March Favourites | Community | Wells&Wong | Oliver Bonas | Aurora


Previously: April | May | June | July | August | September |October | November |December | January | February

It’s April, which means it’s nearly summer ! Every day I keep putting on skirts and then having to add leggings because it’s just a little too cold still. One day soon it will be warm again, I hope…

I spent most of March writing the first draft of Book 4, and I’ve just hit 25,000 words. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing a novel, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Twitter even got involved in naming one of the characters!

However much I love writing novels, though (which I really do) I wish I could pay someone to get the first 20k out of the way for me. It’s always AGONY. It’s so infuriating, because I know exactly what is going to happen, down to the minute, but I haven’t worked out how to TELL it yet. I have to write and rewrite and rewrite trying to adjust it until the right format and structure makes itself known.

It’s like chipping away at marble, then realising what you really need is a shard you chipped off, and having to glue it back together. FOR EVERY WORD. Basically: I’ve spent a lot of this month writing the same scenes five different times over, and I’m probably about to do it again. Wish me luck!

TV Series- Community

Honestly, I’ve spent this whole month rewatching Community.

Book 4 is quite funny, and has an ensemble cast, so I’m considering this as ‘research’ instead of ‘time-wasting’, as Community is expert at ensemble humour.

I have dreams of one day writing for TV, and if I would love to work on something like Community. I love brick jokes and running jokes and foreshadowing jokes, and basically anything that you have to watch three times before it makes complete sense. Broad City and Arrested Development do this very well too.

My favourite jokes: Notches | Beetlejuice | Nicholas Cage | Conspiracy gunfights | Blanket fort chase | the Darkest timeline


Because this is my life now.

26810258Book: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

I miss physics a lot, so I’ve been meaning to pick up this cute tiny book since I first saw that stunning cover. It’s a really amateur-friendly introduction to some difficult concepts, and it gets very philosophical at times, for example, my favourite page:




Special mention also goes to Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens, because even though these books are MG, I am obsessed with them. I read every single one in a one sitting, and they just get better and better. The friendship between Daisy and Hazel is getting more complicated and messy as they get older, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Short Film: The Ministry by Khyan Mansley

I love this surrealist short film – because isn’t it every writers dream to get paid £60 a day?

Homeware: Metallic Wine Glasses – Oliver Bonas

951999_oliver-bonas_homeware_copper-honeycomb-wine-glassOkay, so I kind of have a problem? The problem is that I really want to have a cute little flat and fill it with nice things. I’m desperate. So I keep buying pretty dinnerware and things, even though….I am not in place where I can use them in my own kitchen yet! The latest addition to my collection of waiting-to-be-used beauties alongside my Denby plates and vintage weighing scales are these metallic rose gold glasses. SO CUTE.

My justification is that when I do get a place, I will probably be too broke to afford nice things, so I should spread out the cost and buy them now. That makes sense, RIGHT? Right.

Music: Aurora – All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friendvideo-premiere-aurora-conqueror-1452860962

I’ve just discovered Aurora, and she’s boss. She sings eerie, Scandinavian music that reminds me of Of Monsters and Men. I like Runaway. Just wait for that beat to kick in!

Stationery: Moleskine Recipe Journal

I got one of these recently, and I spent hours and hours writing all of my favourite recipes in it. I love it. If you’re into cooking, but have far too many recipe books to ever remember where you found a cake or pie, this is for you.

Article: How The World’s Most Beautiful Typeface Was Nearly Lost Forever – Hayley Campbell

This is the greatest thing I’ve ever read, A+++++. I wouldn’t even put this much work into improving my OWN NOVELS post publication. He’d already finished the font!!!

People obsessed with obscure things to the point of un-relatability is my favourite thing to read about. I can’t IMAGINE loving a font this much. And I feel like I experience life in less vibrant colours because of that.

28204534.jpgComic: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson

This is like LUMBERJANES for grown ups, I love it! Foul mouthed teenage girls roaming the streets at night in a regimented squad, delivering papers and getting into alien shenanigans. I would like another 20 volumes, please.

The girls’ voices are so realistic and fun, and the drawing style is stunning – the starry night sky especially took my breath away. A huge, huge recommendation.



In other news: I had a lovely time last week talking Historical Fiction at Waterstones Birmingham. My friend Kate did a great write up of the panel here (she also introduced me to the world of Pop Funkos, of which she is Queen. I got my first one – Hannibal Lecter, of course.)


L to R: Helen Maslin, me, Rhian Ivory, Katherine Woodfine and Emma Carroll.

Pic by pippamum888!

This is your final* reminder that Alice Oseman and I are doing a panel there on the 16th! Alice made a silly promo trailer about it.

*Probably not final – I’m pretty excited about it.

It has also been announced that I’ll be appearing at YA Shot again this year in October. Whoo!

My friend Hannah spotted this lovely note about TNT in Foyles – another whooo!tumblr_o54oohIFJz1tgwgi1o1_500

And while I’m bragging about cool things, I love this graphic made by Angel_reads:


As there’s only 6 months until it’s release, and I’ve been getting lots of enquiries about this – if you would like to review The Last Beginning, you can request a review copy here. If you are an American blogger who would like to review The Next Together, you can also sign up to be notified when review copies are available from Sky Pony Press here!

Finally, this is the future I aspire to:

Have a great April, guys!

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

3 thoughts on “March Favourites | Community | Wells&Wong | Oliver Bonas | Aurora

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