When Free Will Becomes an Illusion, the Resistance Will Rise. . . . The Fight for Personal Freedom Begins with COUNTERACT, Book One of The Resistance Series. Two strangers—their destinies entwined—must work together to thwart a terrorist the country never suspected.
Anyone who loves a good dystopian thriller will find a new favorite in COUNTERACT. Lawson joins the ranks of authors such as Aldous Huxley and George Orwell as she questions whether the government should be allowed to usurp personal freedoms under the guise of doing what’s best for the people.
The year is 2034. NSA drone flyovers and US government surveillance of citizens’ emails and phone conversations are commonplace. Citizens live in carefully monitored quadrants, with regulations governing food distribution, driving, and entertainment. With the rampant threat of terrorism a constant presence, the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense (OCSD) has been enacted as an offensive against terrorist attacks. With the threat of airborne chemicals, the OCSD has the perfect antidote… and all it takes is three drops a day.
Q. I enjoy hearing how novels evolved from their original conception, especially yours. COUNTERACT began as a collaboration, but then characters emerged from the plot, which led to relationships. Do you consider your story to be plot driven or character driven? (or both?)
A. Counteract is probably 60/40 plot driven, but I also put a high priority on developing compelling characters. I want readers to identify with Tommy and Careen and root for them as they navigate the obstacles in the story.
Q. Was this story first conceived as Young Adult?
A. I wanted to write for a teen audience. Young Adult protagonists are usually still in high school, but in COUNTERACT, Careen and Tommy are college-aged, so my publisher chose to position the book as New Adult, a category that encompasses older teens and twenty-somethings.
Q. What perimeters or guidelines did you use for YA?
A. Even though the book is positioned as New Adult, my younger teen beta readers who read a draft of COUNTERACT loved it. I chose to tell a complex, fast-paced, and thrilling story, while keeping the romance and violence at a PG-13 level.
Q. I think you’ve succeeded. Getting praise as an analytical thriller, the book is clearly hooking adult readers. Why do you think that is?
A. Many Young Adult books cross over successfully into the adult market. Rebellion is a common theme in Young Adult literature—against parents, against rules, against society. Adults also identify with that spirit of rebellion!
COUNTERACT is relevant for today’s New Adult audience, who lives in a world where events that may not seem to affect them directly could have a huge impact on their future lives. I hope everyone who reads COUNTERACT will enjoy an exciting story and come away believing they should question what they’re told, especially when they’re being told to give up something in exchange for safety or equality.
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. She settled into a 20-year career in the performing arts but she never lost her desire to write, and has two non-fiction books to her credit. Tracy’s love for writing New Adult fiction is sparked by all the wonderful teens in her life, including her daughter Keri. COUNTERACT is Tracy’s first novel.