ZUTPHEN – The second book by Johanna van Sabben from Zutphen is a dialogue with … one stranger† “Wow, I thought, I do not have to do it alone.”
By Sander Grootendorst
Simultaneously with the reporter, another guest arrives at the Johanna van Sabben house (57) at Oude Bornhof: a blackbird. He does not go beyond the threshold; you do not have to, because this is where the bird-peanutbutter jar that Van Sabben serves him. The sunflower quickly takes a bite, and then flies away.
The writer and journalist sit down, the interview can begin. An invisible but tangible figure for Van Sabben – not a bird, but an alien creature, a stranger – plays an important role in this. “I wrote the book with him.”
What am I being presented with now … is the title of what is very much a dialogue between Jonathan – that is the name of the extraterrestrial co-author – and Zutphense. On the front page, cartoonist Marc Weikamp has them stranger depicted with a flying saucer in hand. Van Sabben: “If you look superficial, it looks like an ordinary person. But he just looks a little different with his big eyes.”
With his previous book, stomach glide, she made the national press, but that did not mean that a successor was immediately in the cast. “I’m not someone who necessarily wants to write something, and I’m not going to repeat myself.” She’s waiting for inspiration, and if it does not come, it’s fine too. But suddenly it was there, that inspiration, in a completely unexpected form. “It was as if I was being called up: something had to be written that I wanted to be a channel for. I felt an energy in my body, in my soul, the hatch opened, there was much more space. It looked like falling in love. ”
She had this experience shortly after one cure with a medium specializing in the extraterrestrial. “I had no idea how or what, but, ping !, in the evening I knew it. I thought: if this makes me so happy, then I must write it in a book. ” It did not flow immediately as she had hoped, so Van Sabben made a new deal. Then the lady said: You must write the book together. wow! I thought, ‘I do not have to do it alone.’
The extraterrestrial Jonathan arrived just that night. And continued to be present. “He was just always there, and I tuned in to him. Even though I was stuck for a while: I focused on his energy, and then it went again.”
“Of course I was in doubt. I’m not a fluent type at all, but I’m very down to earth. I’m certainly not an experienced person. channel† But it was something magnetic, I was quickly convinced that it was right: I could not write without Jonathan. He could also make me laugh when I was feeling bad; I would not be able to do that myself. I suffered a lot from insomnia, he also supported me there. ”
Van Sabben ate the book with street interviews, asking people in her town what they think about aliens. If they do not exist, do they exist, how do you handle them? Can you trust them? “In any case, it was not difficult to trust Jonathan, he is clean to that extent. After a while, I stopped writing daily, but even then I could feel it. I also took a long time out twice, it came to me Too much† But she could possibly have contacted Jonathan at any time. Van Sabben is convinced: “He will never leave.”
What was it like working towards the end together? “That process also went naturally. There were still topics that I would not have wanted to miss. I think he knew from the beginning how the book was going to end. The book was essentially there already, it just needed to be written. Where a lot of discipline is required, it does not happen by itself. ”
Now that the book is finished, the author, like last time, does not have to think about a sequel at all. “By the way, Jonathan does, he says there is a third book on the way. Maybe in five years. It’s good, I have the time, I let myself be surprised. ”Just wait and see what Johanna van Sabben will be presented for next time.
Johanna van Sabben: What will I be presented with again … Publisher Donkigotte: 19.95 euros.