Author Archives: Lauren James

About Lauren James

Lauren James was born in 1992 and is the British Young Adult author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Next Together series and the upcoming The Quiet at the End of the World. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She started writing during secondary school English classes, because she couldn’t stop thinking about a couple who kept falling in love throughout history. She sold the rights to the novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her books have sold over fifty thousand copies in the UK alone, and been translated into five languages worldwide. She 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. Her other novels include The Last Beginning, the epic conclusion to The Next Together which was named one of the best LGBT-inclusive works for kids and young adults by the Independent. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was inspired by a Physics calculation she was assigned at university. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and all of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. Her next novel, The Quiet at the End of the World, will be released in 2019, and considers the legacy and evolution of the human race into the far future. Lauren is published in the UK by Walker Books and in the US by HarperCollins. She lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for the Guardian, Buzzfeed and The Toast, and wrote an article for the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2019. She works with Writing West Midlands, providing creative writing courses to children through the Spark Young Writers programme.

Hugo Award eligibility + pins

Just a quick note to say that The Last Beginning and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe are both eligible for nomination in the Hugo awards this year, as they were published for the first time in the US in 2018.

If you’re coming to the Dublin WorldCon in August, you’re eligible to vote, and I would appreciate your nomination! You can choose them in the Best Novel or Best Young Adult novel category. I also believe that I’m eligible for the John Campbell Award as The Next Together was published for the first time in the US in 2017.

Also, the pin I posted about yesterday arrived! Check it out:

You can get the robot one here, the rocket one here, and the set of two here.

I like my pins to mean something, and not just be a reference to my books, because if I am going to wear something I want it to be worth the lapel space. So the rocket pin I made for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was also a shout out to fandom. This time, as well as being the old lichen-covered robot Mitch from The Quiet at the End of the World, this pin represents our generation, who’ve grown up as the first people online. Hopefully even if you’ve not read my books you can get behind the message of being digitally-minded like Mitch here.

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Writing group & book shimmy award

From 23rd March I am going to be running a monthly Writers HQ writing retreat group in Coventry at Holy Trinity Church near the cathedral. You can find out more here and buy tickets (which are very limited).

The group doesn’t involve any teaching, just all of us writing together for a day, with food and drinks and snacks. I’m really excited about this because I’ve been building up my local writing connections this year by doing work with Writing West Midlands and Coventry University too. I’m hoping to do even more in 2019!

Also, a few things:

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If you pre-order The Quiet at the End of the World (thank you!) you can enter to win a set of swag including a lil robot pin, the bookmark I posted yesterday and some art prints. You have until March.

You can preorder a signed copy on my Etsy (comes with a free themed bookmark and postcard of my books) or get one from any of the following:

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Foyles | Wordery | eBook providers

In the category of OTHER WAYS YOU CAN GET AN ENAMEL PIN: this designer is launching ones for my books which you can buy here. I’m not involved in these, except that I LOVE them.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe has won the Under the Radar category in the Epic Reads book shimmy awards! Thank you to everyone who voted!

It’s having a run of good luck with the STEAM awards nomination too, hurray!

This month’s baking newsletter features The Best Cookies in the World.

And lastly, I bought a house!!

My favourite books of 2018

Merry christmas, everyone! I look forward to making this post every year, because I never get bored of shouting about my favourite books. I read 247 books this year, so obviously I have a lot of opinions about my favourites. These are all 2018 releases, with a few at the end which I adored but were published before 2018, that I needed to included.

Finally, a reminder from an author – if you’re making your own list of favourite books of 2018, please make sure you thank the author by adding your reviews to Amazon. It’s a small, quick thing that can make a huge difference to authors.

2017 favourites | 2016 favourites | 2015 favourites | 2014 favourites


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A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland (Goodreads/Amazon)

An old man is trapped in prison, accused of witchcraft. An old man who has spent his life learning how to tell stories, and manipulate perceptions. An old man who will do anything to get free. An old man, who single-handedley manages to take down an entire government from a prison cell…..

