Friday, August 22, 2014


I’m very happy to introduce Krysten Lindsay Hager and her latest novel True Colors.

Krysten is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and 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 Southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing. She received her Master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.

SDG: What inspired you to write this book?

I saw the quote in a class that you should write the book you want to read and that got me to thinking about what I would have wanted to read back when I was the age of my readers. We all deal with “frenemies” and fair weather friends—those friends you thought were true blue and then aren’t there when you need them. It’s difficult to deal with things like jealousy or being left out, but when those negative feelings are coming from people you considered good friends…well, it hurts all the more. I used to like to read about girls I could relate to and I hope someone reads TRUE COLORS and feels a little less alone in the world, too.

SDG: Nicely said! What was your approach to writing True Colors (did it just flow or did you use an outline or other preparatory method)?

I really just began with the idea and the writing flowed. I didn’t use an outline. I never begin with an outline, but after I finish a draft, I often go back and do one to check the plot structure.

SDG: How long did it take to write the complete novel from first draft to edited final?

I honestly can’t say because I took breaks during the writing process due to several moves (including one overseas) and an accident, too.  

SDG: Glad you managed to finish it with all of that turmoil. Can you tell us a little about your book and if you have had book signings or readings?

The book is about Landry Albright, who 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.

SDG: That sounds like an awesome plot! Are your family members supportive of your writing and what do they think about your writing career?     

My mom is a great sounding board when I’m working on something. She’s a reader, not a writer, so it helps to have her perspective and she is not an “everything you write goes on the fridge” type of mothers. She’s completely straightforward and honest. She’s currently not happy with me because I wrote another story where the character ends up with, as she would say, “the wrong guy.”

My dad likes hearing me read my work. When I started out writing for newspapers, he read every article I wrote—even the boring ones about where to buy organic eggs in the local area. If my name was in the byline, he read it and acted like it was the great news story ever written.

SDG: I love to hear how supportive and proud families are. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for budding writers?

Take literature classes as well as writing classes to learn from the best. Read as much as you can and attend conferences and workshops, and get into a critique group.

SDG: Totally agree with that list! What are you working on now? Is it in the same genre?

I am writing a sequel to TRUE COLORS that picks up right where the previous story left off. I am also working a women’s fiction novel as well and another MG/YA and an older YA one.

SDG: You sure are busy! What is the best time for you to write and does it ever interfere with your day job, if you have one? Also, how long on average do you write each day?

Writing at night works best for me when the interruptions are gone from the day and I can focus better. I don’t have a set period of time I write for or anything. Some days I might work for hours, others I take to just think on the story and go over a scene over and over in my mind until it feels right.

SDG: We certainly do need quiet time, don’t we? Is writing, to you, a lonely occupation?

I had a wonderful English professor named Dr. Jacqueline Zeff who assigned us to read, A Journal of Solitude by May Sarton as undergrads. It changed the way I looked at writing and made me realize the importance of solitude for a writer.

SDG: How wonderful that you had such an inspirational teacher. What is your website and where can readers purchase your book or books?

SDG: Author social media sites:  

Thank you, Krysten, for stopping by and telling us a bit about yourself. I look forward to reading your book, and will definitely watch out for others you write!

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