My bookish New Years Resolutions

  • I will get more bookshelves, so I don’t have to doublestack my books:image
  • I will read more non-fiction, starting with:image
  • I will decrease my to-read pile, which is….taking over my bedroom. image
  • I will finish reading all of the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction winnersimage
  • I will only buy books if I plan to read them within the next month.
  • I will organise my bookshelves by colour:image
  • I will try to review over half of the books I read on goodreads.
  • I will stop reading multiple books at once. image
  • I will write at least 2 new novels.
  • I will read more UKYA for lucythereader‘s #readUKYA challenge.

What are your new years resolutions? And if any of the books in my to-read pile are your faves, let me know and I’ll read them next!

My own book THE NEXT TOGETHER, a reincarnation romance, comes out in 2015. You can add it on goodreads, preorder on amazon, or you can subscribe to my mailing list for updates nearer the time here

Trends in YA

I want to talk a bit about trends in books. My novel is about reincarnation, which when I started writing was a very rarely seen concept in fiction- which is why I wrote it. In recent years, however, it has become a lot more common.

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It’s a bit frustrating, that something I wrote thinking was unique and original is instead becoming what might be the latest trend. I imagine a lot of writers felt the same way about their dystopian works in progress when the Hunger Games and Divergent became popular, or vampire novels when Twilight was the Big Thing.

When I first started writing I panicked a lot about whether someone was going to beat me to it, write my book first and better. But I’ve become a lot calmer recently (although research for this post did make me hyperventilate a bit. There are so many).

I’m calmer not only because I have a publisher, and my book is definitely going to be published whether it ends up being passé or done before ten times over. Because I’ve come to realise that trends aren’t always a bad thing. People read what they like, and all these other reincarnation books are building up a potential audience of reincarnation fans for me to steal. Maybe they’ll read mine because the other books they’ve read didn’t quite hit the spot the way they liked (the ending of Cloud Atlas left me desperate to know why and needing more, for example), or maybe they just wanted to relive the same kind of story afresh (pun intended).

Either way, the ‘reincarnation’ buzzword can only be a good thing when trying to find a place for my novel. If reincarnation brings good book memories to mind- which with great novels like Life after Life around, it hopefully will- then people are more likely to pick up a copy of mine and give it a chance.

There will, of course, be some people who are bored with the idea, but the people who enjoyed the ‘trope’ of reincarnation will far outweigh this number (I hope).

And even if an idea has been done before, that doesn’t mean that when the right book comes along, it can’t sweep people off their feet. There were hundreds of books before The One wizard/vampire/dystopia book came along. But which one do people immediately think of? I’m not saying my book is going to be that book, but…I don’t need to worry just yet about it. Probably.

It also makes it quite hard to think of titles….all the good ones are taken!

15 books I want to read in ’15

As a follow up to my post on my favourite books of 2014, here are all of the YA books coming out in 2015 that I haven’t been able to resist preordering, or that I have already read and loved. Some of them don’t have covers yet, but all are on goodreads, and most are on amazon!

15. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (Harpercollins, 28th April)

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Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Invisible sky ships, oh my god. This sounds a bit like Otherbound, which was amazing (my review here), so I can’t wait to see how this goes. Anything about ships in the clouds and I’m automatically in.

14. The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell(Bloomsbury, 4th June) 

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Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

Katherine is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met, and if you haven’t yet read Rooftoppers, you’re missing out. It’s a wonderfully whimsical adventure with a great father-daughter friendship. Every line of Katherine’s writing sings and I can’t wait to read more.

13. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (Balzer + Bray, 5th May)

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When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.
Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

Yeessssss, give me all of the fairy tale retellings. All of them. I love, love the sound of this.

12. About a Girl by Sarah McCarry (St. Martins, 14th July)

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Eighteen-year-old Tally is absolutely sure of everything: her genius, the love of her adoptive family, the loyalty of her best friend, Shane, and her future career as a Nobel prize-winning astronomer. There’s no room in her tidy world for heartbreak or uncertainty—or the charismatic, troubled mother who abandoned her soon after she was born. But when a sudden discovery upends her fiercely ordered world, Tally sets out on an unexpected quest to seek out the reclusive musician who may hold the key to her past—and instead finds Maddy, an enigmatic and beautiful girl who will unlock the door to her future. The deeper she falls in love with Maddy, the more Tally begins to realize that the universe is bigger—and more complicated—than she ever imagined. Can Tally face the truth about her family—and find her way home in time to save herself from its consequences?

Just take a minute to appreciate that cover. That, and the fact that a main character is a scientist, and I’m so ready. I think this is a retelling too! Give it me now.

11. Captive by A. J Grainger (Simon & Schuster, 29th Jan)

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I open my eyes. The cell is flooded with sunlight; the window is a splice of pale blue. Dust particles dance in the sparkling light, pirouetting in a golden line from the window to the opposite wall of the cell, where they seem to converge into shapes. It is like looking into a kaleidoscope. Dad isn’t here. No one is, but me.
Robyn Knollys-Green is an A-list celebrity, famous for being the daughter of one of the world’s most powerful men. But not even the paparazzi can find her now.
Robyn begins to realise that she is trapped in a complicated web of global corruption and deceit – and that the strange, melancholy boy who has been tasked with guarding her might not be an enemy after all . . .

This is written by my wonderful editor ajgrainger, who you should all follow! I’ve been lucky enough to sneak a read of this, and it’s brilliant. A great prisoner-guard romance with an excellent twist, with suspense that never lets up. Put it on your wishlists!

10. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic, 24th Feb)

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Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.She’s the executioner.As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

melsalisbury is my bro, and everything she does is filled with flair and showmanship. This book is no exception. With enough twists to make you dizzy, and an incredibly detailed fantasy world, filled with rich myths and tales, this is a story to treasure!

9. Remix by Non Pratt (Walker, July)

Kaz is still reeling after being dumped by the love of her life.

Ruby is bored of having to hear about it. Time to change the record…

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of anything going to plan.

Trouble by nonthepratt was one of the coolest and most true to life YA books I’ve read in a while, so I am dying to read this. I’ve put in my request at Walker to get a proof copy as soon as they come off the press. I need it.

8. Carry on by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martins, 6th October)

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters. 

A Harry Potter satire spin-off from Fangirl, I’m so intrigued by how Rainbow is going to pull this off. I can’t wait to see how it goes!

7. Vendetta by Catherine Doyle (Chicken House, 1st Jan)

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When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.
When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

Another of my best best bros, catherine-doyle‘s debut is OUT IN FOUR DAYS. FOUR. It’s already available on amazon. Hurry up and get it! It’s excellent, the perfect mix of hot boys to ship and mafia intrigue to savour. I want a musical of this book more than most things in life. I can see the ensemble finger clicking songs now.

6. First & Then by Emma Mills (Henry Holt, 29th September)

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Devon has life pretty much figured out: she’s got her best friend Cas, her secret crush (also Cas), and her comfortable routine (mostly spent with Cas). New experiences: not welcome here. But as she enters her senior year, her parents take in her cousin Foster, an undersized weirdo who shows an unexpected talent for football, and star runningback Ezra takes Foster under his wing. Devon can’t figure out how she feels about Ezra. He’s obviously stuck-up, but Foster adores him. Ezra has nothing to say to her, but he keeps seeking her out. And . . . Devon might actually like him. But only if she can learn to stand him first. Devon may have to reconsider her position on new experiences.Funny, fresh, and layered, FIRST AND DOWN remixes Austen’s spirit into a captivating modern story.

I’ve been watching elmify‘s videos for a while now, and I can’t wait to read her debut novel. Modern day Austen? Yeeeeeeeeeees.

5. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle (Corgi,  2 July)

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It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear. But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

As well as having what has to be the best title in the entire world, this sounds incredible. An accident curse? I’m ready.

4. Weightless by Sarah Bannan (Bloomsbury, March 12th)

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Adamsville wasn’t a place that people came to. It was a place you were from, where you were born, where you were raised, where you stayed…

Before Carolyn Lessing arrived, nothing much had ever happened in Adamsville, Alabama. Each week, at dinner tables and in the high school assembly, everyone would pray for the football team to win. Each year, the Adams High hotlist would be updated, and girls would rise and fall within its ranks. Each day, everyone lived by the unwritten rules that cheerleaders did not hang out with the swim team, seniors did not date freshmen and the blistering heat was something that should never be remarked upon. But then the new girl came.

All Carolyn’s social media could reveal was that she had moved from New Jersey, she had 1075 friends – and she didn’t have a relationship status. In beach photos with boys who looked like Abercrombie models she seemed beautiful, but in real life she was so much more. She was perfect.

This was all before the camera crews arrived, before it became impossible to see where rumour ended and truth began, and before the Annual Adamsville Balloon Festival, when someone swore they saw the captain of the football team with his arm around Carolyn, and cracks began to appear in the dry earth.

This? This is exactly my jam. Online celebrity thriller? Yep. Yep. My jam.

3. Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters & Noelle Stevenson (Boom!, 30th May)

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Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp… defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons… what’s not to love?! Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

Noelle’s webcomic Nimona was my favourite read of 2014, so I’m desperate for the collection of her new comic to be published. With a killer title and what looks to be an excellent female ensemble, I can’t wait.

2. House of Windows by Alexia Casale (Faber, 2nd July)

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‘The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.’ Robert Louis Stevenson

Nick hates it when people call him a genius. Sure, he’s going to Cambridge University aged 15, but he says that’s just because he works hard. And, secretly, he only works hard to get some kind of attention from his workaholic father.

Not that his strategy is working. When he arrives at Cambridge, he finds the work hard and socialising even harder. Until, that is, he starts to cox for the college rowing crew and all hell breaks loose..

Oh, yes. Yes, yes. I may have sent Alexia more than one email asking to read this, to no avail (yet). This sounds….amazing.

1. The Next Together by Lauren James (Walker, 3rd September) 

The Next Together cover reveal

You don’t need to be a hero to change the world. You just need to care enough to stand up and be counted.

Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times can you lose the person you love? For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different.

My own, OF COURSE. I am more excited about this coming out than about almost anything, ever. MY BOOK, GUYS. It’s gonna be real.

Once again, the cover isn’t ready yet (#soon.) but I am DYING TO SHOW IT TO YOU. For now, know that it has….colours on it. Several.

+1 bonus: Royal Wedding: Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (William & Morrow, 2nd June)

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding–but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother’s leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone–especially herself–that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

Uhuh, you read that right. An adult spin off of The Princess Diaries. The publishing industry knows exactly how to get my money off me, because I will pay a significant amount of this book. Now. I need it.

So that’s 15 16 books I want to read in 2015! I was going to rec 2015 books, but….that’s more formatting that I’m willing to do on this fine Boxing Day.

What books are you looking forward to in 2015? Give me your recs so I can preorder, because that doesn’t actually count as buying a book. Right?

My favourite books of 2014

In 2014, I’ve read 140 books (so far!). Yeah, I know. I may have a problem. I promise I did other stuff too – I wrote two novels, graduated, got a new dog….anyway. Many of the books I read were wonderful, but here are my absolute faves, the ones you should really try and read. Beg, borrow and steal these books.

This is a list of my favourite books of those published in 2014, not of all the ones I’ve read. (A lot of these would still be on it, but there would be a few additions, which I’ve included at the end. I’ve read a lot of excellent books this year.)

10. What if? by Randall Munroe

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I have been a die hard fan of xkcd since I was 16- I’m a scientist, so it’s one of my favourite things. This book is a printed version of a blog that I love, where stupid questions like ‘What would happen if everyone in the world gathered in one place?‘ are answered with scientific calculations, and then the ridicule they deserve (‘There would be a lot of traffic when they all tried to get home‘.)

It’s very, very clever, and the illustrations with the typical xkcd sense of humour really make it a joy to read. I love it.

9. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

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I looooove Sarah Waters. She’s a study in how to be a good writer- how to write realistic, flawed females who you still adore with all your heart, how to make heart-stopping plot twists that somehow you don’t see coming despite the foreshadowing (because you’re reading at the speed of light….), how to write historical fiction that still feels achingly modern. She’s my favourite author, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.

8. The Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman

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I live and die by Gaiman’s writing, and he’s at his peak when he writes the Sandman. Vivid immortals, locations which change second by second, and contemporary and relevant plotlines despite the fantasy genre. His new Sandman comics are no different. I’m eagerly awaiting the rest of this series!

7. More than This by Patrick Ness

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I only discovered Patrick Ness when I signed with Walker, because I was checking out the other authors they publish. I immediately kicked myself for not reading his books sooner. His writing is sparse and delicious, with a great use of space and emptiness. In particular this book is almost a work of art. It’s one of those amazing books where there’s somehow a cliffhanger at the end of every single chapter, so your heartbeat rises and rises and rises, until you can’t possibly imagine how it could be resolved by the end. With an incredibly diverse group of characters, this is a book to treasure.

6. Everything leads to you by Nina LaCour

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Not only does this book have one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen (I kept stopping reading just to look at it again), it’s beautiful inside as well. It’s a lovely, angst free, happily-ever-after fluffy love story and it felt fresh and new and like coming home all at once. This is the kind of book that you reread, just because it makes you feel happy and content all over. I wish there was a film of this book, because I would watch it over and over.

I just love this book so much, it has everything: secret letters and long lost families and romance and celebrities….I can’t wait until it comes out in paperback, because I can think of at least 3 people I need to buy it for.

5. Solitaire by Alice Oseman

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I’m putting this mid-way through my list instead of higher up because I’m scared I’ve got a biased perspective on this book, because Alice is one of my closest friends. (You probably all know this already, cause she’s chronicintrovert on tumblr. We do a lot of writing challenges together.)

But this book is something special. We’ve been talking about it a lot recently, because we think it scares adults a bit. It’s so real and true and terrifyingly accurate. It discusses mental health and depression and it is definitely not a love story. Read it.

4. We were liars, by e. lockhart 

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I don’t even know how to describe this book. With one of the most breathtaking, unexpected, I-need-to-reread-this-immediately plot twists of all time, I think this book changed my perspective on what YA is and can be forever. I have been a huge fan of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks for a couple of years now (which is finally out in the UK! Whooo!) and this book has made me a firm and unwavering Lockhart fan for life.

3. Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith

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This book! THIS BOOK, GUYS!! It’s a diverse action adventure, with a unique love triangle, an amazing plotline (GIANT GRASSHOPPERS.) and the best horny teenager protag ever. It’s a wild ride from start to finish, and I loved it.

2. A hero at the end of the world by Erin Claiborne

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Imagine that at the last minute, Ron killed Voldemort instead of Harry. Imagine Ron went onto huge fame and success as a celebrity/auror, and a bitter Harry started working in a coffee shop. Imagine Draco comes along and talks Harry into joining the Death Eaters, and they fall in love and spend a lot of time giving each other ‘soulmate gazes’ along the way. If that sounds like the best fanfiction ever, then it’s no surprise. This is the first book from a new press which publishes original novels by popular fanfiction writers. And it’s one of my new favourite things.

The story and characters are all totally original (and incredible), but there are callbacks and references to popular fan culture throughout which bring the story to life. Azkaban becomes Mount Unpleasant (amazing), the characters have degrees in things like Equestrian psychology, there are references to the Freezing Cold War, and it just bursts with life.

This book has so much charm and character I was beaming the whole time I was reading it. To top of this joy of joys of pastiche storytelling, the characters are some of the best I’ve read in a long time. They jump off the page, and I ship them so hard, guys. So hard. I was desperate for them to kiss.

1. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

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Okay, okay. The book for this isn’t out until next year, but the webcomic finished this year, so it totally counts. (IT DOES.) You can read this for free online, so get on that and do it straight away. No, sooner.

This is a graphic novel, about a shapeshifting girl who forces an Evil Villain to let her be his sidekick. He is a grouchy, one-armed villain with a tragic backstory, and she slowly melts his heart and makes him kind-of happy again. With great diversity, and the strongest of strong female leads (with the best hair), this is a wonder to read. I followed it every week, and I’ve got my preorder on hold for my hardback copy asap.

Read it!

So those are my favourite books of the year! What are yours?

Bonus extra: books I love published before 2014

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Tumblr tag archive – The Next Together (part 2)

The Next Together (part 1) | The Next Together (part 2)  | The Next Together (part 3)| The Next Together (part 4) | The Last Beginning | Another Together | Another Beginning | The Loneliest Girl in the Universe | The Quiet at the End of the World | Book 5 (ghost house) | Book 6 (loneliest 2) | Book 7 (earth) | Book 8 (fandom) 



Anonymous asked: I think Then & Again is such an awkward mouthful and the endings both have an ‘n’ and it blurs and idk I don’t want to be mean but if I saw that title at the store I work at I wouldn’t read it it just doesn’t grab attention and doesn’t have anything to it #redearthrollsforever

That is true! I’m finding it so hard to get a title that’s unique, conveys the idea of ‘reincarnation’, and isn’t cheesy while also being generally asthetically pleasing. I’m going to write a two page essay to my editor on why i want to keep The Red Earth Rolls. If I started a petition would everyone sign it?

Also, while it’s nice to get anons, you don’t need to be anonymous! It’s in your benefit not to be, because I am totally more likely to send out proofs to people who are liking my posts, and leaving me lovely messages. (If I’m given a few proofs to send out, which i hope I am! I’d like to do some sort of giveaway to reward people who have put up with my ramblings for literally years of their lives. I will BUY COPIES OF MY OWN BOOK IF I HAVE TO.).

No but seriously guys, I know we’re all super attached to TRER because that’s the title it’s always been, but 99.999999% of the people reading it won’t even know it was ever called that, and won’t think there’s anything wrong with whatever title I eventually choose. I’m okay with changing it, because I can see the benefits of it. It will be much more approachable for teenagers (my audience) and while TRER is great, the fact that I even have to shorten it to ‘TRER’ shows that it isn’t ideal. It’s long and hard to say and doesn’t make any sense even after you’ve read the book, it literally only refers to the epigram. It’ll be missed, but I don’t think for long. When the cover is chosen with a shiny fresh title on, we probably won’t even remember the old one. Promise.

#writing #The Next Together #Anonymous
14TH APR 2014


laurenjames: Who knows WHO KNOWS I still don’t have a title

chronicintrovert [Alice Oseman]: LAUREN YOU DON’T HAVE A TITLE YET sigh. have you narrowed it down at all? there were three options, weren’t there?

laurenjames: URGH TALKING ABOUT THIS STRESSES ME OUT. my current ideas are:
Then & again
Paradigm
The next together
Given time
Life and times
The brief many lives

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven
14TH APR 2014



Trends in YA
I want to talk a bit about trends in books. My novel is about reincarnation, which when I started writing was a very rarely seen concept in fiction- which is why I wrote it. In recent years, however, it has become a lot more common.

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It’s a bit frustrating, that something I wrote thinking was unique and original is instead becoming what might be the latest trend. I imagine a lot of writers felt the same way about their dystopian works in progress when the Hunger Games and Divergent became popular, or vampire novels when Twilight was the Big Thing.

When I first started writing I panicked a lot about whether someone was going to beat me to it, write my book first and better. But I’ve become a lot calmer recently (although research for this post did make me hyperventilate a bit. There are so many).

I’m calmer not only because I have a publisher, and my book is definitely going to be published whether it ends up being passé or done before ten times over. Because I’ve come to realise that trends aren’t always a bad thing. People read what they like, and all these other reincarnation books are building up a potential audience of reincarnation fans for me to steal. Maybe they’ll read mine because the other books they’ve read didn’t quite hit the spot the way they liked (the ending of Cloud Atlas left me desperate to know why and needing more, for example), or maybe they just wanted to relive the same kind of story afresh (pun intended).

Either way, the ‘reincarnation’ buzzword can only be a good thing when trying to find a place for my novel. If reincarnation brings good book memories to mind- which with great novels like Life after Life around, it hopefully will- then people are more likely to pick up a copy of mine and give it a chance.

There will, of course, be some people who are bored with the idea, but the people who enjoyed the ‘trope’ of reincarnation will far outweigh this number (I hope).

And even if an idea has been done before, that doesn’t mean that when the right book comes along, it can’t sweep people off their feet. There were hundreds of books before The One wizard/vampire/dystopia book came along. But which one do people immediately think of? I’m not saying my book is going to be that book, but…I don’t need to worry just yet about it. Probably.

It also makes it quite hard to think of titles….all the good ones are taken!

Life after life
The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare
Cloud Atlas
The River of No Return
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
My name is memory
The Gargoyle
Disclaimer: I haven’t read a lot of these, because I’m not entirely sure I can. Maybe once mine is finished I will give them a go, but for now…I’d rather keep my ideas about reincarnation my own. Although The River of No Return looks incredible, and I would love a cover like that for my own!

#writing #The Next Together #ya #ukya #kate atkinson #cloud atlas #meta #reincarnation
12TH APR 2014


chronicintrovert asked: What is Matt and Kate’s ~song~??????????????????

OKAY. So for their wedding first dance it would start with a really romantic waltz, strings and gazing lovingly into each others eyes, and then after a minute it would transition into THIS

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

They’d go MENTAL and start dancing like crazies and it would be the best thing ever.

I thought about this too much.

‘At this moment, you mean everything. With you in that dress, my thoughts I confess turn dirty.’

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven
12TH APR 2014


chronicintrovert asked: PLEASE MAKE A POLYVORE MOODBOARD FOR YOUR CHARACTERS SO I CAN SEE HOW TO DO IT BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA

This took sooooo long but it was the MOST FUN.

First, the 2039 versions from the recent future (recent as in: these are basically just modern clothes) both Kate and Matt are university students. Their clothing choices definitely reflect this.

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Then we get the fun, historical get-ups! In 1854, Matthew is a fancypants journalist and Katy is in disguise as a boy.

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In 1745, Matthew is a coachman and Katherine is a noble lady. They look like this:

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#The Next Together #claire’s coven #writing #chronicintrovert
10TH APR 2014


IMPORTANT UPDATE TO MY FANCASTING: I’ve changed my mind about this. I’ve decided that Tom Galloway is now going to be played by DYLAN O’BRIEN, because a) otherwise I was going to create a whole new character just to fancast him as someone and I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT, b) I can kind of see a family resemblance between a dorky shy ben whishaw and a cool and sassy older bro dylan obrien in exactly the way Matt and Tom are, with more family traits than damien lewis bless his glorious soul, c) this gives me an excuse to reblog more obrien for my book tag and d) the sequel will then contain HOT DAD OBRIEN, DILF OBRIEN WITH A HINT OF GREY, ROLLED UP SLEEVES AND READING GLASSES, ALERT ALERT.
This was an important moment of self discovery for me and I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t share this moment with you all. Dylan obrien, please rise as the Tom Galloway of all our hearts, may you rule righteously and DILFily.

(Reference: hot hacker http://southfarthing.tumblr.com/post/81405648380 )

#The Next Together #I need to go to sleep #I don’t even know
10TH APR 2014


catherine-doyle asked: Hey I have an assignment- oh, um, I mean ‘question’ for you – why don’t you write a haiku about your book?

“Kate, don’t do the thing.”
“I’m doing the thing. Suck it.”
“That’s what she said.”

#a more accurate summary has never been written #The Next Together #claire’s coven
8TH APR 2014


 

catherine-doyle asked: OK, so that last ‘ask’ was immature. Sorry. (not sorry). I’ll ask you what I just asked Alice since her answer was so fascinating. How will you cope with the public events you will be doing when your book comes out? Are you generally shy when meeting people or does the idea of book events excite you?

