Six Train Wins an Award and Reckonings Editorial Process is Underway




The Six Train to Wisconsin won the National Indie Excellence Awards cross genre fiction category!!!

Finaling in a a contest is a great achievement, but it’s really really cool to win one too.



On May 8th, I got my editorial letter on Reckonings. It took me 2 days to process it. No matter how right feedback is, it’s never ever easy to hear. At least for me.

So there’s ranting and raving and fear that I cannot ever accomplish any of this.

I verbalize every emotion as it pops up. Emails get fired off to my closest friends. But this is normal for me. It’s how I deal with feedback. Privately and with a rainbow of emotion.

My crit partner gets a copy of the letter and helps me process it. She actually reads it and talks or texts me through it. Thank you so much Kat Bender!

After years of feedback, I know how I’ll react and I know eventually it will all be okay. But those first two days are rough.

No one wants to hear everything that is wrong with their book. Even if they absolutely need to in order to make it better.

By day two, I’d fired off follow up questions and started brainstorming ways to address the editor’s concerns. She’s awesome. Make no mistake, the feedback is great. It’s just painful to recognize that and dig in.

Within a few days (it was Mother’s Day weekend), she answered all my questions. I had made peace with all the warts in the manuscript and was itching to extract them. I was in a good place to begin.

So it’s been about 10 days of hard core revisions. The entire beginning was torn apart (think first 100 pages).

It’s a rough draft now. I promised her the first 100 pages in 3 weeks in a decent draft though, so I’m pushing through the manuscript in 1 pass now so that all the changes at the end ripple through the beginning and vice versa. Then I’m circling back to those 100 pages for a week.

I have about 6 weeks left to get this all done.ย I’m writing 8-10 hours a day 6.5 days a week.

So if I am not commenting as much on your blog or not on Twitter or FB as much as I usually am, this is why.

I will still be checking in here and responding to all blog comments.

But the writing has to come first. Especially when I am on deadline. And not a self-imposed deadline, but a contractual deadline. ๐Ÿ™‚




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44 Responses to Six Train Wins an Award and Reckonings Editorial Process is Underway

  1. Rhonda Lane says:

    Congratulations, Kourtney! SIX TRAIN deserves all the accolades it receives. Good luck with RECKONINGS!

    • Thanks so much Rhonda! ๐Ÿ™‚ Each day has been a rollercoaster with Reckonings. I start out thinking I can’t do this? how can I do this? I can do this? and by the end of the day a couple chapters are better. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    Congratulations, Kourtneyโ€”on both the award and the dedication to bear down and tackle the editorial comments! Critiques are always difficult to embrace, no matter how often we face them. Frankly, when I hear someone say s/he isn’t bothered by them anymore, I don’t believe it. I believe they’re better able to handle the comments and address them more quickly than before. But I don’t believe the stings of criticism ever disappear completely.

    Now, definitely focus on those revisions for your editor, and don’t worry about visiting the rest of us while you do. While I love your comments on my posts, I’d rather see your book come out sooner rather than later! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks JM! LOL. All feedback hurts. It requires me to realize what I wrote needs work. And it’s incredibly hard to change my perspective and see what others see. Over the years I’ve gone from needing a week or two to a day or two. But oh what an emotional arc I have for that day or two. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks. Right now, I’m able to juggle things but just in case things get hectic as deadlines approach, I may slip offline more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. kford2007 says:

    Yes, editors are the spawn of Satan until we realize what true, amazing angels they are. It’s always a love/hate relationship. But can I say how darn proud I am of you! It was just a couple of years ago I was reading your blog and you didn’t have an agent. You were wondering if you would ever get anywhere, and now look at you! I am so incredibly thrilled for you on so many levels. Now get back to work on those edits! *cracking whip*

    • The funny thing is I trusted that she wanted what was best for the book, I just grappled with seeing it as she saw it. But when I did, wow what a change! LOL. It’s pretty amazing what perseverance can get you. So many times I thought it would never happen. And then things finally started happening. LOL. Off to breakfast and then editing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m so happy for you, Kourtney! Congratulations on a well deserved award. I have no doubt that you’ll get through the next 6 weeks and then you’ll have another masterpiece on your hands.
    “Finaling in a a contest is a great achievement, but itโ€™s really really cool to win one too.” – love this! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Jill! I’m really trying to make sure I work out and eat right and get downtime each day. My mind gets mushy around 8 pm. And I listen.

      Any sort of recognition of your work is awesome. And if I only ever finaled, I’d be thrilled. But a win. Wow, it’s really really cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. K. Lyn Wurth says:

    Congratulations, Author! What great news about accomplishment and progress. Atta girl…

  6. Congratulations! Fantastic news. Good luck with the revisions, contractual deadlines are the best because you can’t make up rubbish excuses to not meet them like you can can with your self-imposed deadlines! (I’m not saying you do the rubbish excuses thing, I’m actually talking about myself ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    • Thanks Vanessa! I really appreciate your support. ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL. I’m a wicked type A so my self-imposed deadlines were my dry runs for this. There is still a definite added pressure to knowing someone is actually waiting on my work. I won’t just disappoint myself if I’m late, I’ll screw up other people’s schedules which to me is a massive no-no. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    We all want to be able to have an editor we can work with on a contractual basis because it means we’re where we wanted to be. But as you point out, that comes with its own inherent stresses! I wish you well with the editing process. I’m sure it isn’t easy, but I have no doubt you’ll handle it like the professional you are. And congrats again on the contest win!

    • Exactly. It’s a wonderful thing to be assigned an editor. But feedback is always hard. Probably moreso from a trusted professional because you really have to hear what they are saying and see it. Every step of the author journey is worth taking, but there are new challenges and stresses with each step. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Aw thank you. The first week was the hardest. Most of the changes were in the first 100 pages. And they were big changes. Scenes went away, new scenes were written. So much changed. The middle isn’t nearly as bad, though it needs a few more passes.

      At the end of the day, my editor and I want this book to be the best it can and together we’re going to get it there. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks! It really brightened up my week. Especially since I don’t have time to do much promoting for Six Train. Hopefully, the contest gives me a little visibility. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. lindacovella says:

    Congratulations on your win! I’m in editing now with two of my books. It’s a new experience having someone other than my critique partners suggest edits. I think initially you can’t help but bristle a bit, but in the end, we have to remember the book will be better for it. I’m seeing that already with my edits. Best of luck!!

    • Thanks!
      My parents are amazed at my feedback processing process. I get highly emotional in private as I go through 5 emotional stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance.
      It’s really exciting to work with an editor. And I can see how much she is helping the book and me as a writer. I can’t imagine this story without her insights and feedback now. Acceptance rocks!
      Silly question, do you find yourself making breakfast and having breakthroughs on scenes from 50 pages ago? I feel like my mind is always half way in the story. And I do weird things like leaving windows open or turning lights off when I think I’m turning them on.

  9. Many congratulations Kourtney – what an exciting few weeks – an award and then the excitement of making progress on the new book. Thinking of taking apart the first 100 pages of my book brings me out in a sweat ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Ally Bean says:

    Yay! This is cool. And I’m sure that no one will take offense if you slack off on blog reading. You’ve got something much more important to do. Now get out there and write one for the Gipper!

  11. Holy cow, this post is full of exciting news! Congrats on the well-deserved award for Six Train! And all the rewriting for Reckonings…it’s good to know that even a writer at your level still has a hard time with feedback. Best of luck as you continue with revisions on a tight timeline. I don’t know how your head isn’t just swimming! But it’s a good thing, right? Congratulations!!

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      It’s awful. But it’s been that way for 8 years, so I kinda just go okay this is how I process it. I have to go through the emotional spectrum and then get down to work. When I’m in it, it’s hard to remember that though. Until I’m out of it and I see the pattern again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh it is swimming. I keep doing weird things like trying to put liquid soap into the dishwasher. Or putting the milk in the cabinet. Only half my brain is here for day to day tasks. Aw thank you! It’s so wonderful to have you here with me on this crazy journey!

  12. diannegray says:

    Congratulations, Kourtney! You must be thrilled with the award for Six Train! Very well done ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. EllaDee says:

    Your faith and work you put into Six Train paid off, and soit also will be with Reckonings. I’m so pleased for you, both for the award and the journey you are on getting Reckonings published.

    • Thanks you EllaDee. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope so. It’s kind of nice to not have to be worrying about all the publishing details this time around. It feels almost luxurious to have someone else deal with the title and the cover and the positioning in the market. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Mayumi-H says:

    No need to reply, just know that I’m cheering you on!

    Great insight on knowing yourself with edits. I’ll have to keep your process in mind if I ever get that far. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LOL. I always reply to all my blog commenters. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just won’t be able to keep up on the visiting and commenting on everyone’s blogs right now. Though I’ll sneak it in when I can. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m a firm believer in trying something and seeing if it fits and discarding what doesn’t. I tried different styles and processes and then tailor made my process to me.

  15. Congratulations on the award and thanks for sharing about your process. It’s amazing that you understand yourself so well you can predict and move through all the stages so quickly and constructively. Happy writing!

    • Thanks! LOL. I think it’s partly being an only child and partly being fascinated by how minds work. And who better to practice on than myself? It took years to get here though. Observing and noting patterns. And having an amazing critique partner who gently mentions things to me helps too. Thanks!

      • Didn’t realize you were a fellow only child! I wonder if anyone has done studies about what percentage of writers are only children… or vice versa.

        • Yes. I think it’s why my imagination is so vivid. I’ve been building worlds inside my head for years. ๐Ÿ™‚ That would be interesting to read. Someone must have looked into it.

  16. Lori D says:

    Woe, this is timely for me. I can so relate. Just started the first chapter of a new novel and submitted it to my critique group. Whew! They lambasted it just last night! I haven’t written anything more than one chapter yet (aside from outlines), but I’ll have to start from scratch. I’m not sure I even want to write this one now. Hopefully, I’ll be like you and just give myself a couple of days to get over it. Good luck and good writing Miss Kourtney.

    • Wow, that’s tough. I tend to write a draft before I allow anyone else to see the first chapter. For me, the story is too fragile as it’s unfolding. And harsh criticism can kill it. I’ve never been a big fan of critique groups because even with the best of intentions they can sometimes devolve into story bashing. It’s a fine line. Definitely take some time to evaluate the merit of the comments and why you started writing the story. Good luck!

      • Lori D says:

        I’ve been with this critique group for six years and took over leadership of the group two years ago. We’re more like critique partners. I do believe their comments have merit. It’s just a matter if I have the ambition to fix the problems and move forward with this particular project. It’s basically just the beginning (first chapter) that I’m struggling with making clear to the reader. I have other projects ready to start, so I may put this one aside for the time being. Then again, maybe not. Thanks for your input, Kourtney

        • It’s great that you’ve found a group whose feedback you truly value. First chapters are very hard to write. There’s so much pressure to set the story up. Sometimes they completely change as you revise too. Best of luck with whatever comes next! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 4amWriter says:

    Congrats on your award. And, I’m rooting for you as you manhandle revisions! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Great work! Well done!!

  19. Aquileana says:

    What a blast of joy and pride, dear Kourtney … Congratulations!

    Really happy to know that you are receiving the acknowledgement
    you deserve for your book.

    Keep it up, my fellow blogger, all the very best to you,

    Aquileana ๐Ÿ˜€

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