This Week’s Featured Author Interview with
Hi, Tracy Lawson, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website. Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what do you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
Hi! I’m Tracy Lawson. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and now live in Dallas, Texas. I spent most of my adult life working in the performing arts, teaching dance and choreographing musicals. Though I no longer teach in a studio setting, I still choreograph a few musicals a year for middle and high schools. My first book was published in 2012, and I now have seven books out.
When did you start writing and why?
I always wanted to write, but life got in the way. I started writing when my daughter was in high school. I desired a more portable career, so I could accompany my husband on some of his business travel, and also so I could be home in the evenings. These practical reasons aside, I saw this change in my life as an opportunity to apply myself and achieve a lifelong goal.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
I’ve enjoyed writing each of my books, but I think my favorite is Resist: Book Two of the Resistance Series. The first book in a series is a special thing, but in Resist, my characters’ romance blossomed—and became more complicated. They were part of a community for the first time. Their backstories and personalities fleshed out, and they became proactive freedom fighters, rather than naïve teenagers who believed that the totalitarian government had their best interests at heart.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
The titles in my YA series are all action verbs. When my daughter, Keri, was in high school, her best guy friend was Chase, and we referred to them as The Verbs. The titles are a nod to my favorite Verbs—especially because Chase worked on the early draft of Counteract with me, and created the characters, Tommy and Eduardo.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did you design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
The original edition of Counteract had a different cover. When I was able to make decisions about the book covers, I wanted to use a photo I’d taken myself for the cover of Resist. Dane at eBookLaunch.com designed Resist’s cover first and then did Counteract’s cover in the same style. He’s now designed all four covers in the Resistance Series. Their look is consistent, clearly conveys the genre of the books, and gives a hint at the progression of the storyline.
What are some of the themes of your story?
Themes in my dystopian stories include the dangers of surrendering civil liberties in exchange for the illusion of security, and not letting others decide what’s right for you.
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book? What is your process, and do you have a system?
My Resistance Series books began with a writing prompt exercise, in which we created three of the characters. Then, with only a vague idea of where the story might go, we asked “why?” and “what if?” until we knew we had the story we wanted. I outlined the story, but was open to deviating from the outline when my characters had other ideas!
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
Of course, I love Tommy and Careen—they’re my protagonists in the series, and I love the way they grow and change as the story progresses. I loved writing Atari, a Resistance operative who’s very rude and crass, and always says exactly what he’s thinking. Jaycee was another favorite character because she actively sought a larger role—she rose from having just one scene in Counteract to be a major character in Revolt. When I wrote her dialogue, she would say things I wasn’t expecting. For instance, in Resist, the members of the Resistance flee the capital, where their mission has gone sideways, and end up at Jaycee’s father’s diner, which is the headquarters of the Resistance. When Jaycee learns Careen, one of the most visible and passionate members of the Resistance is going to be her roommate, she hurriedly clears the clutter off the spare bed in her room, saying, “I never have company—especially famous company. But I’m glad you’re here because now I’ll get to be part of the revolution!” I hadn’t intended for Jaycee to say anything about a revolution. She’d slyly positioned herself for a bigger part. Smart girl!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love JK Rowling, John Green, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Margaret Atwood, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Kurt Vonnegut, and especially Daniel Keyes, who was my creative writing professor in college.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
I’m currently developing new ideas. I had two books come out—six weeks apart—in 2017, and I’m relieved to be taking a year to start a new series without pressuring myself to produce a new book right away. I’m also looking at other ways to utilize the characters from the Resistance Series.
If you could have any superpowers what would they be?
I’d want to be able to obliterate writer’s block! I don’t know if it’s an official superpower, but I’d like to be able to fully concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Leaping tall buildings in a single bound would be cool, too.
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I’ve been fortunate to travel to many places I’ve wanted to visit. I’d like to go to the Netherlands. We’ve flown through Amsterdam many times, but I’ve never been outside the airport. I’ve also never been to South America and would like to visit Peru.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
In five years’ time, I hope to be wrapping up my next series and to have the Resistance Series story exist in another medium. Stay tuned…
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview, Tracy Lawson! Take a minute and check Tracy Lawson out on the links below. Tracy Lawson’s book series, The Resistance Series, is available now on Amazon!
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