I don’t know yet. I’m not too bothered by the idea of public talking (I have to do regular presentations about my research so it kind of took the stress out of it) but I imagine I will find all the cheerful meet and greeting quite draining.
Mainly I’m worried about remembering peoples names. I usually need to see it written down for it to stick, so I’m scared I’ll be asked to sign a book to Heather and one second later have no idea what name I’m supposed to be writing. Nightmare.

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven
29TH MAR 2014



I finally have a title!
My novel is going to be called The Next Together!

Thank you all for giving me feedback about titles, and I hope you don’t hate it TOO much!

xx

#the sequel is probably going to be ‘The First Together’ aaaaaaaah #the next together
2ND MAY 2014


chronicintrovert asked: Write a scene from the POV of one of your other characters!

It’s always been my headcanon that Matthew knows a lot more about reincarnation than he lets on. While Kate is blundering through her memories, thinking she’s going mad, Matt has accepted the whole thing years ago. He probably used to have an imaginary friend called Kate when he was a kid (awwwwww).

So here’s my first chapter, from Matt’s POV. This will seem very mysterious and weird if you haven’t read the book so….sorry.

It had been a long week, full of paperwork and phone calls, but he’d finally managed to transfer over to Biology. It hadn’t taken long as a Chemistry undergraduate- one lecture on organic mechanisms and thirty minutes of an inorganic reflux experiment, and one visit to the nurse with a burn and a cut (on the same hand) to be exact- before he’d realised it wasn’t for him. His mum hadn’t been impressed, but his brother Tom had taken two gap years because he kept starting and restarting degrees before he settled on computing, so she had no reason to complain. At least he wasn’t changing universities to get away from an ex-girlfriend, like her other offspring. He didn’t even have any ex-girlfriends.

And now he was starting Biology- a week behind everyone else, without any of the textbooks, or any friends, or having studied any Biology for months, or- he took a deep, calming breath. He could do this. He had moved to England for a reason, and he wasn’t going to mess it up by freaking out before his first lab.

It was all going to be fine, and nothing terrible was going to happen- nothing as bad as spilling acid down his labcoat and then catching the sleeve on his lab partner’s bunsen burner in his panic. Nothing could be as bad as that…right?

Except being late. By the time he’d found the right lab, everyone else had already started working. A tired looking postgraduate demonstrator was sorting pipette fillers, with a disinterest that spoke of poor pay and a distracted mind. He wandered over and cleared his throat.

“Hi,” he said, when she looked up. “I’ve just changed to Biology. This is my first lab.”

“Right, hey. ” She pulled out a folder from under the stores desk. “Matthew Galloway, right?“

“Yeah.”

“Here’s your folder. It has instructions for all the experiments for the semester. There’s one a week, and you have to hand in the questions on the pre-lab at the start of each session, as well as your report from the previous week. Does that make sense?”

“Er, sure.”

“Great,” she said, and turned back to her pipettes.

He hovered for a moment, and then cleared his throat once again. “So, where do I work?”

“Oh, right.” She blinked. “I think there’s one kid without a partner. You can work with her.”

He thought about objecting to being part of an age group she called kids, but instead followed quietly in her wake. He looked around the lab, trying to predict who he would end up hanging around with for the next three years.

Those indie kids, headphones around their necks and hair in their eyes? The group of hungover guys in low slung jeans, who were chatting up a couple of disinterested blonde girls? Or the group of other international students, who had segregated themselves on the far workbench, away from the English?

Matt wondered why they were studying in England rather than their own countries, whether they had another reason for being here like himself. If all he had cared about was getting an education, he wasn’t sure it would have been worth it. Why commit to spending three years in a country that was on the brink of war with the rest of the world just for a university with better ratings? Why not stay at home, where the danger was so much lower?

“Kate Finchley?” the postgrad suddenly said, and he was pulled out of his thoughts with a rush of adrenaline. Had she really just…?

“Yep,” a girl said and turned around, labcoat, googles, a mass of red hair, and a voice that made the hair stand up on his neck.

That voice. It was her. It was actually her.

Matt tried desperately to keep his face blank, to not show the shock he was feeling. He scanned her face, looking carefully for any sign of recognition. She was fiddling with something in her pocket, and hadn’t even looked at him.

“Here’s your new lab partner; just transferred from Chemistry. You can get him settled, can’t you?”

 Her gaze passed over to him, and he tried not to react, nodded imperceptibly. She stared at him. The postgrad left. She stared at him a little more. He shuffled awkwardly, tried not to act like someone who was hiding a huge, potentially illegal secret.

“Hi,” she said. She sounded suspicious, and he wondered for a second if she had guessed already, and then realised how impossible that was. He nodded again, opened his mouth to speak and realised his mouth was bone dry, closed it again.

“Welcome to my lair. Make yourself at home.”

He nodded a third time, and immediately started hating himself intensely. He was going to have to speak eventually. He really wanted a beer. He could feel himself sweating, his head hurt. He felt like he was going to pass out. He dumped his stuff on the lab bench. She was still staring at him. Why did he ever think that he was cut out for this stuff? He couldn’t even lie to his mum about not emptying the dishwasher.

He pulled on his labcoat, trying to ignore the way his hands were trembling slightly. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this nervous, not even during his university interview. She was going to guess, there wasn’t any way she couldn’t. She was going to work it out and have him arrested before he’d even done anything wrong.

When he turned back around she was watching him, but this time her gaze wasn’t so much bemused as it was…hungry. Matt could feel himself blushing, and hated himself even more. He had absolutely no game, and it was obvious. Oh God, she thought he was a moron, he could tell.

He had to speak. He’d been silent for too long now, she was going to think he was actually incapable of forming vocal sounds soon.

“So, I didn’t actually get a copy of the labbook,” he said eventually, idiotically. “What experiment are we doing today?”

He winced, pushed his copy of the labbook under his bag where it was lying in blatant view on the desk. She frowned at him. He couldn’t blame her.

“You know, I knew exactly what your voice would sound like before you spoke. Weird, don’t you think?”

He stared at her in bemusement. Of all the things he had expected her to accuse him of (terrorism, breaking the law, having terrible dress sense) having a familiar voice wasn’t one of them. Was she trying to distract him, put him off his stride?

She smiled at him, strained and awkward. He realised his mouth was hanging open and closed it, tried to regain his poise.

“Sorry, what was your name?” Matt said, pretending to be calm and collected like he wished he was, like he had absolutely no chance of being.

She must already know, he realised. She must be here for the same reason. She was spying on him.

“Kate,” she said, and he nodded like he was absorbing this totally new information.

“Hi, nice to meet you, welcome to Biology, etc., etc,” she continued. “I know you from somewhere. Have we met before?”

“We haven’t met before,” Matt said, assuredly. Seeing as he’d been looking out for her ever since he’d found out she came to this uni too, it was hardly likely he would have missed her. “I would have remembered.”

As soon as he’d finised speaking he realised how much of a pervert that made him sound.  “I mean, I haven’t even been to this country before. I moved here for university.”

“Hmmm. Why are you transferring over to Biology, anyway?”

“There weren’t as many explosions as I was hoping for in Chemistry,” he joked. God, it had been better when he hadn’t spoken at all. He sounded so weird.

“Well there aren’t nearly half as many giant octopuses as you’d want in Biology either, sorry,” she replied, sending a sly smirk at him. She had great eyes. Bright, with these long eyelashes and, just- really great eyes.

He smiled, and looked away from her reluctantly. She really was pretty. He hadn’t expected that. Even if she had used the wrong plural for octopi.

“Shame. How’s the Physics department here?”

“Six out of ten. There aren’t enough brunets,” Kate said, and gazed off into the middle distance with a genuine air of disappointment.

“What?” he said, caught a little off-guard.

“Oh,” she corrected herself. “I mean, I hear their NMR research rivals Cambridge’s.”

“I’ll look into that, then. If the octopi don’t work out.” He was surprised to find himself playing along with her. Usually he didn’t banter, was never sure what to say. But she was just so- nice.

“I’m sure they will! No sea monsters today, though.” She turned to the neglected lab bench, and Matt stared down in surprise at the abandoned experiment. He’d completely forgotten they were supposed to be doing something. She was very- distracting. “We’re testing fertiliser effects on the development rates of bacteria cultures.”

“Sounds a lot easier than Chemistry labs. I had to bring an acid to boil. On my first day.”

Matt flexed his hand, which was still bandaged. It stung faintly with the memory of the failure.

“Ouch. Well, I’ll look after you today.” She smiled at him, and once again he couldn’t look away. Her hair was like gold. It was great. She was great.

She handed Matt a pair of latex gloves. He took it, brushing her thumb with his, half on purpose. And then everything went blurry, and suddenly he remembered the dreams he hadn’t thought about since he was a kid, playing in the garden with his imaginary friend Kitty. He’d met Kate before.

> First contact established in time-landscape 2036

#chronicintrovert #writing #claire’s coven #the next together #LEAVE ME HERE TO DROWN IN ALL MY FEELINGS
28TH APR 2014


melsalisbury asked: Where would your protagonist most like to go on holiday? Why? What would they do there?

Kate would want to go to space I’m pretty sure. She’d see GRAVITY and be all ‘yep, that’s my next holiday booked’. She’s a mental.

Matt would want to go to a ranch and ride horses and herd cattle or something lame like that.

#writing #claire’s coven #the next together #melsalisbury
28TH APR 2014


chronicintrovert asked: What advice would you give your characters if you could talk to them?

Dear Kate,

Stop doing stupid things, you’re hurting Matthew. Everything would be a lot easier if you didn’t keep get yourself into contrived plots and just trusted him a bit.

Lauren

Dear Matt,

You can trust Kate. Actually, don’t trust Kate. It depends.

Lauren

#chronicintrovert #writing #claire’s coven #the next together
24TH APR 2014

 


wildparsnip: my mom is on the phone with my dad (a microbiologist) and she told him “go to bed, turn off the computer, and just, just don’t do science. don’t do any science”

#the next together #kate and matt
17TH APR 2014


chronicintrovert asked: Please write me a fanfiction in which 2016 Kate and Matt meet Draco Malfoy, Hermoine Granger and Neville Longbottom (who are all approx 36 by this point). An argument about science probably ensues. GO!

Do other authors write crossover fanfiction of their own books? I don’t know, don’t care.

Katherine saw a flash of green light out of the corner of her eye, and turned back to the lab bench just in time to see her Bunsen burner flare up and wobble, just a little.

”Oh,” a voice said, slightly muffled. “I think we took a wrong turning.”

There was a thump, and then the Bunsen burner fell over. A neatly manicured hand reached out of the flame and firmly grasped onto the edge of the bench.

“Hurry up, Hermione!” a second voice urged, sounding slightly singed. “I think my hair’s on fire!”

The hand clenched at the bench and pulled, the Bunsen burner skittered across the surface, as an arm and then a shoulder somehow pushed free of the tiny flame. The shoulder turned into a curly haired head, another shoulder and a torso, and kept coming, tumbling off the bench onto the floor.

The woman stood up, let out a heavy, exasperated sigh that seemed to convey just how much she was done with this crap, and slapped out a flame that was burning neon green on her sleeve. She reached back into the Bunsen burner, bracing her feet on the side of the bench and pulled with all her strength. The burner birthed another human being, coughing and temporarily on fire.

“Get Draco,” he said, choking.

“He got us into this mess in the first place,” the woman said indignantly. “If someone would only learn to read directions properly!” She addressed the comment pointedly at the Bunsen burner, which rattled angrily in reply.

Another hand, with a slightly better manicure, appeared out of the flame and grabbed at a beaker, knocking it over before finding leverage and pulling. A second man appeared, blond and inflamed.

