Finding My Balance – a guest post by K.C. Tansley

This week I’m very pleased to welcome author K.C. Tansley whose book, The Girl Who Saved Ghosts has just been released.  The book is the second in ‘the unbelievables’ series and I was very excited to read it after greatly enjoying the first book.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Kat is a very unusual and likeable heroine who has a special gift that means she is surrounded by ghosts begging for her help.  The book is a break-neck adventure about ghosts and time travel, but it is also a warm story of love, family and a girl growing up into the young woman she was meant to be.  A perfect adventure for the dark, cosy nights of autumn. 

And while Kat’s journey is fraught with challenge, author K.C. has also faced a challenging journey leading up to the launch of the book.  Here, she talks about a year spent finding her balance:

The past year of my life has been all about finding my balance, between teaching and writing, between writing and promoting, between working and having fun, between exercising and eating right. But it hasn’t just been about finding these figurative balances in my life.

I’ve spent most of the year relearning how to balance in the physical world. In the fall of 2016, I had severe vertigo that left me unable to stand and made it ten times harder to perform daily tasks. Doing my laundry took more focus than a calculus problem. When the world is moving beneath you (imagine being on a rocky boat at sea with your stomach somersaulting from the motion sickness), it becomes much harder to button a shirt.  Forget about bending over to tie my shoes, I’d be flat on the floor.

The doctors told me I had a virus that attacked the nerve in my inner ear, inflaming the oh so important nerve that controlled my physical balance. My inner ear kept sending my brain false information: “We’re on a boat and it’s rocking!” I, however, would be standing in the middle of my kitchen, holding onto the counter for dear life.

People told me to just ignore it. Because you know when you perceive something is happening if you can just say, “This isn’t real,” then bibbitty babbitty boo, it all goes back to normal. Nope.

Instead, I spent six months in vestibular rehabilitation, relearning how to move with my ears malfunctioning. I had to rely on my leg muscles and my eyes to give my brain the right information on what was and wasn’t in motion.

I had to learn when to push myself and when to rest. I couldn’t avoid what made me sick. Because if I did, I’d never regain my abilities to work on a computer, walk a straight line, or think clearly. I had to keep exposing myself to what made me sick until my brain learned to compensate.

I’ve regained my ability to work on the computer. To stand and teach my classes. To drive short distances. Lots of noise and movement, however, cause my vertigo to return. My ears ache, feel full, ring, and click. They don’t work right anymore. My mind gets fatigued more easily that it used to. And I lose my balance a few times a day.

But I do my physical therapy exercises and I dance and I walk and I use my computer. I challenge myself to stay vertical. I’ve learned to accept my limits. I’ve learned that there will be good days and bad days and all I can do is appreciate the balance I have. Savor the moments when I can walk without feeling like I’m on the moon. Enjoy when my stomach is settled and the ground is staying still below me.

Balance is a tricky thing and I’m constantly re-finding mine.

Book Summary

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 sentence summary:

When an ancestor’s ghost begs her for help, Kat risks herself—and the friend who’s sworn to protect her—by traveling in time to nineteenth-century Vienna.

Bio

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: http://kctansley.com

Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2iPDlcf

Ibooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts/id9781943024056

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-kc-tansley/1126604900?ean=2940154417829

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts

Author Website: http://kctansley.com

Thanks to K.C. for visiting.  Please visit the links above to find out more and get your copy of The Girl Who Saved Ghosts!

98 thoughts on “Finding My Balance – a guest post by K.C. Tansley

  1. I’m so impressed you managed to produce another book despite your rough year. Vertigo makes everything a hundred times more difficult. I’m glad to hear it’s eased up a bit. Really hope it resolves completely for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. During the worst of it, I couldn’t work. Then I worked incredibly slowly and had to request an extension from my publisher. Luckily, I regained my abilities as the year went on, so I was only a month behind schedule. I’m being really careful with my triggers–lack of sleep, darkness, crowds, stress, and moving when someone else is coming toward me. I’ve heard of vertigo spontaneously resolving. I hope mine does. Right now the doctor can’t figure out why is the source and so it’s really hard to come up with a treatment plan besides waiting for a neurologist and doing my physical therapy exercises.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh my, oh my. How I can soooo relate! I went through the exact same thing a couple of years ago. To me, the nausea and blurred vision felt like riding an out-of-control merry-go-round underwater.

