Questioning AUTHORity is a weekly feature here at Bookish Serendipity in which I interview MG and YA authors. Today I am featuring Kasie West, the YA author of books such as Pivot Point and On The Fence. Thanks so much to Ms. West for participating!
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels, published through Harper Teen are: PIVOT POINT, its sequel SPLIT SECOND (Feb 2014), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US (a contemporary novel). I also have two more contemporaries, ON THE FENCE coming out July 1, 2014, and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND coming out the summer of 2015. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.
ME: I love the concept behind Pivot Point and Split Second. What inspired this duology?
KW: This idea was inspired by the movie Sliding Doors. It’s basically the idea that one decision can change so much and so little of your future. I love the movie and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be so cool if a girl had the power to control that. To see two futures based off of a choice. And the rest just developed from there.
ME: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got published? How has the publishing process changed from your debut novel to your most recent?
KW: I wrote a book, I edited book, I had friends read book, I queried agents, I got rejected a whole lot. I wrote another book, I edited book, I had friends read book, I queried more agents, I got rejected more. I wrote another book, I edited book, I had friends read book, edited some more, I queried agents, I got rejected…and I got a lot of requests. You get the picture. It was a lot of work and trying to get better and moving forward when things weren’t looking down. I almost quit at the end, right before things happened. And then they started to happen.
I don’t know that much has changed in my process of writing since my debut. I still write when I can. I still develop stories like I always have. But I’d like to think that my skills have gotten better. J
ME: If you were to create a music playlist for Pivot Point, what are a few songs that would be on it? Why?
KW: I actually have a fairly long playlist in the back of the paperback version of Pivot Point. So for the full list, check there, but here, I will tell you about 3 songs that make me think of Pivot Point whenever I hear them.
*Little Wonders by Rob Thomas. Every time I hear this song I think of Addie. The song talks about how life is made up of small moments and how fate can be defined and changed in an instant. I love the song.
*Already Gone by Kelly Clarkson. “It doesn’t matter where we take this road, but someone’s gotta go.” That’s basically the bottom line of Pivot Point.
*She’s So Mean by Matchbox Twenty. This song reminds me of Laila. She’s not mean all the time, but to boys she sure can be.
ME: When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? Do you recall where your interest in writing originated?
KW: I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was thirty, but I’ve always been an avid reader. I love books, I always have. I read a lot growing up, my parents read a lot growing up. I never thought about taking that love of reading and turning it into writing until I had an idea one day, told my husband about it, and he said, you should write that. It was a new concept to me. I thought, maybe I will. And I did. That book wasn’t very good, but the process of writing it was amazing. I loved it. I was bitten by the writing bug and I haven’t looked back since.
ME: What advice would you give to teen and aspiring writers?
KW: Keep reading, keep writing. Do what works for you.
ME: Can you share a little bit about your current/ upcoming writing projects?
KW: Currently I am in copy edits for my next contemporary that comes out May 5 called The Fill-In Boyfriend. It is about a girl who gets dumped in the parking lot of prom and has to snag another date to convince her friends that the boyfriend she’d been talking about for months actually exists. It’s a fun romance that I’m excited for y’all to read.
ME: Every other Wednesday, I usually participate in the meme Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine. This week is no different! My WoW pick this week is The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. I don’t usually like romance, but I do love Ms. West’s writing, and this looks really interesting. You heard a little bit about this book during the interview, but here’s the full synopsis:
When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.