Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Interview with Krysten Lindsay Hager, COMPETING WITH THE STAR

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Competing with the Star is about a high school girl named Hadley who just starting dating this amazingly sweet guy named Nick—he’s thoughtful and caring and spends time with his grandpa in a nursing home. He’s her first love and her best friend, but then she finds out he used to have a crush on her friend, Simone, who happens to be a former TV star. That wouldn’t be so bad if Simone and Nick didn’t kiss after school. Both of them swear the other one made the first move and now Hadley has to determine who is telling the truth and who she can trust. The book can be read as a standalone, but there is also a previous book called Next Door to a Star where we see how Hadley moves to her current town and meets everyone. But you can read this book first if you’re more into romances.

Do you have a favorite character?
I love how the star, Simone Hendrickson, is the girl the others want to be like, but for as much as she has going for her, she is the most insecure one of the group. Hadley, the main character, is a favorite because of the way she is just finding herself and dealing with her insecurities and Pilar’s transformation from mean girl to loyal friend is amazing. But I have to say Nick Jenkins, Hadley’s boyfriend is probably my favorite because he is such a thoughtful guy whether he’s out with Hadley or going to the nursing home to spend time with his grandfather. He and Hadley spend time with his grandpa and it just shows what a sweet guy he is—the perfect boyfriend.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
When I was writing Competing with the Star, all of a sudden the mean girl character, Pilar Ito, showed a different side to her. You saw what was behind her defensive nature and why she came across the way she did. She went from a mean girl who went along with whatever the most popular girls told her to do to becoming Hadley’s friend who truly had her back. I loved the character transformation (Pilar is so different in Next Door with a Star) and I get a lot of messages from readers saying that she became they’re favorite character.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Ashley Byland from Redbird Designs was the artist. She sent me photos of the model that was on the cover for next Door to a Star and I got to pick the picture I liked the best. I wanted a beach scene and a pier in the backdrop to show that the book is set in a beach town (Grand Haven, Michigan.)

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I listen to music before I start to write and certain songs really inspire some scenes. Clark Manson’s “Track 9” song was on repeat when I was writing. I don’t put music on as I write though. I almost always write late at night. I used to only write at my desk, but I recently moved and I’m having issues writing fiction in my office. I have no clue why, but I’ve been taking my laptop into the living room to get inspired. I’ve never written like that before, but it’s working for me!

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I tend to let the story and characters take me where they want to go. I did both an independent study and a creative writing class with author Thomas Foster who wrote, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, and he told me to let my characters tell me what they wanted to do instead of directing them. Great advice.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Instagram is one of my favorite sites to share photos and interact with readers.
I also love blogging and putting stuff up about my books on my website. I think every writer needs to invest in a website and not just a blog:

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love reading and learning new things—I’m really into watching documentaries and when I take an interest in someone like a writer, artist, or actor, I want to learn everything about them. Sometimes some of the little facts I pick up end up as story inspirations. Right now I’m also passionate about bringing awareness to Lewy Body Parkinson’s with dementia, which is the disease Nick’s grandfather has in the book. It’s based on my own experience having a family member with it and it’s not very well known so I want to help bring some light to it so other people won’t feel as alone as my family did.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Definitely chocolate. I actually prefer to talk over texting because there’s always that weirdness over who stops texting first. Plus people seem to assume you’re available to answer a text 24/7, but with the phone you can just not pick up if you’re busy and no one gets upset.

What’s next for you?
I’m working on another YA book called, Dating the It Guy, as well as more YA projects, a new adult book, and I’m also working on the fourth book in my Landry’s True Colors Series.

Competing with the Star
Krysten Lindsay Hager
(The Star Series, #2)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: March 22nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams-Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend-who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
The past is the past-or so they say…
Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe-especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

Author Bio:
Krysten Lindsay Hager is a book addict who has worked as a journalist and humor essayist. She is the author of the LANDRY’s TRUE COLORS SERIES and the STAR SERIES. TRUE COLORS was her debut novel and the first book in the LANDRY’S TRUE COLORS series. BEST FRIENDS…FOREVER? (Book 2) was #1 in Amazon’s hot new releases in teen & young adult values and virtues fiction and #1 in Amazon’s hot new release in children’s books on values. Landry in Like (Book 3) was #3 in Amazon’s Hot New Releases for Girls & Women. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on the talk show Living Dayton. Check out her YA novel, NEXT DOOR TO A STAR (book 1 in the STAR SERIES) and COMPETING WITH THE STAR: Book 2 in the STAR SERIES.
You can follow her at:


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