Christmas Gift Guide – 6 beautiful books that would make great gifts

Books mentioned (all links to Amazon UK):

The Fir Tree http://amzn.to/2kBtmsx
The Sleeper and the Spindle http://amzn.to/2jc46sC
Mistletoe and Murder http://amzn.to/2kcAd7N
Bad Girls Throughout History http://amzn.to/2AEdN7t
The Power (special edition) https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=3787&awinaffid=305053&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.waterstones.com%2Fbook%2Fthe-power%2Fnaomi-alderman%2F9780241341698
Homegoing http://amzn.to/2jwkWzo

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Cover Reveal – American edition of The Loneliest Girl

Today I have an exciting exclusive cover to show you – the Harpercollins cover for the American edition of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe!

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Days since The Infinity left Earth: 6817

The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents’ tragic deaths left her alone on The Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.

Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, The Eternity, will be joining The Infinity.

Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the commander of The Eternity, and her friendship with J breathes new life into her world. But as The Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there’s more to J’s mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone. . . .

I love this cover so much! I asked for something similar to the cover of WE ARE OKAY by Nina La Cour, and they really came through. The colours even match!

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It’s a little like an art deco movie poster, and the elegant simplistic design really highlights Romy’s isolation and desire for human contact. The circle looks like a planet, a porthole and space full of stars, all at once. The font matches the UK edition – and the fonts used for The Next Together and The Last Beginning too – which I love.

The little details really bring it to life, I think – her hand pressed against the glass, her plait, the shadow of her body on the windowsill. I’m absolutely and utterly in love.

It’s illustrated by Amir Belhoula, who is a really wonderful artist – here’s some of his other work:

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I really can’t wait to see this printed in hardback. It’s going to be stunning. The edition is out in July 2018, in hardback, audiobook and eBook.

Finally, because I can’t resist, here it is next to my other covers, for ultimate impact. The two covers for Loneliest are so different but both capture the book so well!

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I hope you love the new cover as much as I do!

First Chapter  Amazon UK |  Amazon US | Waterstones | Wordery |  Book Depository |Foyles  | Barnes & Noble | WHSmith | Hive


In other news: It’s officially Autumn! I hope you’re all having a mustard yellow, pumpkin-spiced October filled with all the Halloween-themed snacks that Tescos have on offer.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been dividing my time between editing my next book and doing events to promote The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. This is the first time I’ve had a proper ‘tour’ for a book release – I’m doing eighteen days of events around the country from Edinburgh to Dublin. It’s been hard to find time to write in-between all the travelling! It’s a new part of the job for me, but I really love meeting you all, so it’s worth all the frantic writing-on-my-ipad-on-the-train days I’ve had.

It’s totally worth snatching every moment to work on my new book, though, because I’m so in love with it – I can’t wait to announce what it’s about in my next newsletter! Lowrie and Shen, the protagonists, are some of my favourites I’ve ever written, and it feels strange that none of you know who they are yet.

Right now I’m doing structural edits on the book, which means I’m dissecting a 4-page long editorial letter from my editors, who listed everything that’s not working about the book at the moment (in a very nice way!). I then make adjustments based on their thoughts, some of which are little things like clarifying how a piece of technology works, and some are larger, like changing the pace of a plotline or cutting out a subplot completely. It’s a bit like making a mosaic – you cut up your book into lots of scenes and reshuffle them around, then paint over the cracks. I really enjoy it, but it’s also quite scary chopping up a complete book into pieces. It gets worse before it gets better.

The way it usually works is that I’ll alternate between angsting about how terrible the book is, and gleefully declaring I’m nearly done and it’s a work of art. Once I enter a new phase, I immediately forget about the last one. And then do it all over again, taking myself by surprise.

Anyway, we don’t yet have a title for this book, so I’ve been going through thesaurus websites frantically trying to find good words for one! If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, I’m documenting my writing progress on the website here – add me!

A few new events have been recently announced – check out my events page at laurenejames.co.uk/events for more information.

 

I read The Next Together series – will I like The Loneliest Girl in the Universe?

