Monday, November 6, 2017

New interview with YA author K.C. Tansley

YA author K.C. Tansley is back! This time we’re chatting about her new YA time travel mystery, The Girl Who Saved Ghosts.

K.C.’s first interview was in 2015 about her YA murder mystery The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts.

K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and two quirky golden retrievers 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 her award-winning and bestselling first novel in The Unbelievables series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews.
Thanks for having me back!

Please tell us about your newest release.
Like the first book in The Unbelievables series, The Girl Who Saved Ghosts is a fast-paced time-travel murder mystery novel that combines paranormal and gothic elements to create a story full of ancestral legacies, powerful spells, unexpected connections, and inherited destinies.

If I had to boil it down to a single sentence: When an ancestor’s ghost begs her for help, Kat risks herself—and the friend who’s sworn to protect her—by traveling in time to nineteenth-century Vienna.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been fascinated by ghosts and curious about the afterlife. This series was created around all the things I loved in a book when I was a teen—ghosts, spells, murder mystery, time travel, family heirlooms, legacies, and curses. When I first started writing Book 1, I envisioned 6-7 books in the series. I even took notes on them.

After Book 1 was published, I was immediately at work on Book 2. I knew that Kat and Evan had a much bigger journey ahead of them. In this book, I wanted to show Kat growing into her new role as the Langley heir and protector of the Radcliffes. I also wanted to delve into her Langley family—the side she never knew. At its heart, this book is about family: those we pick and those we are given.

What’s the next writing project?
The third book in this series! I’ve got to get a first draft done by January. It will involve a search for the Mallory heirloom and even higher stakes for Kat and Evan.

What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
With the sequel, there is an entire book that came before, so I have to do a delicate dance between gently reminding readers of what came before and beating them over the head with Book 1 recaps. My editor really helped me pull back in certain areas and succinctly slip in reminders to readers as needed. This book wouldn’t be what it is without her guiding hand!

If your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of research where I learned so much that never made in into the story. Instead, I tend to make notes in the first draft as I’m writing and remind myself to research specific things like if a hotel in 1831 would have a private bathroom or room service. I actually bought a book on the earliest hotels that I could refer to as needed. For the clothing, I have several books on fashion from across the centuries. It’s very helpful when describing what my characters are wearing. The biggest headache was the streets of Vienna in 1831. Paving stones or dirt? Well, it depends on where you were. I did a lot of research, but ended up relying on paintings of key places from that era.

What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
I have a very comfortable high-backed burgundy chair with those cool buttons in the back that belongs in a law office and a black secretary desk with my Mac on it. I tend to do all my writing at my desk. I have a to-do list to my right and a cabinet full of signed books and mementos from my travels above me. I also have my Moonbeam Children’s Book Award hanging above my screen for moments of doubt. It really helps to remember someone thought my book should win an award. I taped a copy of “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley to the cabinet above my desk. Two lines of it have helped me through the worst moments: “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

I have two buckets of pens, pencils, and markers to the left of my computer. I prefer to edit on paper and in my bed. I get epiphanies at random and tend to jot down things when I’m doing laundry or on the treadmill. My muse tends to be rather sneaky like that.

What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
I tend to read what I am working on so this year has been all about the YA paranormals. Right now I’m obsessed with Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. I devoured 5 in a week and am seriously considering reading all 15 this year. They are so intense and end with cliffhangers that make it impossible not to pick up the next book. I like a fast paced, action packed, intense YA with layers of history and family lore like Paige McKenzie’s The Haunting of Sunshine Girl trilogy. I am a fan of Dawn Metcalf’s Twixt limited series. I love intricate world building and gray characters. Oh, and Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series—they are so well done on so many levels.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
If anyone would like to receive author updates, they can sign up on my website and I’ll immediately send them an unpublished short story, And Then There Were Three, and give them the inside scoop on my books—new releases, sale days, free book deals, giveaways, and behind the scenes info they can’t find anywhere else!

Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!
Thank you so much for having me back!

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