Blog Hop Schedule and Assignments
August 15--Zerina Blossom's Books (Author Interview (SLB Tours asks the questions))
August 16--Katie's Clean Book Collection (10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
August 17--Bookworm Lisa (10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
Augsut 18--Bloomfield Of Thoughts (Guest Post 1 (provided by the author))
August 19--With Love for Books (Guest Post 2 (provided by the author))
August 20--Christy's Cozy Corners (10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Author's top 10 fav list, Guest Post 1 (provided by the author))
August 22--Mel's Shelves (10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
August 23--Simple Harvest Reads (Guest Post 2 (provided by the author))
August 25--Smiling Book Reviews (Author Interview (SLB Tours asks the questions), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Author's top 10 fav list)
August 26--Singing Librarian Books (Author Interview (SLB Tours asks the questions), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Author's top 10 fav list, Guest Post 1 (provided by the author))
True Colors Blog Hop HTML code for you to edit for your post.
The Books in the Series
Krysten Lindsay Hager 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 work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.
(Insert the interview via SLB Tours below.)
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I’ve been writing stories when I was a kid and began attending writing conferences in college. I was particularly inspired by some of my favorite young adult and middle grade writers like: Judy Blume and Ann M. Martin.
2. How many novels have you written and in what genres?
I have published five so far: True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Landry in Like, Next Door to a Star, and Competing with the Star. I write for several genres: young adult, middle grade, new adult, and women’s fiction.
3. How do you choose the names for the characters in your stories?
Landry was the name of one of my mom’s students and she thought it was cute. What’s funny was she told me Landry’s best friend was named Krysten. The last name, Albright, was because of Madeline Albright and the middle name, Lilyanne, is a combo of my grandma’s name (Lillian) and my mother’s middle name (Anne). Some of the names came from looking at the baby announcements in the Flint Journal newspaper like India, Ashanti, Devon and I picked the name Peyton because it is a friend’s daughter’s name. I also hold contests where I use names of winners or their kids in the stories. You can find me putting in family names and friend names as brands, stores, or restaurants.
4. What is your current WIP (Work in Progress)?
I’m working on the 4th book in the Landry’s True Colors Series as well as a YA novel called, Dating the It Boy about a girl dating a senator’s very popular son.
5. If you could choose someone famous to star in one of your books made to a movie, who would you choose and for which character? (Possibly share a link to an image of this famous star).
If any of the Landry’s True Colors Series books was made into a movie then I would want Ross Lynch to play Vladi Yagudin. China Anne McClain could play Ashanti, I picture Victoria Justice as Yasmin McCarty, Ciara Bravo as Thalia, and I go back and forth on who I’d have play Landry.
6. What inspired the idea for True Colors?
The idea came back when I was in the 6th grade and wanted to write a book about a group of best friends. However, when I got older I realized the story would be more interesting if one of the friends (Landry) also felt like she was on the outside looking in and questioning if she had to conform to be in the group versus being herself. I think a lot of us go through that in our teen years.
7. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I love to read, explore new areas, watch movies and documentaries, and go shopping! I can spend hours wandering in a bookstore, too.
Guest Post 1
Tips for Becoming a Better Writer by Krysten Lindsay Hager
1. Take a notebook wherever you go. You never know where you might find inspiration or have some downtime. Having a notebook and pencil with you at all times will help you capture those bits of dialogue that come along and make the most out of your breaks. You might want to experiment with what type of notebook works best for you. I find those thinner ones work great for every day, but I always pack a big journal for trips.
2. Read as much as you can. The best advice I ever read in a writing book was to read one-hundred books from the genre you want to write for before you begin. That advice comes from Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers. I went to a writing conference where reading was listed as the most important thing a writer can do.
3. Take a lit class. It’s a great way to see how stories are written and learn about plotting, structure, etc. since you’re pretty much learning from the masters. A literature class shows you what you need to do with examples. I took a class that focused on Willa Cather and Edith Wharton and I learned a lot from how Wharton put together characters.
4. Sign up for a creative writing class. You can never learn enough about your craft and in a creative writing class you won’t just focus on the genre you want to write, which will open up your mind. You’ll also get your work critiqued by your classmates and teacher. It’s incredibly beneficial.
5. Even if your goal is to write a book, begin by starting a blog and keep it updated regularly. It’s important to get your work out there and you will show people what you’re capable of doing. Plus it prepares you for dealing with public response and criticism.
Guest Post 2
Why Book Covers are so Important by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Book covers are a reader’s first introduction to a book. It gives them an idea of what the book is about and hopefully intrigues them enough to want to read what the book is about. Everything from the font used, to the cover models and backdrop can help a reader decide if this is a book they want to take a chance on or not. With my Landry’s True Colors Series, my publisher assigned a cover artist. I worked with the cover artist (Cora Graphics) on all three books in the series. I got to pick out which model I thought best represented Landry Albright, my main character. For the first book, True Colors, I wanted the book to show there was some disconnect between Landry (the main character) and the group of girls she was trying to fit in with. For the second book, Best Friend…Forever?, I wanted to use the same model for Landry and I wanted to see her friends, Ashanti and Peyton on the cover, too. For a while it was going to be just Vladi the crush/boyfriend) with Landry, but I am so glad the two other girls are on the cover as well. The previous title dealt with Landry trying to fit in and “find her tribe” so to speak, whereas the second book had her dealing with true friends and how hard it is to deal with when there is any sort of drama between you and a best friend as well as having her first boyfriend. I have to say I also love the backdrop of the book with the school. The third book in the series, Landry in Like, was fun to work on because when I was sent the possible “mean girl” models, there was one that just stood out to me as the perfect Yasmin McCarty. I shrieked when I saw it and knew that was the one. I also love the backdrop on this one and the way the cover lets you know there’s some real drama going on in the story.
