Sophomore Spotlight: Kasie West

I'm so excited to welcome Kasie West to the blog as part of Sophomore Spotlight! She is here to chat about her sophomore novel, The Distance Between Us! (Also, please forgive the wonky formatting on this post. Blogger is picking a fight with me on it and is clearly winning. I'll work on adjusting it).

To be published July 2, 2013
by HarperTeen.

Goodreads Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

I have been excited about this one for a while because this sounds like a love story I can totally get behind. Plus Kasie has described it as "Pride and Prejudice meets Pretty in Pink". Hello, Pretty in Pink? I'm in.

Welcome, Kasie! Thank you for taking part in Sophomore Spotlight!

Describe THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US in 5 words or less.
K: Doll store, Prejudice, Sarcasm, Wealth, Rocker

What is the most exciting thing for you about your sophomore release in particular?
K: I feel a lot less stressed this time around so I've been able to enjoy it more. And I've always had a soft spot for contemporary so I'm feeling very excited to have my first contemporary come out.

Did you write THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US between PIVOT POINT and its sequel, as their release dates suggest? If so, what prompted you to write them in that order? What about this story just couldn't wait for the PIVOT POINT story to be over first?
K: I actually wrote the first half of The Distance Between Us way back when I was trying to find an agent for Pivot Point. It was my project that kept me sane for the six months it took to do that. But then I stopped writing it and put it aside once I found an agent and had to refocus on edits for Pivot Point. Then I wrote the sequel to Pivot Point. THEN, after one of my dear friends who reads my books while I'm writing them (to give me encouragement and moral support) begged me to finish TDBU, I finished it. And she really had to talk me into it because I just didn't see the point at the time. I didn't think I'd be able to sell a contemporary. And I thought my agent would encourage me to wait until after Pivot Point came out to pursue anything else. But my friend is relentless. And I'm grateful for this. Because I finished it and let my agent read it and we decided to try and sell it. It was all kind of sudden, but great. My editor decided to release it between Pivot Point 1 and 2.

I think we all owe a big thank you to that friend! What a great person to have in your life.
How did the journey for this book differ from that for your debut?
K: My debut was a heart wrenching process. The rejection month after month was really taking a toll on my confidence and emotions. It was the first time in this whole process that I seriously considered quitting. Finding an agent and editor for it was amazing. But even then, it still took 21 months before it was finally out. So it just felt very long and drawn out between the months of writing/editing, the months of searching for an agent/editor, and then the months of waiting for it to be out. The Distance Between Us was way more....surprising....I guess. I loved the book, but honestly wasn't expecting a lot to happen with it. At least not right away. And then it did. If you compare writing a book to having a child, Pivot Point was my planned baby and TDBU was my 'surprise' baby. :)

That might be the best usage of the "book as baby" metaphor I've ever read. Sounds like a pretty fun surprise baby, too!
Can you share a favourite quote from THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US?
K: One of my favorite interactions is at the end of chapter 4. Xander (our rich boy) comes into the doll store for the second time and at the end of visiting with Caymen (the MC) and learning her name for the first time it goes like this:

He pockets his phone. "Caymen"


"Does this mean I won the game?"

"I didn't realize we were playing a game."

He picks up the doll and backs away with his lower-lip-biting smile. "I think you did."

Ooh! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing that relationship develop! :)
Are you interested in ever trying to write a different genre from contemporary (as Pivot Point seems to have a very contemporary feel to it)?
K: Well, Pivot Point is paranormal/sci-fi. But it does read very contemporary. I really enjoy contemporary. I like reading and thinking that I could walk outside and actually meet the characters I'm reading about. So I think all my books will have a big contemporary lean. But I will do more books in both the contemporary and the sci-fi genre.

Do you listen to music while you write/edit? If so, can you share one song you listened to a lot while working on this novel?
K: I know many authors do but I can't listen to music while I write. It distracts me. I start singing the lyrics. But I do listen to a lot of music when I'm not writing that constantly inspires me. I'm a huge Maroon 5 fan, love anything by them. And I love The Fray and Lifehouse and Secondhand Serenade. I could go on and on. I love music.

