I’m Jack Vanderwyk, I was born in 1951, and my nationality is Dutch. I used to live in Nice, France, and in St Leonards-on-Sea, U.K. In July 2011 I returned to the Netherlands.
I started my professional career when I was 15, as a ship’s chef. Then I studied political science in Moscow (Patrice Lumumba University), worked in Northern Ireland and South Africa as a political adviser, managed a bar in the Amsterdam Red Light District for two years, went back to sea as a head chef on a traditional tall ship with 75 passengers and 65 crew, ended up in New York, where I lived in the Chelsea Hotel for a couple of weeks, until I ran out of money and had to find a job, which was social worker for serious heroin addicts in Harlem. Back in Holland I became a probation officer for the same group of addicts in Amsterdam and I founded and managed several walk-in centres throughout the country.
After that intensive period of my life I tried to slow down and translated and edited 74 non-fiction books (English to Dutch) in my Dutch name, Jaap van der Wijk. I also was a breeder of Labrador Retrievers for more than 10 years, with my kennel Joe Batt’s Arm, and I was the founder of LabradorNet, which I still own.
After my retirement I picked up painting once more (my favorites are portraits) and recently I started to write about my years in the Amsterdam Red Light District, which is interconnected with the Amsterdam gangland. I write both fact and fiction.