“Oh, don’t mind me,” he hissed, brushing down his robes. “Just let me burn to death.”

“It’s your bloody fault! We could have died!”

The blond was about to reply when the first man interjected hastily. “Where are we, anyway?”

In unison the three turned around, and noticed Katherine, pale and frozen by the fire extinguisher.

“Oh, hello,” the woman said, and gave Katherine a weak smile. “Sorry to just burst in on you like that.”

“What.” Katherine said, and blinked.

Matthew opened the door, holding a conical flask of toluene and humming a Disney tune. He stared at the group of smoking wizards. “Who’s this, then?”

The brunet cleared his throat. “Right. Muggles.”

*

Ten minutes later, Matthew was sitting with his head in his hands and Katherine was laughing hysterically.

Hermione, Neville and Draco were standing in an awkward silence. The Bunsen burner was still burning green.

“You’d think there’d be some kind of system in place,” Matthew muttered, “To stop this happening.”

“Why is it even called Floo powder?” Katherine asked. “What a stupid name.”

“It comes from the ‘floo’ plant, actually,” Hermione said. “Interestingly enough-”

Neville shot her a quelling look and she slowly shut her mouth.

“I know this is a lot to take in,” Draco said, awkwardly patting Matthew on the shoulder. “And I appreciate that you are having a hard time dealing with this emotionally, but is it okay if we leave now? We’re kind of in the middle of something.”

“Draco,” Hermione snapped, “It can wait.”

“But-“

“These poor people have had their lives turned upside down. We’re not abandoning them just so you can beat Harry and Ron at a scavenger hunt. It’s your fault we’re here, deal with the consequences of your actions.”

“In my defence, ’Bunsen burner’ sounds an awful lot like ‘Bunden burns’,” he told Katherine, who stared blankly at him.

“Can I see your wand?” Matthew asked Neville.

*

“Wait, so there are plants? Tiny little plants? In there?”

Neville was jumping around in excitement, head bobbing as he looked back and forth between the microscope slide and the viewfinder.

“Yeah, sure.” Matthew grinned. “They’re tiny, but they’re on the glass. The lenses magnify them so you can see them.”

“And they aren’t plants, they are bacteria,” Kate added. “They look a bit like plants because of the flagellum.”

“This is amazing,” Neville crowed. “Tiny little PLANTS!”

Matthew and Katherine shared a glance, and sighed.

*

“So it’s kind of like quidditch, but without the brooms?” Draco said, watching the football on Matthew’s laptop with interest. He prodded at the screen, jumping a little when the cursor moved. Neville was adding packets of sugar to his breakroom coffee with intent fascination.

“Uh, I don’t know what that is?” Matthew said doubtfully. “I guess so.”

“Less balls, Draco,” Hermione added.

“That’s what she said,” Katherine muttered under her breath.

“A pound in the jar, Kate,” Matthew ordered. She sighed, but obediently dropped a pound into a nearly full jam jar labelled ‘INNUENDO FINE’.

“What’s a pound?” Draco asked.

Hermione let out a heavy sigh of her own, and helped herself to more custard creams. “You’d think we’d gone to a different planet instead of the next town over.” She texted Ron, reminding him to pick up the kids from the cinema.

*

“You should totally come!” Katherine said, pressing an invitation into Hermione’s hand. “I’d love to meet Ginny, she sounds great!”

“We’ll be there,” Hermione promised. “I’ve never been to a Hen party. Wizards don’t really have them.”

“It’s going to be amazing! We’re going rock climbing after the bar crawl!”

“Kate! You never told me about that!” Matthew objected. “Why can’t I come?”

*

“We have to go,” Neville said, reluctantly admiring the lab one last time. “The scavenger hunt ended hours ago.”

“It was great meeting you! Come back and visit whenever you want.”

They nodded enthusiastically, Draco clutching tightly to a biro he refused to give up. He’d given Matthew 15 galleons for it, despite Hermione’s protests that she could get him thirty for under a sickle if she went to Tescos.

The three wizards twisted on their heels and disappeared, and Matthew and Katherine looked at each other for a long moment, before grinning broadly.

“Do you think we should have told them your brother goes to Hogwarts?”

“I’m sure Professor Longbottom will realise eventually.”

#chronicintrovert #writing #the next together #harry potter #….fanfiction #this was my 6666th post
16TH APR 2014


piptoe asked: I’m aware that i have bugged the crap right out of you today and as we all know i am a huge Red Earth Rolls title fan like that anon earlier but I just wanted to say that the new one, The Brief Many Lives, is really awesome sounding. I work in a barnes and noble (the anon said store well HA I AM IN A BOOK STORE) and I think that title would fit on one of our shelves

It’s okay! I like nothing better than talking about my book, obviously.

I do like The Brief Many Lives! I’ll move it up the list. I think the title needs to be decided by May so it won’t be toooooo much longer now.

yeaimdamnamazing replied to your post: Omgomgomg The time landscape thing So cool

I’m glad you liked it! I have read the first chapter so many times that I hate it, so it’s good to know it’s still intriguing!

#the next together #writing #yeaimdamnamazing
15TH APR 2014


catherine-doyle asked: YOUR TURN. Write TRER examples in the genres you like the least! Including Poetry!

i. crime

The corpse was the most horrifying sight that Inspector Galloway had seen in ten long years on the force, and that was saying a lot. It lay in a pool of the author’s lost self respect.

“Lauren James, according to her ID. Former writer of credibility and high standing,” DC Finchley said. “Until she got mixed in with this lot, it seems.”

She slid the victim’s purse to an evidence bag with a sensual grace that belied their totally gross surroundings.

Galloway held out his hand, and she passed him the evidence. A spark of chemistry jumped between the cops as their fingers brushed, but they ignored it, as they would for another six seasons. It wasn’t time yet.

“We’ll catch them soon,” Galloway said reassuringly, gazing deep into Finchley’s eyes. “Claire’s coven won’t be in operation for much longer.”

“I’m not sure how much longer this city can survive,” Finchley said, gazing pensively at the degraded and maligned corpse. The camera slowly zoomed in on her face, sad music playing.

(yeah i’ve IMMORTALISED YOU IN FICTION AS CRIMINALS, HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT)

ii. chick lit

“I’m warning you,” he ordered, hand tightly gripping my upper arm and wrinkling the sleeve of my purple v-neck with long sleeves and lace detail (from ASOS®). “Don’t come messing round here again, or you’ll be sorry. Extremely sorry.” He said it mysteriously yet seductively, angrily yet broodingly, eloquently yet growlingly. It was incredible. My inner goddess swooned.

He released my arm and I stumbled onto the pavement, the door slamming shut behind me. Outraged, I smoothed back my hair and shouted after him, “YOU’RE REALLY OUT OF CHARACTER IN THIS SCENE, MATTHEW.”

He didn’t reply, but smirked at me over his shoulder in an infuriatingly attractive way. I huffed, adjusted the strap of my Mulberry knockoff and posted a cryptic facebook status about the incident. Ignoring the four ‘inbox me babe x’ comments that appeared, I planned my next move.

(FIRST PERSON IS SO WEIRD EWWWWWW)

iii. high fantasy

Kate clutched fearfully at the helm of her sword, but outwardly retained her calm exterior with all the poise and grace that generations of ancestral nobility had invested in her. The man was scarce but a twig, swaddled in layer upon layer of furs and tartan kilt with only the bridge of his nose visible, and with her years of training she could have defeated him easily- were it not for the wolf growling at his feet, froth bubbling at the jaw and pounds of raw strength braced to attack in its muscles.

“Where do ye think you’re headed, sassenach?” he intoned, gruffly. “This isnae England anymore.”

“Do you even know who I am?” she asked indignantly.

“I know who ye are. And ye ain’t welcome here, Lady Finchley of Carlisle.”

She took a breath, and centred herself using her ancient Buddhist training. “You seem to have me at a disadvantage, Sir.”

“Aye, I do at that,” he replied, with a touch of amusement, and nodded to the wolf. It relaxed on its haunches, the lump of dried meat the Highlander fed it disappearing in seconds. “Now how about you tell me what you’re about, Lady Finchley. Before Saxon here gets hungry.”

(I really wanted to make this an Objectified Scotsman AU, but I couldn’t write Matthew with bulging muscles. I just couldn’t.)

iv. middle grade

Kate Finchley was only ten, but she knew three things for certain. One: boys were gross, and she was never ever going to kiss one. Ever. Two: When you added universal indicator to an acid it turned red. Three: Matthew Galloway was the weirdest person she’d ever met in her entire life and it was fascinating.

(Matt was an awkward child, we all know this to be true in our hearts. He was the weird kid who collected snail shells and silently stared at them with a magnifying glass while he ate his cucumber sandwiches and sliced grapes, the one who always drew exactly the same picture of a bacteria in art class and refused to discuss it.)

v. poetry

life

after

life

they reached for one another

twisting together in an eternal embrace

love after love

time after time

death after death

life, after?

(TEARS IN MY EYES)

#the next together #writing #claire’s coven #dreamsandink #i want to read full length versions of all of these ngl
15TH APR 2014


Hi guys!

I was just talking about how much I want to give you all copies of my book, so here’s a present. I’ve put up the first chapter of TRER here. I might panic and take it down later so read it now if you wish to at all! And let me know if you do.

ENJOY BYE I’M GOING TO PANIC NOW.

#the next together #writing
14TH APR 2014


cchronicintrovert replied to your post:
yeah there’s no use asking you that question because TRER basically covers all of them anyway GOD LAUREN WHY ARE YOU SO GENRE DEFYING
I WILL WRITE EVERYTHING AND DOMINATE EVERY GENRE AND NO OTHER AUTHORS WILL EVEN BE NECESSARY


chronicintrovert asked: I ALSO MISS THOSE DAYS. describe matt and kate’s christmas.

Kate would wake Matt up early by bouncing on the bed. She would then make him hot chocolate and croissants in bed while she claimed to be giving him a lie in, but she would singing so raucously the whole time he would give in and get up to help.

Matt would be really into christmas jumpers. Like, not in an ironic way. He really likes them. He wears them straight through to February. Kate wears baubles in her hair.

They would go to Kate’s family’s house on xmas day and drive up to Scotland to see Matt’s family for boxing day. Kate would be hungover and sleep the whole journey. Matt would listen to Stephen King audiobooks very quietly as he drove, with a huge thermos of coffee.

Kate would buy Matt more jumpers a year’s rent on an allotment so he can ~be a farmer~ like he always wants to quit his job to do, and Matt would buy Kate something wedding related that she’d asked for. Kate would alway let him know well in advance what she wanted and probably just buy it for him and ask for the money.

#claire’s coven #the next together #chronicintrovert #alice
25TH JUN 2014


leave a ✫ in my inbox + a character/pairing and i’ll generate a random number and write you a drabble
izumisays:

andralissathomas:

1. New Neighbors!AU
2. Runaway Royalty!AU
3. High School!AU
4. Superhero!AU
5. Childhood!AU
6. Rule 63!AU
7. Magic!AU
8. Vampire!AU
9. Werewolf!AU
10. Zombie!AU
11. Barista!AU
12. Hooker!AU
13. Royalty!AU
14. Prison!AU
15. College!AU
16. Hair/Makeup Stylist and Actor/Model!AU
17. Pretend Couple!AU
18. Camp Counselors!AU
19. Met In Detention!AU
20. Pen Pals!AU
21. Ghosts In Love!AU
22. God and Counterpart From Another Pantheon!AU
23. Brand New Step-Sibling!AU
24. Mundane/Domestic!AU

Sarah: i’m probably not going to bother with generator thingie, so character/pairing + number works (otherwise assume i’ll choose the number myself)

# also lauren write some matt/kate for every AU

Why thanks for the homework relicanth. Here you are.

