Romy’s fanfic in The Loneliest Girl in the Universe + Competition

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.


Competition Launch

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 any of our books of your choice, to someone who finds the easter eggs.

The Loneliest Girl In The Universe

cover - near final

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

 Amazon UK |  Amazon US | Waterstones | Wordery |  Book Depository | Foyles  | Barnes & Noble

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.

You can read Chapter 1 here or listen to me read it here. This is the first video of me reading my writing aloud I’ve put online – so I’ve been a little nervous about it! I hope you like it.

Sign up to be notified when the US edition of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is published and ARC copies are available for request.

If you leave a review of the book on a retail site like Amazon, Waterstones or Barnes & Noble, I will send you a signed, personalised bookplate. Fill out this form to claim your bookplate.

My tumblr posts about The Loneliest Girl In The Universe are all collected here. Here are some links to get you started:

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.

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