5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, July 31, 2015.
She tried to ignore them. But some things won’t be ignored.
Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.
The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.
But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) Your book has many elements: Gothic, time travel, and paranormal, which all come together to make an exciting YA novel. Where did the idea for THE GIRL WHO IGNORED GHOSTS come from?
It was a concept my best friend, Anthony, and I dreamed up when we were in 7th grade. The 11-year-old me loved the idea of ghosts, curses, spells, castles, time travel, and a murder mystery. I was a huge fan of soap operas like Dark Shadows and Santa Barbara and that’s where the romantic thread came in.
Back then, I only thought about the story I wanted to tell and this was it.
Anthony and I never got beyond the character sketches and general concept because the original idea had way too many characters. He still has a notebook somewhere filled with dozens of character sketches.
Decades later, when I was working on Wall Street and mourning the end of the Harry Potter series, I thought if I could write my own novel, the characters would always be with me. That was when the 28-year-old me remembered the story the 11-year-old me was dying to tell. I emailed Anthony and he gave me the go ahead to work on it. And then the work truly began.
2) The majority of the book takes place at Castle Creighton in Connecticut. Is this based on a real place? If not, how did you develop the idea of Castle Creighton?
I tend to pull things in from my real life and blend them on the page. Castle Creighton is actually inspired by a few places. The idea for the Isle of Acacia and Castle Creighton sprung from a high school trip to France where I visited Mont St. Michel. I fell in love with the isolation of the place. It stuck with me and ended up being a major part of the setting.
Growing up in Connecticut, I’d been to Gillette Castle in East Haddam, Conn., which fed into the idea for a castle in New England. I went back there recently to help get the feel of the castle while doing revisions. The Isle of Acacia was partly inspired by the Thimble Islands in Branford, Conn. There’s also a small, uninhabited island off the coast of Westbrook, Conn., that I walked out to once during low tide. It felt like such a cool thing—a place that was only reachable at certain times of day. It fit the Gothic mood of my story perfectly.
3) The main character calls ghosts “Unbelievables.” Where did you get the term from and why did you decide on using “Unbelievables” rather than “ghosts”?
The unbelievables are all the supernatural beings people don’t believe in. I wanted to explain why some people see ghosts and some people don’t. I was fascinated with the idea of belief fueling reality. Like when you tell yourself you’ve lost your keys and you believe it so much that you can’t see them sitting on your desk in front of you. Because you believe your keys are gone, they are, even if they actually aren’t.
I think the mind is capable of shutting so much out and that was something I wanted to explore. There is more to the unbelievables than ghosts. Something very sinister lives in the shadows.
4) Do you have any ghost stories of your own to share?
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.
5) Do you intend to have a series featuring the main character, Kat Preston?
I always saw this as a series. I have ideas for several more books. I’ve written a short outline for the sequel and plan to work on the first draft this summer/fall. Kat will definitely be front and center, and Evan will also play a major role. The four families have a lot that they need to deal with together, and it’s going to take a few books to get through. If I’m channeling Toria and making predictions, I foresee more time traveling as they fight for their future.
About the author:
K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them. Neer 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. Visit K.C. online at KCTansley.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, Jul 31, 2015.
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