The Heroine’s Journey of Nancy J. Cohen

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love providing readers with an escape from their daily routine and from the distressing news on TV. I want to take them to a place where they can forget their troubles and live in a world where they can believe in happy endings.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being in good health and having family and friends nearby is all you need for happiness. Material things bring pleasure but they don’t go with you. Your loved ones are all that matter.

What is my greatest fear? I won’t have enough time or energy to finish all the projects I have in mind.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Being impatient with others who are slower to catch on than me.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Multi-published authors who can write four books a year and still have the enthusiasm to market their work and keep up with social media.

What is my greatest extravagance? Books. I can’t stop buying them. I still like to read print books in addition to digital formats so my shelves at home are overflowing.

On what occasion would I lie? To avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The pressure to produce more and faster and to keep up with social media at the expense of writing.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I’m happiest when I finish the first draft, because then the creative part is over and I can concentrate on polishing my work. You’ve heard the phrase, “I hate writing but I love having written?” It’s hard to face a blank page, although when the story flows, you’re in the zone and that’s a euphoric time. It’s when story magic happens. But I like it even better when the story is done. Then the anxiety is over that you might not have enough pages to meet your word count quota.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d pay more attention to friends and family instead of being so focused on my writing career. Being a writer means you have to sacrifice some of this personal time.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I’ve won a few awards and those are gratifying. My greatest achievement is simply completing my body of work, which includes eight romance novels, fourteen mysteries in my Bad Hair Day series, two novellas, and the nonfiction guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery.

Where would I most like to live? I am living in paradise now in South Florida, aside from hurricanes.

What is my most treasured possession? My children. As I said, material things aren’t permanent. Otherwise, I’d say my collection of published works is most meaningful to me. It’s my legacy.

What is my most marked characteristic? I am purposeful, always striving toward a goal.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I like to take walks in the neighborhood, although we enjoy Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach for its landscaped beauty and tranquility. Flamingo Gardens in Davie is also inspirational to visit. Then there’s the Water Taxi at east Fort Lauderdale. That’s a fun ride taking you past mansions lining the New River and Intracoastal Waterway. Plus the beaches.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? Brio at Westfield Broward Mall.

What books influenced my life and how? Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Judy Bolton, and the Horatio Hornblower series. Nancy Drew gave me a passion for mysteries. Cherry Ames inspired me to become a nurse. Judy Bolton showed me how a character should grow throughout a series. And the Hornblower saga reiterated this lesson, that it’s the characters and their evolution that attracts readers more so than the murder mystery, the sea battles, or the space fleet skirmishes. Readers come back because they want to see what happens next to the protagonist.

Who are my favorite writers? I don’t have any all-time favorites. It depends on what genre I’m reading at the time. You can follow my book reviews on Goodreads to see my reading list.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Mozart. I like classical music.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Dare I say Marla Vail, my own hairstylist sleuth in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries?

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My husband. Men and women who serve our country in the military. Fire fighters and rescue personnel. People who volunteer at pet shelters and who help folks who are less advantaged.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV)

What role plays art in my life and work? Literature is the form of art that influences my life.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I wouldn’t be where I am without my husband’s support. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t credit my critique group. We’ve been together for years, and it’s made all the difference to my writing.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I’d love to work with a producer who wants to put my mystery series on TV. Do you know anyone who might be interested?

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I’ve met reps from the various book distributors at conferences, and these are valuable contacts. I could always meet more marketing experts who deal with genre fiction.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m working on the sequel to Hair Brained, my latest mystery release.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017?

Amazon: BN: iBooks: Kobo: J. Cohen

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? As a writer, I never have to retire. I might decide to put another book on hold in order to manage my backlist titles and get caught up in turning my mysteries into audiobooks. Writing is in the blood. It isn’t something you can turn off like a switch.

How can you contact me?

Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads: Pinterest: Linked In: Google Plus: Instagram: Booklover’s Bench: Newsletter Sign-Up: BookBub: Audible:

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 Can I Expect?

Here’s an outline of the WHAT IS YOUR STORY? journey.

Journey Outline


  • 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?


  • 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 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


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

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