A new book in the town: Schatreis. De Avonturen van Finny & Mac

I’ve always thought that I have the most talented, creative and just the best testers in the world! Sandra Veneman is one of the lovely ladies helping with my – sometimes – fiddly designs. We got acquainted almost two years ago, when she signed up to be a member of our testers team. And last autumn we met for real in the Netherlands at the KreaDoe craft show. We had a warm lunch together with other ladies. We chatted and laughed, told a little about ourselves and our dreams. And Sandra mentioned she was writing a book! 

What a coincidence! I was also thinking about creating a book myself (and yes, this is official announcement), so I was very curious to learn more about her idea and process. She shared some thoughts, and now, exactly after one year her book is out (ta-dah!). Let me introduce: "Schatreis. De Avonturen van Finny & Mac".

I interviewed Sandra for my blog to tell you more about her book. This read is mostly for Dutch speaking people, as her book is published in Dutch at the moment. But non-Dutch speaking people (and crocheters) will also love it, as it’s full of gorgeous pictures. I’ve got my copy just yesterday, and I am sure we will spend lovely hours with my son browsing through pages. 

Sandra wrote all texts and also made the pictures herself. And her creative husband John was helping her along the way. They are such a nice couple! We met John at KreaDoe as well. At that time, he was looking for a special kind of skeleton for amigurumies to make them “moveable”. John was fully involved into the process. 

 I hope you will enjoy the interview and pictures. And if you are looking for a Christmas present for your little ones, you can purchase Sandra’s book at: Bol.com, Boekenbestellen.nl, Standaard Boekhandel, Amazon

More information can be found on Sandra’s blog HERE

Hi Sandra! Huge congratulations! I am so excited about your book. Can you please tell us about how you came up with the idea? 

Writing, crochet and photography have been my favorite hobbies for a long time. In 2013 I thought that a great way to combine these three, was to start a blog. And so, the journey started! 

I was always on the lookout for topics that I could write about. I would like to keep it light-hearted, not too private. And not too serious; just a way to ventilate some creative energy. And then the idea was born to crochet a little creature that could look at the world on a whole other level. In a playful way. A creature that would sometimes be in awe of life's little treasures, that could make you laugh and look at things in a different way. After some trial and error ‘Finnegan’ a.k.a. ‘Finny’ was born and about one year after that (because I thought it would be nice to have some interaction) ‘MacFlannegan’ a.k.a. ‘Mac’ accompanied Finny. 

Can you tell something about the characters? 

 Finny is very curious. He can be a bit naughty, especially when it comes to food. You can’t bake a cake without Finny knowing. Finny is a dreamer; he dreams about big adventures, but he finds it hard to make that first step. Mac, on the other hand, is a mouse that acts first and thinks later and he is cheeky. Mac is also curious and fond of cake. And cheese of course! Lots of cheese! 

How did your blog stories become a book? 

On my blog I wrote stories about Finny & Mac for years. My writing evolved and a lot of my readers asked why I didn’t write a book. That planted a seed and slowly it became a dream to write a book about my mice. But I never seemed to have the time or energy to make my dream come true. Until... I lost my job in 2019. And now, about one year later, my first book ‘Schatreis, de avonturen van Finny & Mac’ is published! 

What is the book about? 

One day Finny & Mac receive special mail from their uncle; an envelope filled with mysterious papers. Are they treasure maps? Is it a joke of their uncle? Finny & Mac are going to investigate and experience the most exciting adventures! 

What is your audience you think? 

I wrote ‘Schatreis’ to read to children from about 4 years old. It’s also very suitable for reading together. The book has lots of beautiful pictures, which also help children to understand the story. From the age of 7 the book can be read independently. It’s a children’s book, but also fun for imaginative adults! I can guarantee that Finny & Mac will make you laugh! 

There are a lot of children’s books. What is special about yours? 

It’s a hardcover picture book with photos instead of drawings and unlike a lot of picture books, the story is quite long. It’s not a book for just one or two evenings. ‘Schatreis’ has 160 pages and 125 beautiful photos. It even has a little bit of poetry in it! It also is a joy to read for grown-ups, because some of the humour has an adult touch. 

You wrote your book in Dutch. Do you have plans to translate it? 

Well... That’s another dream of mine. I would love to have it translated into English and German. At the moment I don’t have the financial means, but who knows, some day? 

Will there be a sequel of ‘Schatreis’? 

If ‘Schatreis’ catches on, there definitely will be a sequel. I’ve got enough ideas to write a second and maybe even a third book, so... fingers crossed! Is there something else you would like to tell us? Something that I’m very grateful for, is my husband’s help. At first, he was very sceptical, but now he helps me with making photographs and he creates the special attributes like backpacks, shoes and furniture. Sometimes his ideas are even crazier than mine! 

Could you, please, translate a small part of the book for us? 

Gladly! I’ll summarize one chapter: 

Finny studies the papers for days, but he still hasn’t been able to find out what those weird signs mean. Is it a foreign language? Is it a puzzle? Was the envelope even meant for them? Maybe Uncle Cheesy put the wrong address on it? Cheesy always has been a bit of an absent-minded professor... 

Mac on the other hand has already packed his backpack. Every day he tries to convince Finny to just... go! He is convinced that the answers will come naturally, just by taking that first step.

After a while Mac’s patience comes to an end. He teases Finny with questions like: “I thought that you were the most curious mouse in the world?” Finally, Finny gives in. A mouse can’t learn anything new by sitting in a chair and think the whole day; that just causes a headache! And when Mac poses his question: “Are you going on adventure with me Finny?” Finny squeaks as loud as he can: “YesssPEEP” 


And just a remind that you can find the book Schatreis here: Bol.com, Boekenbestellen.nl, Standaard Boekhandel, Amazon.

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1 comment

  1. That's so cute and such a great idea!
    😍I'm hoping it does get translated.


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