I pick up my second featured author and she wants to go to San Diego.
“Great,” I say. “The zoo. I’ve never been to the SD zoo.”
“Nope,” she says, “the beach.”
“Not the zoo? You know, elephants, seals, giraffes…”
“You’ll love this beach.”
So soon, we’re on Torrey Pines Beach, walking the shore. Wait, I won’t describe the scene. I’ll let her do it.
Gold, tan, and black sand glinted beneath the cliffs at Torrey Pines. The water stretched out for miles, shifting in color from sandstone to green fluorite to Navajo turquoise. A line of milky quartz cut across the sea before it settled to a dark blue topaz and met the edge of the afternoon sky.
(I borrowed that from a scene in The Six Train to Wisconsin).
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I’m a fiction writer. A creator. A promoter. A businessperson. A dog lover. Chinese speaker and writer. Someone who loves to observe and capture people and places in their hidden moments.
Probably my tendency to not reveal myself all at once. I’ll be very quietly observing and then come out with a killer line that gets everyone laughing. No one in my family knew I could dance until I hit the dance floor at a wedding.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
Despite having a master’s degree and working on Wall Street for a decade, I have trouble telling left from right. I’ve heard all the tips. None of them work. That “L” thing—yeah, they both look like “L” to me, so that’s not helpful. When I took my driver’s test, I had to put a pen mark on my left hand so I could see which was left.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?
I love being alone with the worlds I create in my mind. I think part of it is being an only child. I learned to entertain myself and I rarely felt lonely. I feel more comfortable by myself that surrounded by people, so rock star is definitely out for me.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
I love meeting people one on one. I’d want to have a long conversation where we discussed our inspiration, how we wrote, why we wrote what we wrote, and have that amazing give and take you get with a fellow author.
As for the author, I’d probably pick Richelle Mead. I love her character development and plotting. I’d ask her about her process. Her writing is so smooth. I’d love to pick her brain about how she gets her writing there.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?
It’s fast paced and mixes genres, so you never know what is coming next. But don’t take my word for it.
“Family secrets, paranormal suspense, and romance collide in Heintz’s fascinatingly original tale. A compelling read that will keep you guessing and haunt you long after the last page is turned.”
-Gretchen Archer, USA Today Bestselling author of the Davis Way Crime Capers
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
I storystorm. It’s very similar to brainstorming except I’m dreaming up the story ideas. I create the characters, the plot, the setting and the central conflict inside my mind. I play with it like a Choose Your own Adventure Book. I watch how it will all unfold and follow a thread to its logical conclusion. If I don’t like how something turns out, I go back and try something else. I usually spend a couple weeks doing this. Then I write a 3-5 page outline so I know the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
I research as needed. It’s too easy to get caught up in research and never write things. For this series, I have friends in Butternut that I email to ask questions. I also visited Butternut a few times to take pictures and get a feel for the place.
When I am drafting, I aim for 2000 words a day 5 days a week. I like to draft fast and get it done. Then I usually do a round of revisions on that first draft. I try to give myself a total of 3 months to get that all done. I put it aside for a few months before I do a second draft revision and send that to beta readers. I use their comments to get to draft 3 and then it goes to my editor for three rounds of editing (developmental, line, and copy edits).
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Get the words on the page however that happens for you. If you like to plan, write an outline or a synopsis. If you hate planning, sit down and type. The method doesn’t matter, the end result does.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
“Hold on to your dreams tomorrow knows where and when.” It’s from an anime I love—Magic Knights of Rayearth. It got me through a very dark period with a spine injury and the ups and downs of this industry.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
I have the sequel to my YA time travel mystery series, The Unbelievables, in editorial revisions right now. It will be out in summer 2017. I have a new YA trilogy, I’m shopping around. And I’ve got 25 pages drafted of a paranormal lovestory that I’m dying to get back to!
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
Highway Thirteen to Manhattan
The Six Train to Wisconsin Series
Genre: Paranormal and Suspense
Publisher: Aurea Blue Press
Date of Publication: 11/1/2016
Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 94,000
Cover Artist: Creative Paramita
His secrets almost killed her. Her secrets may destroy them both.
Kai is recovering from a near-death experience when she realizes something isn’t right. Her body is healing, but her mind no longer feels quite like her own. Her telepathic powers are changing, too. She can’t trust herself. The darkness growing inside of her pushes her to use her telepathy as a weapon.
Oliver clings to the hope that he can save their marriage, even though he was the one who put her life in jeopardy. As his wife slips further and further away from him, he becomes increasingly obsessed with bringing the man who ruined his life to justice.
