The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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Meet Abby Lawson, the high school senior who published her debut novel

Buy “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on Amazon now
Nic Cazin
Published on Dec. 1, 2023, ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ is Abby Lawson’s debut novel. Curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and order the fantasy/crime book on Amazon now.

The number of people self-publishing and becoming indie authors has increased over the years, seeing a steady rise at the start of the decade. As self-publishing increases across the globe, small towns like downtown Wake Forest, NC, can help boost an author’s book, especially if the author is local and has their book in locally owned bookstores, such as Page 158. 

Small-town bookshops help book lovers find like-minded people in their town and connect them with local authors. Sue Lacey, a co-owner of Page 158 has found that their ‘local author nights’ have been beneficial in more ways than one can imagine. 

“We do a local author night every other month right now,” Lacey said. “We believe in doing that because of the cross-contamination. A lot of people aren’t known, and sometimes, even for a big author, we don’t get a lot of people. It happens everywhere, so we do four local authors once a month and they have 10 minutes to talk.”

Abby Lawson is an up-and-coming local author, having published her debut novel ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ on Dec. 1, 2023. The book is within the mystery and crime genre but has a twist. 

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“It follows Lana [who is] a junior in high school and interns at her local investigative bureau [when] disappearances start happening and dead people start turning up,” Lawson said. “The whole concept is that there are four realms. You get to the one beneath by water – jumping into an ocean or a river – and to get to the one above you, it rains.”

The young author drew title inspiration from music.

I put a sign on my door that said ‘Do not come in, I’m working.’

— Lawson

“I didn’t have a title until two or three years in, and I was sketching what I wanted the cover to look like [while] listening to ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ by Blue Oyster Cult,” Lawson said. “I was like, ‘hey, that’s kind of a sick title,’ and just kind of sketched it in there.”

As a senior at Wake Forest High School, Lawson keeps her schedule full, balancing school, professional dance, work and more while writing, editing and publishing ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper.’ Her work ethic and passion have made a huge impression on the teachers at her school, including her technical theater teacher, Tim Domack. He’s been teaching her since her freshman year of high school, meeting her online due to COVID-19.

“When [the county was] starting to allow students to come in here and there, I opened it to everybody, and she was one of the two [consistent] people that came in,” Domack said. “After that, she started working her way up the ranks in advanced tech and became one of my top designers. She had the drive to be there, she wanted to be there, she was invested. So for me, it was her drive to succeed was the biggest thing.”

This drive has been evident since Lawson was young, writing small stories whenever she could. Her most notable story was titled “The Runaway Band.”

“When I was in third grade, I sketched and wrote a little paper story [about a] Rainbow Loom band that came to life and went on little adventures,” Lawson said. “I put a sign on my door that said ‘Do not come in, I’m working.’”

Since her junior year, and majorly over the summer, Lawson wrote her book, writing in classes once finished with her work. She was determined to publish a book before college, and she was able to reach her goal. You can buy her book on Amazon and follow her on Instagram for some book content and updates on future projects. 

“[Abby] will be successful in whatever she wants to do,” Domack said. “I think a lot of that stems from the competitive dance that she does. She’s got that competitive nature, but then she also has the work ethic because the dance company she works with is really demanding. On top of that, she’s a straight-A student, so clearly she’s finding the balance between work and what she loves to do.”

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    CamdenJan 26, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    NICCCCC this is awesome!!