I’m very happy to welcome Krysten Lindsay Hager. She is the author of the True Colors series. The latest book in the series is Best Friends Forever.
Her interesting and informative post today is titled How I Learned to Write:
This week I got an email from a student who read my first book, True Colors, and she wanted me to know how much she enjoyed the story—and that she was reading it for the second time. I have to say that made me smile because I always reread books I loved back when I was in school and I still go back and reread my favorites from time to time. I always find something new that I didn’t catch the first (or fourth) time through. I wrote this student back and she asked me what I thought had helped me to, as she put it, “get a book written and all finished up.” I started to think about what got that first book written and “finished up,” and I’d have to say the number one thing was the literature classes I took. I admit as a kid, I never knew how my teachers pulled the odd symbolism out of the air. I even read Amy Tan saw things in a Cliff Notes version of her own book that surprised her! But when you get to the college and graduate level, the interpretations that seem to come out of thin air aren’t as much of the focus as the overall story, author’s background, and the social and cultural norms of the time. Those same classes that often bored me as a middle school student and high school student suddenly came alive once I was in a room with students who wanted to be there and weren’t just looking to “get through” it. Taking lit classes helped me see how writers put stories together.
I remember one class where we were studying an Edith Wharton novel and I had been sick and hadn’t cracked the book yet, but as the class discussion went on around me, I knew where the story was going and I started participating. My mind was saying, “Shut up, idiot, you didn’t read the book yet. Why is your hand up in the air? You’re going to make a fool out of yourself.” But it turned out that I was right on track where the story was headed because I had been paying attention to how Wharton wrote. At the time I don’t think I was aware exactly how much those lit classes would help me write my own books, but looking back I can clearly see how they were like taking creative writing classes taught by the masters. And all those stuffy looking classics that I thought I would never “get,” suddenly seemed accessible.
I’m currently working on the third book of my Landry’s True Colors Series. Landry got very into Jane Eyre in the first book. So now, in the third book, I am having Landry begin to explore other classics she might be able to get into—don’t get me wrong, she still loves the “Skylar Halston mysteries,” which is my made up version of a Nancy Drew type spy series. But even fictional characters can fall in love with classics.
Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, 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. Krysten is 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