Welcome to Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. Here to share a pot of tea and to chat about her latest book, Can Dreams Come True, is Krysten Lindsay Hager.
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), Dating the It Guy, and Can Dreams Come True.
Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for children/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.
Hello Krysten. It is my pleasure to warmly welcome you to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. Thank you for joining me for Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. To set the mood for our tea infused interview, what is your preferred beverage, tea, coffee or other? And side accompaniment, scone, cake or other?
I’d love a cup of tea with some dark chocolate candy!
Can you tell us what genres you write for and how many books you have had published?
I write young adult books as well as upper middle grade books and I have been working on some adult contemporary romance as well. I have published seven books and my eighth will be out in April.
Can you describe your latest book, Can Dreams Come True in just a sentence?
A girl gets the chance to be in her favourite singer’s music video and starts dating him, but can you date your rock star crush?
What came first in the creation of the novel – the title, plot, characters or setting when you first set out to write Can Dreams Come True?
The plot came first as I started thinking about what it would be like for a regular girl in high school to suddenly get the chance to have her dream job (acting in a music video) and dream boyfriend by dating her pop star crush.
What ingredients do you feel are necessary to compose a successful teenage novel?
I think you have to be real and not just show a glossy side of life. I admit I grew up reading some YA books with some pretty unrealistic things in them and they were a fun escape, but sometimes it’s nice to read about characters dealing with things you deal with like anxiety, frenemies, and dating issues and see how the characters deal with the issues.
What themes define Can Dreams Come True?
You can see a sense of staying true to yourself. In the book as Cecily deals with a boyfriend who is still talking to his ex and she has to speak up for herself. We also see her going out with the pop star, Andrew, and struggling with being herself while wondering what kind of girls he usually dates. Self-esteem is a theme you can see as well as a sense of family and of course, love.
How long did it take you to write Can Dreams Come True?
I really can’t say for sure because I usually work on multiple projects at once which often throws off timelines. Probably over a two year period? I have no concept of time, so that could be generous!
Is there a particular scene in Can Dreams Come True that you are proud of?
One of the scenes I like is Cecily talking to Andrew in the trailer on the music video set and they have a deep conversation that sets the tone for their friendship and later relationship. It shows it’s not just a superficial relationship even though he’s someone she has had a crush on for years.
Where did the inspiration for your characters come from?
The inspiration for Andrew started with my own music crushes like when I loved George Michael when I was a kid. However, as I wrote the character, he took on his own characteristics. I read and watched a lot of music biographies and documentaries that inspired me as well.
Can you tell us about your journey to publication?
I had been taking classes and going to workshops and conferences for many years and learning the craft. I got my first book contract in December 2013. That year I was doing a lot of critique groups and really devoting myself full time to working on my writing. That first book, True Colors, came out the summer of 2014 and I’ve been blessed to be able to put out at least one book out each year since.
Is there a genre you haven’t tried writing yet, but want to in the future?
Well, I’m working on adult contemporary fiction now, but I love reading mysteries and would like to write one, but not sure I could. I would also like to write non-fiction in the future.
Aside from writing, do you have any interesting hobbies?
I love to read and really like YA mysteries. I also love movies and watching biographies—I’m addicted to the Reelz Channel.
What is next on the horizon for Krysten Lindsay Hager? Do you have any writing projects you would like to share with us?
The sequel to Can Dreams Come True will be out this April and is called, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety. It will follow Cecily and Andrew’s relationship and you will see her embark on her modelling career and dealing with friendships and what it’s like to have a boyfriend who is famous.
What 2019 book releases are you most excited to read?
The new Nancy Drew series had a new release in January and I was excited to see what Nancy was up to.
If you could slip back in time, what era would you travel to and why?
There’s a couple times in history. The twenties and thirties are really interesting to me, but there’s a part of me that would like to have been an adult in the 80’s because the movies from then are so interesting to me! There’s something about a movie set in New York in the 80’s that really intrigue me.
Finally, wrapping up our tea themed interview, who would you most like to share a pot of tea with?
Right now I’d say Judy Blume because she inspired so many young girls as they grew up. In history, I’d say Buddy Holly because he did so much in such a short amount of time in music and he really was so ground breaking.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews for Tea with Mrs B Krysten. Congratulations on the publication of Can Dreams Come True!
Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?
Connect with Krysten here: