The Five Things I Would Tell My 20-Year-Old Self

Lately I’ve been thinking. Mostly because it’s the first time in a year and half that my mind is clear and my thought processes are firing again. I can actually do a few things at the same time and do them pretty well. In February, I started taking walks. It began as 30 minutes twice a week and mushroomed to daily walks that last 60-80 minutes, which gives me a lot of time to ruminate on stuff. I’ve got a backlog of thinking to catch up on!

On one of my epic walks, I was thinking back to when I was 20 and all the stupid things I thought and did. And I started composing this list of things I would tell my 20-year-old self. Some of it’s purely practical, some a bit deep. But I really wished I knew this back then.

  1. Take care of your teeth. When you’re thirty, you’ll need 2 root canals and a gum scaling. I know you hate flossing, but do it. Daily. Even when you hurt your back, and life is utterly miserable, make sure you brush twice a day. And use mouthwash. Your 40-year-old self thanks you.
  2. Most people leave, but you will never correctly guess who will stay. The people that you’d trust your life to at 20, most of them will leave. Some gradually, some quickly. But most won’t be around in ten years. The ones you don’t expect to stay, they will. And they will keep coming back to you. Treasure them and let the rest go.
  3. When someone shows you who they are believe them. The guys that lie and cheat—that’s who they are liars and cheaters. You cannot reform them. You cannot love them enough to make them love you. It won’t happen. I’m sorry, dear, but you just need to cut the cord and move on. Third chances are for idiots. Same with friends who betray you—frenemies are only cool in movies.
  4. Your dreams will change. And you have to find a way to adapt to a complete shift in your motivations and goals. You may feel like you are not the same person. You aren’t. And sometimes what you flee from is what you will return to in later years. Accept it and embrace change.
  5. You’ve only got this one life. Make the moments count. Live the life you want and make sure you spend your time in pursuit of your passions and your interests whatever they turn out to be.


When you look back on your life, is there any advice you wish you could give your twenty-year-old self?

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Does Social Media Make You Miserable?

For the past 3 months, I’ve curtailed the time I spend on social media. I check Facebook and Twitter once a week. I respond to all notifications and I try to take about 30 minutes to interact with friends’ posts and tweets. I’ve cut back on blogging and reading blogs too.

I’m not bombarded with angry political rants. I don’t have to constantly hear how awesome or awful everyone else is doing all the time. I’m not pressured to post all the time and create content and get followers. In short, I’ve stopped pushing my introvert-self outside my extroverting comfort zone so much.

What I have done instead is put more energy into my author newsletter. I enjoy creating that content and I only have to do it once a month. I’m getting responses from readers, and it’s fun without the pressure cooker feeling of social media.

The overall result is that I feel more relaxed and happy, which is incredibly important to my creating stories that I love and can share with readers.

Fundamentally, I have to be true to myself. I like living my life offline. I like having private moments that are only documented in my memory. I like disconnecting from the computer and reconnecting with friends on the phone or in person. I like listening to music and reorganizing things in my room or cooking a dish I’ve never made before or taking a hike through the woods.

So though social media can make me miserable, I’ve decided that I won’t let it. It can be a useful tool when used properly. But it can be a misery maker when you feel like you have to be there all the time and the tool starts to control your life.


How do you feel about social media? Epic time suck? Excellent Promo tool? Fun? Taxing?

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Shifting Priorities

I ended up taking a couple extra weeks in my blog break. Sorry for the delay in my return, but it’s been very productive for my writing. I’ve been hard at work on my first draft of Book 3 of The Unbelievables. I’ve laid down 56k words (218 pages) of the first draft between December 11 and Jan 26.

It’s been a while since I worked on a first draft. I’d forgotten how much fun and how much frustration there is. The blank page means I can do almost anything, but that means lots of decisions. With revisions, I’m working on tightening the story and polishing it up. With the first draft, I’m laying out the story bones and building the story as I go. It’s exciting but it’s also a bit overwhelming at times.

I started out with a 3-page synopsis. And I thought this is all I need. Structure without confinement. But then I realized how many scenes I had to just create from scratch as I went along. (Mind you, I’ve discovered when I do a scene-by-scene outline, it makes a far worse first draft.)

