Tuesday, 4 August 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: K.C. Tansley

Hello, bookworms! 

Today I'm super excited to share with you this awesome interview with the wonderful K.C. Tansley, author of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts! 

Hello! Can you tell us a little bit about your novel, The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts?
Absolutely! It’s a YA time travel murder mystery. In The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, prep school junior Kat Preston accidentally time travels to 1886 Connecticut, where she must share a body with a rebellious Victorian lady, prevent a gruesome wedding night murder, disprove a deadly family curse, and find a way back to her own time.

I adore stories that feature ghosts! What was it that inspired you to write a story about them?
Me too! I’ve always been a fan of gothic stories and ghosts stories. My favorite book is Wuthering Heights. I believe in the unbelievables—ghosts, spells, and time travel. I wanted to put my own stamp on ghost lore and it was so fun to have them in the story.

I laid down the story bones of the time travel murder mystery first. I wanted Kat to have a cool secret that had to do with the paranormal. Toria’s ghost came into the story later and I realized I wanted her to have a bigger role earlier on. I also wanted to give Kat a really unique inner conflict, knowing something exists, but having to convince herself it doesn’t. She has to lie to herself to protect herself from ghosts.

Have you ever had any ghostly experiences happen to you?
I have. When I lived on Wall Street, there were several nights in that haze between dreaming and fully awake where I saw ghosts at the end of my bed. People dressed in clothes from another era and exuding an eerie bluish light. It turns out there were some horrible fires that destroyed buildings down there. I think when people die tragically something of them remains.

In my apartment in Washington, D.C., I used to hear people walking in the living room at night. At the time, I lived alone. It scared me so much I would throw the covers over my head. Because as we all know that protects us from the supernatural. I never went to investigate, but to this day, I think ghosts were moving around in there at night.

You have a lot of history featured in the story, especially with the time travel that occurs, how did you research for writing those events?
It involved many trips to the library and a ton of internet research. I read dozens of books on Victorian fashion to make sure I got the clothes right. I researched historic homes to make sure the decor fit the time. I couldn’t have a chair that was made in 1895 sitting in a parlor in 1886. Even my word choices, I checked the etymology of phrases to make sure my characters weren’t saying slang that was invented after their era.

The hard part is hunting down a single detail like the electrical features of homes in that time. Knowing what was possible vs. what would exist in the castle. Sometimes I had to make a choice to stay a little further in the past with technology because it wasn’t widespread or they wouldn’t have done that type of work to an old castle yet.

Did you relate to any of your characters at all?
I relate to all of them in some way. I get why they do what they do. I have to feel what they feel and understand their motives and what’s at stake for them to write them. That’s part of my writing process. I slip into my character’s skin.

My friends tell me they see a lot of me in Kat. She’s the first character I ever created so I poured many of my experiences into her.

What was your favorite part of the writing process, and what did you find the most difficult?
I really enjoy the first draft. I have an outline, but there’s still so much discovery going on as I write. I love figuring out where the story will go and going there. Sometimes I hide a seed for a future subplot without realizing it. Then as I revise I realize I planted something that I can nurture in revision. It feels like future me went back in time and put something in the story to help me along.

The hardest part is probably revisions with the editor. When she points out something that isn’t working, I can’t see it. If I did, I’d have already fixed it. So I have to change my perspective and see my work the way she does. That’s the only way I can fix the issue. It’s incredibly hard to do, especially on a deadline. I had 8 weeks to do editorial revisions, which included a rewrite of the first 100 pages. That 8 week deadline includes the time I spent reading the editorial letter and processing the feedback too.

'The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts' is the first book in 'The Unbelievables' series. How is book two coming along?
Much better than I expected. I’ve written most of the first draft already. I’ve been writing 2,000 words a day since June 9th. It’s a rigorous writing schedule, but it worked really well with this story. I still have to do a round of edits in August and then I’ve got to switch off to my other series.

I’m really excited with where we go in Book 2. I can tell you I’ve been doing a ton of research on 1831 Vienna.

Finally, if you could travel back in time and witness any historical event, what would it be and why?
Oh that is a tough one. There’s so many things worth going back to see. Right now, I’m immersed in Vienna and I’d love to go to 1831 Vienna to see what the hotels and streets were like so I could write them with an authentic feel.

If I had to pick a historic event, it would probably be the Congress of Vienna in 1815. I’d love to see all those powers coming together in Vienna to settle things after the Napoleonic Wars. It seems like there was a clash of personalities and a ton of parties.

Thank you for stopping by The Queen of Teen Fiction! Also, thanks for writing a kick-ass female character with glasses – there aren't enough of them in YA fiction!
Thanks! I feel the same way. As a girl with glasses, I always longed to see more of them on book covers.

About The Book
In The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, prep school junior Kat Preston accidentally time travels to 1886 Connecticut, where she must share a body with a rebellious Victorian lady, prevent a gruesome wedding night murder, disprove a deadly family curse, and find a way back to her own time.

Bio
K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is the first book in her YA time-travel murder mystery series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.
  
Social Media
Website: http://kctansley.com
Blog: http://kourtneyheintz.wordpress.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kourtneyheintzwriter Twitter: http://twitter.com/KourHei
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13530245.K_C_Tansley

Buy Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Ignored-Ghosts-Unbelievables-Book-ebook/dp/B00WZOJ028/ref=la_B00X369K3G_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434139756&sr=1-1

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful interview. I like the idea of asking where you'd go to if you went back in time. I only hope that if Kourtney goes back to 1831 Vienna, she remembers to take her camera. I need to see those buildings… and the clothes.

    ReplyDelete

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