Sunday, November 9, 2014
Krysten Lindsay Hager- True Colors Interview Feature!
Today we get the pleasure of meeting Krysten Lindsay Hager!
Author of True Colors!
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict
who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like.
She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade,
YA, humor essays, and adult fiction.
TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press.
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. She received her master’s in
American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.
A little competition can really
bring out people’s true colors.
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,
a new crush, and that true friends see you for who
you really are and like you because of it.
Watch the Book Trailer.
While I was deciding whether or not to chicken out, the stage manager, Georgia, started having the girls go out on stage. I overheard somebody say one girl fell out of her shoe as she stepped on the runway.
“Is she okay?”
“Yeah, she’s fine. She just pretended to have two heels on and walked on her tip toes,” Georgia said.
I would have burst into tears and run off the stage — kind of like I did when I was four years old and in a dance recital. We were supposed to be little ballerinas and have scarves attached to our tutus, but my mom was still in school at the time and she came home late and forgot to give me my scarves. So all the other little girls pulled out their scarves, and there’s a video of me looking on either side of my tutu for my scarves and then bursting into tears crying “Mommy!” as I ran off the stage. My grandmother said I was adorable, but I don’t think it was any coincidence my grandfather died two weeks later.
At least I didn’t have to worry about missing scarves tonight. All I had to do was focus on not tripping. If I could just make it down the runway and back, I’d be fine. Unless, of course, I suddenly came down with Tourette’s Syndrome and started swearing live on the air… but I’d know if I had Tourette’s, right? It doesn’t just come on out of nowhere, does it?
“Okay, girls. Your group is next,” Georgia said.
I took a deep breath. All I had to do is say, “My name is Landry, and I’m from Grand Rapids.” Easy—as long as I didn’t get the dry heaves or puke into the microphone and electrocute myself…or get diarrhea on live TV. Why did I ever go to the audition in the first place? Everything was fine when I was just boring old Landry fading into the background. The girls at school were a lot nicer to me when I was nobody special. I mean, before this stupid competition I had friends, but now it seemed like there was no one I could trust. Maybe if I lost this stupid thing I could go home and everything would be back to normal.
“Okay, girls. You guys are next.” Georgia pushed me in the back. “Don’t forget to smile,” she said in my ear.
Then the girl in front of me morphed into a different person. She straightened her spine and walked with a little skip in her step. “I’m Desiree, and I’m from Sterling Heights,” she said in a low sexy voice. Great, I had to follow her.
“I’m Landry, and I’m from Chicago, Illinois,” I said. I moved away from the microphone and realized I said “Chicago” instead of “Grand Rapids,” so I went back to the microphone to correct myself and slammed into the next girl. She acted like she didn’t notice, but I had hit the microphone and it made a shrieking noise. I heard laughter. People were laughing at me. On television. I wanted to die.
I saw Georgia gesturing at me to get off the stage, and I walked off. I had been practicing my stupid runway walk for weeks and for what? A chance to humiliate myself on live TV? I’ve always been sorta accident prone. If anybody was going to do something stupid and embarrassing it was probably me, but I thought I could control myself for two seconds on live television. I’m such an idiot.
Hi Krysten! Thanks for hopping on the blog with us!
Where did you get your inspiration for writing? All over. It could be a quote I see somewhere, a bit of conversation that jumps out at me, a photo of someone in a catalog or magazine. One character came to be because I saw an athlete with an interesting expression on his face and it made me wonder what was going on behind that.
What do you see in your future of writing? I see me continuing writing the True Colors/Landry series and also writing older YA and adult women’s fiction as well.
What genres do you hope to explore more of? I want to also write older young adult fiction and by that I mean characters in high school—ninth graders specifically. So I am working on YA, new adult and adult fiction as well—all with humor, of course!
Are your characters based on anyone? No, it’s impossible to base a character on someone for me because people are so multi-dimensional and complex. It’s easier for me to create my own characters where I know what they think, feel, and would say than it is for me to base a character on someone.
How did you publish your books? Do you recommend others do this? I went with a publisher, Astraea Press and that was the right choice for me. I think it depends on what you are looking for and how outgoing you are, etc.
Tell us a little about you...
A) Did you always want to write? Yes, I used to make up stories with my Barbies. I would watch prime time soaps with my parents as a little girl and finish up the cliffhangers with my dolls. My parents thought it was funny, but I was so into it.