I originally aimed for 2k a day of writing 5 days a week, but that didn’t work out due to my reoccurring vertigo. So I scaled down to 1700 a day. But I was still struggling to hit that. Between doctor appointments and teaching and family obligations over the holidays, I was feeling super stressed. So I finally ended up at 1500 words a day. I was bummed out by the decline in my writing prowess. Normally, I get faster and better with each book. This was a slide back to how I wrote 2 books ago.

But I showed up each day and it paid off. I also started a new medication to treat my recurring vertigo and it sharpened my mind tremendously. I’m consistently writing 1700 words a day now. Woohoo!

I made time for my hobbies again. I have been teaching myself to make my favorite Chinese dishes (I so miss living 20 minutes from Chinatown).


(Egg Drop Soup, Mongolian Beef, & Pork Dumplings)

I’ve started re-reading my favorite manga (Land of the Blindfolded) and watching anime (Magic Knights Rayearth, Inuyasha, Soul Eater) again. I forgot how much I loved these stories. And I’m reading more books too!

I’ve spent more time with friends.

I’ve also started reading poetry again. I used to love poetry when I was a tween and teen. Yeats, Poe, Rilke. I actually like to read it aloud to myself and see how the words roll around on my tongue and hit my ear.

So until I finish this first draft, I’m going to be here once month and on Facebook and Twitter once a week.


Have you found yourself returning to old hobbies or starting new ones? How are you managing your social media time?



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Winter Blog Break

With all the weekly author events, my monthly new newsletter commitments, and my writing schedule, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging for the holiday season.

I’ll still be on Facebook and Twitter, but I’m going to take a blog break from now until January 15.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

If you miss my posts, please check out all the amazing interviews and guest posts from the book tour in October and November!

TGWSG’s Blog Tour

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Thanks For All Your Support During My Book Release!


I’ve had a few days to wind down from the book release and the blog tour and I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who bought my book, tweeted or shared about my book, or hosted me on their blog during my release time!

It can be lonely sending a book out into the world, but I didn’t feel alone because you showed up–to buy the book, to review the book, to share my posts and tweets, and to comment on blog posts–and let me know you were there beside me.

It means the world to me. So thank you so much for all your support.


I have a few bits of news to share…

Book Review & Giveaway

Suze Lavender gave both books a fantastic review and let me guest post about my Top 5 Reads in 2017. She’s also running an international giveaway of The Girl Who Saved Ghosts that ends in 7 days so get your entries in!


Author Interview

Lisa Haselton interviewed me over on her blog and we talked about my writing process and how I do research for the books.


Publishing Experience

Writers in the Storm let me take over their blog to talk about writing disasters and how to cope and overcome them.

6 Tips to Survive a Writing Disaster



I’m one of many authors from across the world giving away a copy of my paperback in November in YA Books Central’s Around the World Giveaway. Get your entries in soon!



I’m also participating in an ebook giveaway that ends in 5 days! You could win all these ebooks!

To find out more details and enter the giveaway go here:



On a personal note, I turned 40 and changed my hair. This is my third time being a redhead and I love it.


I had a great birthday–I did everything I wanted to do!

Finished reading Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which is an epically good work of psychological ghost story. Then I read My Fair Godmother, which had a fun twist on time travel.

I watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and laughed so much that I ended up rewatching it a few more times. My favorite scene was when Rocket and Yondu took over the ship.

I hung out with Emerson all day and night.

And I ate Carvel ice cream cake. It was such a relaxing day!


Author Events

I did my first craft fair on November 5. I met some cool people, sold some books, and had a great time. Mom was there to help me every step of the way. This past week, the vertigo has been acting up from all the activity, but I’m not letting it stop me. I’ll rest as much as I can between events and eat my peppermint candies.

Here’s where I’ll be the rest of this month if you’d like to meet me and pick up a signed copy of any of my books:

November 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In Meriden, CT, at the Horace C. Wilcox Technical High School (298 Oregon Road): author selling and signing books.
November 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In Southington, CT, at the AquaTurf Convention Center craft fair (Mulberry St.): selling and signing books.


99 Cent Sale for The Six Train to Wisconsin

From November 19-24, The Six Train to Wisconsin will be on sale for just 99 cents! That’s 80% off the retail price. If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, pick it up on those days on Kindle:











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What is my Inspiration for the Character of Kat Preston?


As you might expect, I’m a bit exhausted from the blog tour for TGWSG, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite guest posts from the tour!

