Book Trailer, Conference Proposals, Workshops, and Self-doubt

I’m so excited to share the book trailer for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts! We started working on this in February. I wrote the script, Cacko Studios produced the video, and Leah Merritt is the fantastic actress who brought Kat to life.

It’s funny how much time and effort goes into a 1 minute and 40 second video. I’m really happy with how it turned out! Many thanks to Leah and Frank for all their hard work on the video!

I’m finalizing conference workshop proposals for next years NESCBWI. They get submitted July 1.

I’m fine tuning a workshop for teens “Finding your Story: How to Turn your Idea into a Story” on August 24th from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. for the Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz, NY.

I’m still working on all the blog posts for the blog tour. I’ve been tackling 4-5 a week.

For The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts sequel, I’ve been writing 2k a day and am at 160 pages. I’m having trouble researching the time period that they travel back to–it’s 1831 Vienna. Have been doing research online and at the library.

I need really specific stuff like what the streets looked and sounded like or what sort of places someone would stay at. Lots of times, I just throw a comment down to figure this out later, because I’m in a rough draft and I’m not sure this will stay yet.

Things are very fluid and change so much when you draft fast. It doesn’t make sense to spend a ton of time on research until I’m certain a scene will stay in the book.

There are only 2 weeks left to the Tell Me Your Ghost Story Contest–make sure to get your entries in!

I have a couple Goodreads giveaways going on right now for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. The are open to any country in the world.

I can’t believe The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is coming out in 4 weeks. I’ve been preparing for this since March. Back then it seemed so far away. And now we are just 4 weeks until the release. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m hopeful. I’m scared.

I’m really hoping sales are good. But I also know how hard it is for a book to get noticed and probability is not on my side. I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic. But I don’t want to get my hopes smashed. I want my book to be beloved by readers. And deep down, I want this to be a hot summer release.

But at the same time I know how tiny a chance there is for that. So I just try my best and keep putting energy into promotion. Even when I have those moments where I’m not sure any of it will pay off. It’s like the lotto, you can’t win if you don’t play.

So I keep trying. And in 4 weeks, we’ll see what happens. Gulp.

Posted in Conferences, Contest, Events, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Work and Play: Pic Monkey and Between

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I’m trying to think of creative ways to spread the word about TGWIG’s reviews and also remind people to preorder it on Amazon, so I have a chance at hitting the Amazon bestseller list on my release day.

I’ve seen other authors use a cool photo with a short blurb and the title and release date.

I’m not graphic design great or terribly tech savvy, but I’m good at tinkering and figuring things out.

I remembered reading about sites where I could do this a while back. I’ve almost exhausted my budget for graphic design work, so I thought, hmmm, maybe this is something I can take on.

I googled it. Pic Monkey came up. That name rang a bell from an article I’d read.

I have to use my own photos, but luckily I have 70k photos on my external hard drive that I took over the years. The challenge was finding an image that went with the blurb.

Then playing with it until it was really cool looking. Pic Monkey is free and has some really amazing things it can do to a photo.

My first attempt was awful. It took over an hour and it was hideous. But it wasn’t time wasted because I was learning how to use Pic Monkey.

The photo above is my second attempt. It’s a beach in Old Saybrook, CT. The town of Wright is loosely based on it. This is my third attempt:

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That was a cool mausoleum door in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in NY. Since my story is a YA time travel murder mystery I loved the hour glass image.

This was a really cool combo of work and play. I love photography and I’ve never played with the effects before and I got to create these promo pics for the book.

I’m also hard at work on the sequel to TGWIG. I’m laying down the first draft this summer. I drafted 100 pages in 10 days which is my most ambitious drafting schedule to date. Writing 10 pages a day while promoting and having a part time job was definitely a challenge.

I do see the pros of writing fast though. I don’t have time to dawdle or be uncertain. It’s gotta happen. And things get said a few times because I’m not sure where exactly they work best, but the bones are getting laid down and eventually re-arranged properly.

I’m doing a 3 day edit and then Tuesday I’m on to drafting the dreaded middle. I think I should be able to knock that out before ReaderCon.

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(This is also the door I used for the cool blue pic above)

Please remember to get your entries in to the Tell Me Your Ghost Story Contest. There are only 3.5 weeks left until the contest closes to entries!

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Between–Netflix does it again! It recommends stuff and I usually love it. Between is this sci-fi thriller about a town under quarantine because everyone over 22 suddenly starts dying. Within a month there is no one over 22 left.

