Friday, May 10, 2013

Every Other Friday - Kourtney Heintz

Kourtney Heintz, the author of THE SIX TRAIN TO WISCONSIN, 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 YA novel, RECKONINGS, is currently represented by ICM Partners. 
You can connect with Kourtney and learn more about her via Twitter, her Facebook page, her blog and her Website, as well as Goodreads, Amazon Author Central, and Pinterest.

This is the book I always wanted to write. It’s emotionally evocative speculative fiction that captures the deepest truths of being human. For my characters, love is a journey never a destination.

If I have to distill it down to one sentence: 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.

It was a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist and is currently available in e-book and paperback.

What drove you to write THE SIX TRAIN TO WISCONSIN? Who did you write it for?
After I recovered from disc-replacement surgery, I was cleaning my bathroom—a simple task that had been impossible to do before my surgery. Back then, I had been in chronic, unrelenting pain caused by a disc compressing a nerve root in my spine. It had been a dark place for me.

A year later, I was pain-free and could look back on that time with more perspective.  I realized how hard it was on the people around me. I thought about what it had to be like for them, dealing with someone who was constantly exhausted and on edge from pain.

I decided to write the caregiver’s side of the story. What it was like to love and nurture someone who was in an incredibly dark place. In my novel, the caregiver is the husband, Oliver. But as I wrote, I realized the person in pain had a side that needed to be told. I ended up alternating point-of-view so that both characters could live and breathe side-by-side.

I wrote this book for women who don’t like traditional romances. They want a love story that fits their lifestyle. They don’t believe in happily ever after. They do believe in the peaks and valleys that come with any relationship. And they like reading about the journey of love and don’t think of it as a destination.

What are your productivity tips?
1)    Know yourself—it’s the only way to set attainable goals. If you’ve never written 5,000 words in a day or a week, do a test run. See how it feels. Keep track of how much time it took. Then ask yourself if you are comfortable committing to that kind of schedule. Be honest—it’s the only way to set measureable goals that you can achieve.

2)    Ask yourself what can I do in two minutes? Five minutes? Ten minutes? Fifteen minutes? Don’t get bogged down in only dedicating large slices of time to writing. Seize two minutes and edit a couple paragraphs or think about that scene that isn’t working. You’d be surprised what a few minutes can do for your writing.

3)    Be creative about where you write. Sure there are times you need to be in front of your computer at your desk. But paper editing can happen anywhere. Waiting at the doctor’s office or for a friend are perfect times to squeeze in some work. And you can always think about plot holes while watching a boring movie or grocery shopping. Just make sure you have a pen and paper or the notes app on your phone to write down any solutions that come to mind.  


Buy Links
Paperback available from: Amazon 
Ebook available from:


  1. Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog Peter! It was a lot of fun to work with you on these questions. :)

  2. I'm delighted to have you here, Kourtney. Your productivity suggestions are fresh and useful

  3. I love the insight into what the inspiration for The Six Train was. Excellent tips for the writer, as well.

    1. Thanks Myrandommuse! :) After my surgery, I realized everything that happened to me had a point--if I could make it useful to my fiction. :) Thanks. Things I've realized through trial and error over the past few years!

  4. Thanks for this post, Peter. Kourtney, recently finished reading Six Train -- and here is behind the scenes! Didn't know that about your back surgery. Congratulations on your book, and on the return to good health!

  5. Hi Julia. I really loved answering Peter's questions. :) The spine problem hijacked my 20s. But I figure if I could pull something like Six Train out of all that pain--maybe it was worth it. :) I thank my lucky stars for Dr. Bitan every day. :)