Fred Diks has a party to celebrate: his Koen Champion is fifteen years. Over 500,000 books, about the ordinary guy who is extraordinarily good soccer balls are now sold. What the 62-year-old Achterhoeker never could have imagined, is that writing such a crucial woman in his life would be.
He was a teacher at the primary school in Hengelo (Gelderland) like stories told, often inspired by the achievements of his son and his football team. The release of such a story was a silent dream, what would it be nice to ever have a book, how small and modest the. Though it was but to meet any grandchildren to the show. Uitgeverij Kluitman gave him a chance. “In 2003, I received at home a box of my books”, looks Diks back. “My wish was fulfilled.” But the eight thousand copies of Koen Champion were rapidly sold out and Diks was to more adventures of Koen asked. Now, every time his tenth grandchild is born, he has seventeen 7-plusboeken about the football hero and seven for the target group 9 years and older delivered.
There are audio books, meelees cds and books in braille have been published. More than five years ago, the series Koen Champion on tv, with more Leontine Borsato and Hugo Borst. Hengelo has a Koen Champion path, and the writer has this morning Koen Kampioenbroodjes of the baker included. Professional footballers wrote forewords. Wesley Sneijder read his oldest son Jessey for the books and Rafael van der Vaart shared the adventures of Koen with Damian. Fred Diks exchanged writing with life as a substitute teacher and sports reporter for a regional newspaper. So was every day a feast.
This need not be a hallelujah-story to be about a successful writer, that even dyslexic boys to read and inclusive of other titles including new parts of The Chameleon almost a million books sold, says Diks. “Because there is also another side.”
On april 14, 2015, he was walking and hit by a motorist who simply did not see. “I’m with the back of my head through the windshield gone. About ten metres away, I was catapulted, I flew past stop signs. On a narrow strip of grass between the bike path and the wide path I found. At that moment I heard in my head, still screeching brakes and thought: so you go apparently so dead.”
The physical damage: a broken leg, a broken knee, which months later had to be operated. He has suffered from dystrophy. But especially the mental effects proved immense. “I have a burn-out, post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) and a non-congenital brain damage to show for it.” He has all the potential therapies, followed in order on top of it. Let’s be honest: people with a burn-out, formerly he got there, nothing. “I always thought: go work to do what you take pleasure in. But now the myself happens, I know that you have nothing to say about it. It was like a tap in my body was placed where all the energy culminated. I am very depressed. in the Morning I thought: how do I get this day by?” His wife Miranda had to him time and time again to remind you of the bright spots in his existence.
A very long time, he has held the hope to re-master Fred. “In the rehabilitation center stronger I hard to return to education. When I as part of the re-integration as an assistant in the classroom and the children came in, I thought: my God, what a noise. That I had never used. Again and again I had all the names of the students to learn, that I was so lost.” Last week, he has the UWV let him know that he completely disapproved. “The cognitive limitations are so chronic, that it is an illusion that this improves”, he reads for. “That’s very hard.”
Fortunately, he had an appreciation for his writing, says the author, who hopes to tell his story more attention for brain injury, for him, also an intangible something, to get. This week appears Koen Champion New Talent. And The secret of Broekie, that Diks was the first in the series) wrote after the accident, the the tiplijst of the children’s jury. “It’s all more difficult now that my attention span is much shorter. Sometimes I’m an hour behind my laptop and nothing comes out. But the accident has not affected my creativity. I dare say that the level is getting better.”
He has sometimes thought: if I had to choose between the success of my books or no accident, then, I chose the latter. “But what if I only education had? It sounds dramatic, but writing is my salvation.” Meanwhile, play Koen Champion in the 9plus-books already in the pro club Stark, but despite his successes, still no champion. “Koen can be bad at his loss, and he gets in the books sometimes. I plan on him only in the last book, champion to be,” says Diks with a smile. “And to me it appears that slot only about thirty years.”