    Unfortunately, for me the ear infection left me deaf in the right ear. For the most part, I too have relearned how to keep my balance even with the false signals coming from my inner ear, but I still have to be careful.

    Thanks for the sense of kinship. Your book sounds very interesting. I’m going to check it out soon.

    Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • James, I’m so sorry to hear you went through this and that you have such severe lasting damage. The nausea can leave me bedridden for days. It’s so awful. For me the mental fog is horrible too. Lately, it’s been very unstable in terms of my abilities. During a flare up, I regress 8 months. But once it calms down, I’m back to 80% functional but still have to avoid crowds and too much activity. I took a hike yesterday and it drained me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The cause of vertigo can be difficult to pinpoint. I’m relieved to hear you’ve seen some improvement, Kourtney. Kudos to you for pressing on and completing your book through such a challenging time in your life. Well done! Thanks for hosting K.C., Andrea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My symptoms don’t fit nicely into a box. I’m definitely better than I was in the spring, but not nearly as good as I was last October before this happened. But I am so glad I can read again. It’s been awesome losing myself in a good book! For me, all that counted this year was getting the book done. So I did everything I had to do to make it happen. Hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank-you so much for hosting KC, Andrea. Her book sounds great!
    Congratulations KC, for managing to bring a book to publication despite being so unwell! My husband gets labyrinthitis now and again and he has to lie on the floor until the attack goes away or until his anti-nausea tablets enable him to get to bed. Not as life-changing as your problem but still difficult to cope with.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I can fully understand and connect with this Andrea.
    Having survived a cerebal bleed and learning to live again and also experiencing the little girl who plays ring a ring a roses around the water pump this sounds like my cup of tea, not my usual choice of read, but now you’ve sowed the seed I’ll give it a go. Cheers.
    Keep well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, KC…we met on Jill’s blog 🙂
    So much for one so young…this book release has got to be extra special for you, indeed. Thank you for allowing us/me to read of those obstacles and your continued determination to persevere.

    Does the physical act of writing (focused movement) help you through the vertigo at times, or does it sometimes trigger more ‘attacks’?

    Thanks, Andrea for hosting KC!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Laura! Nice to see you again! I really felt like I had a ton of life experiences between 20-35. I even had two spine surgeries for a herniated disk. I feel like it all gave me perspective on what matters and made me so much more determined to do what I wanted when I wanted. I live a lot when I can because I know there are times when I can’t.

