Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Dark One stalks them - The Girl Who Saved Ghosts (The Unbelievables #2) by K.C. Tansley

She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them. 
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.


Published: October 17th, 2017

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.


1. What are the challenges when “working” with ghosts (and youths)?
With ghosts, the world building is the biggest challenge. Everything has to fit together and never contradict itself. In Book 1, I mentioned that ghosts need the living to cast spells. In Book 2 (in an earlier draft), I had Toria asking the ancestors to cast spells. The problem is the ancestors are ghosts. Either I was going to make the ancestors a whole new classification of ghosts (which would add a story complication I wasn’t sure I needed or wanted) or I had to have the ancestors get a living descendant to cast the spell. Little things like that can destroy the integrity of the story telling. 

With teens, the biggest challenge is sounding authentic, but not dating yourself. If I had lots of slang or cultural references, it would date the books quickly. Instead, I try to tap into the emotions and experiences of being a teenager. Like how secrets feel so awful and sharing one makes you feel so connected to someone. Or the need to fit in and not be singled out for any reason by classmates.

2. From poetry to paranormal / fantasy novels… is there any risk for one from another?
Poetry is a fantastic training ground for playing with rhetorical devices and feeling the beats and the rhythm of language. Writing poetry was a very different form of storytelling. It forced me to be efficient in my words and to get to the point. It was definitely a huge risk moving from poetry to novel writing. Poems are easy to compose in one sitting. You can’t do that with a novel. You have to show up day in and day out. It takes 2-3 months to complete a novel. 

I’m really glad I wrote poetry for so long because I do pretty language things on autopilot. I don’t realize what I’m doing until someone else points it out. 

3. What is an unconventional love and why you enjoy writing about it?
Love is a journey, never a destination. I hate how most books end with a couple getting together. To me, the finding each other is just a tiny part of the journey. Staying together, growing together, living together, fighting and finding your way back to each other—those are the hardest parts of loving someone. My unconventional love stories are written under my real name Kourtney Heintz.

4. Is any love (even conventional) in The Girl Who Saved Ghosts?
This is a time travel murder mystery, but there are some romantic subplots. A haunting love story plays out between the Langleys and the Kingsleys over the centuries and throughout the series. Joshua and Olivia become engaged in Book 1 and Morgan has a boyfriend in Book 1 and 2.

My main character, Kat Preston, is single. She’s incredibly focused on school and discovering her family and her magical legacy. She and Evan are friends in Book 2, but there is always the possibility of something more in the future.

5. How the characters - alive and dead - evolved from The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts?
Kat has grown so much from Book 1 to Book 2. She had this destiny foisted upon her in Book 1 and despite her fears and insecurities, she stepped up. In Book 2, she really comes into herself and grows so much. I’m very proud of the emotional growth in her character. In Book 1, she was running from her destiny, but in Book 2 she starts to embrace it.

Toria clearly cares for Kat deeply and puts her first which is rare for a ghost. Kat’s great aunts remain skeptical of her motives, but Kat shows Toria genuine affection. I think Kat makes Toria a better “ghost” than she would be without Kat. 

6. There are two years between Ignoring and Saving the Ghosts. How difficult is to create a series and what can you do to keep readers’ attention between volumes?
So much time goes into the outline, the first draft, and the revisions that I do on my own to get to a solid second draft to submit to my publisher. After all that work, my editor takes the book, and we go through 3 serious rounds of edits over an 9-month period. I work as fast as I can, but I won’t compromise on quality. Neither will my publisher. 

I actually have another series that I am working on, so I had a book come out in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. That’s a rigorous writing schedule for me. Even though my series are very different, I hope that my fans will consider checking out the other series so that they don’t have to wait so long to read something of mine.

I keep in touch via my author newsletter. This year I wrote a short story set in The Unbelievables universe and made it free to my subscribers. I keep the blog filled with updates and teasers on what’s happening with each book. I’m also active on social media and do giveaways to grow my readership between releases. 

7. What does Kat have in plan next?
In the next book, Kat and Evan learn more about their abilities and time-travel in search of the Mallory bracelet. They face new obstacles with the unbelievables and their bond is tested. 

About the author:
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:

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Stephanie LaPlante said...

I would totally love this book!

Kourtney Heintz said...

Thanks. I put all the things I love into this book! Best of luck in the giveaway!

Kourtney Heintz said...

Thank you so much for hosting my blog tour today. Your questions were unique and fun to answer!