Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Krysten Lindsay Hager author of several Tween/Teen stories.
First, a bit about Krysten:
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio, where you can find her reading and writing when she's not catching up on her favorite shows (Hart of Dixie and The Goldbergs). She's worked as a journalist and humor writer and writes middle grade, YA, and adult fiction.
Why did you pick to write books for Tweens and Teens?
That is the age when I really got into reading and began collecting books. I used to go to the library a lot with my mom and sister, and every month my mom would take me to the bookstore to pick up the latest edition of all the different series books I read.
What types of books do you like to read?
I read a little of everything. I read YA and middle grade. I love biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies. I also like fiction based on real people’s lives, Christian non-fiction, and women’s fiction, too. I read classics, and I enjoy my book club where we read a wide range of books.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I like to read, watch TV, and I’m a big shopper—books are my biggest vice, but I’m into fashion, too. I always say I’ve never met a bookstore I didn’t like.
Tell us about True Colors and how the story came to be.
The book is about Landry Albright, an eighth grader who just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. The idea came to be when I was in college. I had just finished an independent creative writing class with a professor, and he said you should write the book you want to read, and I started thinking back to an idea I had in grade school. The idea was about these four girls as friends (Landry, Devon, Peyton, and India) and it came from when I was in the sixth grade and saw the cover of a Bangles’ album called, “Everything.” I started wondering what these four women were like as preteens/early teens. I put the modeling competition in the story because I feel so many of us have insecurities about our appearance and about how sometimes young girls feel that looks can gain them acceptance. I had done some modeling at that age (I started a little younger than Landry.), and I saw how it impacted my views on things. I wanted readers to see it wasn’t what they (or Landry) thought it would be like.
I wrote True Colors because I think we all go through times when the people we
think are our true friends show us their true colors, and it hurts.
Trying to figure out where you fit in is something you go through
whether you’re in eighth grade, college, or as an adult. I remember
being in first grade and dealing with cliques. I wanted to write about
that time when you’re trying to figure out who you are as well as figure
out who really has your back.
Here's a peek at True Colors:
Eighth grader Landry Albright just wants to be
one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things
going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit
in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her
into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them.
Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to
the next round. However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically
"unfriend" her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends,
but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who
her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling
is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you
because of it.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
I have been published in several anthologies. I have a YA short story on vampires (think humor, not Twilight) in Autumn Magic that came out in October.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
The sequel to True Colors will be out this year (2015). It’s part of the Landry’s True Colors series and is titled, Best Friends…Forever? This second book picks up right where Landry’s story leaves off when she gets off the train with her mom in Chicago. I also have another book for the same age group, an adult novel, and an older YA novel I’m working.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Read as much as you can, go to conferences and workshops, and get into critique groups. I’d also suggest not just taking a creative writing class, but a literature class as well to see how great novels come together. I think my most helpful writing classes were the many lit classes I took in college.
Anything else you want readers to know?
If you’re interested in seeing how I imagine the characters, you can go to my website to check out my Pinterest board where I have pictures of not just the characters, but some of the girls’ bedrooms/furniture/pets/etc. I update my blog and will have a playlist for the book coming as well as my original scrapbook that I started before I ever wrote the story. You can see what that “grapefruit” colored paint looked like, too!
Where can readers find you and your books?
Barnes and Noble