32802595Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (Goodreads/Amazon)

Becky Chambers is such a reliable author, and her books never fail to make my heart brim with love for humans and her wonderful visions of aliens. Her books always offer such unique and optimistic looks on difficult issues like gender, social equality, racism and hope. I wouldn’t mind living in her future, which isn’t something I say often about science fiction.

39300354 (1)Death in the Spotlight (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries #7) by Robin Stevens (Goodreads/Amazon)

My favourite detectives had their best adventure yet. Robin writes the most diverse, authentic, wonderfully researched historical fiction. It’s full of BAME and LGBT characters of all ages.

 

 

 

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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell (Goodreads/Amazon)

I kind of wish I hadn’t read this because it was the most stressful book I’ve ever read. I want to simultaneously never leave my house again and do as many things as possible while I can because LIFE IS FRAGILE.

 

32993458Circe by Madeline Miller (Goodreads/Amazon)

This far exceeded my expectations, which were already far too high. I have no background in Greek mythology, and The Song of Achilles blew me away because it somehow made these complicated myths feel real, even with all the gods and nymphs running around. That book was a lot easier to root for, because it revolved around the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. This time around, there is not only a far bigger and more complicated cast, but there’s no central relationship to hook you into the story. Despite that, Miller has somehow managed to create a book that you are completely invested in, feels totally real and believable, and contains characters who jump of the page.

33160963The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Goodreads/Amazon)

One for fans of the You Must Remember This Podcast – old Hollywood royalty, publicity manoeuvring & more scandals than you can wave an Oscar at.

 

 

 

24100285Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (Goodreads/Amazon)

This is described as ‘Eurovision in space’, which is EXACTLY what this is. A loving ode to Douglas Adams, updated for the 21st century, this is funny and imaginative and colourful. The alien performances were truly excellent.

34506912 (1)The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (Goodreads/Amazon)

The graphic novel about a prince that hires a dressmaker to make him dresses to wear is SO DAMN CUTE. It was so uplifting and positive and really cute.

 

 

 

33080122 (1).jpgThe Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Goodreads/Amazon)

A meteorite has hit Earth and triggered an extinction event. Humans have a decade or less to get off the planet before the sun disappears beneath skies of dust, and crops die off. But it’s the fifties, and the space race has only just begun. The remnants of the US government team up with space agencies around the world to fast track a moon settlement mission. The WWII pilots are chosen to train as astronauts – but only the men. Which isn’t much use when you’re trying to start a colony. The human calculators, all women, and WASP pilots, start a publicity campaign to be allowed to train for the mission. HIDDEN FIGURES meets INTERSTELLAR, this is part science-based adventure and part uprising for race and gender equality. Maths and feminism: is there any better combination?

40025070The Invitation by Keris Stainton (Goodreads/Amazon)

Keris’ books always make me feel like I can achieve anything I set my mind to. Heart-warming, body-positive, sweet and caring, I am going to be thinking about these characters for a long time.

 

 

 

 


Bonus – my favourite books published before 2018:

Think of England by K.J. Charles (Goodreads/Amazon)

This was the most excellent English country house heist/murder mystery, it was a RIOT. One of the best romances I’ve ever read!

The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin (Goodreads/Amazon)

This is – well, it’s a science fiction and fantasy series set in a world where extinction events destroy civilisation every hundred years, the survivors have to try and relearn how to create a society from the remains of cultures that surround them. This is exactly my sort of thing – archaeology as a means of survival. It’s about legend and science, and how to work out which is which. It’s about found families and slave races and something like magic.

It’s diverse and full of plot twists and changes in perspective and the most wonderful characters. But what makes this series really special is that it uses the writing in a completely different way from anything I’ve ever seen. It’s a masterclass in originality.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads/Amazon)

Science fiction short stories about the effects of birth, death and life on women’s bodies. The stories are all different – paranormal detectives, apocalypses & magical realism – but so very powerful.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Goodreads/Amazon)

A rejected son unexpectedly inherits the throne and has to learnt to become emperor in a court that wants to take him down. SO satisfying. Full of courtly intrigue and machinations.

