My Story…As a Writer
I'm pleased to welcome fellow Clean Reads author to my blog. Krysten Lindsay Hager is here to talk about her new release, Best Friends…Forever?
I’ve loved reading and creating stories for as long as I can remember. I used to watch soap operas with my mother and take my Barbie dolls and finish off the cliffhanger storylines so I didn’t have to wait for the next week! I also used to make up ongoing stories with a whole cast of characters and a come up with backstories for all of them. When I got a little older, I thought maybe I’d be a TV show creator—like Agnes Nixon who created shows like All My Children and One Life to Live, but I also had a dream of having a young adult series just like the ones I was obsessed with all through grade school and middle school.
When I was a senior in high school, I told my mom I wanted to pursue writing. She wanted to make sure I was going to take it seriously, so she signed me up for two writing conferences. One was just days after graduation and I was the only kid in a room full of adults. There wasn’t even a college student there. The next conference (that summer) was even more overwhelming as it was on a college campus and involved a critique of my work from a professional writer. I remember walking down the hallway and seeing a bathroom directly across from the room where I was having the critique and I thought, “Oh that’s convenient in case I get so nervous I have to throw up.” Yeah, so that’s where my character, Landry, gets that from!
But my critique went great that day and the writer who critiqued my work told me I definitely had a future in the business, which was a relief to hear. Still you trudge on through all the hard work, revisions, workshops, public critiques, publications, and criticisms. A friend and mentor of mine from my writing group, Bernie Riegel said, “It’s a labor of love,” when you work on a novel. We lost Bernie to cancer in 2012, but yet I hear him whenever I’m revising a piece and I’m always reminded that when you write, it is always a labor of love. And if you love something then you’ll purse it in both good times and bad.
The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Children's Books on Values. True Colors is an international bestselling book.
Tag line: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.
Blurb: Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.
Landry gets her first boyfriend (her crush, Vladi), but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition. Will she get a second chance with her friends, fame, and Vladi?
“Landry, it’s gotta be so awkward for you to be going to Vladi’s school next year,” Tori said. “I mean, what if you run into him during the tour?"
"It’s a huge place,ʺ Ashanti said. “People break up all the time. It’s not a big deal.ʺ
Tori raised her eyebrows as if to say, “Yeah, right,” and went back to her sandwich. Meanwhile my delicious homemade soup was no longer sitting well. It never occurred to me Vladi might be around during the first pre‑freshman tour. I would be mortified if I ran into him and he was with a girl. Or worse yet, running into him, and he was with Yasmin. Plus, I hadn’t told my mom about the breakup, so if she saw him, she’d probably go over to talk to him. I could already imagine it: “Landry, Vladi’s here! Hon? Why are you hiding behind the garbage can? Your boyfriend, Vladi, is here. Come say, ‘hello.’ Stop trying to run away. Why is everyone laughing and pointing at you and calling you a ‘loser dumpee?’ What does that mean?”
Well, maybe the world would end and I wouldn’t have to deal with high school or Vladi and my mother running into each other.
Sadly, the world did not end, and on Thursday, we all had to go to the high school for a freshman information night from 6 to 9 p.m.
Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is a 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. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.
Amazon international: http://authl.it/B00UIP1N5S
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