The sequel to The Six Train to Wisconsin is a genre-defying tale of love and consequences. Once again, award-winning author Kourtney Heintz seamlessly weaves suspense and paranormal intrigue into a real-world setting, creating characters rich in emotional and psychological complexity.
Like most daughters, I loved my parents, but right now, I wanted them anywhere but here. Hospitals are always hard, but my parents managed to make it harder. My head was already pounding from all the thoughts and emotions coming at me. Not just from the patients and their families and the doctors and the nurses, but also from my mother and father. Instead of shielding their thoughts and trying to make it better for me, they let their emotions crash into me.
My mind wasn’t strong enough for all this. Neither was my body. Tubes eviscerated my right hand. A giant bruise blossomed beside the newest IV line. A cast wrapped around my left wrist. My broken pinky finger had been set and taped to my ring finger. The back of my head was held together with stitches. Beneath the blanket, my body was covered in bruises.
I didn’t feel any physical pain because of the medications the doctors pumped into me. They said I needed it to recover, but it made my body feel like it wasn’t mine. And the steady drip of opiates didn’t just steal my physical pain; it left me unable to form the psychic shield I needed to protect myself from the misery swirling around me.
Mom sat in the chair closest to my bed. She wore one of her flowing peasant blouses and faded jeans. Her hair was pulled back in a messy bun, and light brown strands slipped loose to hang around her face. The corners of her hazel eyes were pinched with worry.
Her hand hovered over my arm, unsure where to touch me—if she should touch me. Finally, she laid her hand gently on my thigh. “You just need to rest here for a few more days.”
She was wrong. I needed to get out of here. Away from all these thoughts as soon as possible. “I want to go home.”
Mom shook her head. “You need to let the doctors help you.” Like they did last time.
Her thoughts slammed into my brain. She thought hospitalization was the solution to everything.
“Please. Look at what’s happened to you. You can’t go home until you’re better,” she said. I can’t lose you. I won’t let that happen.
I didn’t know how to reassure her. Yes, I’d almost died, but being here was hurting me more than it was healing me. I swallowed all the words I wanted to say and hoped for Caleb to come back soon. My brother would know how to talk to Mom, how to make her understand.
The doctor came in to check on me and Mom’s agonizing fear rose up. Don’t let her have brain damage.
Dad patted Mom’s shoulder. He looked like an older, surfer version of Caleb. Both were tall and muscular with curly blond hair. Dad’s hair was a darker blond streaked with platinum from decades in the sun and salt water. His eyes were greener than Caleb’s, but like Caleb’s, they were rimmed with purple bruises. When Dad smiled, sun lines radiated from his eyes and cut across his cheeks. But I hadn’t seen them since he’d arrived at my bedside. Instead, waves of exhaustion rolled off him and rippled over me, right before I heard his thoughts. I can’t go through this again, watching you slip away.
My younger sister Naomi lounged in the chair in the corner as far from me as she could get. She had Mom’s light brown hair and thin frame and Dad’s green eyes and height. She looked nothing like me and only distantly related to Caleb. Her long legs looped over the armrest as she flipped through a magazine. Thanks for ruining Christmas break. I’d rather be anywhere but here.
I felt the same way.
At least Oliver was gone for the moment. Mom had convinced him to go home, take a shower, maybe even sleep. I couldn’t bear his guilt; it was so thick it choked me.
Oliver. My husband. God. I’d never loved and hated someone so much at the same time. I still couldn’t believe he’d called my parents. He knew how bad they were at handling me. How could he have thought that having my family here would be good for me?
Bitterness frosted my thoughts. I was in a hospital, bruised and battered. I’d almost died. That’s what Caleb had said. He was the only one willing to tell me the truth. Oliver had said it was bad, but he wouldn’t say how bad. He couldn’t bear to admit what happened to me.
About the Author:
Kourtney Heintz writes award-winning cross genre fiction that melds paranormal, suspense, and literary into an unforgettable love story. For her characters, love is a journey never a destination. Her debut novel, The Six Train to Wisconsin, has been on the Amazon Bestseller lists for Psychic Mysteries and Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.
Kourtney resides in Connecticut with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, 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. As K.C. Tansley, she writes bestselling YA time travel murder mysteries.
She has been featured in the Republican American, on WTNH’s CT Style, and Everything Internet on the radio. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University with a double major in finance and international business and a minor in Chinese. She received a Master of Pacific International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego.
You can find out more about Kourtney and her books at: http://kourtneyheintz.com
5 signed copies shipping to anywhere in the world