What was the background story that inspired and built the main idea?
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.
Any real ghost encounters? If you had, did they inspire some of the scenes in The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts?
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.
Those experiences inspired the idea that belief shapes reality and that believers can perceive ghost (the unbelievables), whereas non-believers never have any experiences with ghosts.
Is there ever going to be a romance between Kat and Evan? Even a non-detailed one? *Crossing my fingers*
I’m afraid you’ll have to wait and see on that one. Maybe history will repeat itself…maybe not.
Was there any research involved in the making of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts to add to the credibility? Or are you just fabulous like that?
It has to feel real to me to feel real to the reader. I like to ground my stories in reality. I spent months researching Victorian fashion, castles, and life in 1886. I took workshops on witchcraft and read tons of books on spell casting. I even checked the entomology of slang to make sure it was in use at that time in that manner.
Have you traveled to a place that has added to the inspiration of the story?
I tend to pull things in from my real life and blend them on the page. 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, CT, 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, CT. There’s also a small, uninhabited island off the coast of Westbrook, CT, 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.
What was your favorite part about writing the novel?
Figuring out the mystery and the subplots was my favorite part, but making sure it all came together perfectly across time was the hardest part. Every time I tweaked something, it rippled through the entire plot of the book.
Is there going to be something exciting that readers will have to anticipate in the sequel?
These are time travel murder mysteries so there is definitely more time travel to come. I can tell you I’ve been researching Vienna in 1831. Book One ends in a way that you know there will be more about Kat’s family—the Langleys—in Book Two.
If you could choose one person to be your friend, would it be Kat or Toria?
I think I’d pick Toria because she’d get me into unforgettable hijinks. Toria is the friend that drives you crazy, but you can’t help getting swept up in her drama.
Finally, Is there are certain message that you want your readers to take with them and never forget?
I hope they think about how belief can alter their reality. And sometimes it’s not so important what happened as what you believe happened. Because you take action based on your perception. And sometimes your perception is wrong. In the story, we see the consequences of actions that are taken based on incorrect perceptions play out for the characters.
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.
◊ Starts-ends on September 3, 2015-September 19, 2015
◊ Bookmark + Sticker
Enjoy! Share and Comment Below! And a special thanks to K.C. Tansley for giving me the chance to run this giveaway!