So today I’m excited to bring you an interview of lovely K.C Tansley, the author of the fantastic Unbelievables series.
She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.
After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead.
Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past.
As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.
One sentence summary:
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.
You can read my review here.
I have recently read the second book in the Unbelievables series, The girl who saved the ghosts, could you tell me a little about the series?
The Unbelievables series are fast-paced YA time-travel murder mysteries that combines time-traveling, paranormal, and gothic mystery genres to weave a tale full of ancestral curses, powerful spells, strange connections, and inherited surprises.
My best friend Anthony and I came up with the concept for the first book when we were in 7th grade. We just put everything we loved in books into our own concept. We wanted to tell the story of four families who were linked across time by bonds they couldn’t escape, so we always saw it as a series.
In Book 1, 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.
What inspired the series?
I was a big fan of ghost stories and Gothic stories as a kid. I remember reading about banshees and thinking there was nothing cooler. One of my all-time favorite reads is Wuthering Heights with its Gothic love story. Agatha Christie mysteries were a must-read for me too. I loved the intricate plotting and how it all came together so perfectly in the end.
As an adult, I read The Woman in Black, and it probably contributed to some of the creepier moments in the story. The Harry Potter series played a big role in my writing this book because I was distraught over Hermione and Harry leaving my life. I realized if I wrote my own books, my characters would be with me forever.
This is probably one you’ve heard a million times, but do you believe in ghosts?
I definitely believe in the unbelievables—ghosts, spells, time travel.
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.
I know you also write for adults, what made you take the leap into young adult fiction?
It felt right for the story and the characters. At its heart, The Unbelievables series is about finding out who you are and where you belong. I think that’s a coming of age theme that is best suited to YA fiction.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors like myself?
Enjoying a great story and learning how to write a great story are two very different things. Take writing classes, attend workshops, read craft books, read writing magazines, and keep writing and revising. Every word you write makes you a better writer!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m outlining Book 3 in the series. I like to spend a couple weeks playing with the major plotlines and story moments. It’s big picture stuff and character emotional arcs. I create a 3-4 page synopsis that I use as a guide when drafting my story.
I love this part of the process because I get to try out different scenarios and if I don’t like it, I can erase a few sentences and change it. Once I am drafting, it’s harder to cut entire scenes and rework plots. I still do it, but it’s just so much easier to do it now.
I have been going through books of baby names to name my new characters. I really enjoy figuring out their names and their backstories.
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.
You can find out more about her at: http://kctansley.com
Also available in the series, The Girl Who Ignored The Ghosts: