Pieter Aspe is Belgian writer of the bestselling detective series starring Inspector Van In. Aspe lives in Bruges, Belgium, and is one of the most popular contemporary writers in the Flemish language. His novels have now sold over three million copies in Europe alone. The Midas Murders, the second Inspector Van In novel, is now out in the U.S.
From Aspe's Q & A with Lenny Picker at Publishers Weekly:
Which of your many jobs has given you the most insight into people?Visit Pieter Aspe's Facebook page.
While working as a caretaker at the Chapel of the Holy Blood in Bruges, I had plenty of time to observe tourists and locals. Often I felt like a piece of furniture, a part of the chapel, which gave me the opportunity to watch and learn unobtrusively. I’ve encountered people from all over the world at the chapel.
Did your stint with the maritime police help you to write crime fiction?
Somewhat. I encountered only small-time criminals while working for the maritime police. Once I started writing about Inspector Van In, I got in touch with real criminals as a way of researching my books. I wanted to understand their situation, to empathize with them, so that every time I encountered a criminal, whatever the crime committed, I asked myself the question, “What if that ever happened to me?” or “What if I had the same childhood or education, what if I was in the same position? Would I become that criminal?” There is a delinquent in everyone, but...[read on]