Zutje & DeViss
Zutje & DeViss are the writing duo Marieke van Zutphen (Zutje) and Patricia de Leuw (DeViss). Zutje calls Sydney home, and DeViss lives in Den Bosch (The Netherlands), so they live roughly 15,000 kilometres away from each other! They used to write for children's magazines at Malmberg Publishing and then both owned and ran children's marketing businesses.
But then the time came for something completely new ....
Writing Jack & Lev
In 2019 (while Zutje was still living in the Netherlands) the duo held meetings at cafes, station restaurants and libraries – anywhere they could work. They invented the Shadow Lord at Schiphol, Aunt Holly was born in Rotterdam, and they created the Phosgenites in Den Bosch.
When the first version of the manuscript was ready, it was distributed to 100 children. The writers received reviews and comments. Everything was processed (?). In the meantime, Zutje left for Australia and DeViss cared for her beloved (partner? Huband?) Martin until he died. The book fell silent for a while. Until January 2020.
Zutje called DeViss:
'If you come to Sydney for a while, we can finish the book. The sun shines all the time over here.'
'Yes!' cried DeViss and flew to Sydney.
After countless rewrites, rereads and rewrites, the book was finished at last! It was ready for everyone to read. And now...well this is just the beginning, because Jack & Lev, Return of the Shadow Lord, is only the first part of the series!
Nelleke van Hoof (illustrator)
Nothing is 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, best known for Favourite Fairy Tales (published by Snor), the cool designs at 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.