I met Krysten at the Dayton Book Expo this year, and just love the colorful covers on her books! In the almost two years since I’ve become a serious writer, I have found it difficult to find many authors in my kids’ books genres. Imagine how excited I was to find out that she has written the series, “Landry’s True Colors,” for middle graders! She also has several young adult books, so check out how Krysten answered my interview questions below.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. I am a TV junkie and love biographies and those shows on the Reelz channel, so those shows get my imagination going. My young adult book, Dating the It Guy, was inspired after watching a JFK Jr. biography and I started wondering what it’d be like to date someone like him in high school and that’s how Brendon and Emme’s relationship came to be.
I’m also a news junkie and read the newspaper a lot, so I often spot story ideas there. I use situations I’ve been in or that I’ve witnessed in my books and readers often tell me my books help them deal with their own issues. Just last week a girl told me she saw why she struggled in relationships by seeing the core of Emme’s insecurities in Dating the It Guy.
I’m always interested in another author’s writing habits – what is your process? And do you have any writing rituals or quirks?
I write at night as I need it to be quiet with no distractions. I make playlists for each story, but I don’t play music while I’m writing. I also do a Pinterest board for each story I’m working on with photos, articles, and inspirations that I find along the way. I make the boards public once the book gets published. The readers enjoy getting to see the places that inspired the stories and I post pics of the rooms that inspired my characters’ homes.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love young adult books and I read a lot of non-fiction—I usually have three books going at once. I admit sometimes I forget about a book and then find it set aside!
What types of things upset you when you’re reading a book?
Usually the only things that upset me is when I read about something difficult a person went through in a memoir, bio, or autobiography because I feel for the person. I was reading a Christian non-fiction book and even though the author was sharing how she had regained her self-confidence, I could see something she was still hurting over and I actually had to put the book down.
Do you enjoy reading classic literature?
I was an English major for that very reason! I do like classic literature although I will admit in cases where the language used is overly formal or not our current conversational vocab, the books can drag a bit, but the overall story lines are still enjoyable. I like Tolstoy, Wharton, and Fitzgerald.
Is there an author you specifically fangirl over?
If Fitzgerald was still alive—if only! I also wish I could have met May Sarton. Her journals in particular inspired me. I spent a semester doing a one-on-one study with a professor reading Sarton’s work. It changed me and made me more introspective and observant. I saw the importance of solitude if you want to write. It was eye opening. There are a lot of YA authors I like, but all based in Britain.
Bio: 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. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton. You can find more on: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/