1. New Neighbors!AU

Kate gawped through her living room window at the man who had moved into the empty (haunted, she was convinced) house next door. He was organising his kitchen. He was organising his kitchen, and he was naked. Or- at least topless. There was a counter in the way, unfortunately.

“Oh no, he’s hot,” she whispered to the cat. He flicked his tail at her, unimpressed.

The hot, naked neighbour began walking towards his window, and she ducked down below the windowsill, wincing. She crawled across the floor until she reached the doorway. She couldn’t let him see her yet. She needed to get a haircut.

“That butt,” she sighed, dreamily.

2. Runaway Royalty!AU

“You’re the Prince,” she said, pulling off his hat and sunglasses.

The Prince sighed, and stepped away from the gaggle of tourists. “Yeah.”

“You’ve tried four times this week, what makes you think you’ll manage to sneak past me this time?”

“I’ve found The Duckling,” she said into her earpiece, and then turned back to the Prince. “That one was rubbish. It’s like you’re trying to get caught now.”

He let out another heavy, sulky sigh. “Firstly, can I please, please get a better code name? And secondly, maybe I am trying to get caught.”

He stared at her meaningfully. She raised an eyebrow.

“I’ve told you before. Not until you’re eighteen.”

3. High School!AU

Mr Galloway and Miss Finchley leant against the door jamb of the staffroom, staring at the arriving students.

“How are the summer holidays over already?”

They both sighed in unison.

4. Superhero!AU

“Captain America and Iron Man are engaged,” Matthew commented, scrolling through the news on his phone.

“Surprise, surprise,” Kate said, spitting toothpaste into the sink. “Where’s my engagement ring?”

She turned to stare at Matthew, but he had disappeared.

“You’d best hurry up,” she called down the stairs. “If Bruce Banner asks me first I’m gonna say yes!”

“You would never marry a physicist,” he called back.

5. Childhood!AU

Matthew burst into tears. “Katyyyyy, give it back! It’s my turn!”

6. Rule 63!AU

“Hey there, cutie,” Kit said, his hands flat on the desk and leaning over her. “You doing anything after class?”

Mattie blushed, sat back in her chair and adjusted her glasses. “I’m free.”

Kit grinned and reached out to brush a strand of hair out of her eyes. “Have you seen Xmen yet?”

7. Magic!AU

here

8. Vampire!AU

“I hate blood donation day,” Kate sighed, as Matthew poked the needle into her arm.

“Except for the biscuits, right?”

“Except for the biscuits.”

9. Werewolf!AU

“Full moon again,” Matt said, “No wonder you’re so grouchy.”

“Did you get the steak?”

“Of course I got the steak. Put down that pigeon.”

10. Zombie!AU

“AND KATHERINE WINS AGAIN. MATTHEW GALLOWAY ONCE AGAIN WITHDRAWS IN DEFEAT, TEARS RUNNING DOWN HIS-”

“Kate, I’m not crying. It’s just a stupid zombie game.” He threw down the controller, not at all petulantly.

11. Barista!AU

“Here he comes, my true love,” Kate hissed at a surprised looking customer as she handed over a frappe creme. “The Cute Professor. No, not that one. The one with glasses.”

“Nice,” the guy said. “You forgot my cream.”

“Cream is unimportant! This is true love!”

“Hey, Cute Professor! Give this girl your number!” the customer called across the coffee shop. Kate drew in a sharp, betrayed gasp.

“I trusted you!”

The Cute Professor stopped in his tracks, staring at them in surprise. Kate smiled weakly, waved.

The Cute Professor waved back.

12. Hooker!AU

Matt stared at the g-string in horror. “Kate, your fantasies are getting more and more specific.”

13. Royalty!AU

“It’s my birthday tomorrow,” the Prince said, holding out a bouquet of sunflowers.

Kate smiled. “My shift ends at six. Wear something nice.”

14. Prison!AU

“That new guard is cuuuuute,” Katy said. “I think I need a haircut.”

She winked at the guard. He nudged up his glasses, looked away.

15. College!AU

“Cute Professor is my teacher!” Kate told another surprised customer. “I only just got his number! Like, yesterday! And now we ‘can’t date’ because ‘it’s inappropriate’ and ‘we can’t make out again’!!! Um????”

“Sucks to be you,” the customer intoned. “Can I have that without cinammon?”

16. Hair/Makeup Stylist and Actor/Model!AU

“Don’t touch my hair,” she said sharply. “I have a special guy for that.”

“Um….”

“Matthew will be here soon. Just do my makeup.”

17. Pretend Couple!AU

“Quick, kiss me!” Kate yelped.

Matt looked at her askance. “Um, why?”

“We’ll think of a reason afterwards!”

18. Camp Counselors!AU

“Bagsy I get the afternoon shift,” Kate said quickly.

“Dammit,” Matt muttered. “You got the lie-ins last year.”

“I deserve the lie-ins.”

19. Met In Detention!AU

“Heeeey there,” she said, leaning back in her seat and looking the boy entering the classroom up and down. “What’chu in for, cutie?”

He stared at her dubiously. “I’m the teacher overseeing the detention.”

She sat up in her chair abruptly. “Right.” She looked down at her desk, and let out a heavy breath. “Shit.”

When she looked up the teacher was trying to hide a smirk.

20. Pen Pals!AU

Dear Kate,

Thank you for the picture! Your dog is really cute. (You are too. I like your hair.) In answer to your question, my tour ends in a month and then I’ll be back in the UK. I can’t wait to get out of this uniform!

And there is one other person who writes letters to my regiment, a boy practising his English. It’s really kind of you to take the time to write to soldiers. I’m not sure I’d think of doing it if it was the other way around.

Do you think you’d like to get a drink when I’m back in London, maybe?

M. G.

21. Ghosts In Love!AU

“Back off,” she hissed. “He’s mine.”

She clutched the ghost kitten to her chest. It meowed pitifully. She cooed at it.

“You know they only hang around for a few hours, Kate,” Matt whined. “Lemme stroke it!!”

22. God and Counterpart From Another Pantheon!AU

“Science isn’t a God,” he said, folding his arms. “You don’t even have a trident.”

She snorted. “I can do as many miracles as you, mate.”

23. Brand New Step-Sibling!AU

“No,” Matt said, shaking his head frantically. “No way. Mum, no.”

“Hey, aren’t you in my year at school?” Kate asked, smiling welcomingly. “Dad, you never said!”

Matt’s mum looked at Matt’s blushing face. “Hang on… is this Kate you were telling me about…? The one you want to ask to prom?”

Matt let out a mortified groan and hit his head against the door.

Kate beamed at him.

24. Mundane/Domestic!AU

“Kate, you forgot to buy milk!”

“You forgot to kiss my arse!”

(via thelategreatrelicanth)

#writing #the next together #i love this meme because these could call technically be considered canon as REINCARNATION
25TH JUN 2014



Yesterday I went to Carlisle, a location in my book! I chose Carlisle as a location because it was the last castle to be sieged in England, during the 1745 Jacobite uprising. My book takes place during the siege, so the castle is an important location in the story. I wanted to visit to see what it was like today.

It was so weird, because I’ve spent so much time writing about this place I kind of felt like I’d made it up in my head. It was really valuble for my writing, not only because I can add more accuracy in terms of the layout and distance of the city, but there’s lots of little details that inspired me for extra things that can happen!

Here are some photos I took, of a house near the cathedral which is how I imagine Katherine’s home.

The castle as it is now.

The battlements where Things Happen, and the view where the Jacobites attacked, which is now a children’s playground.

A room in the castle where meetings and traumatic Things Happen, with A Queen sampersands on her throne.

Me at the town square sitting on steps where Matthew and Katherine sit and more Things Happen. Bagpipes were playing there and it was so nice.

We also went to the biggest secondhand bookshop I have ever seen, it was four stories and spread through a huge basement system and it was incredible.

It was a great day!

#the next together #carlisle #book #writing #blog
22ND JUN 2014

 


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“ “The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love.”
– Jeanette Winterson

#the next together

19TH JUN 2014


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mcavoyclub: “I take a lot of pride in being myself. I’m comfortable with who I am.”

#matt #the next together
19TH JUN 2014


tumblr_n6vmj33CSt1s49g11o1_500 (1).pngposeidhn: Hugh Dancy as older James Potter

ACTUAL MATT GALLOWAY OH MY GOD THIS IS MY CHARACTER

#the next together
16TH JUN 2014


One of my editor’s comments on this draft was ‘perhaps a few too many sex references’

which

i think

says it all

#the next together #writing #i’m over halfway through my edits!!

13TH JUN 2014


Today in my edits I had to cut out one of my favourite scenes, so I’m posting it here, for posterity or something.

They wandered out of the library, and Kate took a deep breath. “So, Matt. Can I ask you something?” She wanted to ask him out for a drink. She wasn’t one of those people to sit back and wait for a guy to come to her. She was proud of it, even when she was rejected. She was a strong, independent, modern woman and all that.

He took a deep breath, looking resigned. “I guess,” he mumbled, which wasn’t encouraging.

She forced her voice to behave and not embarrass her with a tremor. Lightly she smiled at him. “Do you maybe, want to go out for a drink now? Like- a date?” When she plucked up the courage to look, he seemed a little blindsided.

“Oh, er-” He frowned at her, silent a moment. “Really?”

She stared at him. Well. That was direct. He seemed to realise how that sounded, because he quickly corrected himself. “I mean, I’m, er- I’m not interested, sorry.”

“Oh. Well, that’s fine,” she said breezily, brushing it off. She tried and failed to keep up her calm and unperturbed composure without any noticeable falseness. “Lots of work to do at the minute anyway, it’s probably not the time.”

He watched her carefully. He kind of looked like she couldn’t have surprised him more if she’d burst into song and dance.

“It’s fine, Matt. Chill out. I’m not going to force you to date me if you don’t want to- consent is important and all that. No means No.” She faked a laugh. “Anyway, with all this going on it’s probably safer not to do anything.”

His reply was sullen. “Sure. Thanks.”

They were silent as they walked, Kate overcome with embarrassment she was trying desperately to hide and Matthew quiet with some unidentifiable emotion.

“You don’t need to do this,” he said suddenly, viciously. “That was just mean.”

She took a moment to process that, wondering if she’d misheard, or just drifted off to sleep and missed half the conversation. “Do… all of what?”

“I know you’re spying on me.” He sounded tortured, angry.

“Spying on you,” she repeated with blank incomprehension. “Why would I be spying on you?”

He stared at her. “You aren’t?”

“Why would I be?”

“But- all of this stuff about the Galloways. Isn’t that just a way to find out? I thought you-” He cut himself off, looking at a loss. He ran a hand through his hair, sending it sticking upright.

She let out a noise of frustration. “Find out what? Matt, what’s going on?”

“Nothing,” he said shortly. “I’ll see you in labs.”

Kate watched him leave incredulously. What was that?

#writing #the next together #mourn the loss of this perfect scene
13TH JUN 2014

chronicintrovert answered your question:NO WHY DID THIS GET CUT NO NO NO

I kNOW. I tried as hard as I could to find a way to keep it in, but it won’t work anymore!! Because (cut for…old spoilers? i guess?)

chronicintrovert replied to your post: ahh I SEE! yes that does make sense. though i’d totally read a book about kate and matt picking out dinner sets.

I did spend quite a while trying to come up with a reason for Matt to possibly say no to Kate, but….I’m pretty sure that would never happen in any universe. She could be a serial killer and he’d still be writing dreamy poetry about her.

In the old version, Matt says no because he thinks Kate is spying on him, but he doesn’t think that in the new version, so if she asked him out he would probably say yes. Straight away! In chapter two! It would have been over immediately. The rest of the book would have been about them picking dinner sets or something.

