Monday, September 25, 2023

Interview with Author Susy Smith




1.      What inspired you to write this book?
After 9-11, the security bubble we (the U.S) all lived in popped. The way I viewed the world around me changed drastically, so, I started asking myself some serious questions. As a society, we’ve come to depend on our creature comforts like electricity, running water, information at our fingertips (thanks GOOGLE!). What would happen if it all disappeared? Do my kids know how to plant a garden? Do they understand the meaning of the word subsistence, or is it just an abstraction? These are questions we all should be asking ourselves and this concept is what inspired me to write the Asylum series.


2.      What exactly is it about and who is it written for?
The first book, Asylum, begins after the United States suffers what I label the “Big Crash.” The economy is obliterated, and the president has declared martial law.

My protagonist, young, headstrong, Lacy Monroe makes one fateful decision that changes her life when she agrees to stay on her family farm at the behest of her uncle, a United States Senator from Texas. In this unstable world, she takes a stand against the government on the farm and learns for the first time the true meaning of subsistence. After suffering a brutal attack, she gathers others willing to stand with her, including long-time friend of the family, Jace Cooper. Together, Lacy and Jace overcome incredible odds that threaten to tear them apart, and together they must decide what is right for them; remain pawns in her uncle’s political game or run.


In Ascendant, Lacy and Jace’s story continues as they try to escape Lacy’s ruthless uncle who wants to use them to help him take over the country.


This is a dystopian/thriller series. If you liked The Hunger Games and Divergent, you’ll love the Asylum series.


3.      What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book?
I hope readers will walk away from this series asking themselves questions. I hope to start a conversation about the reality of the world we live in.


4.      How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?
I had the title for the first book, Asylum, picked out before I wrote it. It’s a play on the word for my protagonist, Lacy. She offers asylum to those who are in need, but the farm becomes an asylum for her, a place where she can’t escape. There’s a quote at the beginning of the book. It says, “Hell is an asylum masquerading as a safe haven.” The second book took a little more thought. I originally wanted to title it Leverage, but my publisher vetoed it. The cover designs were completely in the hands of my publisher, Bill Bernhardt, and I think he nailed it!


5.      What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!?
Every morning, before I go to work, I sit down for an hour to write. The phrase, “Steady Eddie wins the race,” comes to mind when I think of advice for fellow authors.


6.      What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? 
I think indie authors are getting a lot more exposure which is a good thing. There are more options for authors now as far as publishing goes: Traditional, Self, or Hybrid. I think more and more, the need for paper books will diminish.


7.      Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book? 
I spent most of my childhood on the 40-acres in Osage County, Oklahoma where my series begins. I have so many memories of my grandparents’ farm. My parents spent time planting and harvesting a huge garden every year, my grandpa raised cattle, there were ponds and oil pumps. I drew a lot from those memories.


8.      How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to?
I am a minimalist at heart. I love Ernest Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy’s writing style. I’m not a wordy writer. If I can say what I want in three or four words, why say it with ten?


9.      What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book?
I think time was/is one of my biggest challenges. The best decision I ever made was deciding to get up early to write, then sticking with it. You’ll never have “time” to write. You have to make it, carve it out of your day.


10.  If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?

People should read this series because not only is there romance, but intrigue, mystery, and nail-biting involved. More importantly, it raises important societal questions we all should be asking ourselves.


Susy Smith is a celebrated dystopian storyteller, author, and curriculum specialist for the Kanza Tribe in Oklahoma. Armed with a deep understanding of language, the resilience of the human spirit, and a bachelor’s degree in English, she weaves captivating, award-winning stories that leave readers wanting more.

Smith's literary journey commenced with "Asylum," a gripping novel that clinched the 2020 Writer Con contest in the novel category. She continues to engage audiences with "Ascendant," the second installment in the "Asylum" series, further probing the intricacies of survival, freedom, and the dark side of human nature.

In addition to her novels, Smith occasionally crafts poetry, adding a unique dimension to her diverse repertoire. Her authentic writing style echoes her experiences living in a small Oklahoma town with her husband, four grown children, and two furry dog-children.

To discover more about Susy Smith's work and her distinctive approach to storytelling, please visit


“This experience let Herbie test a theory he'd been working on since his crossing guard days: life is a game, and to win, you must consider other people as players with as much at stake as yourself, if not more. If you understand their motivations, you can control the action and free yourself from every variety of jam. Focus less on yourself and more on others. Everyone has something at stake. If you address that predicament, you can move anyone, even a junior high principal, from no to yes.”

--The Adventures of Herbie Cohen, by Rich Cohen


Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


Read This!

Book Fairs & Literary Festivals Bible For Authors


What’s An Author’s First Step To Market A Book?


The Value of Bad Book Reviews


The Right Book Marketing Attitude For Authors


The Author Checklist For Success


Read This Before Writing Or Promoting A Book!


Help Make America Literate Again


About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  




No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.