August 2, 2016

An Interview with Kasie West

I'm extremely honored to be sharing today's post with you, my lovely readers! I was pretty ecstatic when I was given the opportunity to interview Kasie West, author of multiple young adult novels. Her latest release is P.S. I Like You, which is a contemporary YA romance that involves the main character trading lyrics with a mystery stranger - and you know where it's going from there. I'll be telling you a wee bit more about the novel later, but for now, check out my interview with Kasie!

photo credit: Kasie West
Alexa: Hi Kasie! Welcome to Alexa Loves Books. I’m really glad to have you here today. Okay, first things first, can you tell my readers about P.S. I Like You in one sentence?

Kasie: It’s about a guy and girl who anonymously exchange letters beneath a shared chemistry desk.

Alexa: That's such a cute premise! So, what inspired you to write this book? I’m very curious to see if romantic comedies played a part at all, since I’m a huge romantic comedies girl.

Kasie: I do love me some romantic comedies. Too bad they seem to come out so few and far between these days. Can we start a petition to the movie industry to put out more romantic comedies? (Alexa's Note: I'd totally sign that petition!) So yes, in general romantic comedies are part of my regular ‘fill the creative well’ diet. But no specific movie or book inspired P.S. I Like You. I just love the idea of old fashioned letter writing. I think it’s so romantic. But it’s becoming a rarer form of communication. So I thought it would be fun to make it play a big role in this book. And it was so much fun to write the letters they exchange.

Alexa: Oh, I love that! I definitely feel like letters are extremely romantic. Okay, so, P.S. I Like You has a girl exchanging mysterious messages with a guy, specifically a couple of song lyrics. What are some of your favorite lines from songs? (If you need a number, let’s go with top three.)

Kasie: Top three favorite lines from songs? That’s hard. Let me think. Okay, so maybe these aren’t my top three, but they’re ones I like a lot.

1) ‘Don’t paint me black when I used to be golden.’ The Story So Far (Clairvoyant)

2) ‘People fall in love in mysterious ways. Maybe just the touch of a hand.’ Ed Sheeran (Thinking Out Loud)

3) ‘There are times when you might feel aimless and can’t see the places where you belong.’ David Archuleta (Glorious)

Alexa: Ooh, I like the lines you've picked! I'm a big fan of that Ed Sheeran line in particular. Anyway,  main character Lily is so realistically portrayed, and I could totally relate to how she felt awkward and uncomfortable except when doing something she loved. Were you inspired by your own teen experience in writing her character?

Kasie: I was a super shy teen until I was about sixteen and came out of my shell. Those of you who know me IRL now probably are thinking, “Kasie? Shy?” But really, I was shy and awkward and nervous about everything. So yes, I could totally relate to Lily. She wasn’t based on me or anything, but it helped me channel some of her awkwardness for sure having experienced it.

Alexa: I feel ya! I was a shy teen as well, though nobody ever thinks so if they meet me now. High five for shy kids coming out of their shells! Now, for a little bit about writing. You’ve written so many books now, so I wanted to ask you - what’s the best and worst thing about being a writer? And what’s your favorite writing advice to share with aspiring authors?

Kasie: Best: Readers. Hands down. I love that people are reading and loving my books.

Worst: First drafts. They’re so hard. I analyze too much and over think and am so hard on myself these days. I used to love them and now they’ve gotten hard for me. Part of the reason is, though, because I have written other books. So now I have to analyze that when I’m writing too. The whole—“wait, did I do this in my last book, is this too similar to my first book, etc. etc.” It makes it hard.

Advice: I honestly try not to give advice because everybody writes so differently. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. But I do think this is a pretty universal bit of advice: Write write write (in other words, write a lot and keep writing and when you’re done with your first book and querying agents, start another book), and read read read (read in the genre you want to write in, read outside of the genre, read everything you can get your hands on because reading teaches you so much about writing)

Alexa: Speaking of books, you currently have five books out (six this month!). What’s in the future for Kasie West?

Kasie: Let’s just say, lots more. I have 2 more books coming out in the next year: By Your Side and Lucky in Love. And beyond that, I’m working on more. So hopefully you’re all not getting sick of me.

Alexa: I don't think that's possible! Okay, it’s time for the very last question! I often like to ask authors who drop by the blog to talk about the current season and their favorite things about it. What do you like best about summer?

Kasie: Summer. It’s not my favorite season. I’ll say that. Mainly because where I live we are regularly in the middle of 100+ degree days. It’s scorching. Bake-cookies-in-your-car hot. But, I do love water. I love the lake and wakeboarding and being on boats and reading fun beach romances. So those are the things I love about this season.

Alexa: Ooh, all great things about summer for sure! Thanks for visiting the blog, Kasie and thank you for answering all my questions. 

Hope you guys enjoyed my interview with Kasie! How exciting is it that she's got two more books coming out in the next year? I certainly will be anticipating them, and catching up on her backlist in the meantime. Anyway, as promised, here's a little more detail about her latest release P.S. I Like You - and links so you can buy it and/or add it on Goodreads!

P.S. I Like You book cover

Publisher: Point | Publication Date: July 26, 2016

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?


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