Friday, July 21, 2017

The Resistance Series by Tracy Lawson @SDSXXTours @TracySLawson






Q&A with Tracy Lawson 


Tell a little about yourself:

I’m a dance teacher and choreographer-turned author. Writing has been my main focus four about four years now, but writing and choreography have a lot in common. I’m married, with one twenty-one year old daughter and two spoiled cats. I split my time between Dallas TX and Columbus, Ohio.

What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you?

The Velveteen Rabbit affected me profoundly as a child. Years later when I read it aloud to my little girl, I broke down sobbing and I think I scared her! I still can’t read it without crying.

What’s the first book you read that made you know that you could do this for a career?

About 20 years ago, I read an unpublished draft of Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s early attempt at fiction that later evolved into the Little House books, which are still some of my favorites. I realized that if she could start off like that and achieve what she did, there was certainly hope for me.


How did you get started writing:

I always wanted to be an author, from the time I could read. I had the idea for my first book many years ago, and worked on it whenever I had time, between work and raising a child and all the other things in life that take priority. That book was a non-fiction history, based on a journal written by my great-great-great grandfather in 1838. It required a ton of research. Looking back, I could have finished it in about a quarter of the time if I’d had the internet when I started the project!

Writers who influence me:

I took creative writing from Daniel Keyes, the author of Flowers for Algernon, when I was in college at Ohio University. I was intimidated and impressed, and I learned so much from him. I’m also influenced by a number of middle-grade and YA authors, like Roland Smith, Margaret Peterson Haddix, John Green, Cory Doctorow, and of course, inspired by JK Rowling.


What made you want to write books for young readers?

I love reading YA, and I taught dance classes for twenty years before I got serious about writing. I spent a lot of time around my students, my daughter, and her friends, so it seemed natural to write for a teen audience.

How are the titles significant?
The titles of each of the books in the Resistance Series are action verbs. I did this deliberately, and for two reasons. First, I wanted to convey the message that the books were action-packed. Second, my daughter and her best guy friend from high school are named Keri and Chase. We referred to them as The Verbs. Since they’ve both been involved in the process of writing and producing the books, it was a subtle tip of the cap to my two favorite Verbs.
Tell us about the characters:
Tommy Bailey and Careen Catecher grew up in very different situations. His home life was stable and secure. He was raised by loving parents and was a star athlete in high school. All that changed in the blink of an eye the summer after graduation. His parents were killed in a car accident. Tommy suffered grievous injuries that left him unsure if he’d be able to walk normally again. His friends all left for university without him. Alone for the first time, he wallowed in self pity and allowed survivor’s guilt to overwhelm him. As the story opens, he’s just beginning to see progress in his physical therapy.
Careen lost her father in a terrorist attack at the age of nine. Her relationship with her irresponsible mother deteriorated during her teen years. She focused on her schoolwork, landed a full scholarship to a prestigious university, and looked forward to starting over with a clean slate.
But in late October, the imminent threat of a chemical weapons attack derails both teens from their goals. They take a government-mandated antidote to protect themselves from the effects of the poison. Neither considers stopping, even when strange things begin to happen.
Tommy and Careen realize the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has lied about the terrorist attack and why it mandated the use of the Counteractive System of Defense drug. They go from being accepting and compliant to impulsively joining a rebel group that’s working to overthrow the oppressive government agency, without having a chance to think about what they’re doing and why.
They’ve only known each other for a week, and their relationship has progressed far too quickly—they became a team, then a couple, without really getting to know each other, and soon they realize they don’t have much in common.
Tommy’s all for the physical aspects of revolution, and is eager to learn about guns and explosives. Careen finds kindred spirits among the older leaders of the group, who are committed to sway the public’s allegiance away from the OCSD by waging a war of information. Her pacifistic approach clashes with his need to prove himself on the field of battle, and further complicates their partnership.
As the series progresses, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the question, and both have to examine how they feel about fighting for freedom, and the lengths to which they’re willing to go.
How did you come up with the characters?
I have Chase to thank for creating Tommy.  Chase is a pretty sharp guy and an excellent writer—and when he was in high school I had a lot of fun editing his short stories. We had just finished working on one about baseball, a broken nose, and a broken heart, and were ready to start something new, when he suggested we write scenes in response to the prompt: “What if everyone was on LSD and all thoughts were communal?” Well, it was certainly thought provoking! Chase wrote scenes in which he introduced the characters Tommy and Eduardo, and I created Careen. Right away, we knew we were onto something. The story morphed and changed a lot before it became the finished version of Counteract, but that’s how it all began.

Who do you think would like your story?

