Thursday, October 15, 2015

Author Interview: Krysten Hager

Krysten Hager
author, Next Door to a Star

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Ooh, I have a list: England, Scotland, Poland, Ireland, Russia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I favor young adult. I guess no matter what age group I write for I use humor, but YA/middle grade are favorites even though I write for adults as well.

What is your favorite genre to read? 

Probably YA. I go through phases where I read romance, memoirs, biographies, mysteries, Christian non-fiction, and self-help.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2015?

I have the third book in my Landry’s True Colors Series coming out soon. It’s part of a YA series and the third one is titled, Landry in Like. I am working on an adult humor novel and two other YA novels.

Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?

I heard from a reading specialist who used my book, True Colors, with her students and she told me that one student, who had been bullied about her weight, kept coming up to her to talk about the character, Landry. The student said it made her feel better to see that Landry’s a model and said, “Even Landry doesn’t feel good about herself sometimes. “

This student also struggles with reading and she got very into the story. Knowing the story boosted her confidence and made her feel less alone meant a lot to me.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I’ve had three books published: True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book One), Best Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book Two), and Next Door to a Star. I am in the process of editing Landry in Like, book three in the Landry’s True Colors Series for release soon and rewriting an adult humor novel and working on two more YA novels.

Please share about your book 

In Next Door to a Star, my character, Hadley Daniels, is tired of feeling invisible. Her best friend moves away and she gets the opportunity to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend. But being popular is a lot harder than it looks. It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins who is sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas. Is this really what it’s like to live next door to a star?

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

Hadley is a teen who just wants to fit in and be accepted. Having her best friend move away is hard for her since she and Lexi did everything together and now Hadley has to start over on her own. She wants to fit in with the teen star, Simone’s, crowd, but she’s both in awe and a little overwhelmed by them. Nick Jenkins is part of Simone’s crowd, but he’s sweet, down-to-earth, and likes Hadley for who she is. He likes and accepts her as she is and isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

I think it’s easy to feel alone and worry you won’t be accepted if you don’t try to fit in and the book shows how we all go through those moments—even the former TV star, Simone worries about that. Next Door to a Star shows how we all worry about being accepted and have our moments of insecurity and it has moments of humor to keep you laughing as well.

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?

I love both Hadley (from Next Door to a Star) and my character Landry Albright from my YA series, Landry’s True Colors Series. Landry is a teen who also struggles with trying to fit in and insecurities, but she also is a teen model who has her first boyfriend and is trying to navigate friendships along with self-image and frenemies. I also love the sweet romance between Landry and her first boyfriend, Vladi. It started out with her having a crush on this high school basketball player and it developed into a cute relationship where they are friends who support each other and the two of them can really open up to one another about school, pressures to succeed, and friend drama. I enjoy writing about those “butterflies“ Landry gets whenever Vladi calls or texts her.

Both these characters have been fun to write. I also enjoyed writing the Simone character in Next Door to a Star as one minute she’s ultra-confident and the next she’s insecure and trying to appease the mean girls she hangs out with.

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