I am delighted to welcome Krysten Lindsay Hagar to my blog today to discuss writing for Pre-Teens and Young Adults.
Krysten 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.
She received her master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.
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 when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows.
TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press.
ER You have five published novels in the Pre-teen and Young Adult Genres. What attracted you to write for these age groups?
KLH My preteen years were the years I was obsessed with reading. Books got me through my toughest times back then and I always thought being a writer for teens and preteens had to be the greatest job on earth. At the time I didn’t have the experience to know what a fulfilling career would be, but that’s exactly what being an author for teens and preteens is to me.
ER Where do your ideas come from?
KLH The ideas come from those what-if scenarios I mull over in my mind. Then I pepper the scenes with experiences from my own life. I might take an awkward moment I experienced with a friend last week and mix it up so instead of it being an adult misunderstanding at a fundraiser, it’s a cringe-y moment between two teens in a cafeteria over a boy.
My idea for my upcoming book, Dating the it Guy, came from reading an article about JFK Jr. and thinking, “What would it have been like to date this guy in high school?” A million ideas flooded my mind and I got my notebook out and Brendon was created.
ER I’ve found that adults also like to read YA. Have you encountered this? Why do you think this is?
KLH So true. I love reading YA and I have a lot of adult readers. I have gotten many messages from them saying that while reading my books they realized that some situation they were in where their friend (or friends) turned against them was not what they thought. One woman told me she assumed her friends dumped her back in middle school because she was, “a loser no one would want to be around,” but while reading about Landry, she saw herself in the books and realized her whole situation was not about her, but about her friends’ jealousy. It surprises me how many readers have shared situations like that and told me that a hurt that’s been festering for a long time was finally healed when they came to that realization. To hear you’re part of someone’s healing process is a huge thing.
ER What’s the best thing about writing in these genres?
KLH I love being able to approach situations I was once in with a fresh perspective. I can write a scene about friendship betrayal that hurt me to the core when I was that age, but now I can go back and see what that was really about. At the time I thought my friend just wanted to distance herself because of something I had done, but now I can see it was her insecurity about where she fit in with our other friends. At the time it never occurred to me that it might have more to do with how she was hurting in her own life. Now I can take my past pain and use it to help someone else who is going through that same situation.
ER Do you have any favourite characters? I suspect Landry would be special to you.
KLH Landry is very special to me and I love how she is so genuine with her friends and how she wears her heart on her sleeve. I also love my character, Pilar Ito, from Competing with the Star because we see her as a mean girl in the beginning of the book, then we find out what makes her tick and all she’s been through with a sick grandmother, and she turns out to be the most loyal friend to my main character, Hadley. I get a lot of reader reaction about the change in Pilar. They love seeing another side to her especially after she was such a mean girl in Next Door to a Star.
ER What authors inspire you?
KLH For young adult books I love Rosie Rushton, Cathy Hopkins, and Judy Blume. I also read a ton of non-fiction and just finished Finding Your Brave.
ER What are you working on now?
KLH I’m working on a YA novel about a girl who gets to meet her pop star crush and also a new adult book.
ER When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
KLH I love watching movies, reading, and I’m a news junkie. I just watched “The Spectacular Now” and it was amazing. I tend to have the news on a lot at night in the background while I catch up on emails. I have a huge to-be-read pile of books and just finished a Rosie Rushton YA novel based on Northanger Abbey. I like exploring new areas, too, and window shopping.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Krysten. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Connect with Krysten:
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com
Amazon author profile: http://www.amazon.com/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager