The Heroine’s Journey of Peggy Wheeler

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Writing is not my work so much as it’s my passion and my purpose. I believe as we are fulfilling our passion and our purpose, then we are the most happy.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Living my life as I chose. I write full-time. It’s what I do, and when I’m not writing, I spend time with my husband and my five little dog-like creatures in a funky geodesic dome home. We live in the middle of a forest on a mountain in northern California, a perfect place to write and to experience perfect happiness.

What is my greatest fear? Right now, it’s shuffling off this mortal coil without having seen much of the world. I’ve got a deep bucket list, but my husband and I are getting older and we don’t have much time left to fill our bucket, including the travel we’ve promised one another for nearly thirty years.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I procrastinate. As a result, don’t get things done that I need to or want to, and then I become frustrated with myself.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Chuck Wendig, Stephen King (mostly because he’s an amazing American icon with an amazing story of his own), Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman, Carl Hiaasen, Isabel Allende . There’s many, many more, but these came to mind immediately.

What is my greatest extravagance? Food. We spend more money on food – both at home and in restaurants – than on anything else. I love to cook and I enjoy fine foods. Dining in gourmet restaurants is one of my favorite things to do, and the most costly extravagance for me.

On what occasion would I lie? To save someone from pain and fear. If I knew a small child was dying of cancer, if they ask, I may lie to that child and tell them everything will be okay, for example. I consider myself an honest person, and I detest lies.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Like everyone else who published traditionally, rejections cut like a knife to the heart. But, once I’ve cried into my pillow, I get back up, roll up my sleeves, and get back to work. So, yes, I dislike that part of my work, but I also get over it quickly, and soldier on.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Sitting at my desk at home, looking through the window at the acres of Ponderosa pine, blue skies, mountains in the backgrounds, and watching the wildlife and birds as I work.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d like to be more disciplined. I make promises to myself to do just that, then after a short while, I begin to slip into old patterns and behaviors. My energy is all over the place, and it’s difficult for me to focus on one task without jumping to another, and another, before I’ve finished the first. It’s maddening.

What is my greatest achievement in work? After finishing my first non-fiction book in 2007, and my first novel in 2011, enduring hundreds of rejections, and going through three agents (all quit the business before selling my books), finally seeing my first book in print, published in 2016 by a small, but reputable, Canadian press. I’ve since had another published, and another coming out in a week or two. Same publisher, Dragon Moon Press.

Where would I most like to live? If I can’t afford my own Pacific Island, I love where I live. Beautiful, quiet, peaceful.

What is my most treasured possession? I treasure my relationships, especially the one with my husband, over any possession. If I were to say a thing that I treasure, it might be my mother-in-law’s wedding set from the 1930s. Pure art deco. Small, but so pretty.

What is my most marked characteristic? I’ve got a gregarious personality, or so I’ve been told. I smile a lot. I can be opinionated but I can also be a lot of fun, and in general I love people. I also strive to be kind and respectful of everyone regardless of who they are, where they come from, what they believe, what their politics are, or what color their skin is.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? In the afternoons and early evening on my deck overlooking the forest with my hubby. Weather permitting, my husband and I can be found out there every day with our adult beverages in-hand, sitting side-by-side under the multitude of trees and the brilliant blue sky.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I live in a tiny town. There isn’t much right here to speak of. Our favorite is an Italian restaurant owned and operated by a couple from El Salvador, of all things. The atmosphere isn’t much to crow about, but the service and the food are quite good and beautifully prepared. The prices are reasonable, they have a full bar, and the owner helps me to improve my bad Spanish when there. I asked the owner if they planned on adding Salvadoran food (I love pupusas), but she said they don’t know how to make Salvadoran food, and have been working together in Italian kitchens since before they left El Salvador twenty years before.

What books influenced my life and how? Oh, gosh. The classics, of course, everything from Chaucer to Hemingway. I am also in love with the work of Joan Didion, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I am crazy about magic-realism), Ray Bradbury, Pablo Neruda, Claire Vaye Watkins, and others. It’s not one book or several that influence me, but many.

Who are my favorite writers? Those mentioned under books that most influence me. I could write a comprehensive list, but it would require pages to do so.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I requested Debussy’s Claire de Lune played at my celebration of life service.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? This sounds narcissistic, I know, but I’ve written three women characters that I feel bonded to. One is a half-Yurok/half-Irish tough-as-nails, humorless, retired cop who is a monster killer. She also has a huge capacity for compassion and she’s extremely smart. Her name is Maggie Tall-Bear Sloan. Another is a middle-aged hippopotamus who lives on a mythical planet, and her best friend is a praying mantis who rides on her head. Her name is Beautimus Potamus. She’s a writer, a university professor, and a maker of oracles. The last of the three is Margo Pennymon, a backwoods, uneducated woman from a small town in Texas, with an Texas twang accent so thick you can cut through it with a knife. Margo dresses like a cheap tart, and initially most people don’t like her. She’s feisty, outspoken, but wiser than anyone knows, gutsy, and has some mad survival skills.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, Jimmy Carter, my husband, Steve Wheeler. There are others.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Wizard of Oz

What role plays art in my life and work? Writers are artists. Our medium is a blank screen, talent, skill and imagination. Artists create something from nothing, in that sense, all art is related to what I do as an author

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband. My mother was my greatest advocate, but she died in 2013 before my first book was published. I miss her, but I’m grateful to have a supportive partner and avid fan in my husband.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? No one in particular. I have an extensive network of other writers, and folks in the publishing industry. I will cultivate more of those relationships. But, is there one person I’d like to work with? No one comes to mind. I wouldn’t mind co-authoring a book with Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. That might boost my image as a write a little. Hahahaa

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? I’ve met so many publishing industry folks on social media, many of whom I consider good friends. I would so much love to meet them and interact with them in person.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m currently working on multiple projects. One is under contract with my publisher, the sequel to my debut novel released last year, The Raven’s Daughter.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018? I will be on live radio in Los Angeles in March. Right now, no other public appearances or events planned. Anyone can buy my books (Kindle, Nook or printed) through my website,, or through Barnes and Noble on line, or order through local bookstores. I’ve books in several libraries, and you can find any of my work on amazon. Also, for those who enjoy listening to their books, my work is on Audible.

Links to my current books:

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion never retires – okay. To me it means that whatever creative impulses and passions within us, never die. When I die, I will leave a legacy with my books. I’ll no longer exist, I may have “retired” from life, but my art and my passion will live on without me.

What heroines should you invite to tell their story? Who do you resonate with? Who touches your heart? Who inspires you? Who delights you? Whoever that is, that’s the heroine you invite.

How can you contact me?

The best way to reach me is via my professional e-mail,, or my website,

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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