.
5. Specialist skills?
I guess that’s one of my stronger points (or flaws). I specialize in nothing. I love starting new jobs, hobby’s and directions.
6. Life points of note/achievements?
Also a tough question. Couldn’t name one. Yet to come I think.
7. What made you write the book?
This one I can answer. As I child/adolescent I’dd love to write short stories. Mostly short stories with a twist, ‘Twilight Zone’ like. Somehow I lost that urge to write when I started working and needed all my time for my career(s). I developed a love for (American) movies and thought about writing for movies or TV. In 2012 I developed an interest for screenplays. I started reading them to know ‘how it was done’. It was then that I started to Tweet about Screenplays and one thing led to another. At some point in 2013 I made up a pen name, created a website dedicated to screenwriting and before I knew it I gave ‘advise’ on the subject to starting screenwriters.
Never heaving writing anything myself in 2014 I decided to write a screenplay. Searching for a subject a friend of mine gave me a magazine with an article about the Kursk. The fact that it was a story surrounded with many theories, and conspiracy’s, even after 16 years, intrigued me. Also the story already had a factual timeline that I figured could help be building on that. So I wrote my first screenplay. After writing it I spread it around the US through some connections I made on social media. Nothing happened. Then a contact on twitter suggested that het rewrote his screenplay to a novel. That way you could create an ‘end product’ that could be sold to an audience. (instead of a screenplay that nobody would know of)
So December 2014 I started writing the book, from the screenplay. That sounded a lot easier on Twitter then it was in real life. Early in the process I looked for someone on the internet that could proof my work and help me….well I guess, to write. I found (on internet) Andrea Busfield. Being a published writer herself she guided me through the process of writing, chapter by chapter. At that time I wasn’t sure to publish it. I figured the book being read by some friends and family would be enough. When my editor, Andrea convinced me to do so, making me promise her that if it would be a huge success to buy her a horse.