Guest Post from Butterfly-O-Meter Books’ Blog: 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…

Read the rest of this post on Butterfly-o-Meter’s Blog!



Upcoming Author Events

November 5th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


November 11th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


In East Lyme, CT, at the East Lyme High School (30 Chesterfield Road): author selling and signing books.


In Manchester, CT, at Manchester High School (134 E. Middle Turnpike): author selling and signing books.



November 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In Meriden, CT, at the Horace C. Wilcox Technical High School (298 Oregon Road): author selling and signing books.
November 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In Southington, CT, at the AquaTurf Convention Center craft fair (Mulberry St.): selling and signing books.




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How to Support An Author During Her Release Week

Tomorrow (October 17) is the release date for The Girl Who Saved Ghosts! I feel like I’ve been preparing for this day all year. It’s always exciting and nerve-wracking to see how sales go!

Thanks so much for being here with me throughout this journey. There are so many ways friends, family, and fans can support an author during her release week, I thought this would be the perfect time to share them.

1. Spread the word

I only have so many followers on social media. But all my followers have their own followers. When you share something about my book on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, you help me reach new readers.

But I realize it’s hard to know what to say or share. So I’ve created a page of shareable stuff: images you can pin on Pinterest or copy and share anywhere, pre-written tweets, pre-written Facebook posts that share my book page, etc. Basically 1-2 clicks and you are done!

So this week, please stop by

and share something with your followers!

2. If you got an ARC, post a review

Early reviews are critical to a books success. Getting 50 or more reviews on Amazon’s site during the release week makes Amazon notice a book and do lots more promotion of it. Reviews on Goodreads matter too. A solid amount of reviews signal to readers that this a book worth their time. Long or short, every single review counts and can help an author’s success!

So if you got an advance reader copy of my book, please post an honest review on Goodreads and Amazon.

3. Request your library carry the book

If you can’t afford to purchase a copy of the book, go to your library and request that they buy a copy. Libraries consider patrons’ requests for books and often make purchases based on them.

Getting my book into a library make it visible to new readers and expands my readership. So it’s a win-win for me and you.

4. Buy a book

If you are planning to buy my book, please buy it during release week. That first week of sales is when the book is most likely to hit Amazon bestseller lists and every sale counts toward making that happen. Strong sales the first week mean something to the publisher too.

If you have an Amazon credit card, you can use your points to buy the book too.

So if you can purchase the ebook or the paperback, please do it then.

5. If you have a book club or know a book club, suggest that they read the book

Book clubs are great ways to grow an author’s audience. If you happen to know a book club, tell them about my book. I’m always happy to call in, Skype in, or visit with a local book club to chat about the book.

6. During the book blog tour, stop by and comment on posts

During a blog tour, it helps to have commenters come by to chat. If you have a moment, swing by any of my upcoming blog tour stops and post a quick comment.

My official blog tour is with Xpresso Book Tours. The list of blog tour stops is going to be constantly updated in real time here:

Tour: The Girl Who Saved Ghosts by K.C. Tansley


I also had a few blog friends fit me in on their blogs too!

10/17/17: Tome Tender: Guest Post + Giveaway: Why YA Paranormals Will Never Die

10/17/17: Blossom Twins: Book Review + Giveaway

10/20/17: Jill Weatherholt: Author Spotlight

10/22: Harvest Hecate: Guest Post: Finding Balance


Expresso Book Tours is also organizing a book giveaway for the blog tour. If you’d like to win a signed copy, you can enter the book giveaway:






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A Day In the Life of an Author

Recently, I put together a post for an ezine called Modern Creative Life. I spent a few weeks working on this post and it’s all about what my “typical Tuesday” is like. If you’ve ever been curious about what my day to day life is (and you want to see a picture of my desk), swing over there and find out!


Typical Tuesday with K.C. Tansley



New Reviews for TGWSG

I also had two amazing book reviews this week for The Girl Who Saved Ghosts!

You can check out what Tome Tender and Confessions of a YA Reader had to say in their blog posts!



Winner of Signed Copy of TGWSG

Congrats to Andrea Stephenson, who won the signed copy of TGWSG from the giveaway in the last blog post.  I’ll email you for your mailing address this week!



Posted in blog tour, book tour, Giveaways, marketing a book, Promotion, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Girl Who Saved Ghosts Releases in One Month!