I can totally relate to that. If I'm listening to music I love while writing or reading I have trouble ignoring the songs!
If you could introduce one of your characters from THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

K: I'm a huge fan of classics. In particular Charles Dickens. He's my author boyfriend. I think Caymen would like to meet David Copperfield (from the book with the same name). It would really put her life into perspective. Plus, he could use some humor in his life.

If you could live any fairy tale romance, which would you choose?
K: Well, considering The Distance Between Us has been compared to Cinderella a couple times now, I think I have to pick that one. :) I mean, who wouldn't want to be whisked away by a handsome, rich prince?? Especially after learning to be deep and caring first because you've lived a hard life.

Can you share anything special about your next project? Either the PIVOT POINT sequel, or even what's coming after that for you?
K: Split Second (the sequel to Pivot Point) is a little different than Pivot Point because we have another POV in the book--Laila, the spunky best friend. It was so fun to channel her and write from her perspective.

That should be interesting! Thank you, Kasie. Sounds like we definitely have a lot to look forward to from you!

Kasie has kindly offered to send a copy of The Distance Between Us to one lucky US/Can reader!

Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only.
~ No P.O. boxes.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Neither Kasie nor I are not responsible for lost or damaged packages.
No cheating! In this case, I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love that she says Charles Dickens is her author boyfriend. That made me laugh out loud. :)

  2. As a huge contemporary lover, I am way excited about The Distance Between Us. I love how many contemps are coming out this year and this one sounds like a story I will just love.

  3. What a great interview! It's always interesting to hear (read) how authors go through their own process when writing a book. :) I can't wait to read this book, either!

  4. Excellent interview!

    I am really excited about reading The Distance Between Us. I'm interested in seeing how Caymen's views change about Xander and the rich.

  5. I have been casually stalking the bookshelves at work to see if they get this book in early. I'm dying to read it! :D

  6. I am excited about The Distance Between Us because I enjoy stories about star crossed romance and am not a fan of the dystopia genre books.


  7. I loved Pivot Point so I was genuinely surprised that Kesie West had another book coming so soon. It sounds like the perfect contemporary read. :)

  8. Honestly, the reason I was first excited for The Distance Between Us was purely because of the cover. BUT then I read early reviews & the summary and I LOVE contemporaries like this one.

  9. I am so excited I love YA Contemporary and this has such a great synopsis!!! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway and great interview!!!

  10. Sounds like an interesting book!

  11. I like it when first impressions don't always hold true. It reminds us to look deeper even if we think we know someone just by looking at them. That's why I'm excited to find out what happens between Caymen and Xander in this book!

  12. I am very, very excited to read The Distance Between Us. I have been counting down the days. I am a huge fan of Kasie West and will read anything she writes. Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway. Winning book giveaways are usually my only shot at owning any books. So this means a lot.

  13. I definitely agree with Kasie - I just can't write anything when there's noise in the background. You don't know how many times I had to tell my sister to be quiet while I was trying to write a book review. I just can't focus when there is some background noise.

  14. I can not wait to read this book! I have been gravitating towards contemporary lately :D

  15. Please enter me in your giveaway.
    It would be great to win a copy of The Distance Between Us By Kasie West.
    In response to your question of
    Are you excited for The Distance Between Us? Why?
    To be honest i am not excited because until i saw this giveaway
    i didn't know this book existed.
    I enjoy reading and discovering new authors and
    this book does sound interesting.
    I enjoyed your interview with the author.
    Thank you for having this giveaway!!!!!!!

  16. Ooh I like the idea that it's been compared to Cinderella! I also can't understand how authors can listen to music and write. I would probably also end up singing to the lyrics. :)

    I am so excited to read this book!! Thank you for the giveaway! Fingers crossed!


I'd love to hear what you think!