“Happy” is my favourite word. “Believe” comes next. In Kourtney’s own words this is how it happens when you believe in what you do, and put in the work to give it legs.
I ran into Kourtney via her blog Kourtney Heintz’s Journal early in my foray into blogging, almost a year ago. From memory Wine Tasting in Connecticut? was where we really got acquainted, and we’ve been exchanging comments ever since. Kourtney’s Grandma H Moments posts are gold but it’s her Believing In The Unbelievables: My Life As An Aspiring Author journey that has engaged and inspired me. Kourtney took her professional business sense & skills, resourcefulness & dedication, and applied them to the process of Indie publishing her novel
The Six Train to Wisconsin. I’m so pleased to have been along for this ride. ♥EllaDee
Guest Blog – The Power of Persistence,
Kourtney Heintz, author The Six Train to Wisconsin
100 thank yous to the lovely EllaDee for letting me take over her blog for the day! I’m an avid follower of her blog so it’s an honor to be here.
It’s funny how much my previous career in auditing trained me for this new one as an author. In auditing, you are always the most hated person in any room. Getting people to talk to you and answer your questions is a constant game of rejection. I learned to take “No” as an opening bid in an auction for information.
As a writer, when several agents rejected my query with a form letter, it hurt. I doubted myself. I questioned why I was doing this. Eventually, I accepted it as an indicator that the query needed work. When agents requested a partial and rejected it, I cried. Yes, cried. Rejection of something you put your heart and soul into hurts. It is a book to them; it’s so much more to the creator. But my logical side reared her head and said there were issues in the beginning.
When I got rejections on the full with personalized comments, it was bittersweet. I’d advanced another level, but I wasn’t there yet. It took me weeks to accept that this was a “No for now” and use their feedback to revise. By the time I was done, I’d rekindled the excitement. This new version would get a yes. It had to. I thought that every time I started submitting.
The closest I ever came to giving up? The day I got the rejection on the revise and resubmit. Something in me gave out. Hope fled. It all seemed so terrifically pointless. All those years working on my craft. All the nights out with friends that I passed on to stay home and write. All the hobbies I neglected. Suddenly the cost outweighed the benefit. I couldn’t see any reason to keep writing.
I had one more manuscript to polish and send out to editors from a conference. I had no hope. But I don’t miss deadlines. Ever. At first, I didn’t care. Maybe couldn’t is a better explanation. Writing had wounded me and I wasn’t going to get invested again.
Until I did. I liked this story. I wanted to see it succeed. Maybe I’d let that last agent’s opinion matter too much. Maybe her “No” was just another step. Maybe I had to carve my own path to publication.
I researched indie publishing and took control of my book’s destiny. I hired a team of independent contractors to help me create a top-notch book. I went through revisions with an editor. Weighed in on the cover design with a brilliant graphic artist. Worked with formatters to makes sure the paperback was personalized and gave the reader a slice of my story world and me.
Now my book is out there. And some readers love it and some hate it. The rejection never stops. I’ve come to realize it’s just a part of life.
Rejection always stings. But the only way to achieve anything is to power through the pain and persevere. Sometimes in audits, I would be bounced around to 20 people to answer one question. Frustrating? You bet. But I learned that if you keep at something eventually you get what you need.
The Six Train to Wisconsin Back Cover:
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.
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.
Connecting with the Author Online
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kourtneyheintzwriter
Amazon Author Central Page: http://amazon.com/author/kourtneyheintz
Paperback available from:
Ebook available from:
27 thoughts on “Believe. Guest Blogger – Kourtney Heintz, author The Six Train to Wisconsin”
Kourtney’s right that rejection stings but you have to persevere.Even Dickens couldn’t please everyone.
This was a nice guest spot and a nice review by you Ella. x
Kourtney was my intro the real insights of publishing [vs Steve Hely] and Indie publishing… I felt for her so during her attempts to get published.
Thank you – I’m not a prolific reviewer other than ascribing hated it, it was ok, or love it… but make an exception for Indie authors 🙂
Aw thanks EllaDee. Without your support I wouldn’t be here. It was hard to keep trying. To keep believing. Having you on my side made all the difference. 🙂 You are a terrific reviewer. You made me want to read my own book again.
You’ll enjoy it when you do 😉
Thanks Lord David. 🙂 You cannot please everyone. What someone loves, another person hates. 😉 I loved Ella’s review. Wow. Made me blush.
I bypassed the agents rejections by going straight to self-publishing, but rejection can take many forms. Being ignored is painful too. I’m lucky though. Every time I start to wonder whether I’m just wasting my time, some wonderful reader comes along and gives me the thumbs up. Those readers are my lifeline. Thanks Ella. 🙂
Oh no, you are not wasting your time 🙂 WordPress and blogging opened up another world to me of Indie writers and books… we may be your lifeline but you are ours 🙂
-hugs- Thank you.
Very true. Being ignored is tough. Fighting for every reader isn’t easy. My favorite moments are when a stranger emails me to tell me, I read your book and I really liked it. To me that makes all the rejections worth it. For that one connection with a reader. 🙂
Yes! I actually had that happen to me today and I’ve been smiling ever since. 🙂
I never get tired of reading your story, Kourtney. It’s inspiration to all of us who are looking forward to our first rejection. xo
Gwen, I like your style 🙂 EllaDee
Aw thanks Gwen. 🙂 I am excited to watch your journey unfold. And I’ll be there with tissues and chocolate when the first rejection comes in. 🙂
Kourtney is so inspiring. I loved the Elladee review’s second sentence – munching words – so accurate – great comparison
It’s a subtle but powerful effect… I’ve read many stories that carried me along. Six Train did that but it wasn’t about the destination, as some books are, there were riches in the journey.
Thank you Karen! 🙂 When I read EllaDee’s review, my smile was wider than a cheshire cat and I beamed pure sunshine for a week. 🙂
You certainly chose your guest host well, EllaDee. Her personal story is so inspiring to us all. Who among us hasn’t faced rejection in life? Given your ringing endorsement, her book must be a very good read. Thank you for bringing Ms. Heintz and her novel to our attention.
Thank you 🙂 My first guest blogger! I was honoured that Kourtney thought my blog would be a suitable platform 🙂
Chgo John, thank you. 🙂 I’m glad the post rang true with you.
EllaDee, I was thrilled that you could find time and space for me on your awesome blog. You selected a terrific topic for me too and made my job ten times easier. 😉
Aaarrgh! Another book on my ‘should read’ list. I think I might have to take a long holiday from the housework to catch up on all of them, thanks for the excuse! 😀
I know! I have so many books to read, and so little time…
Metan, I’m sorry to lengthen your list. But I promise it’s a quick read. 🙂 LOL. Happy to help you get out of housework. I hate doing that too.
Even JK Rowling’s first manuscript was rejected by twelve publishing houses. I bet they wish they hadn’t done that now. Be inspired by that Kourtney. Well done!
Good point Marianne! Even when I submit a short story to a comptetion I have no expectation of success… but it doesn’t stop me. I’m glad it didn’t stop Kourtney 🙂
Aw thanks Marianne. 🙂 My hope is if I do well maybe a traditional publisher will take another look. If not, I’m so thrilled to have my book in reader’s hands and be hearing what they think. 🙂