(I also had to cut out some GREAT scenes about the mistaken spying:

“You- you think my whole family are spies?” she said with dawning horror. “What is wrong with you?”

“I overreacted! I don’t know, it seemed legitimate at the time,” he said petulant and slightly sulky.

Oh, Matt.)

#chronicintrovert #the next together #(i would read it too)
13TH JUN 2014


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write a novel guys, it’s so much fun!!!!!!!

#the next together #researching my arse off
9TH JUN 2014


melsalisbury asked: Say it’s possible for characters/universes from books to cross over and bleed into each other. What characters/stories would you be interested to see mixed in with yours in a kind of bizarre story mash-up? What would the impact be? Without spoiling, what would change?

OH DANG BEST QUESTION.

I would love love love a magic universe, so i’m going to say Harry Potter, like that time I wrote fanfiction of my own book .

But assuming that’s out of bounds because I’ve already done it, I’m going to say that the coolest crossover would be with His Dark Materials. I want my characters to have daemons (a representation of your soul in the form of an animal that can’t leave your side) and be able to travel between universes.

I want talking bears and witches and alethiometers.

Kate’s daemon would be a bouncy, ridiculous ginger fox. Matt would have a shy little vole that hides in his sleeve and Kate has never even seen until they’ve known each other six months.

It is totally intentional that Kate’s daemon would eat Matt’s alive.

I think apart from the daemons, not much would change. There would still be time travel and reincarnation and banter.

#writing #claire’s coven #the next together #melsalisbury
4TH JUN 2014


catherine-doyle asked: How do you feel about the editing process, particularly the possibility of content-changing decisions?

When I first got my agent, (this time last year (!) ) she told me I had to change roughly a third of my book. (long story short: one storyline was an apocalypse and they don’t sell..so i needed to make it pre-apocalypse at best) At first it was SUPER HARD to let go. I guess eventually I started seeing a difference between the words I’d saved on my computer and the story I was trying to tell. I use my writing to tell a story, and I want the story to be as good as possible. So I don’t mind changing things up if the story will eventually improve because of it. I have a vision of the story as a whole in the sense of it’s themes, style and overall emotions, but I don’t have a personal attachment to any particular plot point. If anything, I really enjoyed changing things up because it let me add layers and complexities and improve my writing in a way I probably wouldn’t have been challenged to do otherwise. My writing is always improving, and I think editing helped improve it more than anything else, because you really think about the writing and words and sentences rather than focusing on but what would Kate say to that? How is Matt standing right now?

At the same time, I would not be okay with intrinsic character changes- sexuality, personality, even hair colour or whatever. I would fight that hand and claw. If I do get asked to do anything like that (I’m meeting my editor on Wednesday to get my edit suggestions, aaaaah! Wish me luck!) then I’m not sure how I’ll deal with it…

I’m just starting my next round of edits, and I thought I’d review my opinion a bit. I’ve been thinking about edits for about 4 months now while I finished my degree, without being able to write anything. Instead of being reluctant to change things, I’ve seen the light of edits.

I’m really looking forward to them now! It’s a great opportunity to go back over what I’ve written and improve on it. Every time I read another book I feel like I know a bit more about storytelling, so I have so many things I can add to an old work. It isn’t really changing a story so much as enhancing it, even if some of the plot changes a bit. It makes it more streamlined and logical, and the real essence of a book is what people remember months after reading it. They aren’t going to care about the tiny little changes that I might have been desperate to avoid, but are more likely to remember the overall style and themes that edits really bring out.

So yeah, I am very strongly in favour of constructive criticisms. Bring on the comments!

#the next together #writing #claire’s coven
4TH JUN 2014


#Emma Thompson is my dreamcasting for nancy #the next together #THIS IS A NEW CHARACTER NO ONE ELSE HAS MET YET!!! #queen


chronicintrovert: so i did a couple of drawings while i was in scotland… and the first is the three leading ladies of mine, catherine-doyle and lauren-e-james’s books!!!! from left to right: Sophie from Vendetta, Kate from The Next Together, and Tori from Solitaire all on a day out together sigh

…and of course i could not resist also drawing our three main guys, our three favourite brunettes heheh… from left to right, Nic from catherine-doyle’s Vendetta, Matt from lauren-e-james‘s The Next Together, and Michael from my book, Solitaire

#Dying #DYING #I can’t BREATHE #the next together #matt/michael otp 4 lyfe #awwwwwww #alice is incredible

30TH AUG 2014


pun-rocker: You know why I love AUs? Because the whole point of them is that everything is changed, and yet these two people are still going to meet and fall in love- that they’re so set in stone and so meant to be that you can change literally everything in a hundred universes and they’ll fall in love over and over again.

#my book #the next together
20TH AUG 2014

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chronicintrovert:  lauren-e-james ASKED ME TO DRAW HER TWO PROTAGONISTS, SO I DID
SHE’S THE AUTHOR OF ‘THE NEXT TOGETHER’, A REINCARNATION ROMANCE THAT’S OUT NEXT YEAR. GO FOLLOW HER BECAUSE I’VE READ IT AND IT’S REALL EXCELLENT

looooOOOOOOOooooook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Alice drew my characters and she got them SPOT ON.

Kate’s hair and the little love heart and Matt’s nervous step back!

Matt’s blush! His jumper!

I’m going to stare at it forever

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chronicintrovert: so i promised laurenjames that i’d do the 19th century matt and kate so HERE WE ARE. also i’m starting an art tumblr soon so i’ll stop spamming people with art all the time. anyway this was really hard but it turned out great!

in The Next Together by Lauren James, two people – Matthew and Katherine – keep meeting again and again and again in different time periods and in different reincarnations with no recollection of having met before… except for a vague feeling drawing them together. these two are from the mid-19th century where Kate is disguised as a boy and going by the name of Kit to be an assistant to journalist Matthew in the Crimean War.

laurenjames: YESSSSSSS. I don’t know what I did to deserve Alice but I’m never letting her go. She’s mine, back off.

I love how much you can read into the story in their stances- at this point Matthew has found out that Kit is actually a Katherine, and is SUPER MAD ABOUT IT. Mainly because now he has to deal with Feelings and stuff. Katy is feeling guilty about this (and other stuff…) and is too scared to look at him.

I love that Kit is wearing the jumper that Matt is wearing in the 2039 picture that Alice did:

And that he has the same glasses! They came back into fashion a couple of centuries later. 🙂

I love how Alice has done period accurate art styles, too. Look at how twenties the Victorian picture is, compared to the modern modern picture!! It’s so perfect ❤ ❤

Summary: Alice is the best and I’m going to have to bake her many, many cakes and kidnap a Michael Cera to make up for this art. I am the happiest hamster.

#the next together
13TH AUG 2014


chronicintrovert asked: What would your dream cover look like? If you could choose exactly what you wanted?

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Probably something like this, I would imagine.

(Also I always imagined it would say THE NEXT TOGETHER something like this:

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Except, you know, good.

I like the idea of concentric circles getting bigger and more important to represent their different lives!)

#chronicintrovert #the next together #alice’s art is my new fave thing
12TH AUG 2014


So I was just clearing out some old books from the loft and found a copy of Operation Red Jericho. I read it when I was 12ish and absolutely loved it because it’s full of maps and notes and pictures.
I loved the idea so much that when I wrote my book I did the same thing.
And… I just found out that Operation Red Jericho is also published by Walker, and I’ve actually met the editor behind it.
And now I’m freaking out a bit because that means I’m being published by the publishers who published the book that inspired my book….and in all likelihood they chose my book because it reminded them of Operation red Jericho. Which is amazing. I can’t believe that really happened.
(Also, the typesetting and design of all the maps and notes is absolutely beautiful and I’m really excited to see what the team does with mine now!!)

#the next together #the world is weird #blog
10TH AUG 2014


chronicintrovert asked:  What would you say has inspired you the most?

Books. If I read a good book or line I’m always intensely jealous/inspired. If I read a bad one I want to write it Better. If a book makes me laugh, I want to work out why, and how I can do that. Writing’s all a big competition.

chronicintrovert asked: Would you like your books to be turned into TV shows, movies, video games, or none?

TV SHOW. BBC miniseries, preferably. I don’t know how it would work as a video game but that would be cool.

Here’s how the trailer would go:

Simple piano music plays as a regency couple stare at each other. They take a step towards each other and the scene changes. The same couple are dressed in 19th century clothing, and the music gets a bit faster, a violin comes in.

They take another step closer, and the scene changes again to the couple in early 20th century clothing, gas masks around their necks. A guitar joins the music, which starts to sound like swing.

They take another step, and it cuts again so they are dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, the music picks up some drums and gets a bit rock n’ roll.

They take a final step, in modern clothes, a whole band playing, and then they touch hands-

Cut to black.

This Christmas, don’t miss out on….

THE NEXT TOGETHER

Coming to the small screen near you.

And then BBC iplayer.

You can watch it whenever, really.

No rush.

chronicintrovert asked: Which is your favourite original character, and why?

Clove! She’s my darling at the moment. She’s the perfect mix of shy and brave and I just want to give her a hug and tell her everything’s going to be okay.

Thanks for the questions!

#writing #the next together #chronicintrovert
25TH JUL 2014


adrieldaniel: “There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher. what we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish. There is no free will. There are no variables.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

#the next together
24TH JUL 2014


Lynx’s new advert is a perfect trailer for my book. Thanks Lynx!

#lynx #the next together #relicanth
7TH JUL 2014


Exciting COVER UPDATES
I should be getting a (first draft) cover within a month or so!!
When it’s decided on we’ll be doing a cover reveal scavenger hunt around some book blogs!
The designer of the cover described my book as ‘science porn’ which is extremely accurate
he recently did this cover which is SO COOL
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#the next together #writing #covers #blog
3RD JUL 2014


redsethorizon asked: How do you write a believable query letter. Could you share some tips on how to write a really good one? Please, share your experience. Thank you!
chronicintrovert: Address it directly to the agent by name. (DO NOT start it ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. It should be Dear Mr / Mrs / Miss / Ms … )
Don’t go over 500 words.
The easiest way to do it is a 3-part structure:
PART 1: Tell that agent specifically why you chose to submit to them. Tell them what your book is (e.g. I would like to offer my 76,000 word YA/crossover novel, SOLITAIRE, for your consideration.)
PART 2: A brief summary of your book. This must be amazing, exciting, enthralling, and must leave the agent dying to read your book. Try to write it as uniquely and interestingly as you can, but make sure that it is CLEAR and not difficult to read.
PART 3: A very brief biography. This isn’t so important, but you should include any writing accolades you have and/or why your own life shows that you are good at writing books. E.g. in mine I wrote that I was a teenager.
Tell them you look forward to hearing from them! Be really polite!
DO NOT imply that you’ve written the best book ever that they HAVE to take on. be modest.
there are LOADS of resources online on how to write a query letter. here’s a few that i have bookmarked from ages ago:

http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/blog/sample-literary-agent-query-letter/

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2008/06/the-query-letter-what-to-include-in-a-letter-to-literary-agents/

http://queryshark.blogspot.co.uk/

hope this is helpful, and good luck!

This great advice! As an example, here’s my query letter. I sent it to 6 agents along with the first 2 chapters, and I had one request to read the full manuscript. She accepted me as a client!

Dear [Agent],

The Red Earth Rolls is a completed 120,000 word young adult novel based on the idea of reincarnation, and encompasses genres such as dystopia, regency, romance, science fiction and thriller. An adventure spanning three hundred years, this story has something to interest every reader.

Katherine and Matthew have done this before. They keep being brought back to life and every time they do things seem to be getting worse.

In 1745 Katherine Hallward is spending a little too much time with her coachman, Matthew, when the Jacobites attack the city of Carlisle, on the border of Scotland and England. Somehow the city has to defend itself against the feared Highlanders, and Katherine is determined to help in any way she can, regardless of the consequences.