Shortlisted for the STEAM book prize!

SHORTLISTED FOR THE STEAM book Prize_ THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE!

I’m thrilled that The Loneliest Girl in the Universe has been shortlisted for a second award! This is a brand new prize that supports fiction about science, something that is obviously ENTIRELY MY JAM. I was super excited just to hear about the creation of the award, so to be shortlisted is the best news ever.

The other YA titles are The Fandom by Anna Day, The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin, White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (all of which I’ve read) and The Electrical Venus by Julie Mayhew and Jinxed by Amy McCulloch (which I’d better get to ASAP).

👩‍🔬👩‍🔧👩‍🏭

 

Preorder campaign for The Quiet at the End of the World

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If you pre-order my new book (thank you!) you can enter to win a set of swag including a lil robot pin,  postcards, a bookmark & some art prints. You have until March 7th to email your entry to laurenjamesauthor@gmail.com.

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Waterstones | Foyles | Wordery

 eBook providers | Preorder a signed copy on my Etsy (every copy then comes with a free themed bookmark and postcard of my books)

A few other things: Barnes & Noble have named The Loneliest Girl in the Universe one of their top 15 YA books of 2018! I was NOT expecting this book to make it to any of the end of year round ups, so I’m a little blown away right now.

It has also made it to the semi-finals of the *book shimmy* awards! You can vote for it at  if you wish! Thank you to everyone who has voted so far.

I spoke to some bloggers about The Quiet last week, which was so FUN.

Also, here’s my events schedule:

Monthly: Sparks Young Writers classes, Rugby, Years 5-9 – book here – Upcoming dates:  January 12, 2019, February 2, 2019, March 2, 2019, April 6, 2019, May 11, 2019, June 15, 2019, July 6, 2019 

Monthly: WritersHQ writing retreat rep, Coventry, March onwards – details here

11th March: North East Book Awards, Newcastle – details here

7th June to 9th June 2019:  CYMERA: Scotland’s festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing, The Pleasance, 60 Pleasance – Details here

26- 28th July – YALC – Details here

Aug 15th-19th: Worldcon 2019, Dublin – Details here

 

 

A couple of Etsy shop updates!

In case you didn’t know, I have an etsy shop where I sell book-ish merch. It started off as an experiment. but it gets a lot of positive feedback, so it’s definitely something I’m going to keep running.

I have about 20 enamel pins left.

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Once these are gone, they’re gone, but I am going to do a second design for The Quiet at the End of the World – with a robot for Lowrie and Shen’s pal Mitch. That’s up for preorder here.

I may also maybe eventually a UKYA themed crest in the style of a Cambridge college? (Any ideas welcome)

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SPEAKING OF THE QUIET, preorders for signed copies of The Quiet at the End of the World are now up. These come with an exclusive designed bookmark:

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I’ve also got Alice’s beautiful art prints, which are going to be in the shop basically forever because I have loads, so there’s no rush on getting those. I love these and want everyone to have the chance to get one if they want one.

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And other signed books can be found at your perusal here.

And, if you’ve made it this far: DISCOUNT20.

NEW BOOK! NEW BOOK!

Final copies of The Quiet at the End of the World have been printed! Look at this beauty:

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And a little video to show off the foil AND spot UV gloss:

It’s the prettiest thing in the world. I am very, very happy. It’s out in March but you can preorder NOW.

“Lauren James is a genius at building tension.” SFX Magazine

“James is one to watch.“ Kirkus Reviews

How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking and looking for treasure – until a secret is uncovered that threatens their entire existence.

In the quiet at the end of the world, Lowrie and Shen must decide what they are willing to sacrifice to save the whole human race…

The Quiet at the End of the World will be published in the UK and Australia with Walker Books in March 2019.

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Foyles | Wordery | eBook providers

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