Readers who enjoy fast-paced adventure stories and dystopian tales will like Counteract, Resist, Ignite, and Revolt. My books are written for teenagers, but I’ve had many adults tell me how much they enjoy the books, too.

What is the message you’re trying to get across?
Books for young adults often reflect the reader’s need to question authority and rebel against the rules set down by older generations; the Resistance Series looks at what can happen when people surrender our civil liberties in exchange for the promise of safety and security.
I hope readers understand that protagonists in dystopian books are often branded as outcasts or rebels because they question the restrictive rules of their societies—and that individuals who change the world rarely do so by going along with the herd.

Do you write full time or part time?

I work part of the year doing choreography for middle and high school musicals. Writing takes a back seat when I’m in the middle of show season. Currently, I’m in writing season—so I’m writing and marketing my books full time until next September, when I’ll be back in the theater again.

What kind of research did you do for the series?

Please don’t call the police if you see what’s in my browser history! I’ve Googled the effects of various controlled substances, different types of explosives, and interrogation techniques.

I learned to shoot a handgun so that my characters’ first experiences with weapons would be authentic. At first it was scary, but now I enjoy going to the target range. I’m no Annie Oakley yet, but I’m at least as good as Scarlett O’Hara, who once saucily told Rhett Butler, “I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far.”

Do you work with an outline of your plot or do you prefer seeing where an idea takes you?

I create an outline for my fiction, but my characters often say and do things I wasn’t expecting. The first time that happened, I was struggling to write a scene in which Tommy and Careen have a disagreement. I ended up having the disagreement with Careen! All this took place inside my head, which was very weird, but now it happens so often I’m used to it! Careen insisted that what I’d written was not what she would do or say in that particular situation. I countered with my well-planned outline and suggested we stick to the script. Careen’s strong-willed nature won out when she told me what she would say—and had to concede that hers was the better choice! Once I made the changes, the scene flowed well and I made rapid progress. Now when one of my characters has suggestions, I pay attention!

How to you go about editing?

The books usually go through two or three drafts before I send them to my independent editor. Susan corrects my grammar and structure issues and offers suggestions about how to strengthen the story or trim scenes that run long. I trust her and am so happy to have her working with me.

Where did you find your cover artist?

I found my cover artist through a blog post. The blogger listed affordable cover artists who had won awards designing for independent authors. I checked out Dane at eBookLaunch.com, and loved his work. He has created all three covers in the Resistance Series.

How did you go about getting published?

I actually had a contract with a small publisher. I thought that was what I wanted, because I’d never worked in the business before and I had no idea how to market my books. I thought it would be better to have someone in my corner who knew what to do. It turned out I was responsible for about 90% of the book marketing anyway! Between the release of the first and the second books, my publisher fell ill, and all of us authors with books in the pipeline found our release dates getting pushed back…and back…and back. Finally, I asked to be released from my contract, and said I’d bring out Resist myself. I’ve been indie for about two years, and I’m so glad it worked out this way.

How do you go about promoting your book?

That’s the sticking point for every indie author, isn’t it? I maintain an active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but I have learned not to count on those platforms to drive sales. I have a publicist and a marketing coach who have shown me other ways, like through a subscriber email list, and that I can reach out to my potential market. The thing I love best is live events. I wish I could do a book festival or a school visit every day. I meet lots of people who turn into fans at live appearances.

Is there something you wish someone had told you?

I wish someone had told me how hard I’d have to work at marketing. I spend much more time marketing than I do writing. If I had a choice, I’d prefer to focus 80-90% of my time on writing, but it’s actually more like 40% right now.

Advice for authors?

Don’t be afraid to try self-publishing. Know that you’re going to be responsible for marketing your book. The world will not beat a path to your door, even if your book is spectacular! Also know that having more books in a series makes it easier to attract readers.

Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry?  Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

I published my first book at age 46, and I guess it depends on what you mean by successful. I hope to earn more money from my books as time goes on. Some people might think not hitting the #1 bestseller rank with a novel is failure. But living with regret, rather than trying, is true failure. Don’t be afraid to try.

What do you like most and least about being an indie author?

I love being in charge. I also hate being in charge! But seriously, I’m such a control freak, it’s much easier for me to take responsibility and blame for anything that goes wrong or doesn’t work out than it is to feel like someone who’s supposed to be advocating for me didn’t put in enough effort or just plain doesn’t care.


 Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I like to write with pen and paper—preferably outside. I sit quietly until one of the characters starts to speak, and then I write down what they say. Some days I’ll scribble for pages and pages, and when I look at the clock I’ll be surprised how much time has flown by! I usually let those pages sit for at least a few hours, sometimes a few days, before I transcribe them into the computer, and that’s where the scenes really begin to take shape.  As far as writing snacks go, I’m partial to sunflower seeds and Diet Dr Pepper!

