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About André « L.A. Trippin'
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About André


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Let’s talk about … the weather? No thanks. You better contact your Granny for that.

Why are you writing? Aren’t you a photogr… I don’t think this is getting us anywhere. Tell you what: we do it my way.

Stories … are what I live for. No matter what stories and how they are told, in pictures, words, through music. There are stories everywhere. The good ones can change the world – but sadly the bad ones can, too.

Man can’t live without … art. Music, film, painting, sculpture, literature, architecture. What would our world be without creativity. They say God created us after his own image. What a talent! All the colors, the designs, plants, animals, simply everything. Just think of the sound of the wind, or waves breaking on the shore, the beauty of clouds drifting by. We need to learn to care more about what has been given to us.

Mo Hayder … started it all. If not for her I don’t think I would ever have tried my luck. We met on an assignment where I did her portraits. She loved my work and my imagination so she suggested I write things down. Not that she would have expected anything this crazy to come out of it.

A good sense of humor … is essential to make it through life’s ups and downs.

I don’t do … drugs, period.

Art critics … often piss me off, telling people what to think and who to like. If someone loves staring at a roll of toilet paper for hours, so be it. Someone else prefers Mike Mignola, Vermeer, Franquin or Michelangelo.

I count myself blessed … for never having separated work from leisure. It is and always will be one: my life.

Nowadays everybody is famous … Some because they have their house repainted, some because they have freaked out kids and others because they can’t sing. It’s our own fault. If we wouldn’t be watching those stupid shows, the tv people would stop making them. One day the truly famous will be the unknown.

A good teacher … can change a student’s life. My English teacher allowed me to read whatever I wanted. So I skipped Shakespeare and bought The Godfather. What can I say.

We lost touch … with our spirituality and the supernatural. It’s a shame that we have become – what we think is – civilized, that we need to relearn what our soul and the spirits are telling us.

Comics … are a source of inspiration most adults ignore. Except in Belgium and in France where the bd’s are part of the culture, people usually see comic strips as narrow-minded entertainment. It’s not. To enter the visual imagination of others helps kids to develop their own. It is a source of inspiration for young and old alike.

It’s not necessarily … bad to be a late bloomer.

I love horses … just as much as I love elephants, koalas or rabbits for the matter. It’s just that there is this special bond I share with horses. Not by sitting on them, riding them but by watching them running free. They often remind me of dolphins. But then again, watching a koala bear nibble on his eucaliptus leaves and then doze off …. yaaaawn – what time is it?

Smile … and be friendly to people. It’s amazing what that can do to others.

Knowing about … history keeps you from repeating others’ mistakes.

Pride … stands in the way of spiritual growth.

You have to treat … food with respect. When you cook, don’t just put everything in a pot and let it go until you can’t tell an aubergine from a pepper. Be creative, try things and I can assure you you will turn into a better cook than by watching them tv shows.

Frank Frazetta … was my favorite painter when I was a kid and he still is today. I still love the blues, comic books, adventure stories. Come to think of it, basically I’m still the kid I was then, a few more lines in my face and stuff. Deep inside not much has changed.

I sometimes drive people mad … because I’m not very competitive. To me it’s all about the game. For example, when I am Bart in The Simpsons Clue and I’m too plain stupid to find out who is the killer, I’ll have a great time anyway. I don’t mind if Marge wins. Playing the game, having fun, creating the most stupid or intelligent twists, that to me is winning - and we can all do it together.

They say that when you did good … you end up in heaven. But what is good? A Roman who thought he was doing the right thing in 50 AD expects to end up in the same place as a convinced Christian who got slaughtered in the arena. Just for a second imagine those two discussing right and wrong. It can’t be as simple as that. I like the idea that we grow spiritually step by step, one life at a time, through reincarnation.

What are you … working on right now? Well, since this one is finished (as is the draft of the follow-up), I wanted to write something different. Less funny. So when I had this dream about a young man facing slaughter in a Roman arena, I started a novel about that. I finished it a few months ago. The people I gave it to read loved it. It’s pure adventure - a mystery involving common people, not just the military, in Roman times. If you like Rosemary Sutcliff, Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden, I think you’re in for a treat.

Right now I’m doing research for a new novel on a Special Ops in Afghanistan and another Roman one.