The author Stefan Boonen lives and works in Leuven, in Flanders, and came to writing after a somewhat eclectic journey: he studied, in fact, orthopedagogy and has worked as a lumberjack, educator, stacker, astronaut, driver and screenwriter. To the question, «What would you prefer to write?» Boonen responds, «love letters, but because it is difficult to become rich and famous writing those, I create stories for children and teens». His picture books talk about grandmothers and grandfathers at the sea and on bikes, wolves and cowboys, scoundrels and doctors, kisses and farts. After his first release in 2000, Boonen has published around eighty titles, to the extent that «if you piled up all of these books and climb up and stand on tip toes, you could almost see Paris». Many of his works have won important awards, and have been adapted for television and the theatre. «I am often asked what you need to do to become a writer», explains Boonen: «More than anything else, a good writer must be curious. Writers can't be afraid of bears or wolves or damp kisses. They must be persevering, and good (and silent) listeners, or be able to ask the right questions. They must be able to stay underwater for 30 seconds and walk with their hands behind your back. It is also important that they love stories, and playing with the language that they use to write».
(photo: © Koen Broos - Official Website)