Book: On Thin Ice - short stories of life and dating after 50 by Johanna Van Zantencategories: Book, Literary Fiction, Romance, Dating After Divorce, Internet Dating, Marriage Breakdown, Mothers - Daughters, Breast Cancer, Immigration, Scary Date, Match Making, Marital Infidelity, Short Stories
Johanna Van Zantenabout this book: My book is a novel of about 210 pages and readers say it's an easy read. On Thin Ice is also a collection of short stories that are interrelated and together paint the picture of the life of Adrienne, who came of age amidst the sexual revolution in the Netherlands. Her life evolves from there on: from an unconventional and rather wild young adult to a woman who immigrates to Canada for love, gets divorced and dates on line. Stories are suitable for young adults and adults, possibly most attractive to women, and are taking you from one emotion to the next, leaving nothing undisclosed, including how sexual awakening happened for Adrienne--a recently rediscovered subject in the world of readers of today.
I decided at an early age that I would write a book eventually in my life, after I would have something to write about. Then the moment came that I was not in a relationship, my child had left the nest, and the end of my day job came near while having seen my life speeding past. I decided now is the moment: I sat down and wrote.
The hardest part was deciding what to leave out, as I had so much material. I had two editors who kept me focused and helped me develop a consistent line in the stories, so the protagonist Adrienne is portrayed warts and all, a human, sometimes likeable, sometimes not, but always always real.
The cover is a photo of Amsterdam made by my friend Bert Dekker, a Dutch artist, during a specifically cold winter, when the canals freeze and people skate between the boats that are frozen solidly in the ice. There is danger in skating under such conditions as some parts in the canals have warm water outlets into the canal, or sun has weakened the ice cover and one can plunge through the ice and drown when stuck under the ice cover. This is also the metaphor of the book: Adrienne's life and relationships are sometimes dangerous, causing damage to her heart and her sense of self; she occasionally crashes through the ice, metaphorically. However, she survives and becomes a stronger person, looking towards the future with less brashness, but with positive expectations.
I researched the facts of the places when I was not sure about details, but most of the book is based on experiences and events I witnessed around me during my travels and my residency in various places in the world.
I wanted to write this book, as many can learn from other people's stories: that life is too short to waste it. The first book is the hardest to write, as it feels like diving into a deep pool of an unknown river: one does not know if it is deep or shallow, whatever monsters lie beneath the surface and whether one cam even come up for air, or will die. I learned that I have an independent voice in me that has now come out and will not be silenced. I have discovered my passion and how great it feels to be able to listen to the creator in me. My second book is in the second edit stage.
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