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website and blog: http://tracylawsonbooks.com
Resistance Series Website and blog: http://counteractbook.com
Book Links:
Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1935778196




Counteract
Resistance Series Book 1
by Tracy Lawson
Genre: YA Dystopian Adventure

Who do you trust when your world unravels and everything you believed is a lie?

For the past fifteen years, The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has guarded the public against the rampant threat of terrorism. Teenagers Tommy and Careen have never known life without Civilian Restrictions. For them, there's no social media. No one is allowed to gather in public places or attend concerts or sporting events. Only a small, select group of adults have driving privileges, but it's a small price to pay for safety.

Now a new, more deadly, terrorist threat looms: airborne chemical weapons that can be activated without warning. The OCSD is ready with an antidote to counteract the effects of the toxins. Three drops a day is all it takes. It's a small price to pay for health.

The day the disaster sirens signal the dreaded attack, Tommy shares his last dose with Careen, even though doing so might hasten his death. It's a small price to pay for a friend.Follow Tommy and Careen as they uncover a web of lies and deceit reaching to the highest levels of the United States government and join an underground resistance group that's determined to expose the truth.

"Counteract is a novel for our times, but with a decidedly different plot twist. Most dystopian thrillers focus on the devastating consequences of the unleashed virus or poison on society, community, and the individual. They become character studies of the protagonists and antagonists.

"Tracy Lawson's novel asks an even more disturbing question--what if the real culprit was someone or something we trusted? I thought The Hunger Games might be the Millennial generation's version of George Orwell's 1984. Now, I think Counteract and the Resistance Series are more primed to take that spot."--SR Staley, author of St. Nic, Inc., and the Tortuga Bay series.



**FREE on Amazon July 17th – 21st, then .99 cents
for the remainder of the tour!!**


 






Resist
Resistance Series Book 2

"I loved the first book in this series so much that I jumped right into the second one to continue the adventure. The Resistance Series is another great YA dystopian adventure that combines elements of thriller, romance, dystopian, and much more to create a well-rounded story that is sure to appeal to many readers - it definitely has my attention."--TFL Reader, top 500 Amazon Reviewer
Knowledge comes with a price.

Tommy and Careen no longer believe the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense's miracle antidote can protect them from a terrorist's chemical weapons. After accidentally discovering the antidote's real purpose,they've join the fight to undermine the OCSD's bid for total control of the population.

Being part of the Resistance brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Not everyone working for change proves trustworthy, and plans to spark a revolution go awry with consequences far beyond anything they bargained for.

Tommy and Careen's differing viewpoints threaten to drive a wedge between them, and their budding relationship is tested as their destinies move toward an inevitable confrontation with the forces that terrorize the nation.

Where does love fit in when you're trying to start a revolution?

"Dystopian YA literature needs more writers like Tracy Lawson! Lawson's lean writing style and idea-driven dialogue reminded me of the novels of Ayn Rand, particularly Anthem, but Resist is much faster paced and holds your attention from the beginning.

"Resist picks up right where the first book, Counteract, leaves off, and readers are thrown immediately into the action. I also loved the way Lawson doesn't give her characters the easy way out--they are forced to make decisions and suffer the consequences. These are real people that anchor the story, even if the setting is not." --SR Staley, author of St. Nic, Inc. and the Tortuga Bay series





**.99 cents on Amazon!!**










Ignite
Resistance Series Book 3



The Greatest Risk Is To Take No Risk At All.
Nationwide food shortages have sparked civil unrest, and the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s hold on the people is slipping. The Resistance’s efforts to hasten the OCSD’s demise have resulted in disaster, with Tommy Bailey and Careen Catecher taking the blame for the ill-fated mission in OP-439.

Both teens struggle to survive the circumstances that force them into the national spotlight—and this time, they’re on opposite sides. On the run and exiled from the Resistance members in BG-098, Tommy makes his way to a Resistance safe house in the capital.

The OCSD is preparing to monitor all under-eighteens with the Cerberean Link, a device that protects them against hunger and sickness and can even locate them if they’re lost. Tommy’s now living in close quarters with Atari, an operative who has been assigned to sabotage the Link. But does Atari plan to use it for his own purposes?

Through it all, Tommy refuses to believe Careen’s loyalties have shifted away from the Resistance, and he’s willing to assume any risk to reconnect with her. Will they be able to trust each other when it matters most?

**.99 cents on Amazon!!**





Revolt
Resistance Series Book 4
**Released July 18th!**


The Explosive Conclusion to the Award-Winning Resistance Series

To Deny Freedom is to Deny the Human Spirit.

