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.
What exactly is it about and who is it
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
more about Susy Smith's work and her distinctive approach to storytelling,
please visit https://www.susysmith.com/
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
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