What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love everything about writing, from the mad rush of the first draft, to editing, and re-editing and most of all I love being published. There were several years when the financial rewards were small or non-existent but now that I’m also working in self-help, film, and popular fiction markets, I’m beginning to realize my dream of making a living as a writer. That said, my love of literary fiction and poetry is why I became a writer in the first place and, although not always lucrative markets, I’ll continue write in these arenas for the satisfaction of literary recognition.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? I don’t believe in perfection but I’m happy most of the time! I’m happy when I’m out living my life, travelling the world, spending time with friends, or just relaxing at home with my partner M. There is also a sublime joy to developing one’s working on my craft, to see what comes from one’s imagination, and to watch one’s work enter the world.
What is my greatest fear? I’m with Franklin D. Roosevelt on fear, “The only thing to fear is fear itself,” but not exclusively as an act of courage although that is part of it too, but more as a philosophical perspective. Metaphysics guides me. So, for me, life is about knowing and being, and my relationship with cause and effect, time and space, amongst other things. And, one of the things I know is that people attract into their lives either what they fear the most or what they desire the most. To prevent attracting frightening things I work meditatively to release fear and, to manifest, I visualize what I desire.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? That’s an odd question. I don’t “deplore” myself. Again, spiritual metaphysics guides me, and I learned long ago that it is wiser to love and accept myself, including my flaws, than to diminish myself with criticism. However, if you’re looking flaws, I have lots of those! I could eat less chocolate, drink less Prosecco, and exercise more often.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? J.K. Rowling. She went from welfare to wealth doing what she loved in spite of a life riddled with challenges. I admire people that never give up. She’s also said to be a very generous person that’s shared her fortune to such a degree that she went from billionaire back to being a multimillionaire because she recognized that having millions was more than enough for anyone. Also, I would be thrilled to know that hundreds of millions of people had read my work.
What is my greatest extravagance? I’m a fairly extravagant person by nature. My motto used to be, “Too much is never enough,” but I’ve grown past it to some degree. These days I’d say buying books, clothes, and travel are my greatest extravagances.
On what occasion would I lie? I’m a fiction writer, natural born storyteller, so I suppose I lie all the time. Yet, in everyday life I tend to be overly honest. People don’t like that trait in others as much as they profess. People want to be agreed with even if they’re wrong. I’m working on improving my ability to tell white lies to avoid arguments. Honesty is the plight of opinionated people such as myself.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Deadlines are a challenge. I couldn’t live without them but I’ve watched a couple sail by. Thankfully, the agents I met at the PNWA conference (Pacific Northwest Writers Association) have been generous about extending my novel’s deadline.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Today I’m the happiest in my work. Tomorrow I’ll be happier still and on and on into the future since my career is taking off. I had many challenges in the earlier parts of my life that prevented me from finding my way in the writing world. Now that I’ve transcended past issues or, if not the issue entirely, how I deal with them, life is great. I still have challenges from time to time but nothing that prevents me from moving forward.
If I could, what would I change about myself? A good question right after the last, I wish I’d been in the emotional and financial space to pursue my writing career sooner. I’ve been writing since kindergarten but didn’t send out a single submission until 2004. At that time, I wrote a poem about my childhood on the Tulalip Indian Reservation and won a prize in a national contest hosted by Poetry.org. I didn’t submit another thing until 2012, when I sent a short story to Clamor Literary Journal and it was also published. If I could change one thing, it would be to have sent more work to publishers earlier in life.
What is my greatest achievement in work? I’m proud of my book, My Myths, and of my small press, Brightly Press, but I believe my greatest achievements are the short story collection and novel I’m working on right now. I have four different publishing agents waiting for the novel I pitched at PNWA, so exciting! That said perhaps my greatest achievement so far is becoming a writer at all. It’s no small thing getting past the monsters in one’s reality, the people that try to drag you down or hold you back. I’m so free now that when anyone tries to cause me harm they somehow, inadvertently, help me succeed. It appears that early challenges in life either destroy a person or make them so powerful that they’re unstoppable – I’m the latter.
Where would I most like to live? I love living in Washington and currently have no desire to live anywhere else. I travelled for a total of ten years, a two-year stint and eight-year stint. I lived in Japan, Korea, Ireland, England, and explored all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, as well as various places in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America and so forth. It’s a long list. I still travel, I’ll be in Amsterdam and Ireland in 2018, but Seattle might well be my home for the rest of my life.
What is my most treasured possession? I have collected crystals and have hundreds in my keeping. I work with them while I meditate.
What is my most marked characteristic? You know how people take tests to learn if they’re left or right brained? Well, I’m both. It does me no favors whatsoever because I can understand and empathize with people from every realm but I lack the acute bias that comes with only understanding a single worldview. I’ve been told I have a philosopher’s mind and I would say that’s true.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I guess my home in Seattle since that’s where I do most of my writing and editing. In the future I hope to live on the water again. I grew up near the ocean on the Tulalip Reservation, and later lived on two different lakes. Water inspires me, so I hope to live on it again somewhere in Washington State.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? Seattle has a lot of fabulous restaurants. I’m extremely fond of little places Thaiku in the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood, The Thirsty Fish’s local cuisine in the Crown Hill neighborhood but I believe my favorite is Il Bistro in the Pike Place Market. I have a lot of good memories there and the food is amazing.
