The Registration by Madison Lawson
I'm kicking off the tour for Madison Lawson’s debut novel, The Registration, with iRead Book Tours. It is a thriller published in September 2022. After reading the blurb, I knew I had to read this book. I hope you enjoy learning about this book and the author.
About the Book:
You can’t outrun the Registration.
Imagine it’s legal to commit one murder in your lifetime⎯if you Register the victim and accomplish the kill within fourteen days. So when Lynell Mize stands in line to Register the man who abused her as a child, she’s shocked to hear a stranger Register her to be killed. Why would anyone who doesn't know her squander his one legal murder on her? Desperate to survive the next two weeks, she must find out who wants to kill her⎯and why.
Easier said than done as Lynell soon discovers that multiple strangers have used their Registration on her. Along the way, she reunites with her estranged husband who is determined to dig up a past Lynell prefers to keep buried. With only days left to live, Lynell fights to uncover the truth and survive a destiny not of her choosing.
Interview with the author:
Where did your inspiration for this book come from?
A few years ago, some political current events kept coming up in my life and causing friction in my relationships, specifically any happenings around abortion and the death penalty. I have very strong personal opinions about both, but what caused the true grief and anger was how these opinions influenced all my relationships. I noticed how easily I lost trust in someone after learning their opinion. This made me want to write a book where both are completely legal, which turned into anything that anyone considers murder (from abortions to assisted suicide to killing an innocent person in cold blood) is legal no matter the circumstance. I didn’t want to focus on the government aspect or write a “teenage girl saves the dystopian world” novel, I wanted to focus on this sort of law would impact relationships, particularly familial relationships.
What was most challenging about writing this book?
Describing locations, probably. I can’t really see pictures in my head (think aphantasia symptoms), so it’s difficult to describe settings that are realistic and flushed out. Even more challenging is remembering what I’ve described in the past. I can’t tell you how many times a location or a character’s appearance changed throughout the book simply because I couldn’t remember what I’d written in the past.
For this book specifically, figuring out how specifically the code works in a way that is important to the characters, equally valuable and dangerous, too difficult to discover for just anyone, and simple enough for Lynell to decipher should she need to.
What is your writing process like?
It’s different all the time, but usually, I’ll go to a coffee shop, listen to one of my playlists, and simply start writing. I’m a pantser, not a planner, so I let the story unfold as I write it. That was incredibly true with The Registration. I had no idea what was going to happen until it happened.
Then there is a LOT of work during the editing process because of the previously mentioned.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
On the technical aspect of writing, the best advice I’ve received is to make sure I’m writing in the active tense whenever I can. So instead of “The book was set down,” write something like “She set the book down” (hopefully with more descriptive language.)
But outside actual writing advice, the best thing I’ve been told is that a successful author needs at least two of these three things: talent, persistence, and luck. I know I’m extremely persistent, and I’ve been told I’m talented, but even on days where I feel insecure about my writing or have a huge case of imposter syndrome, I think, well, I’m bound to get lucky at some point!
What can readers hope to learn from your books?
Honestly, I’m okay with anything that readers might learn from my books. But if I had to pick, I would love for people to realize that most things are always more complicated than they seem, and no one should be reduced to one opinion. Yes, I think some things and political views are not okay, but most people are so much more than one view. And those opinions are always influenced by other aspects of their life. But in the end, we should at least try to choose what is good.
Also, I’d love for readers to see that family is more important than most things. But family doesn’t have to be blood. It can be chosen. You get to choose who is in your life and deserves your love, loyalty, and trust. If you’ve chosen someone, you need to be there for them like you’d want them to be there for you. And you need to learn how to love them the way they need to be loved.
If you had one opportunity to legally kill one person would you use it? Lynell has decided to use her opportunity to get justice and prevent further harm. As she is waiting in line to register she hears someone registering her. She has no idea why but is determined to live through the next two weeks and be free. What follows is a great story that I read in one day! I could not put this book down. The blurb is so interesting and the cover is beautiful. What the author does is write a suspenseful novel full of twists and turns. The story is told in the present with brief memories of the past. I love strong female protagonists and Lynell fits this description perfectly. She is physically and mentally strong and is very relatable. I highly recommend this book if you like thrillers and stories about how much power is too much.
Author Madison Lawson writes speculative fiction novels full of suspense, social commentary, and complex relationships. She has published a dozen short stories, many of which won awards such as the Koresh Award and the Gordone Award. She received her B.A. in English from Texas A&M University and is currently earning her M.A. in English at North Carolina State University. Born and raised in a small Texas town, Madison began escaping through reading and writing as soon as she could. town, Madison began escaping through reading and writing as soon as she could.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads