Today, I’m super excited to welcome Kourtney Heintz. She recently wrote a wonderful guest post on this blog, and has graciously agreed to come back and answer a few questions.
Tricia: Hi, Kourtney. It’s good to see you again. Can you tell us about The Six Train to Wisconsin?
Kourtney: I’d love to! It focuses on a husband and wife, 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.
Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Kourtney: I really adore Caleb even though he’s a secondary character. I have an idea for a future book that features him more prominently. He’s everything Kai isn’t and everything I personally would want in an older brother. And he’s ridiculously fun to hang out with.
Tricia: Which character was the most challenging to write?
Kourtney: Kai. Being inside a telepath’s mind is hard. Being inside the mind of a temporarily suicidal telepath is a dark, murky place. Navigating around in her head and keeping it intriguing to read and not getting too bogged down in the powers was definitely a challenge.
Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?
Kourtney: I am a huge fan of Charlaine Harris. I’ve read every one of her mystery series. She’s definitely influenced my love of mystery. I tend to have a bit of literary flare to my writing. I think that’s from reading Sue Monk Kidd, Alice Hoffman, and Alessandro Baricco. And L. Frank Baum was a huge reason everything I write has a fantasy element.
Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Kourtney: I’m negotiating a deal for my YA time-travel murder mystery with Harlequin. So excited to see that book find a home. Then I have to start revisions for it. I’ve got a book tour planned through the summer and fall for Six Train. I’m polishing up a YA fantasy novel. I also want to get cracking on drafting the follow up to Six Train.
Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Kourtney: There are two lines from mangas I read years ago that I repeat to myself on a regular basis:
Tricia: Those are definitely words to live by. Thank you again, Kourtney, for stopping by to visit with us again.
Goodreads Six Train giveaways going on until July 1:
5 free signed copies of my book (US only): http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/54224-the-six-train-to-wisconsin
For Canadians, 1 signed copy: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/54216-the-six-train-to-wisconsin
Several other countries can win 1 signed copy: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/54217-the-six-train-to-wisconsin
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. The spoon clanged against the sides of the mug and the steam rose from the cup to tickle my nose.
I wasn’t fully awake when the tsunami of her misery slammed into me. Images flooded my mind. Our lifeless shih-tzu puppy limp in the street, her grandmother’s eyes dimmed with death, a six-year- old girl bruised and beaten into silence.
The blood pounded “Your fault, your fault, your fault” against my temple. Sorrow pinched my nostrils and grief crushed my trachea.
I sputtered against the onslaught, blindly lashing out at the darkness coalescing around me. These are not my feelings, these are not my thoughts, this is not my pain, this is not me. The mantra became a way to survive my wife’s inadvertent attacks.
I kicked away the sheets, pushed myself upright, and pressed my back against the cold certainty of the headboard’s wrought iron bars. I gobbled up air. My jackrabbit pulse began to tortoise.
I imagined slabs of granite entombing me. Re-establishing the boundary of me. Creating a psychic shield from my wife. Her emotions had eviscerated my last chance at sleep. Why?
Because my wife was a suicidal telepath.
Lately, it had become my job, nah, my sworn duty, to anchor her sanity.