Welcome to the book tour for Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager. Get to know her and the book a little bit better with this exclusive interview. I also had the opportunity to read the book, so I've included my honest review. Be sure to ask leave her more questions and comments and then follow the tour for more insights. There's also a giveaway to check out!
Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I also received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I wanted to take a normal high school girl and give her the opportunity to have a chance to experience the life she’s dreamed about to see if it was what she truly wanted. I had her get to be in her favorite singer’s music video (she’s always wanted to act) and then get to know and date him. I thought it would be interesting seeing what it was like to date your ultimate crush.What kind of research did you have to do for it?
I read a ton of music biographies and autobiographies and watch a lot of music biographies and documentaries. I wanted a wide range of experiences so I had everyone from Taylor Swift to Kurt Cobain, Elvis, Ed Sheeran, George Michael, Marvin Gaye, and more.Which character was your favorite to write?
Lila, the best friend, was actually the most fun to write because she reminded me of how my best friend and I talk.To which character did you relate the most?
In the beginning I assumed I’d relate to Cecily the most, but as I was writing it I also related to Lila and Andrew. I didn’t expect to relate to the pop star character so much, but as the story went on and I realized this was going to be a series, I saw him differently.What was one of your favorite scenes?
I love the scene where Cecily is on a date with Andrew and she doesn’t want him to know what a big fan she is of his, but it’s on her mind and she slips up a few times. She’ll be with him as he tells her something and she’s thinking, “I know.” It cracked me up every time. I also loved writing the music video scenes—especially behind the scenes where she and Andrew get to know each other.Will we see these characters again?
Yes, I just finished writing the sequel to the book!Why should we read your book?
So many of the reviewers have said the book makes the whole dating the pop star thing feel like it could really happen, so if you like books that help you escape into that fantasy then this is the book for you!What do you hope people will get out of your book?
I hope they find some escapism and also see the sweet relationship and the fact that Andrew’s pop star life isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. There’s a nice sense of family and friendship in the book, too, and I think it’s a comfort read.How do you make yourself stand out in this genre?
I use a lot of humor, which you don’t always find in YA romances. My characters are funny and very real.Tell us about your other published works.
I have a funny YA book called, Dating the It Guy, about a teen who goes out with the popular senator’s son and what’s it’s like to suddenly be in a different social group in high school. I also have a YA beach book series (Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star), about a girl who moves to a beach town and finds herself living next door to a teen TV star. I also write a middle school series called the Landry’s True Colors Series dealing with friends, frenemies, and first crushes.On what are you currently working?
I just finished the sequel to Can Dreams Come True and I’m also working on some adult books and another YA book.What is the best writing advice you ever received?
To take as many classes and go to as many conferences and workshops as you can before you start writing and submitting your work.What are you currently reading? Up next on your TBR?
I just finished Save Me, Kurt Cobain, and I read a lot of the current event books you see on the news. I’m also in mysteries.When not writing, what can we find you doing?
I’m a TV addict. I love movies, too. I’ve been re-watching the show Psych a lot lately.What is something on your bucket list you have accomplished? Want to accomplish?
I always wanted to be on Book Notes and I got to do that this year and read part of Dating the It Guy. You can see it here: https://www.facebook.com/TheOhioChannel/videos/vl.150830042416493/2134241629925807/?type=1
Can Dreams Come True?Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?
Read an excerpt:
I started to feel anxious after lunch. After all, I had been an Andrew fan for a long time, and even though I had seen him in person, this was a huge deal to get to meet him. What if he wasn’t what I had imagined? I didn’t expect him to fawn over me or anything, but what if he was rude or ignored me? It would kill my fantasy of him as being this sweet, quiet, sensitive songwriter who wore his heart on his sleeve while also being kind of a loner/rebel with just a touch of bad boy in him. Oh man, I would be crushed if he didn’t notice me or worse—if he ended up flirting with Harlow.
In all his magazine interviews Andrew always said looks weren’t important to him, and what he noticed in a girl was if she was true to herself. He said he went for “bright girls who were sweet and easy to be with.” Now that I thought about it, that was the kind of fake crap magazines put out about all the teen celebrities. It was like when I saw Lawrence Claibourne, my favorite actor who claimed to be Mr. I’m-just-looking-for-a-sweetgirl-to-read-poetry-to on a red carpet with a model whose boobs were falling out of her dress and had overdone the lip fillers—I mean, you just knew he wasn’t into her for her personality. But Andrew wasn’t like Lawrence. Andrew seemed so sincere and deep. Lawrence had a smirk and you could tell he was a player, but Andrew seemed like he had been hurt and needed to find the right girl who he could open up to and learn to trust again. . .or at least that’s what he said in his last interview.
The final bell rang and my heart shot up to my throat. This was it. I was on my way to meet my crush. From now on, any dreams of him would be marred by the reality I was about to face.
Was it better to keep wondering what if and keep the fantasy alive or to go and actually meet him?
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I was first intrigued by the idea of this story, because the idea of being love with a celebrity and dreaming of making him my own is a fantasy that I think most of us have had for a long time. And that magical moment when you finally get to meet your idol is one that you can never replace. I've done that before. But it actually turning into a romantic encounter? Sure, I've read a lot of rock star romances, but never one at the YA level. So of course, I had to give this one a go.
I feel sorry for Cecily at first. She does have some confidence in there, but it is currently pushed way down with her introverted tendencies. You can see it hovering just under the surface. I think her boyfriend Zach is a tool who is too hung up on his ex-girlfriend, always comparing Cecily to Tanna, though he definitely has a lot on his plate at home. Other people are always comparing Cecily to Tanna. And I may just have a Tanna thing leftover from my own high school days.
Her friend Harlow is also annoying. I can't stand those girls who think they are greater than everyone else and belittle everyone around them. Her other friends seem to like to rip on her for her interests and choices in life. Poor Cecily just wants to fit in for the most part and allows people to pretty much walk all over her, but is slowly starting to hold onto her personal beliefs.
But then when she goes to the audition with Harlow to be in Andrew Holiday's new video, merely as moral support, and ends up being chose by Andrew himself to be in the video because of who she truly is, things begin to change for her. She learns how to be comfortable in her own skin and what it means to truly have a connection with another person on a deeper level than the usual superficial level. She has so much more maturity than the other girls in her life, which helps explain why this massive rock star pays attention to her.
I think more readers will identify with Cecily's struggles as an introverted teenager trying to make her way in this world than they think they will. I think that Andrew in indicative of what a lot of girls want in their boyfriend, even when you take out the celebrity status. He is real with depth and emotions and maturity, which is what makes for a better relationship in the long run as it is.
I appreciate how this is a clean romance and just felt more realistic than a lot of other YA romances, even though Cecily is doing the unthinkable in starting a relationship with her favorite singer. I understand there is a sequel to the book and I look forward to checking it out.
About Krysten Lindsay HagerKrysten 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 children/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist.
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 the talk show Living Dayton.
AMAZON BIO: https://www.amazon.com/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager/e/B00L2JC9P2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1518310668&sr=8-1
Krysten Lindsay Hager will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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