It’s a really fascinating study of character because how people behave in these kinds of situations is really revealing. After 5 episodes I’m addicted. And I have to wait for episode 6.

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I have two audible.com free audiobook codes left if anyone (either US or UK Audible.com) is willing to trade an honest review for a free copy of The Six Train to Wisconsin’s audiobook. Just comment below with your email and make sure to say you want to trade an honest review for an audiobook, then I will send you the free audiobook. This will go to the first two commenters who do this.

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What have you been up to for work and play?

Posted in audiobook, marketing a book, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Promo Work, Sequels, and Sanity Checks

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I feel a bit like Emerson lately. Squinting at the sun because I’ve been chained to my desk so much.

I’ve been so busy with promo work, you might have noticed I missed last week’s blog post. It was Monday afternoon when I noticed the lack of a post (because I hadn’t written one), so I figured the contest post would have to sustain you two weeks.

So here’s what’s been going on here.

Reagan, our 9 years old golden, has been recovering from a massive sinus infection that thank goodness wasn’t cancer.

My uncle had major spine surgery that involved fusion and rods last week.

The second draft of Six Train’s sequel is done and in the hands of beta readers.

I took a week to focus solely on promo stuff, during which I pounded out 8 guest blog posts, worked on an essay, paid for ad space and weighed in on ad designs for TGWIG, scheduled a library workshop, booked the venue for a cocktail party for the book (September 17th at Bin 300 in Wolcott), and finalized the script for the book trailer.

I have a brand new workshop I had to create for October. I spent several weeks in May drafting and fine tuning that. I also created podcasts to go with it. Laying down those three 3 minute tracks took hours.

Then last week, I started my summer writing project: the sequel to TGWIG. I had a 3 page outline I did in March. With Six Train’s sequel, I wrote a 90 page outline that took forever and then I didn’t really follow it because as I got into the story it didn’t feel right.

So on this sequel, I went back to what I did for the first book in a series–a short 3 page synopsis. I’m on tight deadlines because of Six Train’s sequel, so I have 3 months to lay down a first draft of TGWIG’s sequel and clean it up. That means I’m drafting 2000 words (10 pages) every day for a while. So far I’ve got 10k words on the page.

I’m finding the easiest way to face that word count is to go back over yesterday’s pages and start adding to the word count. Then when I get to the blank page, I’m in the flow of the story and I’m ready to go. It takes me 2-3 hours to knock out that word count.

Then it’s back to promo stuff. I set up three ads on Goodreads to start running. I’m working on another workshop for the library event in August.

And I’m gearing up to start offering school visits this year. Which means I have to figure out what I will charge and how to get the word out to schools and fine tune my workshops for teens.

Yes, it’s going to be a very busy summer!

There are some amazing entries to the Tell Me Your Ghost Story contest. I am so impressed by your writing skills. This is going to be a hard contest to judge! Thanks to everyone who has entered. We’ve got one month left on the contest, so make sure you get your entry in before July 15th at 11 p.m. EST!

On the good news front, The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts has some really awesome reviews coming in on Goodreads!

If you plan to order TGWIG from Amazon, please preorder it–it really helps jump my author ranking on the release day and will help my book hit the Amazon bestseller list!

Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Tell Me Your Ghost Story Contest

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We are down to the final 2 months before The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is officially released. Time to kick off the Tell Me Your Ghost Story contest!

I’m a huge fan of flash fiction writing contests, so I’ll start things rolling by telling you a 150 word or less ghost story from my life.

When I lived on Wall Street, one night in that haze between dreaming and fully awake, I saw people dressed in clothes from another era and exuding an eerie bluish light at the end of my bed. I felt like they wanted to tell me something. I have no idea how, but in my bones, I just understood that they were ghosts.

I freaked and threw the covers over my head because, as we all know, that protects us from the supernatural. By the time I’d gathered enough courage to look again, I was completely awake and they were gone. It turns out there were some horrible fires that destroyed buildings down there. I think when people die tragically something of them remains.

How the Contest Works

This contest is open to anyone 12 years old and up. (On Wattpad, 13 years old and up due to Wattpad’s terms of use.)

From June 1, 2015, at 7 a.m. EST to July 15, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. EST, I’ll be running the Tell Me Your Ghost Story Contest here on my blog and via Wattpad. It’s a flash fiction writing game with awesome prizes.

To enter, all you have to do is tell me your ghost story by commenting on this blog post before July 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Your comment must include your name, email, and your ghost story. The entire ghost story must be 150 words or less. (Note: Your title doesn’t count toward the 150 word count.) It can be based on your own ghostly encounter or can be a scary ghost story you make up.

