Finding Your Place With Author Krysten Lindsay Hager

Author Krysten Lindsay Hager’s recently released novel, Dating the It Guy, is making the rounds. The YA contemporary romance speaks to themes we all can relate to: mastering our insecurities and self-esteem to find a place or person that we unquestionably fit with. I chatted with Krysten about her novel, and her writing process, so cozy up and check out what she has to say!

What do you hope readers will get from reading your book?

I hope readers will see that no one has a charmed life how no matter how it looks on the outside. I think especially in the age of Instagram and Facebook, it’s so easy to think what you see is what you get, but most people just show you their highlight reel. I’ve heard from some readers who say it’s making them look at things differently and that is amazing.

What did you edit out of this book?

I had some scenes with Emme’s family that mirrored a situation we ended up going through—it was eerie how similar, so I cut them and rewrote them so no one would get upset with me. It does freak me out when that happens though. Life really imitates art sometimes!

Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Years ago I was given a book to read for a review and it was written by someone who was famous because of who they had married. The book was supposed to make you wonder if it was autobiographical and it felt like someone was just cashing in on something. I felt very uncomfortable about it once I read the first chapter and I just couldn’t read anymore.

What did you find most inspirational about writing this story?

Getting feedback from readers saying they see themselves in situations like Emme’s. I’ve heard from some that they didn’t pick up on certain things in their own lives (the other person’s insecurity making them do the things they do), but they are now seeing it due to reading the story. I actually used a situation from my real life in the story and after I wrote it, I suddenly realized the person who had hurt me was coming from a place of insecurity and not trying to hurt me. That was very healing.

What was your hardest scene to write?

The scene where Emme’s grandpa goes to stay with her aunt and uncle and she’s worried about him staying with her impatient uncle. Her grandpa seems so sweet and vulnerable in that scene and even though she’s just a teenager, she’s taken on the role of caregiver. That scene touched me and I’ve heard from readers who say that scene brought out the tears.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

I think the first round of edits you get back from an editor because it’s like when you have a friend come over for the first time and suddenly you see your house through their eyes. Even though other people have seen your manuscript, the first couple editors seeing it suddenly make you see it differently.

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You can purchase Krysten’s book, Dating the It Guy, through any of the following links:

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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.