Yes, I think you will! Here’s why, statistically and qualitatively:

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The Loneliest Girl In The Universe

cover - near finalCan 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:

Books which you might like if you enjoyed The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Books about isolated characters:

 

The Yellow Wallpaper (free eBook) | Lirael The Diary of a Young Girl

Books about internet culture:

fandom

FangirlKiss Me First Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World

Books with a twist:

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K-Pax | We Were Liars | We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Books about survival:

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Life As We Knew It A Closed and Common Orbit | Aurora

How to make a galaxy cake

For the launch of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, Charlie Smissen made the most beautiful galaxy themed cake, with a cut-out Romy figure and a centre bursting with glitter and popping candy. Here’s how she did it:

  1. Make a chocolate cake batter (I recommend this recipe for a dense, moist Guinness Chocolate cake)

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2. Mix sprinkles into the batter and bake as per instructions

3. Ice the cakes together with buttercream

4. Core the centre of both cake in a circle 3 cm wide and tightly pack the centre with glitter/sprinkles/popping candy

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5. Ice both cakes in a crumb layer of buttercream

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6. Roll out black fondant and lay over the cake, smoothing flat on the buttercream

7. Use edible paints in white, purple, pink and blue to swirl galaxy patterns over the black fondant

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8.Make a starburst out of stiff silver card and mount on a stick for the top!

 

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Ta da! Isn’t she clever?

Last week the lovely Sanne, from the incredible youtube channel booksandquills, did a little interview with me over on her instagram, so I thought I’d upload it here in case you missed it.

She also made a video about The Loneliest Girl on her channel here:


The Loneliest Girl In The Universe

cover - near finalCan 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:

Meet the characters of The Loneliest Girl

It’s time to meet the characters! As well as explaining who they are, I’m giving pictures of actors who could play them.

A caveat: this is a little different from my other book fancastings for The Next Together and The Last Beginning, because I tried really hard not describe Romy’s appearance in any real detail in the book. I thought that looks would be almost entirely irrelevant to a girl living alone, away from society – and I wanted to allow the reader to feel as much like they were Romy themselves without excluding anyone by describing her in a specific way.

Because of that, this is less how I personally picture her and the other characters, and more an example of how I’d like a future film to potentially be cast. But please imagine the characters in any way you wish while reading the book – in this case, it really is up to you.

Commander Romy Silvers – Alia Shawkat

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Romy has a lot of pressure placed on her to complete her mission, and even though she sometimes struggles with the responsibility, ultimately, she always does what is right. She has to be played by someone who can express a lot of subtle nuance in their expressions, and look very vulnerable.

Commander J Shoreditch – ? 

Romy and J communicate via email, so she doesn’t know what he looks like, and neither does the reader – so I don’t think it’s fair to cast him just yet.

Dr Molly Simmons – Hattie Morahan

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Molly is Romy’s therapist, and sends her voice messages guiding her through calming exercises from Earth. I loved Hattie in Sense & Sensibility and I think she would portray a very reassuring Molly. (Also, I’ve just realised she looks very like my agent Claire, who is a calming, reassuring voice on the phone in my own life. This is probably not a coincidence.)

Dr Talia Silvers – Lesley Sharp

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Romy’s mum is a complicated, intelligent character, and I think Lesley could really pull her off. I love the episode of Doctor Who she was in, Midnight.

Romy’s Dad – Ricky Whittle

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I recently watched (and adored) American Gods, and as soon as I saw Shadow I was like “that’s him! that’s Romy’s dad!”. He’s a soft, gentle giant, who makes Romy feel safe and protected. He has a sweet tooth and loves arts and crafts. Ricky is still a little young, but in a few years he’ll be exactly the right age, I think. Pay attention, Hollywood. 😉

Jayden Ness – Alfie Enoch

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Not technically a character, but Jayden Ness, a selkie in Romy’s favourite TV show, is such a big part of the book that I had to cast him! He’s also how Romy pictures J for a lot of the time while they’re talking, so even though I’m not going to cast J, this helps picture him a little.

Lyra Loch – Georgia King

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Jayden’s love interest is a feisty feminist banshee called Lyra.

There’s a few other characters in the book, but I don’t want to spoil them by introducing them just yet! I don’t have actors cast for any of them except one, who I picture as Chris Pine. In a few months I might do a more complete list of all the characters.

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The Loneliest Girl In The Universe

cover - near finalCan 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: