Interview With Author Madison Lawson
October is my favorite time of year. I love the changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and scary books & movies. So, it’s perfect timing that I got to interview Madison Lawson, author of the intriguing and terrifying new book, The Registration. Like movies? Then you will be thrilled to know that The Registration was also picked up by Sony for a film adaptation!
Tell us a bit about 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 is determined to uncover the truth and survive a destiny not of her choosing.
The Registration is a genre bending sci fi thriller that was birthed out of frustration, fear, and love. Frustration that the politics of this country did not seem to take care of people. Fear that things could always get worse. And love because I disagree with some people on some big political issues that I thought would break relationships but didn't because loving them meant more than being right.
The Registration challenges our humanity in a visceral, heart pounding exploration of right and wrong. With many complex, diverse characters and relationships, this novel really comes off the page in skin crawling ways.
I’m getting The Purge vibes with a mysterious twist. What inspired you to write this story?
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 of my relationships. I noticed how easily I lost trust in someone after finding out their opinion. This made me want to write a book where both are completely legal, which turned into anything that anyone considers is 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 the path for publishing The Registration?
I started with querying agents! Actually, I had been sending out queries with another manuscript for about a year before I finished The Registration. I received several rejections until I participated in dvPit and Julie Gwinn liked my tweet. I sent her a query, and she requested a full and then I signed with her! She shopped The Registration to several publishers, and we ended up going with CamCat who has been AMAZING! I couldn’t ask for a better publisher.
The Registration was picked up for a film adaptation by Sony Pictures. How exciting! Can you tell us anything about that?
Yeah! Sydney Sweeney, actor known best for her roles in The White Lotus and Euphoria, received an early copy of my manuscript several months ago and she loved it! She then took it to Brad Fuller, producer best known for A Quiet Place and The Purge franchise, who enthusiastically agreed to join her in obtaining the rights to adapt The Registration to film! After a competitive auction between a few studios, Sweeney and Fuller partnered with Sony Pictures for the adaptation. Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski joined the team as screenwriters! Sweeney will produce through her company Fifty-Fifty Films while Fuller will produce through his, Fuller Media Brand. I couldn’t be more excited!!
The theme of family is so prevalent in this book. What about that theme moved you?
In almost everything I’ve ever written; family has been a theme. In my first book, The Run, family is the main theme because I wanted to figure out which type of family has a stronger pull on someone: blood or chosen. In The Registration, I had a similar question I needed answered: How resilient are family bonds and what sort of duty do we have to family members? I think what moves me about this is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut answer. It all depends on the individual and the situation. And while I want to believe that blood family doesn’t mean anything beyond genetics unless we give it meaning, there does seem to be a sort of pull there, whether we want it or not.
What a piece of advice you’d give to aspiring authors?
Keep going. I know that’s so vague and broad, but it’s honestly the best advice I can give. I heard someone say once that to be a successful writer you need at least two of these three things: talent, persistence, and luck. If you’re persistent, then you’re halfway there.
Writing often comes with a TON of rejection. First, you have to query agents, then you have to send your manuscript to publishers, and then reviewers and bloggers get their hands on the book. Most of us will be rejected dozens and dozens of times during our careers. But it really is true what they say: it only takes ONE yes. I queried 82 agents with three different manuscripts before signing with Julie Gwinn with The Registration. Try not to let disappointment or discouragement stop you from trying to achieve your goals and dreams.
Where can people order The Registration?
You can get it online wherever books are sold! If you want a signed copy, order from Quail Ridge Books and put in the order notes that you want a signed copy. https://www.quailridgebooks.com/book/9780744307023
Or, you can purchase straight from my publisher - https://camcatbooks.com/Books/T/The-Registration
Where’s the best place to follow you?
You can find ALL of my information on my website at https://madisonlawson.com/
My Instagram is @madisonlawson and my twitter is @madisonlawson96