Zutje & DeViss
Zutje & DeViss are two writers, Patricia de Leuw and Marieke van Zutphen. This is their story.
Patricia (De Viss)
Patricia lives in an old vicarage on the outskirts of ’s Hertogenbosch, in The Netherlands. She and her husband Martin – a sailor - bought the beautiful house so they could restore it to its former glory, together. Sadly, in 2019 fate intervened and Martin died. In the midst of her grief, Patricia started writing again. Daytimes were for working on the house and garden, but the nights were spent on her real passion: writing stories.
One summer night, sitting on the porch, she looked around her. A bottle of wine on the table caught her attention. The label said Chateau Marie Antoinette. It reminded her of Marieke Antonet, the editor-in-chief of the children’s magazines she used to publish. They had so much fun together. Once, in a dynamic brainstorming session on a boat in Greece, they’d come up with 1000 brilliant ideas. Suddenly Patricia knew exactly what her next step should be … so she called Marieke.
Marieke felt like her life in The Netherlands was on a treadmill. She was married, had a house, school-age kids, and she was running a small business. She kept to a tight time schedule to get everything done. Working, cooking, cleaning and caring for her family. Her life desperately needed a joy make-over. And she missed writing!
Fate had plans for her family too, in a very different way. Her musician husband who sometimes donned a suit for his day job was given a career opportunity in Australia for a couple of years. Marieke didn’t hesitate for a second. ‘Let’s go!’ she cried out and that was that.
She had six months to wrap up her Dutch life, prepare her two teenage kids and pack. But boy was she ready for the change; for an inspirational adventure down under. Just then she got a phone call ... from Patricia.
Nelleke van Hoof (illustrator)
There is nothing more important than a book’s cover illustration. That’s why Zutje & DeViss sent the manuscript of Jack and Lev to one of their favourite illustrators: Nelleke van Hoof, known for Favourite Fairy Tales (publisher Snor), the cool designs of Pip Studio and the H&M kids clothing line. She devoured the book in less than a week and was so enthusiastic she offered to start working on designs for the characters, a logo and illustrations straight away.