Hello, inklings! I hope your Friday’s going fabulously!
I am so excited to have friend and fellow author Krysten Lindsay Hager on my blog this week to talk about her writing style, productivity, where she goes to refill her creative well, which writers she finds personally inspiring, and her young adult humor series, True Colors.
I absolutely love picking writers’ brains and learning about their creative process, as well as what sorts of stories they’re most passionate about. I know you’ll enjoy the interview and be inspired by Krysten’s love for her craft as well as her heartfelt compassion for her readers!
- Have you always been a professional writer? If not, when/why did you transition to becoming one?
I was a journalist who also wrote fiction and humor essays. When I moved to Europe, I ended up doing more of the journalism and humor essays, but when I returned to the U.S., I decided to focus on my books.
- What do you like most about writing for a tween/teen audience? Do you find older readers enjoy your YA books as well? If so, why do you think that is?
I love that teens are looking for authenticity. I do have a lot of older readers as well and I get messages from them saying that reading the books have helped them heal from things they went through in middle school or high school. A lot of them have said reading the books have helped them deal with leftover scars from the teen and preteen years.
One woman wrote to me that when she was younger she felt less than worthy, but now seeing Landry’s situation she realized that she could clearly see how Landry was dealing with jealous friends and then it hit her—the mean things done to her were out of jealousy as well. She felt like a lot of old wounds had been healed. To be a part of something that big in someone’s life—their healing process—it’s so gratifying.
- What is your least favorite part of the writing process and why?
Least favorite part is probably that moment at the end of writing the story where you go back and question yourself. I actually like editing. I’m weird that way.
- Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser,” or perhaps a blend of both? Have you tried writing both ways?
I’m pretty much a pantser, but I have two series (the Landry’s True Colors Series and the Star Series), so I do have points written down for those because I need to know where the storyline is going.
- Do you have any writing tricks or tips for productivity?
Reading and watching movies really kicks me into creative mode. Listening to music, too. One day I was in public and a song came on that I realized was perfect for a book playlist (I make a playlist for all my books and put them on my website. http://www.krystenlindsay.com/)
- Where do you go for inspiration when you feel your creativity well is running dry?
Movies and books. Watching biographies also helps kick start my creativity because I take little items to create character sketches. I’m very visual, so I use Pinterest a lot when I see pictures or articles that inspire me.
- Which contemporary authors do you admire most, and why?
I read a bit of everything from fiction to non-fiction. I usually have a couple books going at a time. Right now I’m reading a Lysa TerKeurst book, just finished a Bella Thorne book, and finished a Rosie Rushton YA version of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve been a Rosie Rushton fan since I was a teen—I escape into the worlds she creates. I have a thing for U.K. YA authors like Cathy Cassidy and Cathy Hopkins.
- Do you have any marketing tricks or tips for authors who are new to publishing?
Always be yourself on social media. You need to be real online so your readers get to know the real you and not just the personality you want to project.
I hope you enjoyed the interview with Krysten! If you have any questions for her or just want to say hi, send her a tweet at https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay!
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, the celebrity world, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? Landry in Like, Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and True Colors is an international bestseller. True Colors won the Readers Favorite award in 2016. Krysten’s next YA novel, Dating the It Guy, will be released on March 21. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Bellbrook Times, the Beavercreek Current, the Grand Haven Tribune, and on the talk show Living Dayton.