Our book this month is On the Fence by Kasie West.
She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…
Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high. (Goodreads)
This book is adorable. I couldn’t put it down. So many great characters, such a sweet romance, and a strong protagonist–it had everything.
This month, I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing the fabulous lady who created it all, Kasie West:
YA Crush: I loved On The Fence, especially Charlie and Braden’s late night meetings by the fence. In your opinion, what is it that makes falling in love with the boy next door seems so perfect?
KW: He’s right next door! There’s just something romantic about that. Knowing you could walk right outside and run into him. Or walk out in the middle of the night and have a chat at the fence. The chance of running into him at all times is high and this makes a perfect set up for falling in love.
YA Crush: Charlie is a beautiful, intelligent girl who happens to love playing (and watching) full contact sports. Even better, she’s good at it. At times it seems as though she has to choose between being a typical girly girl or the girl who can quote baseball stats and play tackle football. Do you think this is a problem many girls face?
KW: I think in general people have gotten better about accepting all types of personalities. But yes, I do still think that sometimes there’s this idea that if you know too much about sports, you’re not a normal (whatever that means) girl. I think sometimes we put ideas in other people’s heads too. So maybe they’re not thinking that, but we think they’re thinking that and that can be just as damaging sometimes to how we choose to portray ourselves.
YA Crush: Family in central to this story, both with Charlie’s brothers and father and in the memories she has of her mother. Without revealing too much detail, do you think Charlie would have been better off knowing the truth about her family from the beginning, or was her family doing the right thing in trying to protect her?
KW: Well, they tried to tell her the truth earlier in her life and it didn’t go well. But yes, I think she could’ve handled the truth much earlier than she figured it out. She’s a strong girl and I think it’s always better to know, even if knowing can be hard.
YA Crush: I would love to hear your dream casting ideas for Charlie and Braden (and any other the other characters).
KW: I’m very horrible at visualizing my characters as I write them. I never have a “cast” in mind. Then when people ask me the question, I have to go scouring the internet for people I think might fit. So let’s see, maybe Stephen R McQueen for Braden and for Charlie Catalina Sandino Moreno.
YA Crush: What is the writing process like for you? Are you inspired by real people and events from your life? Do you come up with an idea and run with it, or do you work through it in your mind for a few weeks or months first?
KW: It’s different for each book. Sometimes I’ll think of a character first and develop a plot around that person. Occasionally I’ll see a setting and think that it would be the perfect place for a book. And a few times I’ve thought of the plot first. Whichever way it comes to me though, I always let it simmer in my mind for at least a few weeks before I dive into the idea.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, Kasie!
Special thanks to Harper Teen, who graciously provided e-galleys of On the Fence, to all of the members of The Selective Collective.
Please be sure to visit my amazing blogging partners and check out their features today.
The Book Addict’s Guide- Charlie & Braden’s Date
Gone Pecan-Author-Roundtable Discussion
The Grown Up YA- Review
Teen Lit Rocks- Page to Screen
Harper Teen is giving away a copy of On the Fence to one of our lucky readers. Just leave a comment telling us if you’re a “girly girl”, a sports girl, or both. The winner will be chosen using Randomizer. This contest is open until 9PM PST 8/4/14. US residents only.