In Over Head Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety (The Cecily Taylor Series #2) by Krysten Lindsay Hager --YA Contemporary Fiction-- ***Guest Post: Find out what inspired the Author to write for teens -- Giveaway***

In Over Head Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety 

(The Cecily Taylor Series #2)

by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Clean Reads Publishing

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?

Guest Post 

by Krysten Lindsay Hager

What Inspired Me to Write for Teens (and the Themes in My Work) 

I was asked to write about what inspired me to write for teens and basically, I wrote the books I wish I could have had at that age to let me know I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling and going through. I was lucky to have had some great authors like Paula Danziger, Norma Klein, Ann M. Martin and others (I read a ton of series books) who wrote books dealing with things like feeling isolated and anxious that I could relate to. I remember coming home from school (these memories are particularly strong in my preteen years) and diving into my favorite YA books to escape what I had dealt with at school with frenemies. From fourth grade through eighth grade I looked to books and music to escape when I was dealing with frenemies and trying to fit in and find my tribe. I always thought it would be amazing to write a book that made someone else feel less alone in what they were going through like my favorite authors did for me.

The themes in my work are self-esteem, friendships, crushes and first loves, fitting in, finding your tribe, and appreciating your own uniqueness. These were all things I struggled with as a preteen and teen, but it wasn’t until I was an adult and writing in the genre that I realized that appreciating one’s own uniqueness is so important. How I used to pour through fashion magazines wanting to be anyone but myself! It wasn’t until later that I appreciated the things that made me different. Honestly, it’s not easy for me to go back and revisit those memories, but it’s part of my writing process. I channel all those awkward, isolated, cringe-y feelings into my writing now.

When I was growing up, I was looking for authenticity in the books I read. To me there’s no point in writing if I’m not going to be authentic, which means some days I get emotionally wiped out writing. But if something I wrote helps a reader, well, it’s all worth it. I have a lot of older readers as well and I get DMs from them saying my books have helped them heal from things they went through in their early years. Many tell me how reading my books have helped them deal with leftover scars from their preteen and teen years. It’s amazing to be part of someone’s healing process.

Book One:
Can Dreams Come True? (The Cecily Taylor Series)

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?


“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?

About the Author

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 children/teens. Best Friends…Forever won the Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal. 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.

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