Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), and Dating the It Guy. Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton. In this interview she tells us about her inspirations, getting published and her advice to new writers.
When did you start writing?
I’ve loved coming up with storylines since I was a little kid. I was always scribbling story ideas down and my fifth grade teacher told my parents she thought I’d be an author one day. I started writing more seriously in college and grad school. I was already writing for a newspaper during that time and I’d try to find time to work on book writing.
What was the first thing you ever had published?
I published short stories and essays and articles in magazines, newspapers, and online sites, but my first book was for preteens called, True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book One).
How did you end up with your current publisher?
I was in an online group for freelance writers. We motivated each other to find new places to publish articles and essays and a few of them were writing books as well. Two of them were with my first publisher and they were both happy there, so I filed that name in the back of my mind. Honestly, freelancing is such a great way to being as an author because you build a platform and learn how to handle things like having your work in public and dealing with reactions/criticism, etc.
What’s your writing fuel of choice? Tea, coffee, neat whisky?
Pepsi! And I do like a cup of tea at the end of the day.
Where do you write?
I moved a few months ago and now I have a new office—I just got bookshelves and was able to get my old books out of storage. I do a lot of my admin stuff and blog posts while watching the news in my living room.
What do you like to read?
I was just organizing my bookshelves and realized I own a lot of non-fiction! I have more fiction on my Kindle. I like biographies, YA, middle grade, new adult, contemporary novels, classics, mysteries, and I read all sorts of non-fiction like health books, self-help, Christian books, and current events.
Is there a particular author who has inspired you?
Several inspired me, but Paula Danziger, who wrote middle grade and YA, was the one who made me feel I was meant to make a career out of this. I read a bio on her and I saw some parallels with why she wanted to write for teens and my own feelings.
What advice would you like to pass on to new writers?
A lot of people ask me this and tell me their writing professors/teachers/mentors tell them they need to start publishing articles, etc. before they begin trying to get a book published and that’s a great idea. I was told to do this as well and not only do you build up your platform and get people to see what you can do, but you get experience in so many ways—exposure, clips for your bio, and experience dealing with public reactions.
Tell us about your latest book. What’s it about and what was the inspiration behind it?
Dating the It Guy is about a high school girl named Emme who winds up dating the son of a well-known senator. She goes through a lot of self-doubt as she watches his perfect ex-girlfriend trying to get him back and not feeling good enough for his new crowd. It’s a book about love, family, and learning to be yourself.
Where can we buy your book?
Amazon paperback: http://a.co/hBydoYm
Amazon UK Kindle: http://amzn.eu/6hqvKVu
Amazon UK Paperback: http://amzn.eu/7j0F4Y7
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2m5y9OC
Barnes and Noble Paperback: http://bit.ly/2n8vULZ