Fugitive Resistance fighter Tommy Bailey has come out of hiding to help rescue Careen Catecher from the clutches of the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense, where she’s been held and interrogated for information about the rebel group. The OCSD is poised to launch the Cerberean Link, a security device that will put all minors under constant surveillance under the guise of protecting them. 

Fearful that OCSD director Madalyn Davies’s bid for control won’t stop there, the Resistance puts its own plan in motion to sabotage the Link and oust Madalyn from the directorship. Just when everything seems leveraged in the Resistance’s favor, treachery, lies, and long-held secrets threaten to derail it all.

Will even a life together on the run be impossible for Tommy and Careen? Or will the Resistance’s efforts convince the public to put their fears aside and demand freedom?




Spark
Careen's Prequel to the Resistance Series


"What was our heroine Careen Catecher like BEFORE she became a firebrand for the Resistance? Well, she was just a normal teenage girl trying to survive college in the totalitarian state of Tracy Lawson's creation." --review by Patrick Hodges

"Careen is a believable, strong female protagonist who, having survived a harrowing terrorist attack, is now trying to survive [college] in a new 'Quadrant' where she can't seem to fit in." --review by Candace Williams


A strong heroine is made, not born. 
Though Careen Catecher survived a terrorist attack when she was nine, her childhood ended on that awful day. Now, nine years later, she’s ready for her life to truly begin. 

A full scholarship to a prestigious university far from her beleaguered home quadrant seems like a dream come true, but when she arrives on campus, she’s perceived as a charity case, despite grades and test scores that prove she’s the academic equal of the best students there.

Careen knows she’s tough enough to survive just about anything, but fitting in with her acquisitive peers—at least on the surface—is necessary if she’s going to leave the past behind and claim the stable future she craves. 

But her past won’t stay buried. She’s only been at school for a few weeks when a cryptic message from an unlikely friend raises questions that may put her in danger all over again.

Check out this novella-length prequel to the award-winning Resistance Series, “a promising new YA series about a totalitarian America.” 



**Perma-Free on Amazon!!**







Tracy Lawson knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she could read. In the first grade, she authored sixty-seven contact-paper bound books through her school's Young Authors program. Though that pace proved impossible to maintain, she always intended to be a real author one day. 

While working toward her Bachelor's degree in Communication at Ohio University, she studied creative writing with the late Daniel Keyes, author of Flowers for Algernon. After short stints as a media buyer and an investigative analyst, she settled into a 20-year career in the performing arts, teaching tap dancing in Columbus, Ohio, and choreographing musicals. Though her creative energies were focused on dance, she never lost her desire to write, and has a non-fiction book to her credit: Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, (McDonald & Woodward, 2012).

Tracy's love for writing Young Adult fiction is sparked by all the wonderful teens in her life, including her daughter Keri, a college student. Counteract is Tracy's first novel.








$50 Amazon & Sale Promo 
  
Revolt: Book Four of the Resistance Series
Book Launch Giveaway

“I've been reading this series basically since it first came out, and honestly I really still love the characters and all of their weird interactions. As the conclusion to the series, Revolt is not one of those books that gives you a neatly tied bow on a package and tells you it's over. It has twists, turns, and you're going to be in for yet another adventure with the Resistance crew.”

 “So, this series that I've been reading since the beginning is over. What's a girl to do? Restart from Book One, of course!”

Can't Get Enough of the Resistance Series?
Wanna know what happened the night of the car accident that changed
Tommy Bailey’s life forever?
Take advantage of this limited-time offer:

Get a FREE PDF of Shatter: Tommy’s Prequel to the Resistance Series, which includes a gallery of the amazing artwork created for the series! This prequel will NOT be available on Amazon.

Here’s how it works:

Purchase Revolt: Book Four of the Resistance Series on Amazon for $2.99:


Email your receipt to tracy@counteractbook.com, and in return you’ll receive Shatter: Tommy’s Prequel to the Resistance Series.

But wait...that's not all!

Resist: Book Two of the Resistance Series and Ignite: Book Three of the Resistance Series
will be priced at 0.99 each until August 18.
Spark: Careen's Prequel to the Resistance Series is always FREE on Amazon and Kobo. If you live outside the US, email the author at
tracy@counteractbook.com for your free copy.
ACT during Launch Month to get ALL FOUR full-length books, plus the two prequels for just $5.96!

Spread the word!

#GetReadytoRevolt #revoltgiveaway




*************$50 Amazon Giveaway rafflecopter code***********



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Follow the tour HERE


for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!










1 comment:

Tracy Lawson said...

Thank you so much for hosting this stop on Revolt's blog tour! I really appreciate it.