Q&A with ‘Pivot Point’ author Kasie West

Kasie West

Kasie West (Stephanie Ryan Photography)

Kasie West is the author of “Pivot Point.” The following is a complete transcript of her interview with Cracking the Cover.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No, actually. But I’ve always been an avid reader. I never even considered writing anything novel length until about seven years ago.

Why do you write for young readers?

Because I love the themes of young adulthood: discovering who you are, discovering new things, discovering first love, etc. And also, I love teens. I think they are pretty amazing.

Where did the idea for “Pivot Point” come from?

Pivot Point was inspired by the movie Sliding Doors. I adore that movie. I’ve always loved the idea that one little choice can change everything. And I love exploring alternate realities.

How long did it take you to write?

It took me about three months to write Pivot Point and another six months to clean it up and get it in the right shape for agents to start taking notice.

How did you keep the two threads, story lines, straight while writing them?

Very carefully. Ha. It was hard. I actually wrote the first part of each story separately. 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…….does that make sense?

Why did you choose to limit the superpowers — i.e., no flying?

Because I like the idea that mental powers are the next step in evolution and almost seem attainable. 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. 😉

PivotPointIf you could have a superpower, what would it be?

As you can imagine, I get asked this question a lot and every time my answer changes depending on what I am in need of at the moment. And right now, I’d like time to slow down 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).

How does the finished product compare to what you initially imagined?

Nothing is quite as amazing as you imagine in your mind, right? But I’m 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.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m trying to stay afloat getting ready for Pivot Point to come out. And I have a contemporary coming out in the summer: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. But I have several half finished projects waiting for their turn. There’s always a contemporary in the mix. 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

Looking back, how has your writing evolved?

Remember question one? That first novel I wrote seven years ago? It was……horrible. Like awful. I’ve gone back to read it and I’m embarrassed that I actually queried it. Ha. So, I feel like I’ve gotten loads better with practice. Pivot Point is my fourth novel. So practice really does help.

Is there a book from your own youth that still resonates with you?

I had an awesome English teacher who required us to read books like: Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill A Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn, The Joy Luck Club. I can remember all these books vividly for different reasons. And they really let me see my sheltered little world in a different light. So yay for awesome teachers.