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Author Interview: Kasie West

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Today, I'm delighted to interview Kasie West, author of Pivot Point, which comes out today!



Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I was a reader first. I love books. I read everything I could get my hands on as a kid/teen. I took a few creative writing classes in high school/college, but never really thought of myself as anything near a writer. But one day, I had an idea for a book, so I thought I would give it a try. That book was horrible. Like really bad. I didn't know it at the time, but it was. (I'd like to take this time to apologize to all the agents I sent out awful queries to for that book. I shudder thinking about those queries. The queries were even worse than the book itself.) But I enjoyed writing so much that I kept going. Six books later, I wrote Pivot Point.

I'm glad that you persevered! I saw that you dabbled with different ideas for abilities that the mind can control before settling on the abilities, such as looking into the future, telling truth from lie, persuasiveness, and erasing memories. What drew you to these abilities?
Addie's ability of seeing two futures was obviously the basis for the book. That was the one I started with. But the other abilities I ended up with complemented the plot perfectly and helped shape the book. Plus, they were really fun to explore. I mean, a character who can always tell if you're lying? How fun is that to work into a plot? In book 2, I explore/focus on some different abilities as well so that was fun too.

It is fun to read about a character who can tell if people are lying, though I'm not sure how many of us would like to be put under that kind of scrutiny. Sometimes, we need to tell a white lie to get through the day. If you could have one of these abilities, which would you like and why?
You'd think I'd have the answer to this question down, considering the book I wrote, right? It's also a question that one of the boys in the book asks my main character too. But yeah, my answer changes daily depending on my trials. So let's see, today I have the worst cold ever so I think I'd want to be a Healer. But it also took me 6 hours to talk myself into taking a shower, so maybe I need a little more Persuasion in my life. :)

That's true. If I had an awesome ability, I'd probably find myself wishing I had a different one two or three times a day, depending on circumstances. Addie sees two potential lives for her, one outside the Compound with her dad and one inside the Compound with her mom. What challenges did you face portraying the two lives and Addie's struggle over what she really wants in life?
Portraying the two lives period was a challenge. To try to weave them together so they made sense without being repetitive was really hard. But outside the Compound it was a challenge to place Addie in situations that she wouldn't be used to. To try to figure out how she would react. I needed her personality to be consistent between the two realities and yet she was facing two totally different scenarios so she couldn't be exactly the same. Writing this book hurt my brain a lot. :) But it was also really fun to explore what she wanted and how she was going to make her choice.

The effort that you put into the writing has definitely paid off. Pivot Point is only being published with a sequel along the way! There are two hot boys in Addie's potential futures. Could you tell us a little about them and their appeals?
Ah. Yes. The boys. They are completely different. Duke (her Compound boy) is Telekinetic--he can move things with his mind. He's also charming and charismatic and popular and outgoing. Addie doesn't have to over-analyze and over-think when she's around him like she's prone to do. He makes her feel happy. Trevor (the Norm boy) is kind of the opposite. He's quiet and reserved. But he's sweet and thoughtful. He's perfectly okay with silence. But his laid back nature puts Addie at ease and she finds herself easily able to talk to him. I love them both. And I make her choose! It's so cruel.

Sometimes knowing the future isn't always the best. Then she wouldn't have to know two such different but equally appealing lives! Addie isn't the only teen girl worrying over her future, but she has the unique ability to look at the posisble outcomes. It has its uses, but there are also complications, such as her worry over which life would be better for her. How do you feel this impacts her as a character and how did you balance her Searcher side with the teenage girl inside?
Addie doesn't like to use her ability too much because then she has all these false memories. Things that never actually happened but feel like they happened. So that has a big impact on her. On her relationships with other people. On her decision making. She often wonders if she should look into the future. Or if she shouldn't. It's turned her into a perfectionist. She wants to make sure every choice she makes is perfect. She needs to be in control. So this book is a lot about letting go. Of trusting that things are going to turn out how they're supposed to. Of being a normal teenage girl.

I can understand that. While I may enjoy reading about Addie's life, I wouldn't want to be able to look into the future and have to make all these hard decisions knowing what the potential outcome may be. Knowing what I'd have to give up if I chose one future. What are you working on right now?
I'm always writing something. I just finished a contemporary murder mystery that I'll be sending to my agent soon. I'm waiting for copy edits for Pivot Point #2. And I just finished copy edits on my contemporary that's coming out in the fall of 2013. I like to keep myself busy. But I also make sure I have a lot of time to read. Like I mentioned at the beginning, I started as a reader and I will always be a reader. :) I love books.

Thanks for having me, Kris! Great questions.

Thanks for interviewing, Kasie!




About the Author


Kasie's Website | Twitter
Kasie West writes YA easts Junior Mints. Sometimes, she goes crazy and does both at the same time. Her debut novel Pivot Point comes out February 2013, followed by its sequel in 2014. She also has a contemporary, The Distance Between Us, coming out in the Fall of 2013 with HarperTeen. Her agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.
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