      Great question. It actually depends on whether I’m having a serious flare or not. When I’m not, sitting at the computer and writing is great. But scrolling can bother me, so I have to take a break every hour I’m online because it starts to aggravate the vertigo. During a severe episode, the only thing that helps is lying in bed and reading or watching tv and not moving my head.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. It is remarkable how ‘balance’ has come to play such a central role in the author’s life. I wish her all the best in her enterprises. The storyline is not only faintly reminiscent of ‘The Sixth Sense’ but we are deep into science fiction territory too. The mixture of paranormal and science leaves a smorgasbord of weapons at the writer’s disposal and I suspect the situation might easily overwhelm or underwhelm the reader. But then K C Tansley appears to be a connoisseur of balancing between the reality and hallucinations. It is interesting the protagonist is named ‘Kate’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really has. And the struggle to maintain it physically, mentally, and emotionally continues. Thank you! Very true! I think of it as The Haunting of Sunshine Girl meets Outlander. I tend to like to layer things in my world building. Aw thank you so much–it does seem like a lot in the story, but somehow I make it work. I also have an amazing editor reining me in and poking holes at my plot and characters. It wouldn’t be the book it is without her guidance! So far, all my novel protagonists names begin with a K. Even in my unpublished work. It’s a little nod to my first initial.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My wife was once struck by a nasty bout of vertigo, I know the pain and despair it can cause. In my younger days, I used to devour Isaac Asimov and Stephen King like there were tomorrows! I am surely going to read Kate’s adventures one of these days.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Umashankar, sorry to hear about your wife’s vertigo. It’s a tough thing to deal with when your reality is warping and you cannot function. The upside is that reading helps so I’ve read more books this year than I have in the past 3 years. Silver lining! Hope you enjoy it when you get to reading it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I was so proud of this story, I felt like I had to get it out in the world. That made me keep going. Aw thank you! Me too. But as I come up on the one year anniversary of getting it, I’m learning to live around it and with it.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Andrea, so glad to see Kourtney and her latest book making a visit to your blog! 😀 Kourtney,the vertigo sounds terrifying and understandably debilitating – your courage and fortitude resonates through your words as you seek to find your balance…may the periods of calm and well being last longer each time. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Annika, good to see you again! Thanks. It’s been a challenging year–physically and emotionally exhausting. But I know the bad episodes will end in 7-10 days so that is something to look forward to. 🙂 I’ve had 2 good weeks in time for the blog tour but it’s acting up again. So I’ll be trying to do less this week. 🙂 Thanks that’s my hope too!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Kat, congratulations on managing to write your book, despite the vertigo. I know two people who have suffered from this same problem and made a full recovery, which bodes well for you, too. Wishing you all the best with your creative ventures and your health.

    Andrea, thanks for telling us about this ghost/time-travel story, which sounds intriguing. How much longer is my reading list going to become, if people keep telling me about good novels? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for this post Andrea. I already feel a huge sense of admiration for K.C. Tansley.
    I’m so grateful to both of you as this post came to me at a time when I was trying to give up on something.
    Congrats K.C. Tansley on your success.
    I’ve been on a spree to read books by other bloggers or any suggestive reads by fellow bloggers and I see this book getting added to that list. Thanks for the post, Andrea. 😀
    Sorry Andrea if the message has come twice to you. It wasn’t going through so I clicked twice. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been looking forward to sitting down and giving my full attention to this post. First, much admiration and good wishes to K.C. for fighting to keep her balance, and pushing forward in spite of the odds she is facing. That takes quite a bit of strength. And then, the book. This sounds fabulous, and something I would love to read. (Though I wonder if the book before should be read first to better understand this one.) Ghosts begging for help? I’m in! Checking out more info on Amazon next! Thanks for sharing this post, Andrea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for giving it your full attention! Aw, I really appreciate that. It’s been tough and sometimes I get very discouraged but I remind myself the only way out is through it. Luckily reading helps so I’ve been able to read so many more books this year. Silver lining at least.

      Thank you so much. It is best to read the books in order because Book 2 deals with the aftermath of Book 1 and builds on it. Some readers feel you can read book 2 on its own, but others feel you need book 1 to truly appreciate book 2. I ❤ ghosts!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Uh-oh. I got so eager, I already ordered the second book from Amazon. Well, it won’t be the first time I read books out of order. Looking forward to it. And yes, I understand that sometimes the only way out is through – always good thinking. And a shout out to you from your almost neighbor in New Jersey. 🙂 Jeanne

