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.
~ Xpresso BT
Guest Post: My Source of Inspiration for the Character of Kat Preston by K.C. Tansley
Creating a character requires that I borrow from my own life, react to things in literature, and swirl in a ton of imagination. None of my characters are like any single living person, but I definitely borrowed from my treasure trove of personal experiences to create Kat Preston. I also created her as a reaction to some of the things I was reading in YA fiction. Sometimes others’ work can inspire us to go in a different direction.
I read a lot of YA books, and most of them are very romance focused. I get why: romance is fun and exciting. I enjoy a good romance myself. But I started to worry. What if teen girls read dozens of books and all they saw were the female main characters pursuing romance? Would they think romance was all they should focus on? Because that was all the characters focused on in these books. It’s all about finding a boy, sacrificing for a boy, and getting the boy. And girls need to know that there is much more to life than getting a boyfriend or finding love.
I also wanted to write a book with a character that was more like me as a teenager—focused on school and my future. Sure, I had crushes and noticed boys, but that wasn’t the center of my existence. So, I crafted a character who is really smart and actually enjoys school. She wants to be in the AP courses and takes any sort of extra credit she can. She has a goal: get into Georgetown University. And everything she does is about reaching that goal. It’s why she takes on a summer project involving ghosts and risks the normal life she’s worked so hard to create. Because helping her professor with his research is her golden ticket into her dream college.
Kat is someone who notices guys, but that is just a part of her life. For now, boys are a distraction from her studies and she’s worked so hard to get where she is. She knows that she can lose her place at McTernan Academy if she doesn’t stay focused on her studies. In fact, she and Evan have a huge argument about her grade on a paper because it threatens her GPA and her scholarship.
When I was creating Kat’s exterior, I realized there was one thing I craved in a book as a teenager: seeing a girl like me on the cover. Someone who was curvier and wore glasses. Kat’s a size 14 and wears tortoise shell glasses. I am so glad my publisher and cover designer stayed true to the character when they created the cover. It’s rare to see a girl in glasses, let alone a girl who’s not a single digit size.
Kat is raised by a single mom, who is incredibly career focused. Kat sees how her mother finished her doctorate and raised Kat while still becoming a respected archaeologist. For several years, my mom was a single mom. She worked hard every day to give me a better life. She is a great role model for me, and I wanted to give that to Kat.
About the Author & Links:
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: