A little competition can really bring out people’s true colors.
True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Every day I walked down the sidewalk to school and wished I were one of the interesting popular girls who ran up with exciting news. Just once I’d like to be one of those girls instead of the being the one who didn’t get invited to things because people “forgot” about me.
Landry gets pushed into trying out for the American Ingénue reality show modeling competition with her two best friends. She doesn’t think she stands a chance, but she advances to the next level in the competition and her friends ignore her when they get cut.
Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut and includes Landry in her clique. Devon becomes the perfect best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition?
Landry hopes her big break could come at any moment, but soon sees there’s much more to modeling than getting your hair done and looking pretty. She begins missing out on being with new friends like Ashanti, a girl who truly has Landry’s back. Landry also has the chance to have a boyfriend when she meets a boy named Vladi from another school.
Part of Landry wants to be famous (and have her hair look good for once), but part of her just wants to be accepted. She learns about friendships, being true to yourself, and that a good hair conditioner doesn’t hurt.
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True Colors is part of Secondhand Shadow‘s “graduating class,” you might say, both being published by Astraea Press at about the same time. Krysten and I thought it only natural, therefore, to interview each other on our blogs!
Where did you get the idea for True Colors?
When I was in grade school, I saw an album cover and imagined what the four women would have been like as teens. I came up with this little story, but never did anything with it. Then, years later, I was finishing up a one-on-one creative writing independent study in college and I wasn’t sure what to write next, but I had read that you should write the book you want to read. So I thought about those four girls I had created back in grade school and began the first version of True Colors…although it went through a couple versions and stages!
How long did it take you to write?
Hard to say because it did go through different versions. I rewrote it and changed a few major parts of it. I actually put it away for a while because I was doing more journalism and then I moved twice—once overseas. When I came back to the U.S. I was working on another project and happened to go to a book signing in town with a football player, Tim Green. I mentioned I wrote and he asked if I wrote middle grade/YA, too. I thought, you know it has been a long time since I sent True Colors out, so I submitted it to three places and it got picked up.
Talk about your writing process. Do you have a schedule? Play music? Need your lucky hedgehog?
I don’t have a schedule, but the one thing I do is start out by editing. That gets me back into the process. I actually enjoy editing because it lets me revisit the story. I may be the only writer alive who likes editing! I play music to get into the story, but not while I’m actually writing. Although, when writing True Colors I did listen to music almost all the whole time. Suddenly, I don’t like to listen to it as I work anymore. Just before I start and then I switch it off. Not sure why that changed.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope it will help kids and teens feel less alone and realize that other people go through the same insecurities and thoughts that they do. It’s funny, a guy in his thirties read it and told me it was a great insight into the minds of the girls who rejected him at that age. He said he understood now that a lot of it was their own insecurities and had nothing to do with him as a person. I also had a man in his 70’s tell me it gave him insight into his daughters and why they did the things they did growing up. I’ve had a lot of adult women reading it saying that it took them back to those years and they really enjoyed it. One mom told me the book has come into her daughter’s life at the exact right time because she’s going through something like this with her friends. Her daughter really related to the character, Landry, and that was all I ever wanted.
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You can support a beginning novelist (and read a cool story!) by buying True Colors from Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords! You can watch a trailer for the book here, how cool is that??