What is the best thing that I love about my work? Working as both a freelance fiction editor and a writer doesn’t even feel like work because the things I do all day are the things I love to do: read and write, exercise both my analytic and creative muscles, and bring books that help and/or entertain people into the world. Also, I love that my editing business takes the pressure off my writing. I have the luxury of being able to write only the things that really pull at me.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Enjoying art–music, a film, a performance–and/or a great meal with people I adore. I also love spending time in nature. Calms my soul.
What is my greatest fear? Harm or ill health coming to my loved ones.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Two connected ones: taking things too personally, and emotional reactivity. Working hard on improving both, though!
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Such a tough question–there are so many! In the teen lit world, Libba Bray writes the kind of rich satire I love, tackling important subjects with devastating wit.
What is my greatest extravagance? I love food and feel no guilt whatsoever blowing a bundle on a great meal.
On what occasion would I lie? To spare someone’s feelings.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? In the editing realm, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been right now. I’m proud of the thriving freelance business I’ve built, and get thank-you letters from appreciative clients pretty much weekly. I love working for myself, love the autonomy. In the writing realm, I was thrilled when my two young adult novels came out–though I’m not sure they were quite ready to be published. If they were ever to be republished, I’d do ginormous rewrites!
If I could, what would I change about myself? See the trait I most deplore in myself, above! This is actually a tricky question because sensitivity and noticing things feed the writing. I guess the trick is to put the emotional reactions into the writing and not real life!
What is my greatest achievement in work? In terms of editing, building a thriving and respected freelance business. In terms of my writing, I still haven’t achieved what I want to yet, although recently, I’ve written some things I really like. (Fingers crossed! Keep checking my social media for news!)
Where would I most like to live? I already live there–in Toronto. I’m a huge Toronto cheerleader. It’s such a diverse, livable city, with great cultural offerings.
What is my most treasured possession? I’m not really a possession person–experiences over things, etc. Having said that, I do take pride in my lovely home–a semi-detached house in a fab neighbourhood. Design is a hobby, but I’m definitely a minimalist. Obviously, books are important to me. I mostly read electronically now, but in my living room, I do keep a pile of books that are the books of my heart, the books that helped me figure things out and/or stirred my soul. It comforts me to have them around.
What is my most marked characteristic? My ability to notice things and make connections. It’s both a gift and a curse, I think. Good for the writing and editing, but bad because my mind is always racing. And it can be a bit lonely-making. (Others don’t notice the things or make the connections.)
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Toronto has a gorgeous ravine system. It’s amazing to have this great rural-type network right in the city itself. I walk on the ravine paths to think through ideas and soothe my savage soul.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Way too hard a question for a Torontonian! I love the cheap and cheerful places that offer authentic dishes from around the world (see comment about Toronto’s diverse nature, above). When I feel a bit fancier, I like a nice but un-intimidating place with great food and drink. Current faves are Bar Begonia and Grey Gardens. Torontonians also like bar-restos with patios in the all-too-short summertime. The Walton has an A-plus patio.
What books influenced my life and how? As a girl, I was greatly influenced–as were a lot of female writers–by Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. Yay for odd, bookish girls! In university, as an English major, I fell in love with Jane Austen. I tend to like books about odd ones out, characters attempting to thrive in less-than-ideal circumstances, and complicated relationships. All these books, as well as several books I read with my kids, and a host of contemporary adult books I’ve read for work and pleasure, helped me clarify both my personal approach to life as well as what and how I wanted to write.
Who are my favorite writers? The ones I’ve already named above as well as about a million others. I’m a voracious reader and have a gajillion uber-talented friends, colleagues, and clients!
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day? Hmm, think that calls for listening to music from my past as well as my present. And a few different genres. (I have very eclectic tastes!) I was a ballet dancer in my younger days; The Dying Swan from Swan Lake feels appropriate and covers the classical/ballet category. Then I think I’d like to listen to some Motown, and then some great blues (I’m dying–I have to listen to the blues!), then some Bowie, and finally, some faves from the present day. Courtney Barnett is a current favorite. Aside from the insanely catchy tunes, she’s a great observer, and so witty. Listening to her would remind me that life was sometimes weird and confusing but I tried to rise above stuff and laugh about it.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Lizzy Bennett, course.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? The people who are struggling to Rise Above. The people who haven’t achieved conventional success/greatness, but are making their corners of the world great in their own ways.
What movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Omigod, I can’t possibly narrow it down to one–or even ten! I’m a huge moviegoer. I see EVERYTHING, plus many movies at TIFF that don’t ever get wide releases! Just…go to as many movies as you can!!
What role does art play in my life and work? Art is both my work and my life–it’s all seamless! In my private time, I socialize with other artists, and take in shows!
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? There isn’t just one. I have a small but intensely loyal group of cheerleaders consisting of loved ones (including my amazing grown kids!), friends, and colleagues. I belong to a wonderful organization of Canadian children’s writers called CANSCAIIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) via which I’ve met so many incredible people. I’m so grateful to them all.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? There is a particular agent and a particular editor I’d love to work with in 2017; they know who they are but I’m too superstitious to name them here!
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I’ve met loads, but there are loads more I’d love to meet. Don’t want to play favorites by naming names though!
What project in 2017 am I looking forward to working on? I’m working on a new middle grade book that’s about the influence an Instagram-like social media platform has on a group of junior high schoolers. The challenge is not hitting the reader over the head with a message, but making my point with wit and humor.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
I actually took a very long break from writing to build up my freelance editing business, and all my novels (two romance novels and two young adult novels) are now out of print. I only got back to writing last year. Hopefully my new stuff (a couple picture books and a couple middle grade novels) will be contracted soon and available soon! My editing information is available at http://bevkatzrosenbaum.com/
What do the words ‘Passion never retires’ mean to me? What’s great is that you can do creative work as long as you feel passionate about it. I hope to be doing it for a long, long time!
How can you contact me?
What follows is a message of Peter de Kuster, the founder of the Heroine’s Journey
What is Your Story?
Two Day Tour with Peter de Kuster in the greatest bookstores of your favorite city. In Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Berlin, London and Amsterdam we offer this unique What is your Story? experience. To (re) write your story about yourself and your work. In the process transforming your capacity to successfully have the creative life and work you love.
In this journey, Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey explores with you the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves — and, most important, the way we can change those stories to transform our creative business and life.
“Your story is your art, your art is your story,” says Peter. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories — of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about our creative challenges, our art, our clients, our money, our self promotion, our time, our families and relationships, our health; about what we want and what we’re capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we’re telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them — and, in turn, transform our very destinies.
Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories, says Peter, are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, he asks you to answer the question, “In which areas of my creative life and business is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I’ve got?” He then shows you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.
Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Peter’s approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your creative business and life.
Become a great Storyteller
That’s why I set up What is your Story? service in the great cities of the world and their great bookstores. A new way to use the power of your story. To guide you to life-changing, eye-opening but often elusive works of literature, both past and present, the books of fiction that truly have the power to enchant, enrich and inspire.
In two days with Peter de Kuster you’ll explore your relationship with books so far and your unique story identity will be sketched. You will be guided to books that can put their finger on what you want to rewrite in your story, the feelings that you may often have had but perhaps never understood so clearly before; books that open new perspectives and re-enchant the world for you.
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of your session and you’ll be given an instant story advice and books to read to take away. Your full story advice and books to read list will follow within a couple of days.
- What is your Story?
- Are you even trying to tell a Story?
- Old Stories (stories about you, your art, your clients, your money, your self promotion, your happiness, your health)
- Tell your current Story
- Is this Really Your Story?
YOUR NEW STORY
- The Premise of your Story. The Purpose of your Life and Art
- The words on your tombstone
- You ultimate mission, out loud
- The Seven Great Plots
- The Twelve Archetypal Heroines
- The One Great Story
- Purpose is Never Forgettable
- Questioning the Premise
- Lining up
- Flawed Alignment, Tragic Ending
- The Three Rules in Storytelling
- Write Your New Story
TURNING STORY INTO ACTION
- Turning your story into action
- The Story Effect
- Story Ritualizing
- The Storyteller and the art of story
- The Power of Your Story
- Storyboarding your creative process
- They Created and Lived Happily Ever After
RESERVATION AND FEES
The “What is your Story?” fee is Euro 2.495 excluding VAT for a private tour with a small group of 1 or 2 people.
Questions? Contact Peter de Kuster at 0031 6 33661772 or mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org