The Heroine’s Journey of Jessica Anya Blau

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best thing about writing is getting outside myself, getting away from myself, entering the creative trance. The best thing about teaching is interacting with my students. They’re interesting, smart, funny people. I love getting to know them.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being with people I love, laughing.

What is my greatest fear? I have too many fears to list! When I’m driving, I’m afraid I’m going to accidentally hit and kill someone on a bike. When I’m on a bike, I’m afraid someone’s going to hit and kill me. It’s a yin-yang of endless fears.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Fear!

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I admire every writer I know. It takes incredible determination, grit, and blind faith to write. Every person who does it has my respect and admiration.

What is my greatest extravagance? Beauty creams. Anything in Sephora.

On what occasion would I lie? Oh, to spare someone’s feelings. Don’t we all lie a little like that?

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? In teaching I dislike prep work. I’d love it if I could just show up and hang out.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I’m always happy when I’m working. I need to feel productive to be happy.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d give myself more courage.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Having my novels published.

Where would I most like to live? New York, Paris, Rome, London, Barcelona, California. I like cities and I like water.

What is my most treasured possession? Two Morton Bartlett photos.

What is my most marked characteristic? Hmm . . . maybe my endless curiosity about people.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? In Baltimore, any café. In New York, Central Park.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? In Baltimore, I like lunch places and diners. Places filled with locals.

What books influenced my life and how? Every book I read influences me. When I was a kid I loved The Little Princess, and I devoured all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

Who are my favorite writers? All my writer pals everywhere in the world. Each one is my favorite in one way or another.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Oh, that’s a hard one. Bonnie Raitt. Led Zeppelin. Regina Spektor. Anyone with a twang in their voice. I heard Beck on the radio today and it made me want to listen to more Beck.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Madeline from the Bemelman’s book. She was small and fearless.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My daughters. They’re smart and courageous. And very funny.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? I love movies. I could list a hundred great movies off the top of my head. A movie I loved, that I’m going to re-watch soon, is An Education.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is life. Art and love. Reading is an art, too!

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? There’s a great country song that has the line, “My mama is my greatest fan.” That would be true for me, too.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? Everyone who’s doing something smart, new, creative. Maybe Sofia Coppola.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? I’d like to meet everyone except the a-holes.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m working on a novel. I just finished a short story. I have another novel in mind, too.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? You can get all my novels at the library (I love libraries!), independent bookstores, big bookstores and here on Amazon. The Trouble with Lexie is on sale for 1.99 just this week:

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Can you imagine a life without passion? Passion is joy!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Memoirist Marion Winik, novelist Jane Delury, poet Elizabeth Hazen.

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?

One 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?” one day fee is Euro 995 excluding VAT per person

Questions? Contact Peter de Kuster at 0031 6 33661772 or mail him at


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