In 1853 Katy, an orphan girl, is running from the police in disguise when she accidentally gets stuck on board a steamer bound for the battlefield of the Crimean war. Luckily a journalist is there to take her under his wing; although there is the slight problem in that he thinks she is a boy. Together they try and help the war effort as much as possible, despite the hostility of the soldiers.

In 2090 Kate meets a new researcher in her biology lab and discovers that together they bear a startling resemblance to her mysterious great aunt and uncle, who may have been more involved in the cause of the apocalypse- a destructive virus released during the third world war- than the government are willing to admit. Although they know that investigating a classified case means risking their own careers in a world still on the edge of survival, they can’t help but delve into the intriguing past hidden in their ancestor’s possessions: an ancient laptop and a coded diary. Meanwhile, Kate keeps recalling memories that aren’t hers: the siege of a castle, a kiss that never happened on a battlefield from a history book.

In each lifetime they are fighting for what is right, but however hard they try to help, will it ever be enough to stop them being brought back once more? Revealing the power of love regardless of circumstance, this book looks at the determination of two people in the face of growing turmoil.

This book should appeal to students; people who grew up speaking the language of the internet, who enjoy science fiction but also have a soft spot for Jane Austen. The Red Earth Rolls was written by a teenager, for teenagers: I’m currently in the third year of a Chemistry and Physics degree at the University of Nottingham. I wrote this novel after becoming increasingly frustrated by the glamorised science often found in media. This prompted me to write a more accurate story about scientists, and my love of history and genealogy brought forth another element.

I would greatly appreciate any advice you could offer me about my manuscript. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

#The Next Together #writing #book
28TH JUN 2014


splattingdragons asked: So what’s your “How I became a writer” story, I bet it’s more interesting than mine 😉

My origin story is super dull. In my first year of uni I just decided to do NaNoWriMo because loads of my friends were doing it. I didn’t get very far, because of…uni. I think I only wrote 15,000 words or something lame. Then in the summer I decided to carry on with the book, and here we are! I birthed a novel and then all these things started happening with it.

I still feel like a bit of an imposter.

It’s been a long road to get here, but now I’ve finished all the hard work the fun starts!
I think everyone has a chance at getting published if they are determined, and willing to keep writing and rewriting, and rewriting, and rewriting……
You don’t need any formal training or anything. I never did. You just have to have enthusiasm, because that shines through even the inevitable grammar and spelling mistakes (no one is perfect. Thats what copyeditors are for.).
I would say writing is 50% reading other people’s books, 20% talent and 30% hard work.

#the next together #writing #splattingdragons #blog
4TH NOV 2014


tumblr_ndhi4eH5PT1qa24muo1_640.jpg
I can’t show you the cover yet, but look at the pretty samplers that were made for Frankfurt book fair! Loook!! ♡

#the next together
15TH OCT 2014
Things are getting official….

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#blog #the next together #that’s me #me #book #writing
1ST OCT 2014


 


Cat and I immediately demanded that @AliceOseman draw for us, so here is me with my character Kate on my shoulders! Epic.

catherine-doyle: It’s my signed copy of Solitaire by Alice Oseman! Whoop whoop! It has some awesome drawings of Lauren James, me and Alice, with our characters, Kate (The Next Together), Sophie (Vendetta) and Tori Spring (Solitaire), and I LAAAAAVE IT.

#the next together #book #me
27TH SEP 2014


Marry someone you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
— My mum (via everybodysgotadarkside97)

#kate #the next together
25TH SEP 2014



How I got published
Now my book is on goodreads (add it!) I realised I never properly posted a blog of how I got my book deal on here. So here you go! How to get published.

This was written a month after I got my deal, and rereading it now I sound MENTAL. The stress/excitement really got to me. I probably could have dealt with it all better, and being cut off from my entire family at uni for the whole process didn’t help.

So I keep meaning to write this entry, but I wanted to wait until it had sunk in a little more than just miscellaneous squealing, and somehow that delay turned into a month and I still haven’t even told you what happened with my novel, let alone written a summary of the process. Long story short: I got a two book deal, with Walker books, with publication set for late 2015. I’m so, so delighted, obviously, and initially was in complete disbelief, and confusion. But I’m a little more steadied now, and for the first time in months I can relax. Rather than continuously questioning and worrying, I can actually settle down and think about what is going to happen to me, and what I am going to do over the next year to make sure to works out. All my dreams have come true, obviously, but more than that- I’ve suddenly got a set plan for my life after I graduate. I now know exactly what I am going to be doing in a month, six months, two years, and that is incredible, and terrifying. In a little more detail, here’s how it all went down. I thought there might be some people who find it useful, and apart from that I just want a record for myself of how it happened, so I don’t ever forget the excitement of it, and how lucky I am. Sitting down to write this made me realise what a blur the whole thing is in my memory, so a lot of this was written with the help of emails, to remind me what happened! That sounds silly, that I can’t remember something that is basically the biggest deal to ever happen to me, but I genuinely can’t. It’s all a stressful, delightful blur. So on Monday November 18th, 2013 my agent C rang up 16 UK editors of YA fiction, and gave them a brief introduction to the book, and then sent a copy by email, along with the following pitch:

THE RED EARTH ROLLS (YA, 87000 words)

Katherine Finchley and Matthew Galloway are destined to be together. In 1745, during the siege of Carlisle, in 1854 on the way to the Crimea, in 2016 and 2036 as first scientists and then students uncovering and rediscovering a dangerous plot, and in multiple alternative timescales between. Again and again they are thrown together, with no memory of having met one another before, only an irresistible instinct that they must be with one another against all odds – even while the epic events unfolding all around seem sure to tear them apart.

Recounting through a series of intertwining love stories Katherine and Matthew’s increasingly urgent attempts to divert history, THE RED EARTH ROLLS is a romance that combines unique warmth and humour with an ambitious journey through reincarnation, time travel and war.

Lauren James is a student studying Chemistry and Physics at the university of Nottingham. She is 21 years old and this is her first novel.

She told them that the deadline was the following Friday, but said that might be extended if anyone wanted more time to decide. Then there was a week where we just waited. I had labs every day, so I basically worked in a distracted but diligent haze, and then came home and fell onto my bed in exhaustion. I didn’t really relax from the time I woke up until to past 6pm, when I knew there was going to be no more news.

I couldn’t sleep, except when I could, when I slept like the dead and could barely bring myself to wake up. I always had one finger on my phone, clicking the standby button to check for new emails. Whenever the little symbol for a message appeared in the top bar my heart skipped a beat, and I grew to hate the words ‘Unitemps’, ‘Prospects’, ‘Target Jobs’, because they were all signs it was just another false alarm, just another newsletter coming through instead of an email from my agent. (Meanwhile ‘C’, ‘Nottingham’ and ‘TRER’ are all still buzzwords that still make the breath catch in my throat because this time, maybe, just maybe this time….)

There was a weekend, during which I used up almost an entire month’s worth of minutes, lying in bed on the phone to my mum. (I didn’t see my parents until a fortnight after the deal was closed, and having to do the whole thing alone without them was probably the only part of the experience I would want to change). I ordered takeaways three times in one week, felt immensely guilty about the amount of washing up I just couldn’t bring myself to focus on, didn’t do any work for lectures (did I even go to them? I’m pretty sure I missed all my lectures that week, mentally if not physically).

One night my housemate had to actually intervene, because I came in and tried to make a meal of fish fingers, cheese on toast and rice pudding in a complete stupor. Then the next Tuesday I walked onto campus, listening to my WAKE UP, IT’S MORNING playlist (Campus- Vampire Weekend, Chloe- Grouplove, Lady Percy- King Charles, 22- Taylor Swift) and didn’t check my phone for emails the entire journey. I didn’t even check it when I got into labs, instead messing around in my bag for my goggles, determining which labcoat was mine by the faint chemical marks on the left sleeve, dumped my stuff under the bench. It was my day to make cakes for the lab group, so I had an ice cream carton full of chocolate chip cookies in my bag. I’d made them in a distraction the night before, and was a little embarrassed of them. They hadn’t risen right because I’d added raisins. But it wasn’t time for coffee yet, and half the post-docs weren’t even around, so I sat down at the desk that I had commandeered since I started working there, shook the mouse to wake up the ancient computer, which is only still used because it’s hooked up for Gas Chromatography analysis. It still uses Internet Explorer.

So I clicked onto Internet Explorer, waited the necessary seventy-eight seconds for it to load, realised I hadn’t checked my emails in almost half an hour, good god, and logged into my university email account.

There was a new message from C, dated fifteen minutes before. A forwarded email. I skim read the words ‘enjoyed enormously’, ‘Walker’, ‘encouraging’ and then suddenly all the tension I hadn’t really realised I was carrying left my body and I sagged back into the seat.

I had never really believed before then that anyone other than C and I would enjoy it, and suddenly I had this reassurance my book was worth all this hassle, which was all I’d been craving really, just a sign someone liked it. It was a forwarded email from an editor at Walker, and I could probably still pick out the exact blue colour of the font, and the yellow of the footer in her signature, I have read that email so many times. I don’t think I even stopped to read the whole thing, I just called my mum, the first time I’d ever used my phone in labs to make a call (I did this multiple times over the next few weeks, because I always seemed to be there when I got news. I never stopped feeling like I was crossing some grave moral or ethical line). She didn’t answer; I remembered she was at work and called her mobile. She didn’t answer again; I called her work phone. She picked up. I tried to say hello, but it came out a breathless, giddy kind of choked giggle.

I avoided the eyes of some students who were watching my breakdown from across the lab, and ran into the corridor. I told my mum; she was delighted. I didn’t stop to discuss at all, hung up quickly because I suddenly realised that I hadn’t actually even read the whole email. I ran back into the lab, leant over the desk and read the whole thing.

This is encouraging! I’ve let her know we can probably extend things a little if she keeps me posted.

C

Sent: 26 November 2013 10:16

Subject: RE: The Red Earth Rolls by Lauren James

Hi C,

Hope you are well? I enjoyed The Red Earth Rolls enormously – what an original concept and such strong characters. I am sharing with the team, but annoyingly a few people are away this week (how inconsiderate!). Is there any chance of extending the deadline? I will do my best to come back by Friday but want to give us a bit more wriggle room depending on how things progress.

Very best,

A

I span in a little circle, let out a giggle in delight. The girls were watching me, so I quickly mumbled an explanation. It was someone who hadn’t even known about the book, so I probably said something like ‘I wrote a book, and I just got interest from a publisher!!’ Which publisher? Huh. I opened a new tab, typed walker into the bar, realised I was using Internet Explorer and typed google.co.uk instead. Found their website, saw the logo- a bear with a candle- realised I recognised it- not only was this a publisher, a real book publisher who had read my book and liked it- it was a good publisher, one who had published books I loved, who was incredible and well known and respectable. I was overwhelmed.

Suddenly I realised I hadn’t told my Dad yet, so I ran into the hall again, rang him. He’d already spoken to Mum, and he sounded like he was in tears on the phone. I think my Dad was more emotional about the whole process that either of us, actually. While we were gleefully exclaiming together, a phd student in my group walked past. I remember I was saying ‘I’m going to die’ in delighted hyperbole at the time, and he looked at me strangely, lingered in the corridor waiting for me to hang up.

He wandered over, asked what I had made for Cake Monday. I stared at him, and then blurted out my embarrassing little explanation: ‘I just got an email from a publisher. Sorry- I wrote a book. My book- it has an interested publisher.’ He stared at me. Suddenly about ten, fifteen people came out of the next lab. Coffee time.

“We’re dying for cake,” one of them called to me. I looked at her, wide-eyed.

“Oh, that’s a guilty look,” she said, “Does that mean you forgot?”

