Welcome to Author Interview Thursday hosted by the Never Too Old for YA and NA Books group on Goodreads.
Today we welcome Kasie West. If you haven't read her books, what are you waiting for? They are most awesome!
Welcome to the blog Kasie! Take it away!
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I had no idea I wanted to be a writer. I always loved books. I was an avid reader as a child and teen. It wasn't until I was well into adulthood that I realized I liked to write. I went to college to be a teacher. A profession I never was able to practice because I made the choice to stay home and raise my four amazing children. So being a stay at home mom I found that I could sneak writing in here and there and discovered I loved it.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Each book is different. If you mean just the first draft, it takes me anywhere from 2-6 months....although I'm working on a book now that I've been working on for over a year--I keep setting it aside and coming back to it. So, yes, it depends on the book and how much time I devote to drafting it. But even after the first draft, I spend months polishing and editing it.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Each one has come to me in a different way. Pivot Point was inspired by a movie. The Distance Between Us was inspired by a setting. On The Fence was inspired by a plot point. So because I know this about myself, I try to make sure I'm out and trying new things and seeing new things and experiencing new things so that I can constantly keep my creative bank full.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
No. I know some people say to write everyday. And that's good advice and if you can, then definitely go for it. But for me, I write when I'm feeling inspired. I can go weeks without writing and then write like a madwoman for ten hours straight. Or sometimes I'll write an hour here and an hour there. It's probably not the most efficient way to write but it works for me. And when I have 4 kids who don't really care about a "schedule" I have to be able to drop something mid-scene, mid-sentence sometimes, and be able to come back to it hours or even days later.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I'm not very good at that. Ha. I have an obsessive personality. So when I'm really into a manuscript, I'm really into it. And then I'll take some time off and be really into something else, like reading, or working out. So yeah, don't use me as a good example for balance. :)
What elements do you think make a great story line?
I'm a sucker for a love story. So as long as there is a romance thread in a book, I'm usually fine with whatever else the author wants to throw in.
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Again, this answer varies for each book. For Pivot Point, the hardest thing was trying to keep track of what she knew in each storyline. For The Distance Between Us, making sure Caymen's personality stayed consistent was hard for me. I would have to rework conversations several times, remembering how dry and sarcastic she was. I'd have to think to myself, 'wait, she'd never say that.' And then figure out what she *would* say.
Where do you write?
I write in a big green overstuffed chair in my bedroom. Sometimes I fall asleep in that big green overstuffed chair with the laptop on my lap and the cursor blinking away waiting for me to think of something to type.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
Yes, my family is super supportive. My sister, Stephanie, is always one of my first readers. She's an excellent cheerleader, always telling me how much she loves my books. It's nice to have that kind of praise because in the next phase when it goes to my beta readers then agent then editor, I get lots of people telling me what needs to be fixed. :) So to have the first emotions regarding a project be positive ones, it gets me through the rest. My husband is also one of my early readers and he's the best (meaning, he will love my books regardless of if they are good or not).
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Read a lot. Write a lot. Repeat.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
Yes! I have to have these people. They are the people who see things I can't see because I'm too close to the book. And they've helped me out of many plot holes or boring bits. My main three are: Candice Kennington, Jenn Johansson, and Renee Collins. And then of course I've had many many other readers over the years that have helped me out: Natalie Whipple, Sarah Raasch, Linda Cassidy-Lewis, and on and on.
Are you working on anything now?
I'm always always working on something. Right now I'm working on three things at once. :) But my next book to come out is called The Fill-In Boyfriend and I'm super excited about this one. It's one of my favs.
Thanks so much for being here today, Kasie! It was great having you. Really looking forward to your next book!