Princeton Grad and Author Speaks to PHS Students

After years of hard work, author Tracy Stone Lawson, Princeton High School (PHS) graduate of 1984, has WP_002092-1successfully launched her young adult trilogy with the novel Counteract. The story tells of a dystopian society where the government controls every step its citizens make. The novel centers around two strangers who must come together to stop a plan that was never suspected. After the government convinces its citizens that a chemical has been released by terrorists, it issues them to take an antidote. This antidote affects their brains in a negative way. Lawson worked three years on Counteract to make sure her writing connected with the reader.

“My love of English goes back to elementary school,” said Lawson. “I had some really good mentors and teachers who fostered a love of writing in me.”

 

photoLawson loved being at Princeton, which is where she started actively writing. The Young Authors Program at Sharonville Elementary kick-started Lawson’s writing when she was in first grade. She wrote 76 books while the requirement was only two. In high school, she was an editor of the school newspaper (Odin’s Word), reported and wrote scripts for Princeton Instructional Television, and was very active in theater and music.  After graduating from Princeton in 1984, she went to Ohio University (OU) and majored in telecommunications. With her diploma from OU she turned her creative talents towards a career in advertising. She later switched professions and became an investigator for the state of Florida.

 

Lawson worked some of her own life into Counteract.

 

“One of my friends, Kevin McGraw [from PHS theater], had died,” said Lawson. “I decided that in Counteract, I would give him one more role to play.”

 

Although Lawson knew exactly what to put in her novel, she was only one-third of the way through Counteract when she got writer’s block. The voices of her characters started communicating through her. The protagonist and other characters started telling her what they would say and do in the situation.

 

“When she [Careen, the protagonist] shows up, I just listen now like it’s another community in my head,” said WP_002088-1Lawson. “I hope them being real to me made them real for the reader.”

 

Book tours are a big part of being an author.Lawson stopped at PHS and spoke with several freshman STEM English classes and the staff of Odin’s Word. She shared the reality that it is difficult to make a living solely by writing. Lawson combined her first book tour with her other passion, teaching and choreographing dance.  She
stopped at PHS on her way to northern Ohio, where she was commissioned to choreograph a high school musical.

image (3)The PHS stop of Lawson’s book tour inspired some budding authors at Princeton. One Odin’s Word staff member is using Lawson’s career as an investigator to inspire the main character of a novel that she is beginning to write.

 

During the question and answer session at the end of her visit at PHS, Lawson shared tips about how to become a successful author.

 

“Keep writing and don’t ever give up,” said Lawson.

 

Lawson sells Counteract, book one of the Resistance Series, out of the back of her car.  But, if you can’t track Lawson down, you can visit Amazon.com to purchase a copy of the novel.  For more information about Counteract, go to http://counteractbook.com/.

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