Kasie West inspired by the power of a single choice

Kasie West

Kasie West (Stephanie Ryan Photography)

Kasie West has always loved the idea that one small choice can change everything. That’s why she loves the movie “Sliding Doors” and probably why her debut novel, “Pivot Point,” works so well.

Pivot Point” follows Addie a teenage girl who also happens to be a Searcher, meaning that she can search out her future based on a decision. When Addie’s parents decide to get a divorce, she finds herself looking down two paths — the life she’s always known within the confines of her paranormal compound or a life living with “Norms,” people who have yet to develop mental powers.

“I love exploring alternate realities,” Kasie told Cracking the Cover.

Because Addie is faced with two possible futures, “Pivot Point” is divided into two story lines with each playing out through alternating chapters. Kasie says it was hard to keep the two threads straight while writing and she had to be very careful.

“I actually wrote the first part of each story separately,” she explained. “But then I realized I needed to combine them because I needed to know what the reader knew at certain times versus what Addie knew at certain times. Let’s just say I did a lot of reading and rereading every other chapter to make sure it made sense without the in between chapter.”

On top of keeping the threads straight, Kasie created rules to go along with the “super powers” Addie and neighbors are cultivating. One of those rules was limiting the powers to mental abilities rather than flying or super strength.

PivotPoint“I like the idea that mental powers are the next step in evolution and almost seem attainable,” she said. “When you bring powers like flying into the mix, that just doesn’t seem like something the brain could reasonably command. I think bone density and things like that would have to change in order to realistically be able to fly. Now I sound crazy, right? Like I really believe that there are mind powers out there. I don’t believe there are … yet.”

You can’t help but wonder what super power Kasie would take on if given the chance. In fact, she’s asked that question quite frequently. Her answer, though, changes with what she’s in need of at the moment. At the time of this interview, she said she’d like to be able to slow down time just a tad.

“It seems I have a lot to do and little time to do it. So, I’d like to be a time manipulator (says the girl who just claimed in the previous question that the mind wouldn’t be able to control flying, but somehow thinks it should be able to slow down time? Work with me here).”

Now that “Pivot Point” finished and ready for the world to read it, Kasie says it’s not perfect, but that she’s very happy with the finished product. “There were things that turned out better than I imagined — like the way the background of one reality became key points in the other reality. But there were some things that I couldn’t quite capture right — like the exact feel of living in a Compound. But, overall, I’m very happy.”

Kasie is already looking to the future, although she says right now she’s trying to stay afloat getting ready for “Pivot Point” to come out (which it does today). She has a contemporary novel, “The Distance Between Us,” coming out this summer and several half-finished projects waiting for their turn.

“There’s always a contemporary in the mix,” she explained. “And then I actually have another idea with paranormal elements that I’ve started. So we’ll see what takes over once I’m through the busyness of the next few weeks.”

*Kasie will be at The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 South 1500 East, in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.

**Read the complete transcript of Cracking the Cover’s interview with Kasie West. How’s the book? Read Cracking the Cover’s review of “Pivot Point.”

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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