I can’t believe there are only 4 weeks left until The Girl Who Saved Ghosts is released! This entire year has been about revising the book, proofreading the book, marketing the book. And there’s still so much to be done!

The preorder links are up for the paperback of The Girl Who Saved Ghosts on


Barnes and Noble



Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. There’s videos and images of author notes and stuff you can’t find anywhere else on this series. The preorder giveaways are only available to newsletter subscribers until October 18, 2017.

Make sure to sign up for author updates so you’ll be in the know!

Contact Kourtney



Early reviews of the book have been terrific!

If you got an advance reader copy, please remember when you post your review to mention “I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.”

Amazon doesn’t allow review posting until the actual release date on October 17, 2017. But you can write the review whenever you finish the book and have the review ready to post or post it to Goodreads now. Early reviews are absolutely critical to a book’s success. Thank you so much for your support!



I’m hard at work on all the guest posts and interviews for my blog tour in October. I’m hoping you’ll swing by some of the posts then.



And lastly, I haven’t done a giveaway of an advance reader copy to my blog followers, and so here it is!

Comment below and you will be entered to win an advance reader copy of my book.

I will close the giveaway on September 29, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. and announce the winner in my next blog post on October 2. Make sure to get your entry in!








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Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow had no clue that moving from Manhattan to the small town of Ashpot, Connecticut, would lead to an unsolved mystery. Her parents’ dream of renovating a crumbling Victorian, called the Begonia House, into a bed and breakfast had seemed like treachery at the time. But Fairday found out that her new house kept secrets, and once inside its twisted front gates, anything was possible.


When mysterious notes start showing up warning that a librarian is in trouble and a bookworm is eating words, Fairday thinks the Begonia House has more skeletons in its closets. She notices a passage in her favorite book has been changed, and she’s certain something is dreadfully wrong. What happens to stories when their words get eaten?


The Detective Mystery Squad is ready to investigate! Fairday, Lizzy, and Marcus take off on a sticky trail and tumble into Nowhere. Like Alice in Wonderland, Fairday finds herself in a world where nothing makes sense and the lines of reality are blurred.


The three sleuths discover amazing things about themselves as they unravel more secrets within the walls of the Begonia House. Follow along with Fairday and friends as they open the next case in the DMS files to unlock the mystery of the Talking Library.

~ONE ~

Strange Notes


Fairday Morrow woke to a loud crack of thunder. As she bolted upright in bed, her gray eyes flew open. Rain pelted against the window. Electricity charged the air. Lightning flashed, and she saw the old willow tree in her backyard lurching wildly. A whip-like branch smashed the glass and the storm raged into her room. BOOM! The sky lit up. The wind blew in like a tornado, tossing wet leaves and sticks around. Fairday shrieked and ducked under the covers.

“Fairday! Are you okay?” her dad shouted from the hallway.

Auntie Em, the family pug, was barking her head off.

“Yeah, I’m alright,” Fairday answered in a shaky voice. She peeked out from the blankets as a burst of light split the dark. For an instant, glass shards twinkled like stars across the tattered lion-and-unicorn carpet; the heavy drapes flapped, twisting in the wind. On the next lightning strike, Fairday saw a paper blow in through the broken window. But the second she glimpsed it, thunder boomed, the house shook, and everything blacked out.



Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson, Co-authors

Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson have been friends since they met freshman year of high school. After discovering they both loved the same books, their friendship grew, and they went on to co-author The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. The first mystery in the Fairday Morrow series, released with Delacorte Press in December 2015. Stephanie and Jess are excited to present the next case in the DMS files. Having the brilliant illustrations created by their close high school friend, David SanAngelo, has made bringing the story to life magical. To contact Stephanie and Jess or learn more about their journey, please visit:

David SanAngelo, Illustrator

David SanAngelo is an award winning illustrator, and a two-time Emmy nominated director of animated shows for children and he won a kite flying contest in the fourth grade. Dave attended high school with Jessica and Stephanie, and they’ve all been friends for a billion years. Some of Dave’s favorite things are: old monster movies, superheros and shred-a-licious rock music. Although he grew up in New England, Dave currently lives with his wife and sons in Decatur, GA. To learn more about Dave’s art, please visit:

Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library

Book 2: Fairday Morrow series

Release date: October 2017

Age Range: 8 years old and up

Grade Level: 3-9

Publisher: Willow Press


Pre-Order Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library on Amazon


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