Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict. 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 (like Hart of Dixie, The Goldbergs, Dallas, and Devious Maids.) She’s worked as a journalist and humor writer, and also writes middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. You can find her work in the Patchwork Path anthologies: Friendship Star, and also Grandma’s Choice and in several of the Country Comfort Cookbooks as well as many humor essays and news articles. Her debut novel, TRUE COLORS, is an Amazon bestseller and was released by Astraea Press.
What inspires you to write?
I was a huge fan of middle grade and young adult books growing up. They were my escape at the end of a bad day. I always thought what an amazing thing it would be to have someone feel the same way about something I wrote that I felt about the authors I loved liked like Judy Blume, Ann M. Martin (How great were those Baby-sitter Club Books?), Francine Pascal (met her once and teared up—so embarrassing), and so many more. I still love middle grade and YA books now as much as I did when I was growing up.
Tell us about your writing process.
I carry a little notebook in every one of my bags and I jot down little ideas or lines of dialogue. I usually start bringing material to one of my critique groups (I belong to a couple different ones) to get feedback as soon as I have a few chapters. It can be scary reading out loud to a group of people and then letting them go ahead and tear it apart, but that’s all part of the writing process. If you can’t handle that, then you’ll never improve. I see it as a necessary part of the process. I do have music that helps me with certain scenes. If a song impacts me while going over a scene then I tend to play it over and over until I’m asked to please, PLEASE change it. But music can really set the mood for the emotions you need to convey. I don’t outline, but I do create character sketches.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters don’t always do what I want them to do, but I had a great creative writing instructor, Thomas Foster who wrote, “How to Read Novels like a Professor,” and he told me, “Listen to your characters.” That was groundbreaking. Sometimes you have to get out of your own way and let them tell you what they want to do.
What advice would you give other writers?
I read in “Chapter After Chapter,” by Heather Sellers that you should read at least 100 books in the genre you want to write. I’d also suggest taking both creative writing AND literature classes to help improve your craft. Then join some critique groups.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I went to a lot of writing conferences and was in online writing groups as well. One of the freelance writing groups I belonged to had some very helpful writers on it and two of them had been published by my publisher. I would suggest new authors go to writing workshops and conferences to network and read as many writing publications as you can to learn the business because it is a business and you have to be smart about it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m encouraged by the fact that it’s easier to reach readers now through social media. I will say it depresses me to hear about bookstores closing, but I’m hoping that people will start to appreciate what they have in neighborhood bookstores.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
YA, middle grade, children’s books, women’s fiction, humor
What formats are your books in?
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