Each contestant is allowed up to 3 entries. So if you can’t narrow it down to your favorite ghost story, you can post your top 3 ghost stories.

The story should be PG-13. It can fall into mystery/fantasy/paranormal/horror categories, but it must prominently feature a ghost. If it is longer than 150 words, it won’t be eligible for this contest.

If you are entering via Wattpad, please make sure to tag your story with: #TGWIGcontest #wpcontests so that I can find it and add it to the entries. Here’s the link to the contest on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/41168308-tgwig-writing-contest

I will select the top ten best ghost stories based on spookiness and quality of writing. Then I will send them to my editor, Jessica Jernigan, who has graciously agreed to judge them for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in the contest.

The Prizes

3rd prize: A critique from K.C. Tansley of the first ten pages of your short story or manuscript + a query letter critique + an ebook copy of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts + author goodies. Total value: $50.

2nd prize: A one hour Skype visit with K.C. Tansley for you, your book club, your school, or your community. You can ask me any writing questions you’d like or chat about books with me. It’s your hour to pick my brain on anything writerly. If you want to pass pages by me for review, I can give you instant feedback during that hour. You’ll also receive a signed copy of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts + author goodies. Total value: $70

1st prize: A gorgeous limited edition sterling silver replica of the Radcliffe ruby necklace. There are only three in existence and they were hand crafted by Marina A. Raye. You will also receive a signed copy of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts + author goodies. In addition, I will publish your winning story on my blog + sing your praises on social media. Total value: $150.

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 Announcement of Winners

Winners’ names will be posted on my blog and on Wattpad by August 5, 2015 11:59 p.m. EST. I will also email winners to request their mailing address by August 7, 2015 11:59 EST.

Posted in Contest, flash fiction writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 80 Comments

Happy Memorial Day!

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I hope everyone has a Happy Memorial Day! This weekend, I went out into the woods and disconnected.

Took some time to think. Went to a picnic. And dined at delicious restaurants. Had friend time and family time.IMG_9753

 

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And took some time to think about all the amazing people who sacrifice their lives to protect my freedom.

How was your Memorial Day?

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts Reviews + Blurbs + Giveaways + Preorders

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Reviews

Last week The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts received  some good reviews from Kirkus Reviews &  Publishers Weekly. I got an amazing review from Readers’ Favorite too!

“The novel’s murder mystery is intriguing and grows more complex as its supernatural elements are unveiled.”Kirkus Reviews

“By centering her supernatural world on the concept of belief, adult author Tansley (The Six Train to Wisconsin, writing as Kourtney Heintz) gives her story a complex and unusual framework, and having the formerly possessed Kat become a possessor herself, as she inhabits another woman’s body while in the past, puts a neat spin on conventional ghost story motifs.”Publishers Weekly

“What we have is a sublime, engaging YA paranormal story that demonstrates the evocative talent of its writer. I truly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more in this series.”Readers’ Favorite Fiveby Lit Amri

Author Blurbs

I am incredibly lucky to have met some very talented and kind authors over the years. Three of them found the time in their hectic schedules to read and blurb my book. I am beyond thrilled to have such talented authors say such great things about my work. It means so much to me.

“In THE GIRL WHO IGNORED GHOSTS, K.C. Tansley has crafted a compelling, magic-tinged mystery that spans generations. At once haunting, poignant, and tragically romantic, THE GIRL WHO IGNORED GHOSTS is not to be missed. Ignore at your own peril.”—Chris F. Holm, Anthony and Spinetingler Awards nominee and author of the critically acclaimed Collector Trilogy

“Castles, curses, ghosts, and vivid characters fill this wonderfully spooky story from K.C. Tansley. You won’t want to put it down.”Paige Shelton, New York Times bestselling author of the Country Cooking School Mystery Series and indie author of the YA time-travel novel Clockwork

“The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is a fascinating blend of mystery, romance, time travel, and ghosts. The small, seaside town setting and gothic atmosphere instantly pulled me in, and the complex, carefully plotted storyline kept me hooked. K.C. Tansley took time travel to a whole new level, and I loved it from start to finish!”Page Morgan, author of the YA gothic thriller The Beautiful & The Cursed

Giveaways

Congrats to Sharron on Goodreads for winning the giveaway! The ARC is in the mail today to you.