What books influenced my life and how? Wow, that’s a tough one. I’ve read at a college reading level since sixth grade and have read thousands of books. I’ve been greatly influenced by books written by James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and Barbara Kingsolver, and many others. Joyce for his complexity and deviation from the norm in Ulysses, Hemingway for the clear, elegant, simplicity of his character’s voices, especially in The Sun Also Rises, and Kingsolver for her point of view and ability to create a sense of momentum in her big stories, especially The Poison World Bible. It’s a masterpiece.
Who are my favorite writers? The writers I mentioned above are favorites but I also love Sherman Alexie, T.C. Boyle, Sylvia Plath, CA Conrad, Margaret Atwood, John Irving, Alice Munro, and Toni Morrison, but I don’t like to pick favorites because there are so many great writers. My true list would be too long for here.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Such an ominous question! I love music, lately Cold Play, Oasis, and the Rolling Stones are favorites as well as a long list of classical musicians but I doubt I am listening to any of them when I die because I’m an intuitive person and suspect I’ll know when I’m about to die. I will probably just lie down and step out in silence.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? In the youth market Hermione Granger sprang to mind. In the adult realm, I’d say Eliza from Isabel Allende’s Daughter of Fortune. The latter is an older novel, it came out in 1998, but it’s truly an unforgettable journey. I might like it because Allende sees herself in the character of Eliza. It’s a young woman’s search for identity and self-knowledge.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My parents are amazing people. They are also incredibly private so I won’t say much other than they have lived and done many things and always put their children before themselves and I love them very much.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? “Once in a lifetime” that’s tricky. Everyone should see Cinema Paradiso. It’s a beautiful film that many might not know to see. If I weren’t so busy writing I’d live at the movies.
What role-plays art in my life and work? Art was my first love, before I learned to write in kindergarten I drew pictures. I still do and paint. If I ever have an art show though, it will likely be photography. Right now, that is just an idea without a foundation as I have packed most of my photography away until I finish my two new books.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My partner M, his full name is Martin O’Malley. We’ve been together for 24 years now and I love him more each day. He comes to my readings, reads my rough drafts, and provides a second pair of eyes for my work. He has a couple of degrees, including a BA in English.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I’ve been so lucky with who I’ve worked with thus far including CA Conrad, Deborah Woodard, Tammy Robacker, and dozens more. I hope to read in with my friend, poet Katy Bohinc and, maybe my Facebook friend, Ian Haight. He once suggested we read together and I know I would love to read with him. These two are both excellent poets.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? If I have to pick one or two I’m going with Lev Grossman and Margaret Atwood. It’s fairly likely I’ll cross paths with them at some point before I or they die but it might not be before the end of this year.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m finishing Brightly Presses Shake The Tree 2018. It will be released in January of 2018. I hope to finish my novel before the end of the year too but Feburay is more likely. I’m proud of Shake’s list of contributors: CA Conrad, Sam Ligon, Natalie Diaz, Douglas Kearney, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Cynthia Atkins, Tammy Robacker, Jane L. Carmen, Janice Lee, Matthew Trease, Joseph Musso, Deborah Woodard, Rebecca Chamaa, Trish Hopkinson, Chelsea Jean Werner-Jatzke, Scott Driscoll, Ed Harkness, Natasha Moni, Chen Chen, Kaveh Akbar, Kristen Young, Kristen Scott, Karen Finneyfrock, Clare Johnson, Kate Lebo, Carolyne Lee Wright, Tyrone Williams, David Tomas Martinez, Rachel Custer, Kate Hanson Foster, Katy Bohinc, and Diane Khong and foresee this anthology selling out like the last two. I call the project “Shake The Tree” because I break the rule of never self-publishing. I republish a story or poem of mine that was picked up by another press earlier in the year in the anthology’s “The Editor Is A Writer” section at the back of the book. It’s the only place I break this rule but it arose out of necessity following a bad MFA experience at the UWB, and now I do it just for fun because I enjoy breaking the rules now and again.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I’ve been reading all over the place in 2017. I read with former poet laureates Jane L. Carmen on an Oregon literary tour, Tammy Robacker in Seattle at Open Books: A Poem Emporium, and The Fremont Library. In autumn I usually participate in Seattle’s Lit Crawl this time of year but I decided to go into hermit-writer mode instead to finish my bigger projects. I have agreed to read on November 1st at The Duvall Library.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I love this saying! Nice. For me, it means that those of us in the Arts will never retire because the fire of creativity is an eternal flame burning in our hearts and minds and we are driven to always produce work.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Cynthia Atkins and Deborah Woodard (Feel free to say I recommended them).
How can you contact me?
People should join me on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I’m listed as Kelle Grace Gaddis. Or, they can visit my websites http://www.kellegracegaddiswriter.com, http://www.brightlypress.com, or my intuitive reading page, http://www.kellegrac
Kelle Grace Gaddis’s work also appears in Resist Much Obey Little
(Amazon Link) https://www.amazon.com/Resist-Much-Obey-Little-Resistance/dp/1944682325
My Myths (Poetry & Fiction) published by Yellow Chair Review (who sold out of copies before closing shop). My Myths is now exclusively sold at Open Books: A Poem Emporium Link: http://www.openpoetrybooks.com They can ship anywhere.
Kelle Grace Gaddis’s writer’s page link: https://kellegracegaddiswriter.com
I also own Brightly Press and produce an anthology series called Shake The Tree. Press Link: https://brightlypress.com
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.
- 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 email@example.com