Title: Dating the It Guy
Author: 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.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
I tend to start with a main character and see what’s she’s like, what she wants and needs. When I’m writing a sequel or series book then I do a vague outline so I have a feel of where the story is going, but I never do a firm outline. Those never work for me. I keep a private Pinterest board for every story I’m working on with pics and articles that inspire me and then I make them public once the story is published so the readers can see what I was using for inspiration.
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
With Dating the It Guy it came from watching a JFK Jr. bio and wondering what it would have been like to date someone like him in high school.
With Competing with the Star, I got the idea because years ago I had been with the press and was watching an athlete after a big breakup and wondering what the next girl dating him would face. That’s where the idea for Hadley dating Nick after knowing the actress, Simone, had been his first love. I also used an experience of what we had gone through with my dad as the basis for what Nick goes through.
With my Landry’s True Colors Series, I used a lot of experiences that we all go through in middle school.
3. How long have you been writing?
I’ve always been writing little stories, but it wasn’t until college/grad school where I was able to finish a book and get more serious about it.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Take writing classes and literature classes and go to conferences and workshops to learn not just the craft, but the business side of things. There’s always more to learn in this business and I am constantly doing webinars, seminars, etc.
5. How important are names in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds, or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I think names are very important. Emme (Dating the It Guy) was a name I liked because it’s very timeless and it works with all stage of life. Brendon came from the cartoon “Home Movies.” I use a lot of family names for last names and store names in my books. Emme’s last night is Trybus because it is a family name. Margaux is named after Margaux Hemingway and Kylie is named after Kylie Minogue who I loved listening to when I was growing up.
My mom gave me the name Landry for my Landry’s True Colors Series because my character’s name was Sydney, but everyone was having babies named Sydney at that time and I wanted to change it, so she suggested it. Hadley (Star Series) was named after a small town in Michigan my family used to drive through when we went to the beach on picnics
6. Some favorites:
Books: The Great Gatsby, The Bell Jar.
Authors: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joyce Meyer, Sylvia Plath, Cathy Hopkins, Francine Pascal, Judy Blume, May Sarton.
Genre: YA, middle grade, women’s fiction
TV: American Dad, Psych reruns, The Simpsons, The Goldbergs, The Royals.
Movies: Just Friends, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Dirty Dancing
Music: Ed Sheeran, Rachel Platten, Boyce Avenue, Alessia Cara, Cheryl Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Pixie Lott, Clark Manson, Johnny Gill, George Michael, Shakira, Whitney Houston, Pebbles, The Bangles
Food/Writing snack: Pepsi and bacon when I’m editing and chocolate dipped frozen bananas all the time.
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.