In the book, Romy writes fic for her favourite TV show, a fantasy detective show about a selkie and a banshee. Even though she’s unaware of it, Romy’s experiences throughout the book are reflected in her writing, showing us more about her as a person than about the TV show Loch & Ness.
A lot of teenage girls use online fandoms as a safe space to develop their sexualities, without fear of pressure from peers to move at a pace they aren’t ready for. I thought that a reliance on online resources would be even more amplified for a girl isolated from human contact. Romy uses fanfics to explore her own feelings, in a way that I hope will resonate with a lot of teenagers today. It’s also a source of instant, feel-good joy,which helps her deal with her stressful day-to-day life.
I’ve posted all of Romy’s fics about Loch & Ness on Wattpad here, including a lot which aren’t included in the book.
There are lots of references in my books – adding them in is one of my favourite parts of writing! Here’s the one in The Last Beginning about Romy:
There is also one other easter egg about Romy hidden in a book – but I’m not going to tell you where it is, because I want you to find it yourself. My friend Alice is also a writer, and she was writing her book Radio Silence while I wrote Romy’s story, so we decided to put references to each other’s writing in our books. In Radio Silence, there’s a hidden reference to The Loneliest Girl, and in The Loneliest Girl, there’s a reference to Radio Silence.
Now that both books are published, Alice and I are going to hold a competition to win signed copies of both books to anyone who can find the easter eggs.
Email the references to firstname.lastname@example.org with your address, and we’ll pick a winner from the entries. Open internationally, closes 7/11/17 (so you’ve got 2 months to get reading!).
Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
Their only communication is via email and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?
Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…
“Gripping psychological thriller with a very relatable heroine” ~ The Bookseller
“Black Mirror-esque. A fantastic slow-build drama.” ~ SFX
The Loneliest Girl In The Universe is the third novel by Lauren James. It is a psychological thriller set in space and will be published by Walker Books in the UK and Australia on 7th September 2017, and Harperteen in July 2018. You can add it on Goodreads or subscribe to my mailing list for updates.
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My tumblr posts about The Loneliest Girl In The Universe are all collected here. Here are some links to get you started: