Invading Holland Book Plan

Invading Holland Book

We are almost a month into 2010 which means a month of intending to start New Year’s resolutions has almost passed us by. So far my reverse psychology plan to get healthy by continuing to eat unhealthy food is progressing slowly but my body is sure to fall for it soon.

One of my other new year’s resolutions was is to write an ‘Invading Holland’ book made out of words and pages, the majority of which would be taken from posts written here on this blog of the same name (which also includes words but not pages). However, I am trying to decide the format in which it should be written. I know I want to re-work things a little rather than do a straight one on one blog to book translation. But how?

Should it be a categorized guide to Holland including witty observations and personal experiences? Should it be a chronological diary of my comical time in the land of tulips and windmills? Should it be a pop-up book with brightly coloured images of waving Dutch men and women? Should I forget the whole book thing and instead translate my tale in to an interpretive dance and tour the country in a leotard? The possibilities are endless (until you reach the end) and I find myself being quite indecisive. That is why I am asking you, the readers and friends who have been so good to me; what do you think I should do? What would be a good idea?

How should it be written? Which previously written stories do you think should really be in there? What un-answered questions and mysteries would you like answered (which I could also answer in post form for quicker replies)? Maybe you have some advice about turning a blog into a book or a large check you would like to give me for doing so. Or maybe you have more general comments, feedback or name calling on this whole blog thing in general so far. I’d like to hear what you think because to be honest I haven’t got a clue.

Thank you.

PS – I should point out that despite its name this book (and blog) will not actually depict any sort of military encroachment upon Dutch soil. I tell you this now to avoid the biggest literacy disappointment since readers of Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ discovered that it was not a festive song book full of good musical cheer for the whole family.

14 responses to “Invading Holland Book Plan”

  1. Breigh says:

    I think it should be your story rather than a sort of guide to the Netherlands. When I imagine reading a book from you about Life in NL, I imagine it to be one of those books that reads like you are sitting across a table from someone telling a story. Like reading your blog. Perhaps the odd comic thrown in for good measure… because a book from you wouldn’t be the same without at least a few illustrations.

    One of the best books I’ve ever read about someone’s personal journey here in NL is called My Dam Life by Sean Condon. It wasn’t the usual thing about tulips and windmills, but his real experiences with living here. I thought it was hilarious and a great read. Maybe you might want to check it out as a bit of research :)

  2. Breigh says:

    P.s. If you do write it, you have at least one guaranteed sale. I’d definitely buy it!

  3. LizzeeB says:

    Re your book, it depends what you wanna get out of it, if it is broader coverage of your writing and humour, I say shamelessly adopt Bill Bryson’s style of funny anecdotes about a country and then we could all unite as one in laughing at the funny side of The Netherlands. If you go for the personal story it can be a bit ho hum and self righteous, hmmm let me think, in Simply French and Holy Cow, two different Aussie authors tell their stories about life in France and India and their point is that it’s different in the ‘foreign’ country, well der, of course it is. I also reckon it would be easier to write about the country and insert your funny anecdotes into that book. I haven’t come across all that much reading material about the Netherlands, I totally enjoyed Culture Shock which was only funny in weird OMG way (for the record no one has commented on my dirty windows yet). Anyway good luck, I’ve only just stumbled across your blog and the Dutch Integration Check List made me laugh.

  4. A Touch of Dutch says:

    Like Breigh, I’ll buy it too ;-) And I like the idea of it being like you telling a story as well! Step-by-step, but story-style, similar to what you do here on the blog.

  5. zed says:

    I think that, going from your blog, you should write about your experiences in Holland from day 1. The strap-line ‘The story of an accident-prone Englishman’ is vital as your accidents are a large part of your blog.

    From experience (and something that I didn’t do very well myself), expand each story as if writing for a book (which you are), rather than a blog post which is a habit that we fall into all so easily. Each blog post should be about 3 times longer wherein you throw in all sorts of extra bits of information that you ommitted from the original blog post.

    I think that it would also be an extra charm if you threw in your own cartoons – plus some.

    If you are going to make it autobiographical, you will find it a challenge to reach a decent word-count. But then there is an awful lot that happened during your hiatus that hasn’t been blogged to add, why you came over to Holland etc etc.

    Feel free to email me if you want – I’ll see if I can get any help for you from Bloggers with Book Deals…

  6. kiki says:


    (i know this isn’t helpful advice. I hope enthusiasm is motivating, though.)

  7. Invader Stu says:

    Breigh – Thank you :) I will included some cartoons for sure. I bought a copy of My Dam a while ago but I have to admit I have not got around to reading it yet but I will :)

    LizzeeB – I think I want to get the same thing out of it as I like to do with this blog which is (hopefully) to write something entertaining and funny. thanks for the books suggestions (and advice) I’ll look for them next time I’m at the book store.

    A Touch of Dutch – Thank you. And I’ll make sure it’s the same style as I write here :)

    Zed – Thank you. That is a very good point about the tag line being a good way of describing what it should be (and what this blog is). Expanding the posts is also something I was thinking I would have to do but I still have to try that yet. First I was going to look at my post, figure out how to arrange them, see where the gaps are and then start to go from there.

    Thanks for the offer of help as well :)

    Kiki – Yay! Motivation is always good. Just ask the self help motivational pimp (long story everyone else).

  8. Andy D says:

    I agree that is should be your story and your experiences. However, if you could revisit the idea of a military campaign to conquer the Dutch, I would really love to read that. Just saying…

  9. Anita says:

    Just stories at random. I would like to have pages in my hands instead of scrolling down. I would definitely buy it and recommend it. That one about the drug dealer is a master piece, hohoho !!

  10. zed says:

    As your posts have been tagged from a reasonably early date, take the ones with the same tag and try and work them into a chapter. My blog hadn’t been tagged and so it took a long time tagging all the posts so as to fit them together. Put it this way, if you have 150 tags for accidents, then that could make up an entire chapter, although personally, I would spread yours out a bit.

    Argh, this is too long for a comment – do you have a landline that you could email me? (If you want help, that is!)

  11. Invader Stu says:

    Andy D – Don’t tell anyone one but this is all a cover until I can take the country over

    Anita – There goes my plan to have a book with a scroll wheel

    zed – Sure. I’ll email it to you. No heavy breathing calls though ok?!

  12. Anneke says:

    “Don’t tell anyone one but this is all a cover until I can take the country over”

    I KNEW it! Hah! Blew your cover now, didn’t ya?

  13. Invader Stu says:

    I like to call it hiding in plan sight :p

  14. Dave Hampton says:

    I agree that your experiences would make a great colllection. Pick a selection from across all of the posts that can be arranged to span a single year; that gives a bit of narrative framework and assures that you get some from all seasons and events. I’ll buy one too!

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