Nick Aaron is Dutch, but he was born in South Africa, where he attended a British-style boarding school, in Pietersburg, Transvaal. Later he lived in Lausanne (Switzerland), in Rotterdam, Luxembourg and Louvain. Until recently he worked for the European Parliament in Brussels, proofreading legislative texts in all 24 official languages.
At twelve years of age, Nick Aaron started writing poetry in French. This was in Lausanne in the ’60s. He wrote four poems about the seasons, admittedly a rather banal subject, except he'd recently moved from the tropics and the concept of four seasons was completely new to him. Not to mention the French language. At any rate, his teacher was impressed and asked him to recite one of his poems in front of the whole class. After this first literary triumph, the writing bug never left the poor boy. Half a lifetime later, one could argue that if Malcolm Gladwell is right that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field, then at least Nick Aaron has put in the required number of hours.
Recently, after writing in Dutch and French for many years, the author went back to the language of his mid-century South-African childhood. A potential global readership was the incentive; the trigger was the character of Daisy Hayes, who asserted herself in his mind wholly formed. He explains: “When I was a kid, you had these clockwork toys with a big key in the back. You wound up the spring inside and the toy would start performing its tricks relentlessly. That is how Daisy just sprang to life in my head. I wrote like mad and could hardly keep up with her. It was like when you’ve had an exciting dream at night; you wake up and you have to keep reeling in the thread of the story or you’ll lose it for good. The first draft of the first novel was completed in just three months. And I had a full-time job to take care of as well. After that, as always, much of the real writing work still had to begin…”
Early 60's, South Africa
The author is the little monkey in the striped T shirt.
The Aaron kids with friends and Dad's church in the background.
Early 70's, Switzerland
A very serious young hippie (Nick at 16).
80's, The Netherlands
A very serious young printer.