NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnLXsu2c43k
Top Ten Favorite Songs:
- I Don’t Care by Cheryl Cole: It’s the song I put on when someone or something has upset me and I have to take a moment to step back and realize I don’t care about what anyone else thinks and how they react to me or my life. It’s a very freeing and liberating song.
- Feelin’ So Good by Jennifer Lopez: This video for this song represents a time in my life when I was in grad school and I love watching the video and reminiscing. This is probably why I’m having trouble cleaning out my closet with all the J.Lo clothes from back then in it!
- Fight Song by Rachel Platten: This song represents every moment where I had to keep pushing and keep going when other people thought I should just stay with a “safe job.” I had a lot of people who thought I was crazy to keep pursuing a writing career because it’s such a shot in the dark. I look back at old journals of mine and can see who had no faith in me. It’s sobering.
- I Look to You by Whitney Houston: I started listening to this one a few years ago when I lost a friend and a cousin around the same time. This is also a song I would play during the time my dad was going through an illness. I actually played it for him in the hospital and it was so weird—the lyrics which had always made me think it was a narrative for me, suddenly sounded like what my dad was going through himself. It’s one of those songs where you have nothing left and you turn to God for strength.
- Change Your Mind by Boyce Avenue: I swear this song is my soundtrack for so many of the breakup/love-gone-bad bad relationships scenes I write.
- Healer by Kari Jobe: If I’m upset or not feeling well, I play this one on repeat and it always calms me down. My friend Melissa sent me the video for it when I was having a hard time years ago and it was the perfect song at just the right moment.
- Mama Do by Pixie Lott: They used to play this video all the time when I lived in Portugal and I loved it then and love it now.
- I Need You Tonight by Professor Green featuring Ed Drewett : Take the INXS song and add an English rapper to it. Magic.
- That’s Life by Frank Sinatra: This one felt like my theme song when I lived overseas. It’s funny because there’s a line in the song that basically says if nothing happens by July, you’re going roll up and die, and I kept saying, watch me find out something major in July. Sure enough, July that year I found out I was moving back to the U.S.
- Breathe (2 AM) Anna Nalick: it just sums up how you feel in those early morning hours when you’re writing in your journal uninhibited.
Facts About Next Door to a Star
The idea for the book came from situations I observed back in my school days. I couldn’t understand why some girls let their “friends” treat them the way they did. Hadley isn’t based on me, but rather on a lot of things I witnessed that made an impression on me.
The Pilar character is a mix of both a mean girl and a victim of a mean girl. In the next book, Competing with the Star, you’ll learn more about Pilar and why she acts the way she does.
The first time I saw the show, “Girl Meets World,” I thought that Lucas (Peyton Meyer) looked exactly like how I pictured Nick Jenkins in my mind.
When I saw my cover, I just gasped because the cover model is the perfect Hadley. Hats off to Ashley Byland of Redbird Designs for getting that so right.
I went to Grand Haven almost every summer as a kid and teen and made several research trips, too. There’s nothing like walking the pier imagining the characters with you. I have tons of pictures—I even have the picture of the alley where Asia and Hadley see their rock star crush, Jack Brogger.
There’s a scene where Nick walks Hadley and her friends home early from a party even though it means he has to leave himself. It’s based on something that happened when I was in high school and a guy left a football game early to walk me and my friend to her brother’s car which was parked far away. I thought it was the sweetest thing and never forgot that.
When I was writing the book, I pictured Grace Kelly as Aunt Faith.
People ask me who Charlotte’s grandpa was based on and honestly I imagine a comic book strip character when I write his scenes—he looks like Ralph from Crankshaft. Oddly, I got to meet the creator of Crankshaft last spring at a writing event. I hadn’t signed the contract for Next Door to a Star at that point though, but we did talk about Ralph because I liked the storyline he did with Ralph and his wife’s dementia.
The idea for Hadley’s rock star crush came from my decades long crush on George Michael. I used the last name “Brogger” for him because that was a nickname my grandpa’s coworkers gave him.
Simone and Hadley do movie marathons of Josh Haven, but who was my Josh Haven? Well, when I was in grade school it was…Charlie Sheen. Yup, my cousin Anne and I did a movie marathon of Charlie Sheen films. Her mom even rented, “Heidi,” for us and we fast-forwarded through every scene Charlie wasn’t in. You might be thinking about the “Two and a Half Men” show right now, but let me just say, “Wall Street.” Google it, see Charlie’s beauty, and then ask yourself why my uncle would think that was an appropriate movie for a 10 year old to watch.