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL. Jeanne, I appreciate the enthusiasm. I tried to put enough recaps in Book 2, so you won’t be lost. Sometimes I read out of order just to see how the author handles recaps of the previous book. 🙂 Funny how we are on a U.K. blog meeting and we are only a few hours apart in the U.S.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Your slightly tilted sea horizon photo is very effective; it made me feel as though I were on a boat. Congratulations on your latest book; an achievement against the odds. Hope the vertigo does resolve. It’s great that reading is something you can still do despite the vertigo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Gallivanta! I actually just took that pic in early October on Cape Cod. Glad it fit the post so well. Thanks! Me too. I have good stretches but then I trigger it and have a bad 1-2 weeks. I’m doing my best to live around it and accept this crazy new normal. Reading is my favorite escape. I am so grateful I can slip into a book and forget all that is wrong with my body.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great interview! Really appreciate the health share as well. I have had vertigo for years. The severity varies from day to day but multiple tests found nothing, they still don’t know why I have it but I broke my nose in three places in 2011 from landing on my face. So glad you found the cause of yours and are doing better. Wishing you every success with your book 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Janni. I’m so sorry to hear that. It must be incredibly frustrating. They actually took back my diagnosis in September (after I wrote this post) and have been unsure what’s wrong with me. They know my left inner ear doesn’t work as well as my right one and I lost a little hearing in the middle range which is abnormal for someone my age. But they aren’t sure if it’s permanent nerve damage from a virus, Meniere’s disease, or Migraine Associated Vertigo. I have my good and bad weeks. Traveling, lack of sleep, crowds, lots of movement when I’m moving, weather changes, & stress are all triggers. I’m doing my best to manage them, but I miss how I was before all this happened. How do you deal with yours?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have the same triggers as you do, it is truly frustrating. Recently I have started seeing “lights” and having terrible, gripping headaches soon after. The doctor thinks I am having migraines. The onset of migraines was long after the vertigo though so not sure mine are connected. I also have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which can be triggered by the same things as the vertigo. I have no special coping technique other than withdrawing to quiet and darkness or getting myself away from the trigger as fast as possible. Not always possible I know. Sometimes closing my eyes will help a little but other times that can make my head whirl worse. I really feel for you. It is so debilitating. What is worse is I look fine so people assume I am and some grow impatient with me pretty quick. That just adds to the stress and stress is such a terrible trigger. Someone once told me dance will help. I tried it. Several bumps and falls later I realized dance was not the solution for me lol. Thank you so much for asking, sending you lots of healing wishes. Thinking we should stay connected not just for sharing our writing but also possible solutions or remedies we may find as we go along. Are you on Facebook?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Awwww, thank you. It is so challenging especially when it feels like this screen keeps moving. Tons of errors later, I get it typed, or typed and retyped lol. Have to keep proofing even the tiniest communication or people might think me speaking an alien language. As one person once asked me of a message I sent: what kind of alien language is that. I don’t know, I said, how many kinds do you know? Lol. Ah, well. It Could Always Be Worse is the title of a children’s book and it is so true. Today is a better day than most.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Janni, yes, I am on Facebook. Let’s definitely keep in touch. You can find me at https://www.facebook.com/kourtney.heintz. Migraine Associated Vertigo can occur without migraines or not at the same time or the vertigo can start before the migraines. It’s a really weird thing. I just found out about it. Might be worth looking into. It’s very hard because people tell me I look good, and I’m feeling like I’m not in my body and my stomach is flipping and my mind is in peanut butter. With dancing, I found you have to stare straight at the tv the entire time to maintain balance. I do Just Dance on my Wii and it does help, but I can’t do turns.

        I understand about the typing issues. I double and triple check, but they still happen. When the computer is moving, I generally take to my bed for a couple days. Things tend to calm down if I stay still. But it’s very disruptive to life. I think you are really strong and brave to keep typing. And to keep your sense of humor–I find it gets me through sometimes just to laugh at the absurd things I do now. Like last week when I tried to put a dirty plate in the silverware drawer to wash it because it was right next to the dishwasher. Close enough, right? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I applaud you for working with vertigo and somehow coming out on the other side. I have extreme motion sickness even standing on a dock (!). In my dance class, I’m the only person who won’t turn around and around when the teacher does. My ears ring constantly. Like you, I always strive for balance – physical, mental, emotional. I know that what you’ve gone through is so difficult. You are a star. I look forward to reading your book.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I have been wondering about Kourtney and the vertigo, as I am months behind on catching up on my blog reading. Despite it all, the book is tremendous accomplishment! Congratulations on the courage and persistence. Sending hopes for complete recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

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