Featured Author: Krysten Lindsay Hager
Krysten Lindsay Hager is this month's Featured Author on The Official Blog of Amy Shannon Featured author page at https://writeramyshannon.wixsite.com/amyshannonblog/featured-authors
Amy Shannon: In three words, describe yourself.
Krysten Lindsay Hager: Daydreamer, curious, compassionate
Amy Shannon: How many books have you written? How many of those are published?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I have 8 books published, but I’ve written a few more than that.
Amy Shannon: Do you have an upcoming release? If yes, tell me the title and impending release date.
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I just released an updated version of my YA novel, Dating the It Guy. I added in a long epilogue so you find out what happened to the high school couple, Emme and Brendon, after she graduates from college. That was a lot of fun to write.
Amy Shannon: Tell me about how you come up with your titles for your stories. Do you create the title before or after you write the book, and does it ever change from the initial title?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: Can Dreams Come True felt like the perfect title for a book that deals with giving a teenager everything she thinks she could ever want, but she sees what the reality is really all about. In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety just fit the storyline perfectly and there was never a consideration for any other title.
A lot of my titles have changed from the original choice. Landry in Like and Competing with the Star were originals though. I loved Next Door to a Star as a title, too.
Dating the It Guy came about after reading an article about, “It Girls,” and I wanted to flip that to be about an, “it guy.”
Amy Shannon: Out of all your characters in all of your books, who/what (sometimes a setting can also be an important “character”) do you think is the most interesting and why?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I think Emme Trybus from Dating the It Guy the most interesting because she’s trying to trying to stay true to herself while dating this guy from a famous political family. Brendon is very popular and she has to worry about navigating in his world while as well as hold onto her own identity —not easy to do at any age, but especially for someone in high school. On top of it she’s dealing with losing someone and watching her beloved grandpa struggle with memory issues. She’s got all this going on and she’s just trying to be a good granddaughter, student, friend, girlfriend, and daughter. I love that she keeps her sense of humor, compassion, love, any loyalty for those around her through it all.
Amy Shannon: If you could “create” your own genre of what you write, what would you call your books?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: There would be the genre of the books I have out now which are positive self-image, feel good YA that’s wrapped up in relationship fun.
Amy Shannon: Without quoting your back cover blurb, tell me about the last book you published.
Krysten Lindsay Hager: Dating the It Guy is about a high school girl dealing with dating not only a popular guy in school, but he happens to be the son of a well-known senator, so she’s suddenly in a fish bowl, while feeling like a fish out of water.
Amy Shannon: Quote your favorite line from one of your stories. Indicate the line, and then the book title.
Krysten Lindsay Hager: This line is from when Emme walks out of a career day appointment with her guidance counselor. “I walked out with my self-esteem now out of the gutter and directly into the toilet. And not even one of those nice TV remodeling show toilets, but the gross ones at the beach with no doors on the stalls, a ring of rusty water in the bowl, and the remains from the person who didn’t flush.” -From Dating the It Guy
Amy Shannon: Tell me something about yourself that is separate from writing.
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I love journaling, I’m a news junkie who used to work as a journalist, and lately I’ve been doing a lot of podcasts with fellow author, Marsha Casper Cook.
Amy Shannon: Who are your top THREE favorite authors?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I’m going to pick classic authors: Sylvia Plath, Tolstoy, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Amy Shannon: What is the last book that you read? (Not counting anything you wrote)
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I read What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis It’s about Frida Kahlo.
Amy Shannon: When writing, do you have a system or something you plan, or do you just write?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: Music inspires me, so I often listen to music before I start writing. I usually start off in a notebook before I put in into a document.
Amy Shannon: Why do you write?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I have been writing since I was a kid and I guess part of it is to make sense of the world, but also to provide hope, and a place where people feel less alone.
Amy Shannon: Do you currently have a WIP? If yes, what’s the title, and is it part of a series or standalone?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: Yes, I’m working on a third installment of the Cecily Taylor Series. This one is called, Cecily in the City.
Amy Shannon: Do you read your own work a lot? If so, what does it do for you?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I’ve had to lately as I’m re-issuing some of my backlist and it’s bringing back a lot of good memories. However, sometimes the memories can be emotional as I made myself cry with a scene that I took from real life for Dating the It Guy.
Amy Shannon: I play music when I write, and depending on the setting or mood of the story depends on what I listen to. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what genre or artist/band do you listen to?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: Yes, I make a playlist for every book I write. Since I write about relationships a lot there are a lot of breakup songs and sad ones from people like Mariah Carey—in particular the song, “Can’t Let Go.” I also write a lot about self-esteem and self-worth, so a lot of the songs that inspire me deal with that. I like the singer/songwriter MaRina for that. Her song, “Flesh and Bone,” inspired part of In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety. And her son, “Rainbow After Rain,” was one I listened to while updating Competing with the Star. There’s an inner strength to her lyrics that shows you may have gone through something, but you’re going to be okay.
Amy Shannon: As an author, I find that the hardest thing to write (for me) is the blurb that will be on the back cover or book’s description. When you write, what is the hardest line to write, the first line, the last line or the synopsis for the book?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: Usually mine come to me very fast and organically, so I don’t do them line by line. I probably should though!
Amy Shannon: If you could sit down and have a coffee (or your favorite beverage) with anyone, living or dead, from any era, any time, who would it be and why? (You can pick up to 3 persons).
Krysten Lindsay Hager: George Michael because I have so much I’d like to ask him about his music inspiration and how he started writing again after dealing with grief.
Dan Rather because I’d love to hear his reflections on all the stories he’s covered over the year.
Amy Shannon: What does it mean to be a “successful” writer?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: To me it’s putting out work that I’d want to read. I write the books I wanted to read growing up.
Amy Shannon: What do you want to accomplish, so when you look back at your life, you can say “I did that”?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: My books have always been about helping readers feel less alone in what they're dealing with & giving hope, comfort, & a happily ever after.
The world always makes us feel like we have to conform to fit in and who we are isn’t enough and my goal is to make my readers feel that what makes you different is what makes you special. I wasted too many years of my life trying to be who the world told me I should be and I want to stop others from having to go through that.
Amy Shannon: I am on a quest to read as many banned, burned or challenged books as possible? What is your feeling or opinion on banning books? It seems to be a new epidemic now.
Krysten Lindsay Hager: It’s odd to me that in this time period that burning books would still be an issue. It really makes you stop and think about the motivation behind it. I’m grateful to educators and librarians who make sure students have access to books that are important.
Amy Shannon: Any final thoughts that you want to give to your fans or even future authors?
Krysten Lindsay Hager: I think reading what you love is important and not being pressured into reading books that don’t feed your soul. I think writers should write in the genres they’re passionate about because that love does shine through.
Find Krysten here: