Introducing. . . THE RECKLESS AFTERLIFE OF HARRIET STOKER! Coming out on 3rd September 2020 with Walker Books in the UK and Australia, this is my first ever fantasy novel. It’s a big one – it’s currently 110,000 words, which is the longest thing I’ve ever written. It’s about a girl who gets in above her head when she tries to become the most powerful ghost in a building of ancient spirits.
The other ghosts happen to be freshers who all died in their halls of residence during their first year of uni, decades earlier. They’ve spent years bickering, flirting, play-fighting and developing in-jokes with each other in the decrepit and abandoned building where they all died. When Harriet becomes a ghost, she finds them as baffling as they find her modern. She has a lot to learn about life, even after she’s died.
I’m so excited for you to meet my nineties ghost gang – Rima, Felix, Kasper and Leah, as well as Leah’s young baby Claudia, and Rima’s pet fox Cody. If you liked Being Human, Misfits or Crashing by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, then I hope you’ll like this book. It’s a horrom-com (AKA a genre I just invented, the horror romantic comedy). It’s grisly and gory, with an epic romance and quite a few plot twists along the way (would it be a Lauren James book without them?) I’ve been talking about this project using the code name ‘ghost house’ since 2016, so it’s really odd that it has a title now.
Here’s the official blurb:
What if death is only the beginning?
When Harriet Stoker dies falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a world of ghosts with magical powers – shape-shifting, hypnosis, or even the ability to possess the living. As she learns more about their community, Harriet is willing to do anything to unleash her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy. Because who knows what grudges people have been holding onto for millennia, just waiting for a reckless girl to give them the chance to get vengeance.
A sharp thriller with a twist of the supernatural from a masterful sci-fi writer.
The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker will be published in the UK and Australia by Walker Books on 3rd September 2020.