Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: August 1, 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.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always made up stories in my head. I thought it was normal. Growing up an only child, I learned to amuse myself by reading. After I finished a great book, I didn’t want it to be over, so I’d imagine myself into the story and go on adventures with the characters. Every night before bed, I’d spend an hour playing in the storyworld inside my head. It was a chance to be anything and anyone I wanted.
Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
With this book, it was the plot. The murder mystery at a castle and the time travel were there from day 1. This book is very plot driven. The characters of Evan and Kat changed a lot along the way, but the plot—the bones of the story stayed the same.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you were writing 'The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts'?
Figuring out how to convey that Kat and Toria were sharing the same body during the time travel and deciding when to have Kat narrate vs. Toria narrate. Most of the book was in Kat’s first person point of view; but when Toria is in control, I shifted to Toria third person.
Setting part of the story in 1886 also required weeks of research on that time period. I wanted to be as historically accurate as I could be. I poured over books on fashion, interior design, technology, and life in that period in America.
If you could be one of your characters from 'The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts' who would it be? Why?
Toria. She’s not afraid to be herself. Sometimes she gives into her darker emotions, but she’s got some redeeming qualities too. She’s selfish, but loving. She’s difficult, but loyal. She’s manipulative, but courageous.
I love all her paradoxes. She also gets into so much trouble and she has some really fun moments in the book.
When writing 'The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts', was there anyone or anything specific that inspired the character Kat Preston?
This was the first manuscript I ever wrote, so I borrowed heavily from my own experiences. If you saw pictures of me in high school, I had long blond hair, green eyes, pale skin, and was tall and curvy. I loved my tortoise shell glasses too.
I wanted to write a teenager that the teenage me could relate to. A girl with priorities and goals. A girl who was ambitious and focused. A girl who wasn’t just looking for a boy, but trying to find herself and her way in the world.
What are your three favorite characteristics for Evan Kingsley?
1) The British accent—I have a serious weakness for that accent.
2) I love how calm he is. Nothing really rattles him. He’s so chill. I’d love to hang out with him.
3) He’s smart. Not just intelligent, but he can problem solve. His critical thinking really makes me adore him.
What was it like having your characters go back in time and having to write in 1886?
I love the Victorian era, even in Connecticut. The idea of going to 1886 was thrilling for me, but challenging to write.
It involved a ton of research. I needed to figure out how widespread a technology was and then determine if it would exist out on a castle. I had to make some calls that required them to stay a little behind in the times to be more accurate. The fashion of that era was the easiest thing to research. I loved deciding how to dress my characters in 1886.
Slang had to be checked to make sure it was in use in that manner in that era. My editor and I went back and forth over the sentence structure. I wanted them to sound more formal, she said using contractions was historically accurate and a better read. She won because she was right, which she is 98% of the time.
Without spoiling anything what would you say is your favorite part of 'The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts'?
Chapter 26. I have a photo of the first page of that chapter as my screen saver on my phone. I love that scene. It’s creepy cool. I love the worldbuilding and the magic that I got to write there.
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.
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 debut YA time-travel murder mystery novel.
As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.