Hey, everyone, I am delighted to introduce a new friend, Kourtney Heintz. I bumped into Kourtney when a mutual friend, Kitt Crescendo, featured Kourtney’s debut release, The Six Train to Wisconsin on her blog. As soon as I read the post, I knew I had to read the book. It’s a compelling blend of several genres, best described as speculative fiction.
A semi-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, The Six Train to Wisconsin draws you in from page one and holds you spellbound through the edge-of-your-seat ending. I had a special affinity for Kourtney’s voice as an author, which resonates strongly in her unique descriptions. If you’re looking for a well-crafted story with engaging characters and an unusual twist of the paranormal, I highly recommend The Six Train to Wisconsin.
And now, please say hello to Kourtney!
Mae, I’m so delighted to have met you during my blog tour in June. Thanks for inviting me onto your blog!
I’m delighted to have you here, Kourtney! I loved your novel and, of course, now want to know much more about your writing process. 🙂 Are you a draft writer or someone who invests a lot of time in editing and polishing as you write? Why does your method work best for you?
I tend to revise as I draft. My first completed draft is usually a mix of six or seventeen drafts. I set a word count requirement for each day. Any editing I do is on top of that. If I’m unsure about what to write that day, I go back to the previous day’s work and revise it. I slip into the flow and easily write forward.
I hit natural pausing points (like 50 pages or 100 pages) and go back and revise for a week or two as well.
The flexibility of being able to alter things as I go and to pause and reevaluate helps me to have a more polished opening. When the drafting is done, my first 50-100 pages are much more polished than my last 50-100 pages. This is great for submitting my opening pages for critique while still polishing up the rest of the manuscript.
I do something similar, polishing as I go, and going back to the previous day’s work to move forward. I don’t think I’ve ever written a “draft” straight through to the end without constant editing and revising. Next technique question: Which do you develop first, characters or plot?
It differs from novel to novel for me. For The Six Train to Wisconsin, I had the characters before the plot. For my YA novel, Reckonings, it was the plot before the characters.
Which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?
At first I struggled with it, but then I worked at it until I found my sweet spot. I am not a fan of setting/description. It bores me. So it’s something I sprinkle into my story in revisions, but it’s not something I love to write. Although, I am learning how useful a few lines of setting can be.
A surprising answer given the many unique descriptions I fawned over in The Six Train to Wisconsin. 🙂 Your dialogue rocked, but your descriptive voice really made an impact on me. For those who are unfamiliar with the novel, please share some details about the book.
The Six Train to Wisconsin is about a married couple, Kai and Oliver. When Kai’s telepathy spirals out of control, her husband Oliver brings her to the quiet Wisconsin hometown he abandoned a decade ago, where he must confront the secrets of his past to save their future.
Kirkus Reviews wrote, “Heintz’s debut weaves psychological insight into a suspenseful, sci-fi–tinged thriller and produces a welcome variation on the classic marriage drama.”
Awesome review, Kourtney! The accolades are well deserved. Tell us about your characters. Which did you enjoy writing the most and why?
Hands down it was Caleb. He’s intriguing and fun. He’s everything I would want in an older brother.
I ADORED Caleb! From the moment he appeared, I was smitten. Talk about a magnetic character. I’m going to cross my fingers that you’ll give him his own book someday (readers, Caleb is Kai’s uber-dynamic brother with some special gifts of his own).
And now I’m going to ask Kourtney to share the first three lines of the book and pique your curiosity!
Like any man, I loved my wife; but these 3 a.m. suicidal thoughts were killing me. Her thoughts seeped into my dreams and tugged me toward consciousness. Without opening my eyes to look at her side of the bed, I knew she was in the kitchen stirring her tea because the image filled my mind.
Yep, sucked me in immediately. So tell us a book that had a profound effect on you and explain why.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It made me laugh and cry and want to live as much as I can in every moment.
I’m unfamiliar with that title but will have to do some sleuthing. I love finding new reads through recommendations.
If someone gave you a working time machine tomorrow, where would you visit and why?
I’d go back to college and spend time with everyone who has left my life since then. I’d tell each one how much they mattered and how much I loved them. I’d also warn me about a few life-altering things and hope I can change them.
How perfect! I often wish I could go back and share with long-ago friends.
Moving from people to animals, let’s talk about pets. Pets and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. If you have pets, tell us about them and whether or not they shadow your writing time and space.
I have a warrior lapdog named Emerson. He’s been with me since I first embarked on this writing journey in 2006. He loves to nap in my lap while I’m typing. He’s the best cuddler when I’m mopping after a rejection. He also has a sixth sense for when I’m doing interviews and jumps into my lap to keep me calm. He even snuck into an early draft of my YA novel.
Aww, we all need a cuddler like Emerson! What a wonderful buddy to have. And now a few quick random questions for the fun of it:
Favorite color: Sea Green
Favorite TV show: The Vampire Diaries
Food you never grow tired of: Sacher Torte
Sunset picnic or night on the town: Sunset Picnic
Mountains or beach: Beach
I had to Google Sacher Torte. YUM! I can see why you never tire of it. By the way, I’m a beach and sunset picnic girl myself. 🙂
Kourtney, it was wonderful having you here today. I wish you continued success with THE SIX TRAIN TO WISCONSIN, and eagerly look forward to your next release!
Kourtney Heintz writes emotionally evocative speculative fiction that captures the deepest truths of being human. For her characters, love is a journey never a destination.
She resides in Connecticut with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, her supportive parents and three quirky golden retrievers. Years of working on Wall Street provided the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run amuck at night, imagining a world where out-of-control telepathy and buried secrets collide.
Her debut novel, The Six Train to Wisconsin, was a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist.
You can find Kourtney at the following haunts:
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kourtneyheintzwriter
Book Blurb for THE SIX TRAIN TO WISCONSIN:
Sometimes saving the person you love can cost you everything.
There is one person that ties Oliver Richter to this world: his wife Kai. For Kai, Oliver is the keeper of her secrets.
When her telepathy spirals out of control and inundates her mind with the thoughts and emotions of everyone within a half-mile radius, the life they built together in Manhattan is threatened.
To save her, Oliver brings her to the hometown he abandoned—Butternut, Wisconsin—where the secrets of his past remain buried. But the past has a way of refusing to stay dead. Can Kai save Oliver before his secrets claim their future?
An emotionally powerful debut, The Six Train to Wisconsin pushes the bounds of love as it explores devotion, forgiveness and acceptance.
Paperback available from:
Barnes and Noble
Ebook available from:
Barnes and Noble