There’s a couple days left to enter Me, My Shelf, and I’s giveaway of an advance copy of TGWIG:

http://www.memyshelfandi.com/2015/05/spotlight-giveaway-girl-who-ignored.html#more

If you add my book to your to-read shelf on Goodreads, you’ll get updates about upcoming Goodreads giveaways for it.

Preorders

If you’re planning to order a copy of my book, please use Amazon’s preorder buttons. When you preorder the book, that sale goes through on the release day and my book’s Amazon ranking skyrockets. If my book has a enough preorders, it will become an Amazon Bestseller, which would be so so awesome!

Right now, you can preorder the Kindle and the Paperback of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts on Amazon. That way it’s also delivered to you on the publication date!

Posted in Giveaways, marketing a book, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

The Beauties of New York

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Washington Irving’s House, or as I told Anthony the place I should live. It’s in Irvington, NY, on the Hudson River.

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Me and Anthony taking a selfie, or as I remember it the time Anthony dropped by iPhone and it lived to tell the tale. Thank you Otter Box Defender series.

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Cherry Blossoms blooming in Sleepy Hollow

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Me–just visiting the Irving plot.

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The bridge where the Headless Horseman started his ride. This was one huge cemetery.

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Cool Springs. Across the Hudson from West Point.

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Gorgeous, historic stone house in New Paltz.

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Me in the shade on a very warm day in New Paltz.

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Walking down West 15th Street in NYC.

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Park Avenue Midtown tulips.

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Trees in bloom and a giant pile of silver poo on Park Avenue.

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An old fashioned and salmon tartare at Papillon.

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Trinity Church.

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The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for pandan ice cream.

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Tuna sashimi wontons stuffed with crab meat in a wasabi sauce.

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Bidding the city adieu at a sculpture that makes actual sense to me.

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Highlights from the NESCBWI Conference + PreOrders for TGWIG + T. B. Markinson’s Book Giveaways +

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I tweeted and Facebooked my way through the NESCBWI conference, but I thought I’d share some of my favorite takeaways here too. This is one of the best conferences I’ve been to. On par with all the national ones and much most cost effective for me!  I’ll definitely be adding it to my must attend list!

Your antagonist should be your protagonist’s shadow self or at least embody the characteristics of the shadow self.–Tim Weed’s The Archetypal Shadows in YA Fiction

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Tell us about the character–start with a close up.–Pitchapalooza with Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry

Find your voice. –Dan Santat, Keynote Speaker

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Patterns are irresistible. Especially a pattern with variation.–Tim Weed, Image Systems and Subliminal Poetry of Storytelling

Effective marketing is about making a genuine connection.–Jen Malone, Marketing Outside the Box

Give specific details and use words to paint a picture.–Chris Eboch, Show Don’t Tell

Be true to your story, be true to yourself and be true to your readers.–Jo Knowles, “Be True” Keynote Speaker

If you’re having trouble accessing the emotions of a scene, try sketching it out by actually drawing a picture of what is happening. –Jennifer Jacobson, Seize the Reader, Write for Emotional Impact in Children’s and YA Novels

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You have to see your story as a business with money set aside for it. You must understand timelines and audience. If you don’t know who you are writing for or who will read your book, stop marketing.–Kate Conway, Street Teams, FanFiction, and the Art of Selling Oneself

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Don’t announce the character’s sexual orientation unless you need to because it’s relevant to the situation. –Ellen, Wittlinger, Writing LGBTQ Characters Even If You’re Not LGBT or Q

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Amazontgwig

You can now preorder The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts on the Kindle!

Click here: Preorder TGWIG

and if that hyperlink doesn’t work, here’s the really long url:

http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Ignored-Ghosts-Unbelievables-Book-ebook/dp/B00WZOJ028/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430562192&sr=8-1&keywords=the+girl+who+ignored+ghosts

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My dear blog buddy, T. B. Markinson, is giving away 5 ebooks in May including The Six Train to Wisconsin by yours truly!

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Here’s what she has to say about these awesome giveaways:

“Each month, I plan to giveaway awesome books by wonderful authors. It’s my way of saying thank you to all my followers and fans. Some may wonder why I’m giving books away that aren’t mine. The answer is simple: I love to read and I love to help fellow authors promote their books.”

You can read more about her giveaways here:

http://tbmarkinson.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/enter-to-win-5-fabulous-e-books/

So swing by and check out T.B.’s blog and make sure you enter the Rafflecopter giveaway this month!

 

Posted in Conferences, Giveaways, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 36 Comments