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Archive for December 8th, 2022

Krysten Lindsay Hager: Music and My Pop Star Romance Series Inspiration
Thursday, December 8th, 2022

When I created my young adult Cecily Taylor Series, I knew I wanted to give a teenage girl all the things she’s ever dreamed about like her dream career (acting) and a chance to date her favorite singer/songwriter, Andrew Holiday. I thought it would be interesting to see how Cecily would react to getting the life she thought she wanted and how she would actually handle it. Honestly, who hasn’t thought about what it’d be like to date their celebrity crush?

When writing the books, I imagined a realistic way where Cecily could not only meet Andrew (at an audition) but develop a relationship with him while on the music video set. Writing those early scenes where Cecily is falling for her pop star crush, while still trying to act normal was a lot of fun. She’s gushing and freaking out on the inside but trying to appear calm and cool on the outside. On a date, she slips and reveals she recognizes a watch that she’s seen on social media that is his grandfather’s, and then she feels like a complete stalker when she realizes she’s outed herself as a mega fan. I kept imagining how a date with my favorite singer would go and I realized it would be awkward knowing so much personal history about him. Where is that line for Andrew between a fan and a person he could see himself really dating?

As a kid I was obsessed with George Michael, and you can definitely feel George’s influence in Andrew Holiday. However, recently my mom reminded me of a crush I had when I was a toddler! Yes, you read that right, I said toddler. I was laughing as she told me I would sit in my toddler car seat bopping along to Andy Gibb. It’s not important who else I had a poster of on my wall next to the Holly Hobbie pictures…ahem. I went on YouTube and looked up some old interviews of Andy, and you can definitely see his influence as well. Readers always tell me they see Shawn Mendes in Andrew and while he wasn’t on my radar when I first started the series, I can see what they mean. As I’m working on book three in the series, (Cecily in the City will be out in March), I have been listening to Shawn and reading his interviews.

While writing the books, I always make a playlist that goes along with the story. Some are songs I listened to while writing or editing, while others are ones that came out after the books released and they work so well with the storyline. Some of the artists on the playlist include: Ed Sheeran, George Michael, Mac Miller, Matt Pokora (his music inspired some scenes in the upcoming book), Shawn Mendes, Kasey Musgraves, Jon Connor, Marina, Clark Manson, Kylie Minogue, Lauren Alaina, and Johnny Gill among others.

George Michael’s song, “Waiting for that Day,” is just one of the George songs I imagine Andrew singing that Cecily relates to. In fact, the box set of Andrew that has all heartbreak songs on it about exes which Cecily refers to as paying “Fifty bucks to hurt my own feelings,” is based on an album of his that I got as a kid! “One More Try” is another of his songs that inspired me while writing. Clark Manson’s “Track 9” is another song that’s perfect on the playlist for the book. Marina’s song, “Flesh and Bone,” inspired a scene in In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Action and well as scenes in the upcoming book where you see Andrew and Cecily both dealing with being in the public eye.

Kasey Musgraves’s Star-Crossed album has been in the background while I’m working on book three and it was also the soundtrack as I worked on the updated version of my other book, Dating the It Guy. Jon Connor’s “Every Other Word” is one I have on repeat while working on book three, too. Lauren Alaina’s “Painting Pillows” is also in rotation as I work on book three, so stayed tuned.

Here’s a link to the playlist on Spotify. Let me know what you think!

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About the Author


Krysten Lindsay Hager is a bestselling author of YA and contemporary romance. Krysten writes romance because she loves bringing people swoony moments & hope-filled happily ever afters. Her books are known for making you laugh, cry, & swoon. Along with romance, her novels deal with self-doubt, finding where you belong, true friendship, & soulmates.

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