What is the best thing that I love about my work? Creating. Whether I am creating characters, places, or situations in my writing – or – creating fantastical flora or objects in my oil paintings, I get so much joy from bringing forth something that wasn’t there before. It’s extremely satisfying.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Contentment. Having the time, space, and ability to do the creating mentioned above. Enjoying time with family and friends. Freedom from people who want to restrict or harm you. And, because life can change so quickly, living in the moment as much as possible.
What is my greatest fear? Two fears. One has already passed—the abject terror that, as a single mom, I would die before my children were raised. Now that they are launched and on their own, I no longer have nightmares about it. The other? That I won’t have time to write everything I want to write or create everything I want to create. I keep lists of ideas.
What is the trait I deplore most in myself? Oy. That’s a hard one. I tend to stay very busy, always doing something. But I’ll go through a period of a few days where it seems I just can’t do anything, because I’m on overload or feeling exhausted. That drives me crazy.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Hoo-boy. In the writing world, that’s another tough one. So many good people. I admire writers who make the effort to pay their luck and fortune forward, who help the up-and-coming writers, no matter their age. Specifically, I’d single out Linda Fairstein, for her work as the head of the sex crimes unit in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. She was/is a fierce defender of justice for women. I’ve met her, and she is gracious and approachable to everyone.
What is my greatest extravagance? I’m not sure I have one. Perhaps taking an occasional beach day, although I haven’t done that in quite a while.
On what occasion would I lie? Little white lies meant to help make someone feel better. For example, if a friend’s been sick, telling them they look much better? That sort of thing. If you count lies of omission, then not telling someone something (if they didn’t need to know it) that would hurt them.
What is the thing I dislike the most about my work? When someone rejects it. I have a pretty thick skin, but it still smarts when it happens.
When and where was I the happiest in my work? Haven’t had the happiest times of my life yet. I’m a late bloomer. Apparently, I had a lot of unpleasant events I was meant to deal with first. They made me stronger, but I’m sure hoping the happiest times come soon.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I’ve made a lot of changes already. The me now is nothing like the me of twenty years ago. I suppose I’d make myself care more about money. (I could have married rich. Sighs.) I’m finding out late in the game that it’s darned important in life.
What is my greatest achievement in work? In writing, the ‘upmarket’ (I’m told that’s what it is) novel I just finished. I’m querying agents for it now. In my artwork, probably my painting titled, ‘Truth’.
Where would I most like to live? I’d love to split my time between South Florida and Hawaii – where I lived for twelve years on Oahu. I LOVE Hawaii for so many reasons.
What is my most treasured possession? My great-grandfather’s cut crystal pieces – he was a glass cutter by trade. They’re stunning. My grandmother’s black velvet coat from when she was in her twenties. The needlepoint pillow with a big V on it that my mom made for me when I was a teenager.
What is my most marked characteristic? I’d like to think it’s standing up for what’s right. Injustice drives me nuts. Not that I can often do much about it, though I try. I’m sure my siblings would tell you it’s stubbornness.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The beach. Boca Raton has beautiful beaches. I go to one that’s quiet, has easy parking, and clean bathrooms. There’s a long boardwalk approach through hanging seagrape branches that opens up to the spectacular view of sparkling turquoise water. It’s warm and lovely. We share the same latitude/ocean with the Bahamas. People tend to forget that.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? My house. I love to cook for friends and entertain here. To venture out? I like Villa Rosano and Brewzzi’s.
What books influenced my life and how? I read everything in the house, including my mom’s old childhood books like The Bobbsey Twins and Honey Bunch, and later, books I truly had no business reading – if you get my drift. The first book that really impacted me was My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George. I was a tomboy, and I was convinced I could do what that kid did. I can’t begin to list all the books that really hit home since, but Shogun, Noble House, Helter Skelter, The Pillars of the Earth, Hawaii, The Shell Seekers, The Blind Assassin, A Tale of Two Cities, History of the World in Six Glasses . . . Anything that taught about places and times I didn’t know, situations I didn’t know.
