Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Q&A with Susy Smith



Susy Smith is the author of the new novel Ascendant, the sequel to her novel Asylum. She is a language teacher for the Kanza Tribe, and she lives in Oklahoma.


Q: What inspired you to write Ascendant, and did you know before you wrote Asylum that you'd be returning to these characters?


A: When I ended Asylum, I had no intention of writing a sequel. I left the ending where the reader could make up their own mind about how their story ended. They could’ve easily run across the border and lived their lives on a Mexican beach, which I think both Lacy and Jace would’ve preferred.


However, when most of my readers started asking what’s next, I started thinking about a sequel. I didn’t have one specific thing that inspired me, I just looked forward and asked myself, what would happen to these characters if they were caught by Lacy’s uncle, Thomas Monroe?


Q: Do you think your characters Lacy and Jace have changed from one book to the next?

A: I hope they’ve changed! At the beginning of Asylum, Lacy was an untried young girl who never suffered poverty, loneliness, or even at the hands of another.


By the end of Ascendant, all of that has changed. She’s transformed into a more mature, if not a bit jaded, form of herself. I think her base morals and values stay intact, even though she’s had to break a few (no spoilers!).


When Jace is introduced in Asylum, his eyes are on Lacy. She is his focus. Eventually, I think he struggles the most internally with what he’s had to do to survive, how the world has changed, and what that means for them.


Q: What inspired the plot of Ascendant?


A: As a writer, I always want to write something that matters. When I left Lacy and Jace at the Texas/Mexico border, I thought I would delve into a thematic problem we, as a society, face. The drug plot has been overdone. So, I started thinking about human trafficking and how it’s not talked about as much. And the story sort of took off from there.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I would love for readers to find me on Facebook at:


And visit my website at


I will be posting updates from those platforms on the third installment of the Asylum series!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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