Who is that bewhiskered fellow who can’t shut up about tightening prose and the beauty of language?
That would be me, Niels Kwakernaak, a writer and editor from Israel.
As a lifelong writing and language aficionado, I’m fluent in English and Dutch, and to a lesser extent, in German and Hebrew. I’m fast learning, goal oriented, and reliable. In my spare time, I’m a singer-songwriter, a classical (counter) tenor, and an amateur theologian. I have always been writing, painting, and composing music. And in so doing, I’m ever striving for perfection. With my inborn tendency to dive into projects with my heart and soul, I can bring all this creativity and perfectionism to the table of those who hire me.
I’m looking forward to working with you!
Where I came from
I was born and raised a Christian in the Netherlands, where I spent most of my life—until I met my lovely wife on the walls of Jerusalem. After we got married, in 2015, I moved to Israel to start a new life in the Aravah desert. By now, three kids have joined our little fold.
Since boyhood, I’ve had a passion for music and arts—I loved painting and playing drums, guitars, and piano; later, I started singing (classical, gospel, metal, and everything in between).
Books, however, were a mystery to me. I loved leafing through them, sniffing them, posing for pictures with them—but reading them was an idea that didn’t cross my mind. But when Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings hit the theaters, I realized couldn’t run from books anymore. And ever since, I have been a book junkie.
I had been writing stories and essays all my life—not knowing that real writers are readers—but then I began taking things seriously. I took writing classes and read every book I could find on writing and editing techniques. When I moved to Israel, I started a job as a copyeditor for a multinational editing company, where I later got promoted to senior editor.
In 2020, I felt it was time to start on my own as a freelancer—I started Your Best Story.
Writing and editing fiction
I love stories, and I love storytelling. And for the past twenty years, I’ve been studying the art and craft of writing fiction. What makes a book suspenseful? How do you write dialogue that’s technically correct and has this tension that keeps you up at night? I had to understand these things.
I read every book I could find on the subject, and from 2013 to 2022, I studied at the Institute for Writers to deepen my knowledge and experience. From 2020 to 2022, I studied editing at the University of Washington, further honing my skills in the written word.
And I’d love to use all I’ve learned to help you create Your Best Story.
Writing and editing nonfiction
Of course, I’m interested in all kinds of nonfiction as well.
I’m particularly interested in
- personal stories, testimonies, and memoirs,
- Christian theology,
- writing techniques.
In short: everything that’s interesting and inspiring.
Making music and painting
As a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and certified music producer, one of my main interests in nonfiction writing and editing is—you guessed it—music.
I love classical music and metal and (nearly) all that’s in between. I sing classical, gospel, and rock music (from a soft falsetto to belting my face off). I’m a passionate songwriter and composer (see the page Songwriting and compositions).
Painting is another passion of mine. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time for it lately.
My inspiration for Your Best Story
I love quality.
I’ve always desired to see things come to their full potential, and I’m happy when I can do something to make that happen. For a long time, I worked as a copyeditor in a large company, where I felt I was limited in what I was allowed to do to improve the text—time and money were the enemies.
Slowly, the dream began to emerge to start on my own. To start a company in which I could take the time to help authors make the very best of their manuscripts. I dream of working with authors who value quality above their wallet, and who are willing to invest time and money into their work. I don’t aspire to be cheap, but to be the best.
Because it’s Your Best Story.
My mission statement for Your Best Story
To make your story stand out among your competition.
If your story is a diamond, we’ll cut it to perfection.
My vision for Your Best Story
My vision for Your Best Story is to help writers and companies tell their stories in clear, crisp, and precise language so they engage their readers.
My core values
- Being honest
- Working hard to achieve the best
- Daring to be who I am
- Providing the highest quality
- Not being cheap, but being good
- Getting the details right
- Everybody deserves a chance to success
- Dare to dream big
- Let your imagination drive you
- Love each word of your story
- There’s a (rough) jewel in every person
- Always keep on learning
Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.King Solomon, 990-931 BCE
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.St. Paul, 62 CE