by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Cecily feels like she has it all: great best friends, the beginnings of a career as a model/actress, and she’s dating her favorite singer, Andrew Holiday. Then Cecily’s best friend Lila begins to ditch her every time Lila’s boyfriend calls. Cecily feels lost, but she and Andrew begin connecting more and she’s never been in a relationship where she felt so understood. Andrew even begins to confide in her about his anxiety. Soon Cecily experiences her own anxiety on a magazine photo shoot, but she manages to impress the magazine staff. Just when it seems like all her dreams are coming true, everything comes crashing down when a photo of Andrew with another girl appears online. He swears nothing happened, but Cecily is crushed. She feels like she’s lost two of the people closest to her.
Was her perfect relationship real or was she in over her head?
“Good luck at the photo shoot tomorrow,” he said. “You’ll be great.”
I stared out the window on the ride back to the hotel taking in all the sites. As I walked into the hotel I felt a new air of confidence. Instead of just reading about someone going out with a pop star to some fabulous rooftop hotel restaurant and being in the big city, I was living it. This was my life and not some YA book heroine’s. Tomorrow I was off on a modeling shoot. I was living a dream and proving how I was ready for a big life. This was my destiny. I could do this.
My alarm went off and at the same time an alarm went off in my brain saying, no, I could not do this. What was I thinking? Me, model? That’s where people take photos of you for the sole purpose of other people looking at them, which encouraged judgement and evil comments. People don’t just keep those comments to themselves anymore. Oh no, they grab their phone or laptop or whatever device helps them spew out unhelpful and cruel comments on people’s appearances online for all the world to see.
My stomach felt like spewing all over the nice hotel sheets I was wrapped in. Why did I ever think I was up for this? Those strangers online would destroy me within seconds. Girls like Harlow who were born with an undeniable beauty could do stuff like this and even then, I had seen strangers criticize her online when she posted selfies.
Being anxious always made all my senses go nuts. I ate two slices of toast and then my stomach did a weird flipping thing. Oh no, not today. Looking over at the clock I realized it was almost time for us to leave. Come on, stomach. You’re fine. Just relax and…nope, time to hit the bathroom. Why can’t I just be a big girl and go to this stupid shoot which most girls would kill to do without my stomach freaking out?
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in Michigan in a small country club town between Flint and Detroit. I spent my teen and preteen years thinking my real life would start once I moved. I actually did ended up moving a lot and it made me grow a lot as a person. You get a different perspective when you live somewhere else that you can’t get from traveling.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety is a romantic comedy about a high school girl who has been dating her favorite singer and dealing with all the drama that comes with it. Cecily gets the chance to achieve her dreams as well as a modeling opportunity that comes up to help her get exposure for her acting career. The idea came from me thinking who wouldn’t want to see what it was like to live the life of your dreams and to date the singer you love?
How do you create your characters?
Cecily is a character I created years ago and it’s funny how I keep finding old notebooks with scribbled thoughts about the character and her story. The Andrew character took on a life of its/his own once I got into the story. He started doing things I hadn’t planned on like dealing with anxiety over his pop start career. The Lila character also went her own way. She was supposed to be the funny best friend who was unlucky in love, but along the way she got caught up wanting her ex-boyfriend to come back to her at all costs and wanting to be accepted by a more popular group.
What inspires you and what got you started in writing?
Music, movies, the news, and celebrity tabloids all inspire me. I started writing at a young age. I remember a teacher putting a story I wrote up on the bulletin board when I was in third grade, so it was always something I enjoyed.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I have an office now instead of writing off my living room and it’s made all the difference in the world! I need silence to write, but I listen to music to inspire me before a writing session.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I get ideas from all over. I keep notebooks in all my rooms so if anything sparks an idea than I can write it down for later. I once moved a throw pillow and found a journal shoved in between the couch cushions!
What do you like to read?
I read YA, women’s fiction, rom-coms, mysteries, MG, biographies, and lots of non-fiction. Thank goodness for the library!
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
I had a writing mentor who once to look at it as a labor of love. I like the advice in The Creative Call that says to write for a purpose higher than your own. I firmly believe reading that and acting on it is why I finally got published.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My childhood crush on George Michael inspired me years ago to start this series. I still feel butterflies when I watch old videos of his and I go right back to feeling like a kid when I see them. I started a guest post series on my blog with other authors sharing their music crushes and it’s interesting to see how so many writers were inspired by musicians.
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star, Dating the It Guy, and Can Dreams Come True. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. Landry in Like is a Literary Classics Gold Medal recipient.
Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRYS65N/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VRYS65N
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07VRYS65N
Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07VRYS65N
Amazon IN: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07VRYS65N
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Krysten Lindsay Hager will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.