(First book in the Landry's True Colors series)
Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Y/A, upper middle grade
Landry Albright is an eighth grader who just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round. However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically "unfriend" her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/True-Colors-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B00L2G0YJS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403166094&sr=8-1&keywords=krysten+lindsay+hager
- itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/true-colors/id890673002
- Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-colors-krysten-lindsay-hager/1119742726?ean=2940149747658
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/true-colors-17
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449308
- Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/True-Colors-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B00L2G0YJS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409036609&sr=1-1&keywords=krysten+lindsay+hager
About the Author
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8298036.Krysten_Lindsay_Hager
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay
- Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay
Sneak Peak from True Colors
“Is she okay?”
“Yeah, she’s fine. She just pretended to have two heels on and walked on her tip toes,” Georgia said.
I would have burst into tears and run off the stage — kind of like I did when I was four years old and in a dance recital. We were supposed to be little ballerinas and have scarves attached to our tutus, but my mom was still in school at the time and she came home late and forgot to give me my scarves. So all the other little girls pulled out their scarves, and there’s a video of me looking on either side of my tutu for my scarves and then bursting into tears crying “Mommy!” as I ran off the stage. My grandmother said I was adorable, but I don’t think it was any coincidence my grandfather died two weeks later.
At least I didn’t have to worry about missing scarves tonight. All I had to do was focus on not tripping. If I could just make it down the runway and back, I’d be fine. Unless, of course, I suddenly came down with Tourette’s Syndrome and started swearing live on the air… but I’d know if I had Tourette’s, right? It doesn’t just come on out of nowhere, does it?
“Okay, girls. Your group is next,” Georgia said.
I took a deep breath. All I had to do is say, “My name is Landry, and I’m from Grand Rapids.” Easy—as long as I didn’t get the dry heaves or puke into the microphone and electrocute myself…or get diarrhea on live TV. Why did I ever go to the audition in the first place? Everything was fine when I was just boring old Landry fading into the background. The girls at school were a lot nicer to me when I was nobody special. I mean, before this stupid competition I had friends, but now it seemed like there was no one I could trust. Maybe if I lost this stupid thing I could go home and everything would be back to normal.
“Okay, girls. You guys are next.” Georgia pushed me in the back. “Don’t forget to smile,” she said in my ear.
Then the girl in front of me morphed into a different person. She straightened her spine and walked with a little skip in her step. “I’m Desiree, and I’m from Sterling Heights,” she said in a low sexy voice. Great, I had to follow her.
“I’m Landry, and I’m from Chicago, Illinois,” I said. I moved away from the microphone and realized I said “Chicago” instead of “Grand Rapids,” so I went back to the microphone to correct myself and slammed into the next girl. She acted like she didn’t notice, but I had hit the microphone and it made a shrieking noise. I heard laughter. People were laughing at me. On television. I wanted to die.
I saw Georgia gesturing at me to get off the stage, and I walked off. I had been practicing my stupid runway walk for weeks and for what? A chance to humiliate myself on live TV? I’ve always been sorta accident prone. If anybody was going to do something stupid and embarrassing it was probably me, but I thought I could control myself for two seconds on live television. I’m such an idiot.
Q&A with Krysten
I get inspired by films, music, and often a picture can do it. I saw a photo of someone with a unique expression on his face and it inspired a whole character for a story I was working on. I’m always very curious to learn about people so I love reading and watching biographies and I’m always the person at a party who will sit and listen to your whole life story.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Landry is an introverted character who shares her insecurities and fears (along with her funny commentary about life), which lets readers know they are not alone with what they’re feeling or going through themselves. In Landry, I knew I wanted to create an honest, realistic teen who longed to be a part of one of those tight knit cliques at school, yet never quite felt like she fit in anywhere. She wants what so many of us want, which is to have that best friend you feel like truly has your back.
What made you decide that you wanted to write in this genre?
I loved reading this genre growing up and I’ve always had such an appreciation for it. When I was growing up and reading these types of books it felt like they were the escape I needed when I was having hard times with friends and school stress. I always thought those MG/YA authors had the greatest job to be able to reach readers. You can see people’s voices and faces change when they talk about that one special book that impacted them while growing up and I always thought that would be the most amazing thing to do for someone.
Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?
Anything that hits too close to home! I’m working on a YA book where the main character has a grandfather who has dementia and I will admit I have to step away from that one from time to time because it’s hard for me.
If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I would focus on journalism if I wasn’t writing books. I also wanted to write scripts particularly for a TV comedy or a soap opera.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I think finishing my first book was an accomplishment and to have kept going even in the face of people telling me it was a pipe dream. Getting my graduate degree was another accomplishment because my grad school courses and my undergrad classes prepared me and inspired me so much in my writing. I look back and think that the best decision I made was to go to college.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think being able to make people feel something and bring out makes a good story. If I can feel for the character and I’m still thinking about the story long after I put the book down then it’s a win for me as a reader and what I try to do as a writer.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I read Goodbye Glamor Girl by Erika Tamar when I was in the fifth grade and loved it. I read it again in college and picked up on so many different things in it that I had missed when reading it as a kid. I love The Great Gatsby and enjoy a lot of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s essays and short stories as well. He writes with a vulnerability that I love. I read The Great Mom Swap when I was in fourth grade and there was a character in it that wanted to be an author. Naturally, I loved that and her last name was close to my maiden name. In the story she’s told to change her last name which starts with a, “W,” to something with an, “H.” I remember joking I needed to change from my “W” last name to one with an, “H,” and who did I marry? A guy with the last name of Hager. Kind of cracks me up a little.
What can we expect from you in the future?
My sequel to True Colors will be out soon ( it’s called Best Friends…Forever?) and I’m over halfway through writing book three in the series. I also am working on more YA and middle grade work as well as an adult novel.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Take literature classes as well as writing classes. Taking a lit class is like learning from the masters and I would highly recommend it.