Fuerst, Jeffrey B. 1956-
FUERST, Jeffrey B. 1956-
PERSONAL: Born February 17, 1956, in Paterson, NJ; son of Joel (a business executive and college professor) and Paulette (a teacher and librarian) Fuerst; married Marjorie Siegel (an attorney), October 2, 1988; children: Jacob, Alexa. Education: Oberlin College, B.A., 1978; Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, M.F.A., 1983. Hobbies and other interests: Cooking, tennis, reading, travel, cultural events.
CAREER: Phoenix Theater, worked as literary assistant; Medicine Show Theater Ensemble, worked as booking manager, publicist, and grant writer; script analyst for National Playwrights Conference and Eugene O'Neill Festival; American Stage Festival, Milford, NH, assistant artistic director, 1979-81; Nederlander Television and Film Productions, writer and literary manager, 1983-84; Museum of Television and Radio, associate curator, 1984-89; freelance writer and television producer, 1989-91; Zillions: Consumer Report for Kids (magazine and Internet Web site), writer and editor, 1990-2001; freelance writer and editor, 2002—. Consumers Union, educational programs editor, 2001-02. Creator of interactive quiz series Kat Man Doo Asks You, Guess What?, The Bob Show, and Movie Mania with 2-XL, 1987-88. Inter-Village Continuing Education Program, member of advisory board, 2002—. State University of New York—Westchester, adjunct instructor in television writing; workshop presenter for schools, libraries, and community organizations; teacher of writing classes; public speaker; judge of writing competitions. National Couch Potato Olympix, creator, producer, and commissioner.
MEMBER: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
AWARDS, HONORS: Distinguished Achievement Awards, Association of Educational Publishers, 1992, 1998.
Greetings from Nowheresville! (humor), Scott, Foresman (Glenview, IL), 1999.
When in Rome (fiction), Scott, Foresman (Glenview, IL), 1999.
Pound Pals (fantasy), Scott, Foresman (Glenview, IL), 1999.
Hot Gobs: The Art of Glassblowing, Scott, Foresman (Glenview, IL), 1999.
The Iditarod: Dogsled Race across Alaska, Wright Group (San Diego, CA), 2000.
Inside a Radio Station, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 2001.
African-American Cowboys: A True Tale of the Old West, Celebration Press (Parsippany, NJ), 2002.
The Kids' Baseball Workout: How to Get in Shape and Improve Your Game, illustrated by Anne Canevari Green, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.
Funhouse Mirrors and Optic Tricks, Four Corners/Pearson Learning (Parsippany, NJ), 2003.
Explore the World: Earth Science Experiments, Four Corners/Pearson Learning (Parsippany, NJ), 2003.
PLAYS; FOR CHILDREN
The Perfessers (original skits and adaptations from children's literature), produced in Oberlin, OH, 1975.
It's a Dog's Life (based on the book The Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien), produced in Milford, NH, 1981.
Dr. Seuss on the Loose (based on the stories of Dr. Seuss), produced in Milford, NH, 1981.
What a Vacation! Celebration Press (Parsippany, NJ), 2002.
The Substitute Tooth Fairy, produced, 2003.
PLAYS; FOR ADULTS
Never up, Never In, produced in Bloomington, IL, 1978.
The Imaginary Unit, produced in Oberlin, OH, 1978.
Boys Will Be Boys, produced in New York, NY, 1979.
The Plot beneath the Plot, produced in New York, NY, 1980.
Larry and His Old Lady, produced in New York, NY, 1981.
Wading for Cousteau, produced in New York, NY, 1983.
Beginner's Luck, produced in New York, NY, 1986.
(With others; and associate producer) Milton Berle: Mr. Television (documentary television special), WNYC-Television, 1985.
D. J. Kat's Christmas Party (television special), Fox, 1990.
Kids-TV (educational television series), Showtime, 1990.
(With others; and producer) Guide to New York City Housing Courts (educational film), New York City Bar Association, 1990.
Contributor of articles and television reviews to periodicals, including Scholastic Search, Writer's Digest, Animation, Cooking Light, Hartford Monthly, Instructor, Manhattan Spirit, Newsday, and Video Review. Contributor to Internet Web sites, including Nestle's Kids Corner and Juniornet.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Attack of the Googolplex: A Lone Integer Math Adventure; a musical play; a pilot for an animated cartoon series designed to "make learning math fun by spoofing super-hero comics and movie conventions."
SIDELIGHTS: Jeffrey B. Fuerst told CA: "I like to make learning stuff fun. Whenever possible I try to infuse my nonfiction with humor. I call this the '3E' approach because my goal is to engage, entertain, educate. It is my hope that after kids read my work they will be inspired to go out and learn more on their own.
"I'm also a big believer in doing. When people say to me, 'Gee, I always wanted to be a writer' or 'Gee, I wish I could write,' I say don't think about it, just do it. Put the words on paper or the computer screen, or talk into a tape recorder. Don't be afraid to create. Go with it. Say what you want to say. It's always easier to crumple up paper or hit the delete button afterwards. The editing comes later in the writing process.
"After you write something, let it sit for awhile. Then look at it again. Read it aloud to yourself. Don't ask for too many opinions because in the long run, yours is the only one that really matters. You can listen to others, but trust yourself, and be willing to revise, revise, then revise some more. If it matters to you, you'll keep going, and you won't be afraid to work at it.
"I keep notebooks of ideas and have many projects in different stages of development at all times. I keep my projects in different folders and add to them as notions strike me, as character traits and plot points become apparent. As the stories or projects begin to take shape, I write a plot outline. The outline, or treatment, can go on for pages. When I think I know what the story is, I'll type up my notes and create a computer file. Then the hard work begins of actually writing. But it is also the fun work—invigorating. My favorite part is when characters start talking to each other. Even though I am their creator, it is as if I no longer exist except as a conduit for their thoughts, actions, reactions, feeling.
"I'm usually at my computer by nine o'clock in the morning on weekdays, just like someone with a 'real' job. This discipline I learned from having a staff writing job at a magazine for many years."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2002, Marta Segal Block, review of The Kids' Baseball Workout: A Fun Way to Get in Shape and Improve Your Game, p. 129.
School Library Journal, July, 2002, Blair Christolon, review of The Kids' Baseball Workout, p. 106.
J. B. Fuerst Web site,http://www.jbfuerst.com (April 21, 2003).