Who are my favorite writers? Margaret Atwood, Diana Gabaldon, Rosamund Pilcher, James Clavell, James Michener, Charles Dickens, Lee Child.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day? Josh Groban. His voice is a gift from God.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Again with this ‘picking one’ thing? Yikes. Anyone who is not afraid to do the ‘right’ thing. Or is terrified of doing the right thing, but does it anyway. Sydney Carton. Jo March. Atticus Finch. Lisbeth Salander. Claire Randall Fraser & Jamie Fraser. So many more.
Who are my heroes or heroines in real life? Everyone who is trying to help others. There are so many. First responders – police, firefighters, medics – who run toward danger, not away from it. Regular people who see someone in need and stop to do the right thing and help. Teachers who don’t get paid nearly enough, who pay for supplies out of their own pockets and spent an inordinate amount of time with students who desperately need them. For as much as there is wrong in the world, we are blessed that most people are good and want to help.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Only once? Or at least once? Those are two different things. For example, if it’s see it only once, then Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan. Too hard to watch a second time, but so important to see. If it’s see it at least once, then as much as you want after that, well . . . The Sandlot, Shawshank Redemption, A Christmas Story, Monty Python’s Holy Grail, The Princess Bride, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Philadelphia Story, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind, The Godfather, The Martian . . . Too many to name.
What role does art play in my life and work? An enormous part, since it is my work, along with the writing. Art inspires me. When I see someone else’s piece that is well done, I want to dive into the paints, big time. I also find art, whether I’m creating it, or it’s someone else’s, is soothing and a great help in gaining perspective about the trials of life, much like music can be.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Huh. I am quite lucky to have a few friends who love both my writing and my artwork. My mother was a tough sell, but now she is a huge fan of my books. Don’t have a sponsor, but boy if I did? Man, could I get more books and paintings out. I’d be happy to share the profits, too. Feel free to contact me.
Who would I like to work with in 2017? Well, it’s getting to the last of 2017, so I’ll expand it to 2018 as well – give myself more time . . . As long as this is a wild fantasy list, then I’d love to work with the Guggenheim or Whitney Museums to show my oils. In writing, I’d love to work with Lisa Scottoline, Linda Fairstein, or Margaret Atwood.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? Because of being involved in Mystery Writers of America and the Florida Chapter’s SleuthFest conference, I’ve met quite a few luminaries in the writing world already. Of those I haven’t, I’d love to meet John Grisham, Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, Stephen King, Ken Follett . . .
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to working on? I’ve been playing with an idea for a historical novel set in 1400s France. It’ll have mystery and intrigue and double-dealing and treachery and . . .
Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I’m giving a presentation, ‘Show & Tell Ends in Third Grade’ at the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University on Oct. 21st, from 2 to 3:30. I’ll be at Murder on the Beach’s Halloween party on Oct. 30th (details at http://www.murderonthebeach.com) and my books, Blinke It Away, Alias: Mitzi & Mack, and A Little Bit Sideways are available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Landis/e/B005KDJYGS in either paperback or eBook, and there are signed copies at Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore in Delray Beach, FL. My oils on canvas are viewed and sold privately by appointment. I do accept commissions. http://www.landisdesignresource.com
What do the words, ‘Passion Never Retires’, mean to me? Rings true to me. I plan to paint and write until the day I go ‘sneakers up’. (That’s the expression in my family for passing away.)
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? If you haven’t featured them already, then how about the PJ Parrish team of Kris Montee and Kelly Nichols? Elaine Viets has a heck of a story to tell. Sharon Menear was the first woman professional pilot for PanAm. Harriet Ottenheimer is a linguistic anthropologist turned author.
How can you contact me?
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook Author Page – http://tinyurl.com/VLandisAuthorFB
Author Central Page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Landis/e/B005KDJYG
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