People still do judge a book by its cover and with my covers for the Landry’s True Colors Series, I think they all show the character is dealing with some inner conflict and feeling separated from the group, which so many teens deal with on a daily basis. I think the colors being used keep it light which showcases the fun side of the novels.
I had asked for the best friend bracelet charm to be on the first book in the series (True Colors) and it appears on the lettering. I also mentioned to the cover artist how the True Colors phrase in both the first book title and the series name had more than one meaning as it refers to seeing a friend’s true colors, but I also had another purpose in using it. You see, Landry is insecure and she often compares what she has to what other people have and thinks whatever they have/possess is better. For examples, in the case of her hair and eye color, she wants to look like her friend Devon with the curly dark hair and dark brown eyes or with Peyton’s dark red hair. With that in mind, Landry often picks thing (makeup, etc.) that match what the other girls use, whereas her true friends appreciate Landry’s unique beauty—like when Thalia picks makeup for her that matches Landry’s skin tone or when Peyton and Ashanti pick colors that flatter her instead of Landry just following the crowd and going along with what everyone else is wearing. Landry thinks her light blonde hair isn’t attractive because a frenemy refers to it in a negative light. It just shows us how hard we can be on ourselves and we can easily miss the positive side. So the rainbow font really shows the role color plays. The yellow heart featured on the third book is also something that pops up in the story, so I was very glad that was included.
The font has a romantic and sweet feel to it, which I think shows that there is a crush developing into a first love type relationship, which shows that Landry is growing up. Although Landry and Vladi are teens, they’re very innocent and sweet, so it’s more like one of those couples that is like a Nancy Drew and Ned type as opposed to those Bella and Edward type couples. I think the font reflects that and it reminds me of young adult romances—in particular sweet romances where there is nothing the slightest bit explicit, just that hint of first love and those hopeful feelings that come with a first crush. I think the colors are youthful and fun as in the sky backdrop as well.
The covers show you that the stories will be about friendships, relationships/first love, drama, and of course, school life. These are the types of covers I gravitated towards when I was looking for a great new teen book to read when I was growing up.
Favorite quote: “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite soda: Pepsi with real sugar. Very addictive!
Favorite ice cream: Chocolate coconut milk ice cream
Favorite flower: Double delight tea roses, which I only know because I looked up, “What are those yellow roses with the hot pink edges called.”
Favorite season: It’s a tie between spring and fall. Spring is beautiful, but Autumn has pretty sweaters and Detroit Lions football
Favorite T.V. series: American Dad. Roger the Alien is my spirit animal
Favorite country you want to visit: Poland
Favorite Restaurant: Does my kitchen count?
Favorite author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, Judy Blume, and Ann M. Martin
1. I started watching the show “Austin and Ally” when I came on it by accident and I thought that Austin is how I imagined Vladi Yagudin to look.
2. I participated in modeling and fashion shows at Landry’s age and wanted to show the real side of being backstage which was not as glamourous as I thought it would be. I got maced in the face with hair spray all the time.
3. I was into soap operas at Landry’s age and so I have her and Ashanti reading Soap Hotties magazine the way I would read the soap magazines for info on my soap star crushes. I remember feeling devastated every time I found one of them had a girlfriend or, worse, was married. Broke my heart. Sigh. My favorite soap was One Life to Live. I cried when it went off the air.
4. I had to wear a school uniform like Landry and even though Landry and I have very different coloring, the school colors also made me look like a dead goldfish.
5. I had best friend bracelets when I was in middle school and what’s funny is just this week my best friend sent me a BFF necklace. You can see a picture of it on my Instagram page HERE.
6. I have Landry attending a retro roller skating party for Thalia’s birthday just as she’s trying to fit in with a new group because I had the same thing happen when I was in school. I remember going to a skating party and praying I’d have someone to hang out with and sit with. I even remember what I wore to that party!
7. As a teen I internalized a lot and went to books to help me cope with stuff at school, so I put in advice on handling friend issues and frenemies (etc.) in the books for readers who are like I was at that age.
8. When coming up with the cover, I sent the cover artist, Cora Graphics, my Pinterest board of pictures I had been collecting of who I thought Landry looked like as well as her parents and friends. One of the photos of the cover models looked like she could have been the child of the “parents” I had picked out. It was crazy and that’s how I knew I found my Landry. You can find my Pinterest boards HERE.
9. Landry has a picture of her favorite soap actor on her door and the soap actor I was thinking of is…the same guy I pictured as being her dad. I know, so weird. But I wrote the soap crush scenes well before I came up with the father scenes. Still…weird, I know. It’s Ty Treadway I picture in case you’re wondering.
10. Both Landry’s friend Peyton in the book and my real life best friend have red hair which I was always wishing I had, too. Devon’s hair is based on a friend who I thought had the most amazing curly hair.
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August 15--Zerina Blossom's Books
August 16--Katie's Clean Book Collection
August 17--Bookworm Lisa
Augsut 18--Bloomfield Of Thoughts
August 19--With Love for Books
August 20--Christy's Cozy Corners
August 22--Mel's Shelves
August 23--Simple Harvest Reads
August 25--Smiling Book Reviews
August 26--Singing Librarian Books
SLB Tour Kits will be posted here by the Friday before the tour begins.