B) Do you have a family? I’m married
C) Do you work besides being an author? Freelance writing
D) What kind of hobbies do you enjoy? Reading and I like to make cards. I also really like art and decorating.
E) Do you have pets? Nope.
F) What is the most embarrassing thing you have done/participated in? There was a Christmas dance recital where I’m in a Minnie Mouse costume and my mouse ears flew off mid-performance. That Christmas show used to include all the dance studios in the city and it was filmed...ugh.
G) What is something humbling you have done and learned from? I think anytime I’ve been in a situation where you’re seen at your worst would have to be it. When you’re sick or injured—that sort of thing. It takes the vanity right out of you and you learn what’s important.
H) Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Still writing and hopefully still loving it
1) Silly fun: You just won a million dollars- what do you do first? Pack my bags while booking a trip to somewhere fun!
2) You won a trip around the world, but you pick the destinations, where are you visiting and why?
Around the world? Okay, then I want to hit Poland because it’s where my great-grandparents were from (all on my mother’s side) and I have always wanted to visit. London because I want to go book shopping, visit places where Jane Austen and the Brontes lived, and see friends who live there.
3) Its Halloween...people can find you dressed as? 30’s movie star. I love the clothes and makeup from that era.
4) Morning person or night person? I don’t like mornings. Once a friend came to visit and she didn’t want to admit she liked to sleep late so when I asked what time she wanted to get up she said 8 or 9 am. So I got up then and she wasn’t up…two hours pass…nothing. Then she got up and we went out and we were both dragging. Finally, I admitted to her I never get up that early and she said, “Oh me neither, I’m so exhausted!” So we were laughing the whole day that we should have just been honest about being late sleepers!
5) Favorite cold breakfast food? When I lived in Portugal there was this French chocolate cocoa cereal that was gluten-free and came in a little bag. I had no idea how to pronounce the name of it so I used to call it, “Choccie Cereal.” It was kind of pricey, but it was impossible to find gluten-free cereal over there and it was soooo good! I used to start my day with it. I’d pour it into a cup (no milk) go back to bed and eat it there.
6) Authors have multiple personalities...what are some of yours, and how do they behave? F. Scott Fitzgerald talks about how writers are a whole bunch of people trying to be one person. I have my extroverted side, my outgoing side, my observant side, my crazy/funny side, and my I-need-solitude side.
7) Describe yourself using these letters Krysten (yes, like the game in grade-school) Can I say that I have the most unfortunate letters in my name for this game! Haha!
K: kooky R: reflective Y:yearning S: sensitive T:thankful E: enthusiastic N: nostalgic
8) Favorite Drink (non-alcoholic for Kidtales) I pretty much just drink Evian all day. I used to love soda though.
9) Do you like to cook---if so what kinds of food...if not-what do you like to eat? I used to cook all the time when I lived overseas and sort of got bored with it. Now I do on occasion. I usually make pasta dishes—something with lots of fresh tomatoes (my fave) and olive oil. I actually have had recipes published, but lately I have so much going on that I don’t have the time. I used to bake a lot, but my husband had to stay fit for work, so I stopped. I sure do miss lemon cakes though!
10) What is something unique about you?
I once lived on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and I have been making up stories since before preschool.
11) A genie granted you 3 wishes...what are they?
Health and healing for my family and friends, the ability to do what I love for the rest of my life, and to be able to create my own TV show.
12) What is your favorite quote in life? "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."--Ella Fitzgerald
13) If you could tell your childhood self some advice for the future-what would that be?
Not to worry so much about what people think or say about you. Don’t make yourself small to fit in.
14) If you had to give advice to children out there wanting to become an author, aspiring to get their books published... what would that be?
**Don’t put the pressure on yourself to get published because you will miss out on the amazing journey and joy of creating the story. Once you put your focus on the business side, the creative part of you has to compete with that and you really take the joy and sensitivity out of your work. The goal should be to write the best story you can and take it from there.
15) Favorite book? Good-bye, Glamour Girl by Erika Tamar
16) If you had to recommend a classics reading list what would it contain?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Persuasion by Jane Austen
17) What are your go-to children's books to share with families? Judy Blume’s Just as Long as We’re Together is a favorite of mine. And for younger kids you can’t beat, “The Monster at the End of This Book” with Grover from Sesame Street.
We hope you enjoyed our blog feature!
And even more so-we hope you pick up Krysten's incredible book.
And that you check out all the other wonderful reads she has written!