Guest Post: Kourtney Heintz

Today, it's an honor to host KOURTNEY HEINTZ, author of THE SIX TRAIN TO WISCONSIN. Before we get started with her guest post, let's have a look at her new book...

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.

Welcome, Kourtney Heintz...

Tricia, thank you so much for having me here as a guest on your blog. I really appreciate you letting me take over your blog space for the day!

My Point of View Journey: The Best Places Are The Ones We Fear Most

The earliest version of The Six Train to Wisconsin was crafted from the husband’s point of view (POV). It was easier to be in a normal human being’s mind narrating what was happening. Especially since his wife’s telepathy was spiraling out of control.

It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I spent weeks pondering if I could write the book in her point of view. Until I knew that it wouldn’t work. The story had to be told from his point of view. That certainty lasted until I was half way into the book.

The plot took a turn that required she narrate. I agonized over shifting point of view this far into the book. But I saw no way around it.

And then after 50 pages, I realized I had to alternate their points of view until the end. I wanted to slam my head against my desk. This book was a POV nightmare. And yet it worked. Or at least I thought it did. Agents would later convince me otherwise.

Once I’d finished it and revised it, I sent it out into the world. Agents and published author friends suggested alternating the point of view from the beginning. It was the change I didn’t want to make. The change I fought the hardest against. The change that would ruin my novel.

Until I decided to try it.

And slowly I realized how much better it was for the plot. How much more organic it felt to the story. All that hesitancy wasn’t wasted though. I hadn’t been ready to write it. I needed that time getting to know my characters and growing my writing to come back and do this. To alternate point of view by chapter throughout the entire manuscript.

To develop two unique personalities that were also deeply linked. They had nine years of being with each other. They had to be different enough in their perceptions to cause conflict and have unique voices, yet still overlap and blur together.

Not the easiest undertaking. But a challenge I was willing to take on.

I rewrote entire chapters in the wife’s perspective. I thought that was hard until I had to create brand new scenes and polish them up so they could sit beside scenes that had been polished over two years of revision.

At times, I was certain I had ruined the entire book. That this was going to derail everything I intended. But I persevered, knowing I had the previous version saved. I could always revert back to it. By the time I finished all the revisions, I was certain that I never wanted to open the old file again.

Sometimes, the things we are most hesitant to do in our writing are what will eventually enrich it. Take it from someone who has dwelled inside the mind of a suicidal telepath. The places we don’t want to go are the very ones we should be traveling toward.

Author Bio:

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 speculative fiction novel, The Six Train to Wisconsin, was a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist.

Kourtney's Links:

Facebook Page
Amazon Author Central Page

Book Links:

Paperback available from: 

Ebook available from:


  1. Great post Kourtney, thanks for the insight into your revision process. Sounds like all the hard work has paid off :)

  2. Often we are the least well-placed to judge our own story. Agents and publishers, if they know anything, it's what will sell. Congratulations on persevering with picking your book apart.

  3. Thanks Arlene! It took me several rounds of revisions to get there. And a few breaks from the book to see how to get there. :) You never think it will work until it's all done and somehow it works. That's the hardest part of revisions. Because you have to have a second vision of your book and slip away from the original one. ;)

  4. It's very hard to see what isn't working because you write it with the intent and the belief that it is all working. Agents and publishers are important parts of the industry. Thanks Jane--I'm lucky I had some agents will to weigh in and give me personalized feedback. :)


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