Friday, September 1, 2017

Interview with Krysten Lindsay Hager, DATING THE IT GUY

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Dating the It Guy is about a girl named Emme who ends up doing a group project with a wealthy senator’s popular son, Brendon. Emme has to deal with Brendon’s world and the fact his perfect ex-girlfriend isn’t over him.

It was written as a standalone, but I’m working on a follow up since so many readers have contacted me asking what happens next for Brendon and Emme.

Do you have a favorite character?
I love my main character, Emme, Trybus, because I loved writing her humorous insights. I write in first person and sharing how Emme sees the world was a lot of fun for me. Emme is funny and very caring as we see her relationship with her grandfather. Seeing this boho character deal with being in her wealthy boyfriend’s preppy crowd without losing herself inspired me. 

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes, in my book, Competing with the Star, we see another side of a mean girl character, Pilar Ito. In the first book, Next Door to a Star, she was the classic mean girl, but in the second book, we see why she is the way she is and she ends up becoming a loyal friend to the main character.  I couldn’t believe it myself how she evolved from “mean girl” to “loyal BFF.” A lot of readers have commented that they loved the change in her.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes, I sent out queries and that’s how I found my publisher.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I’ve had good critique groups and bad. I think you need to have an open mind, but also know your characters and your purpose for the story. I had a group who wanted me to take out a key part of my character, Landry’s personality. They were all insistent that her anxiety needed to go. I felt it had to be in the story because teens do deal with that and I wanted to show that side of her. After the first book, True Colors, came out, I got so many messages from readers saying they thought they were the only one who dealt with that same anxiety issues she had. It led me to share tips for handling anxiety into the third book in the series, Landry in Like.

Some of the groups have been helpful in keeping me on track with my writing, but you can also run into things where someone gives advice from their point of view, but isn’t what’s best for you story. So it helps to get feedback and then sit and mull through it to find out what will move your story in the right direction and what might be more opinion than helpful.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I listen to music sometimes when I’m researching, but I need total silence when I’m writing. I swear I can hear a squirrel sniffle outside. Right now I live someplace where a lot of kids are outside playing in the summer and it’s driving me slightly batty.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I normally don’t outline except when I’m writing a sequel or book in a series because then you do have to know where the story is going. Sometimes I get bits and pieces of a story down, but nothing super formal.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
You can find my books on Barnes & Noble’s site, itunes/ibooks, Smashwords, Indie Bound, Books-a-Million, and Kobo. Dating the It Guy is now an audio book on Audible, too!
Barnes and Noble:

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I love connecting with readers on Instagram and I host other writers on my blog so my readers can get introduced to new books.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes!! It seems like once I’m done with the business/admin side of things and gotten through most of the countless emails, the day is over. I had no idea how much of being an author involves work outside of writing. I remember right after I signed my contract, I saw a Facebook status from an author saying she hated being an author, but she loved being a writer. I remember wondering what that was about and now I see how separate those two worlds are.

Dating the It Guy
Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti.
Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses.
Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Author Bio:
Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values.
She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

a Rafflecopter giveaway