Research trips I took when writing The Quiet at the End of the World

Research trips! There’s nothing better than writing about somewhere, and then going to see it for real. It brings fiction to life in a completely original way.

Here are some of the places I made sure to visit when I was writing The Quiet at the End of the World. I’ve previously visited Carlisle Castle to write The Next Together, and St Andrews, the location of The Last Beginning, as well as Bletchley Park when I was writing a short story Another Together, which you can read about here, 

The tunnels below London

I  explored the old WWII bomb shelters which were built under the London Northern Line to protect 10,000 people from the blitz. It was absolutely fascinating and it really helped me when I was writing the scenes in the first chapter of the book, where Lowrie and Shen explore the abandoned tube lines of London, at a time when it’s been shut down for decades.


Giants Causeway, Ireland

I was in Dublin for a convention when I snuck away on an adventure. I’ve always been obsessed by this natural phenomenon of geometric rocks in the sea. The Quiet at the End of the World is all about geology and archaeology and the layers of fossils left behind humanity in the earth, so this was extra inspiring and special.


Buckingham Palace

Finally, I went to Buckingham Palace, somewhere I’d never been before. It was very different from what I’d imagined it from seeing it in films and TV shows. I had no idea that there was a huge lake by the palace – or that the garden was so big. It felt like it wasn’t in London at all, except for the sight of one single skyscraper poking up between the trees.

Lowrie’s parents live in a place in a huge manor in the middle of an abandoned central London, so this was really useful when picturing what their life might be like.


The Quiet at the End of the World comes out on 7th March, and here are some handy links:

Preorder a signed copy on my Etsy (comes with a free themed bookmark and postcards of my books)

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Foyles | Wordery | eBook providers | Signed copies from Forbidden Planet

Tumblr tag | Join mailing list to be notified on release day | Read the first chapter on Wattpad


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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