like everybody, I have my own favorite writers. Some of them are
gracious enough to answer my questions, and I want to share these
with friends and visitors.
Luc Deflo is a Belgian writer of crime fiction. He is very successful
in Belgium and the Netherlands, where he has six best-selling
novels up to now. Unfortunately his books are only available in
these parts. Luc hopes to find a publisher in the U.K. or the
U.S.A. soon. We’re working on this at the moment.
got to know Luc by accident. I picked up one of his books in
the library, and it was a real page-turner! I then found another
book, which was even better. I sent some e-mails to Luc, telling
him how much I appreciated his books, and since then we have
become friends. We even work on some projects together.
was also so kind as to come to my school, the high school in
Temse where I teach 15 to 18 years old. He spent an entire afternoon
answering students' questions and the kids appreciated this
very much! They were very enthusiastic about it. Afterwards
Luc and I had a drink and a long chat, and this resulted in
1. Is Luc Deflo your real name?
Yes, it is.
2. When did you start writing?
I’ve always written and I also like to read a lot. My first
book was actually an autobiography, which I wrote when I was at high school.
Alas, it was never published. Then I wrote a play for the stage.
3. How do you work as a writer?
As I read a lot, I get lots of information from newspapers and
magazines. Not so long ago, I was reading an article about a serial killer
in the US, who travelled from state to state and very nearly escaped getting
caught. I thought: "Hey, this is a nice idea! Why not bring the action
to Flanders?" And so I did, and wrote Naked Souls. I often
work like this.
4. Are you a full time writer, or do you have another job?
I work as a consultant for the KBC bank. A year ago, I took a
sabbatical in which I did a lot of writing. Now I have returned to work
half-time, as I like my job and I can travel a lot Besides, writing books,
even bestsellers, doesn’t make you rich in Flanders.
5. Do you have a favourite book or writer?
Not exactly. I’ll read a book to the end when I like it. Otherwise,
I just put it aside.
6. Do you like it when your fans write to you or e-mail you?
I love it! I appreciate it a lot and I will always answer.
(Note from Nickie: Luc’s e-mail address is: email@example.com
I’m certain that Luc would also appreciate reactions from the States
or other English-speaking countries.)
7. How do you handle criticism?
To be honest, the first time that a critic wrote a negative report
on Naked Souls I felt devastated. It really hurt. But now I’ve
learned to live with it. When some people don’t like what I write,
so be it.
8. Why is the action always take place in Mechelen?
I was born in Mechelen. To most people, it is just a quiet provincial
town where nothing special happens at night. Portraying it as a place
where murder is ordinary was an idea that appealed to me a lot. The Mayor
of Mechelen, Bart Somers, (who’s a good friend of mine) always asks
me why I tell people that Mechelen is a dangerous town. I guess he’s
afraid that people are going to believe it, even though he makes such
an effort to have a safe town.
(Note from Nickie: Mechelen is one of the historical towns of Flanders,
halfway between Antwerp and Brussels.)
9. Are the characters in your books real? Are they based on people you
No, they are truly fictive. I must admit however that my detective,
Dirk Deleu, has some of my characteristics. When I describe his physical
appearance, you can picture me as well. And sometimes he thinks like me.
But, I must tell you that I use real names in my books! A lot of my friends
and acquaintances spontaneously ask me if they can figure in one of the
stories. Guess what, there is even a waiting-list!
10. What are your future plans?
I’ve completed two more books. In number five I return to
the open ending in Naked Souls. There the serial killer escaped
to France. A lot of readers asked me what happened with the man. Would
he always escape justice? So I decided to bring him back in this book.
I’m also working on the film scenario of Naked Souls, of
which the film rights were sold to one of Belgium’s most renowned
producers. With a friend I have written a TV-drama in ten parts, which
I’m hoping to be able to sell soon. It’s about child abuse
and corrupt policticians.