Interview with Kasie West

February 14, 2014 Bookish 1

splitsecond-interview

Oh this interview is going to be awesome!!

So I was contacted a while ago and asked hey, are you interested in interviewing Kasie West?!! Of course I was!! And here it is 🙂

West’s newest release, Split Second, is the sequel to Pivot Point and follows Addie after the life-changing decision that she made that the end of the first book. It’s also my pick for February’s MUST READ! She’s also recently released a contemporary novel, The Distance Between Us, and is releasing another contemporary, On the Fence, later this year. On the Fence is gorgeous. You will love it, trust me.

Spoilers ahead!!

But here’s a little about Split Second:

Interview with Kasie WestSplit Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West
Published: February 14th 2014 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Genres: Science Fiction
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Addie has always been able to see the future when faced with a choice, but that doesn't make her present any easier.

Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. So when Addie's dad invites her to spend her winter break with him in the Norm world, she jumps at the chance. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He's a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. She wants to change that.

Laila, her best friend, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie's memories ... once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don't want this to happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school — but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

In the suspenseful sequel to Pivot Point, Addie tries desperately to retrieve her lost memories and piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot.

First, congratulations on the release of Split Second!

1. Please tell us a little about your Pivot Point books for those unfamiliar with them.

Pivot Point and its sequel follows a girl who has the power to see two futures when faced with a choice. She lives in a special Compound where all the citizens have special powers.

2. I’ve always found it hilarious how the Paras struggle with light switches and door handles in the Norm world. If a Norm found their way into the Compound, what are some of the weirdest things they’d encounter?

Ha. I know, they’re like children in the Norm world. But Norms would feel the same in the Para world. Everything in the Para world is more advanced so they probably wouldn’t even know how to get inside someone’s house (which is done by looking up to let the retina scanner know who you are). They’d struggle with the technology at school and would probably die at the “brain food” they’d be recommended to ingest every day.

3. While Split Second is stylistically similar to Pivot Point (alternating chapters showing inside and outside the Compound), instead of following two Addie’s, we’ve now got Addie and Laila. Do you prefer writing two different versions of the same character or writing two different characters all together?

Hmmm. Good question. I found both ways both enjoyable and hard. Pivot Point, where I had to follow to alternate versions of Addie hurt my brain to write. I had to keep track of which Addie knew what and how to let the reader know just enough to keep the tension high without feeling like they knew too much, which would lead to them rolling their eyes at Addie’s ignorance. It was quite a balance and don’t get me started on the editing process when I had to do that. Split Second was hard too though because the minute I would get into Addie’s head and feel like I had a good grip on her, I’d have to switch to Laila and remember that she would respond differently to the same situation. They were both hard. But they were also both fun to write.

4. In most YA books I read (I may be reading the wrong ones) support the “nice guys finish last” trope, but I love that your books depart from having the usual “dark-broody-mysterious-bully” romantic lead. Was that a conscious decision, or did it just happen that way?

You know, I like my share of the brooding bad boys, but I’m such a sucker for a nice guy that most of my romantic leads fall into that category. In the case of Trevor, yes, that was a conscious decision. I really wanted this nice, sweet, thoughtful guy that wasn’t the king of high school and the hottest guy on campus to win. But surprisingly for me, in this book, Trevor was harder to write than Duke. Trevor was a little shy. He keeps his brain to himself. I had to dig a little to figure out who he was. Duke was this charismatic show-off from sentence one. He was so easy to write. That said, I think I’ll have to try my hand at a bad boy one time just to see if I can do it.

5. What are the major differences between writing the Pivot Point novels and your contemporary novels?

World building. Having to conjure up a world that doesn’t exist is very hard for me. I spent hours upon hours brainstorming how things would work, what powers would exist there, etc. Contemporary novels for me come more naturally. I love the emotional/relationship stuff and I love dialogue.

6. Do you plan your books out meticulously or let them grow organically, or a mixture of both?

My first draft is very organic. I know key elements of the plot (in my paranormal books, I know the world and rule system), I know my characters then I just write. The first draft then becomes like my outline and I go from there — fleshing it out, rearranging elements, etc.

7. Would you want Addie’s ability? If yes, why? If no, which other ability would you like to have?

I would not want Addie’s ability. I would abuse it and then I would be sad that I used it then I would force Laila to Erase it. It would be one continuous cycle of unhealthy ability usage. 🙂 As for what ability I would want, this is a hard one that changes depending on my needs at the time. My family is all sick this week so I think this week I want to be a Healer.

Rapid Fire Round

1. Is there another book to follow Split Second? As of now, no.
2. What are you reading right now? Into the Still Blue
3. Describe Addie in three words 🙂 Loyal, trusting, compassionate

About Kasie West

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.

Photo by: Stephanie Ryan Photography

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I want to say thank you very much for Kasie West for taking the time to do this interview. It’s absolutely amazing she’s on my blog!!

And to HarperCollins Australia who organised this wonderful opportunity for me and encouraged me to take it up (I was scared about this interview. Kasie West! On my blog!!)

Split Second is published in Australia by HarperTeen, and will be available from all great Australian bookstores and online from today!

One Response to “Interview with Kasie West”

  1. Jaz

    That was an awesome interview! I loved Kasie’s responses, especially #2. Never would have figured looking up to get into a house lol.

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