Thanks for joining me in the library lounge, Krysten. Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable.
How long have you been publishing with Limitless? What titles have you published with them? Have you self-published any titles or published with another publisher? Please give details.
I have been with Limitless since 2015. My YA books with Limitless are: Next Door to a Star (Star Series: Book One) and Competing with the Star (Star Series: Book Two.) It deals with a teen handling a move to a beautiful beach town and trying to fit in with the new teens there—including one famous former TV star. It’s funny and very real with the emotions and drama they go through.
I also have a middle grade/younger YA humor series called, the Landry’s True Colors Series. It’s with the publisher Clean Reads. That series is about friendship, dealing with frenemies, growing up, modeling, self-esteem, and self-image.
Very nice. Can you tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
In all my work I use humor and my books deal with the issues teens and young women face today like self-esteem issues, friendships, frenemies, self-image, relationships, celebrities, and fame.
The Star Series includes the YA book, Next Door to a Star, and the second book in the series, Competing with the Star, which just released this week. This series follows a teen named Hadley Daniels who has just moved to a beach resort town in Michigan and found herself living next door to (and befriending) a former teen TV star. We follow Hadley’s journey as she learns to be true to herself, find real friends, and deal with her first love. When writing the second book, I started to think about how I would have felt as a teen if my boyfriend had a crush on a famous star who was now showing an interest in him!
In the Landry’s True Colors Series, it’s about an eighth grader named Landry Albright who enters a modeling competition and finds herself “unfriended” after she makes it to the next round and her bffs do not. Landry’s journey deals with handling the self-image and self-esteem issues many of us face as young teens, how to handle frenemies and bullies, first love, and the anxiety of school, friendships, and modeling. There are three books out in that series right now: True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and Landry in Like.
Both of your series sounds great. I think you know I have a pre-teen daughter, and those topics are definitely ones she is interested in or will be soon 🙂
How would you describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
I hope to finish the third Star Series book and fourth Landry book and also finish my adult novel and two other YA projects.
Boy, sounds like you are very busy. Good luck with all of that.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I began writing to reach out to those readers who thought they were the “only ones” who felt the way Landry and Hadley do in their insecurities and anxieties. I want readers to know they are not alone in those feelings.
I think that’s very important for teens (and anyone) to know, and writing books with those themes are a great way of reaching them.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Focus on writing the book you want to read and not writing for the market. The work will reflect your passion and be better for it. And you can never learn enough about this business.
Both of those points are so true. That’s what’s so fascinating about being an author. You learn so much about yourself through your writing and about others when you interact with readers and fellow authors.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I think all writers have the challenge of letting a publisher see what they can do. Most of the conferences I went to recommended building up your name by publishing articles and short stories to get writing credits and to get your name out there.
That’s a great way to break into the field. I started with pet articles in cat magazines and veterinary journals. I don’t write that type of book, but I do always try to include pets in my fiction.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
Yes, I am a big supporter of writing classes, publishing seminars, conferences, and workshops. I have taken so many of them and started attending them right after graduating from high school. They are so valuable. I learned so much about writing and the publishing industry from the many classes, conferences, and workshops I have attended over the years. There really isn’t a shortcut to publishing, so you need to gain knowledge just like you would in any other career field.
What hobbies and interests do you have besides writing?
I love reading, exploring new towns and places, watching movies, and Detroit Lions football.
A nice variety of interests.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
When I signed my first contract, I saw an author post, “I love being a writer, I hate being an author, it’s hard and scary.” I read that on Facebook and wondered, “What am I in for?” I love coming up with story ideas and creating characters, but the business side can get overwhelming and will take over your entire day and then you realize you had no time to write.
I am finding that myself right now. Writing is the easy part of being an author compared to marketing, promoting, blogging, keeping up with social media, speaking, autographing, etc. It’s all fun and exciting, but it’s very time consuming especially since most authors have full-time jobs.
Excellent. Well, it’s been wonderful chatting with you, Krysten, and best of luck with all your forthcoming books and series.