“I’m not guilty, I’m happy,” I blurted, and then suddenly I was explaining to a whole audience what had happened. I was dragged along to coffee, dished out cookies, realised how ridiculous it was that I hadn’t even told my brother yet, any of my family, and a whole tearoom full of scientists already knew, and were fighting over my cookies.

Someone was teasing me about physics- I was the only physicist in the group, even though I’m really more of a Chemist now- but I just stood up, went into the corridor and leant against the printer for a bit. I closed my eyes, rang my brother. I don’t know what I did for the rest of that day. Sent out a few embarrassingly incoherent emails, (hopefully) did some labwork. I just remember telling my brother, and running out of the tearoom. In fact, from then on everything is a blur. I had to go through my emails to work out the order of what happened.

That was Tuesday.

On Friday we got expressions of interest from two another publishers, and more importantly I talked to A, the editor at Walker, on the phone. I can’t remember anything except the panic of it, of sitting on my bed staring at my phone and waiting for it to ring. C called me first, calmed me down, talked me through what I could and couldn’t say (don’t mention how many other publishers are interested; don’t go into great detail about what edits were done to it before submission).

She reassured me that A was pretty much probably the nicest person in the publishing industry, and we’d get along great. And then the phone rang again, and she wasn’t scary at all, just a normal, lovely person. She told me how much she liked the book, how she could barely talk about it without crying because the ending was so sad. She asked whether the sequel would have a love story, and whether she’d guessed rightly about what would happen (she was on the right track).

She loved how I’d included real historical figures in the story, and she’d done a bit of research into the Jacobite uprising and Crimean war to find out what happened in reality. She asked how I’d chosen my time periods, and I rather sheepishly admitted that while originally I’d wanted to include moments in history that weren’t immediately obviously gamechanging events, when it came down to the final choice it was just points where I could find primary sources for free on Google Books. She said that was a perfectly reasonable reason for choosing them, and said that she’d want to add more historical detail- really bring out all the different worlds so they felt real- so I’d better be prepared to get back to Google Books!

She asked how I’d got the idea, and I explained I loved the idea of nature versus nurture in how people’s personalities developed, and how interesting it would be to see whether two people would still have a connection if they were raised in different times, different places; whether their love was related to circumstance or was really soul-deep. Eventually we finished talking, and I was surprised that our conversation had only been half an hour.

I also spoke to another editor on the phone, who was just as lovely. Interestingly, she suggested the opposite type of changes- she wanted to cut back some of the historical storylines, make it more modern. She wanted to bring in a lot of the sequel into the first book in little excerpts, so that at the end there was a satisfying explanation of the machinations in the background, but I thought that it might ruin the impact of the sequel if it was all explained in the first one.

She had some really great questions about the main theme of the book- whether it was all about changing history, or about the couple getting together. She really challenged me actually, pulling out all the questionable vagueities of my sequel outline, and forcing me to decide what was really important. I’m so glad that I got the chance to hear two points of view (even if they were opposing and confused me a bit) because it has really helped see what the core of the book is that people enjoy- what I should focus on, what needs to be less confusing. I had two full expressions of interest, and two delays from other publishers who wanted more time to consider, and then we just had to wait for everyone else to come in with their decision. There was another weekend, which I tried to spend doing stuff- Christmas fairs, lab reports- rather than just lying around panicking.

The next Monday, a fortnight after submission, a solid offer came through from Walker.

Dear C,

Hope you are well and had a good weekend. It was so lovely talking to Lauren last week. Everyone here is very excited about her original and epic romance. We feel it has lots of potential, and its central themes – of love, loss and courage – are ones that will resonate with young readers everywhere.

It also offers lots of fun opportunities for marketing and promotion, and I am already dreaming of a gorgeous cover look! Lauren shows so much talent for one so young. Having spoken to her last week, I feel like she is someone with whom it would be a real pleasure to work. During our phone call, Lauren and I touched briefly upon ways to make this novel even stronger.

I feel that by building out the different time periods that Matthew and Katherine inhabit while finessing some of the historical detailing, the book will become even more compelling and so tug more firmly on readers’ heart strings. This work would build on the extensive research that Lauren has already obviously done.

As you know, Walker is a company that invests in its authors in the long term. We have a proven track record for working closely with authors to launch their careers around the world, most recently with Timmy Failure, a property we bought jointly with our sister company in the US. As well as a dedicated and passionate UK sales and marketing team, we also have a passionate foreign rights team, with an excellent track record of securing deals, often at auction.

As such, we believe that we are in an excellent position to provide a global home for Lauren and her books, and we sincerely hope that Lauren will choose us! Thank you again for sharing Lauren’s terrific novel with us! I will be sat excitedly (and probably biting my nails!) as I wait to hear from you.

An identical offer came in from another publisher on Wednesday. C got to work trying to improve the terms- she wanted to keep the film/merchandise rights, etc. I’d already decided I wanted to go with Walker, regardless of the offer, because my vision of the book matched A’s more closely, and she was so keen and excited about the book- although I did like how the other editor had challenged me, and how enthusiastic she was about elements of the sequel that I hadn’t really discussed with A. We waited anyway, to see whether they would improve their offers, and they both came back with increased offers that Friday. Walker’s was better. The offer came in at 10am, and by 6pm C had closed the deal. It was done, I had a publisher!

I sent C several excited gushing emails of thanks, tweeted 140 exclamation marks at A, and went home from labs (of course all this had happened in labs, under the amused eyes of the French postdocs, of course it had). I slept so well that night, oh my god. I slept that whole weekend, I think. It’s been a bit hard to come to terms with, especially because several days after the deal was closed my agent went on maternity leave, and then everything stopped for Christmas!

But it happened! I actually got a publisher, which is ridiculous.

#blog #the next together #writing
24TH SEP 2014

 


heatherwpetty: Novel-length kissing scene: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

#the next together #this is my book
24TH SEP 2014


My book is up on goodreads!
The Next Together
#the next together
24TH SEP 2014


I just got my line edits back.Things my characters do a lot:

-bite their lips

-giggle

-be thrilled/delighted

-gaze at each other

-kiss

Not really a surprise

#the next together #book #blog
19TH SEP 2014


I just saw my cover guys it’s WONDERFUL

#The Next Together #this is the best day
12TH SEP 2014


chronicintrovert asked: FIC CHALLENGE: I want a Matt and Tom childhood fic please. They could possibly run into a character/characters from Solitaire. That is all.
This is long and wordy, ENJOY chronicintrovert.

“You go.”

“No, you,” the older boy hissed.

They both stared longingly at the little boy and girl, playing with a pair of handtrux further down the beach. They had dug a hole so deep that the sand had turned into pebbles, which were large enough that it took both of them to lift them out of the hole. The boys had never seen anything so impressive in their entire lives- and they’d been to Legoland.

“Rock paper scissors not to.” Tom said eventually to his younger brother.

Matt nodded frantically. “Okay.”

“One, two, three… YESSSSS” Tom cheered, raising his scissored hand in the air. “You go.”

Matt pouted. “Fine. But I know you cheated.”

Tom folded his arms, exuding smugness. “Nope. Go.”

Matt trudged over to the other children, head ducked down shyly.

“Hi,” he said, quiet as a mouse. The brother and sister with the coolest hole on the beach were too busy arguing depth logistics, and didn’t hear him. “Hello,” he said again, a little louder.

They froze, and looked up at him from the bottom of their cool hole. Matt waved. “Can we play with you?” he asked.

“No,” said the girl. “Go away.”

She was wearing a neon green baseball cap that said BRIGHTON in orange letters, ponytail through the hole at the back. She had left enough hair free of the ponytail that it still managed to cover half her face. She bent down and prised up a rock from under her feet with a loud squelch.

“Tori!” the boy said, who was younger than the girl, about Matt’s age. “They can play.”

He smiled widely at Matt, dimples appearing in his cheeks. The girl rolled her eyes.

“Fine,“ she said. “Do you have a bucket?”

Matt nodded frantically. “Yes! I’ll go and get it.”

He sprinted off down the beach. “They said yes!!!” he yelled to Tom, who let out a whoop and ran to the cool hole, jumping straight inside. There was a muffled yelp from the depths of the hole.

“Get off me,” someone screeched.

Matt grabbed his bucket and stared at the rock pool shrimp trapped inside, caught in indecision. Finally he regretfully tipped it back into the sea.

“Be free, Gregory,” he murmured, and then ran back to the hole. By the time he got there Tom had taken complete control of the operation, and was giving orders to his subordinates.

“Tori, you bail out seawater. Charlie, you reinforce the sides with rocks to stop collapse. I’m going to dig.”

Charlie gazed up at Tom in awe, wide eyed. “Okay,” he said, handing him the handtrux. “Good plan.”

Matt whined deep in his throat. “Toooooom, I wanted to use the digger hands.”

“I’m the oldest,” Tom said, decisive. “Tori is only twelve. That means I get to dig.”

Tori rolled her eyes again, and took the bucket off Matt. “Shut up and get on with it then.”

“I’m going to get some shells to decorate the edge,” Matt decided. “Maybe a crab.”

“Good idea,” Tom said, and began to dig. Tori began scooping seawater out of the hole with the bucket. Charlie stopped staring at Tom and started pushing rocks into the sand. Matt wandered off somewhere.

The operation proceeded smoothly, until they all decided that the cool hole was finished and they wanted ice cream.

“Can we be penpals?” Tori asked Matt, licked her ninety nine.

“Sure,” said Matt. “I’ve got some Batman stickers.”

“Nice!”

“I like your hair,” Charlie said quietly to Tom. Tom beamed at him.

“Thanks, kid.”

#the next together #crossover fic #again #sigh #solitaire #chronicintrovert
9TH SEP 2014 22 NOTES

 


Exciting news!
As well as by Walker in the UK, THE NEXT TOGETHER is going to be published by Egmont US in America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m obviously so excited and grateful that my little book is being published in America, wow. I’m so happy.

#the next together #egmont #walker
8TH SEP 2014 12 NOTES


 

spacezeros: and i also drew michael and kate getting very excited about baby otters at the zoo. i am so weird

#my favourite thing ever #solitaire #the next together
30TH AUG 2014

chronicintrovert asked: Dear Lauren. Please write a story in which Kate and Michael get very excited about otters. Thank you very much.

The double date was going reasonably well. Tori and Kate had only got into one argument, which was better than expected, and Matt and Michael were worryingly close to eloping together, they got on so well.

Though by far the best friendship to appear from the afternoon at the zoo was Kate and Michael.

Kate and Michael both lived their lives in a kind of perpetual, over the top excitement as it was, but when they got together their personalities exploded into toddler-on-a-sugar-rush levels of squealing and giggling. It was the worst thing Tori had ever seen, and even Matt was desperate for a cup of tea and a sit down.

“Shall we go and get a coffee?” Matt asked, staring in horror at Michael and Kate, who were currently holding hands and jumping up and down, d’awwwing at the sight of a hyena ripping to shreds some kind of rodent corpse.

Tori, who had been snapchatting Lucas pictures of giraffe’s bums, shot a disgusted glance at their respective significant others, and nodded.

They slowly slunk around the elephant pen, and once they were out of sight, sprinted for the cafe.

“Good idea,” Tori said, buying a coke and the biggest bag of quavers she could find. “I was about to throw them in with the lions.”

“MICHAEL, BABY OTTERS!” came a high pitched squeal from outside the cafe. Matt and Tori both winced. Then there was a thud, as something fell over.

“I’m so sorry!!” Michael said, “Are you okay?”

Matt and Tori stared at each other in horror. “I don’t even want to know,” Matt said, and drank the rest of his tea in one gulp like it was whiskey.



 

– What will your duties be?

– Sword fighting, obviously, administering rum and swabbing.

#this is basically my book #thanks kat #The Next Together
28TH DEC 2014


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Exciting news!!! My book is now on amazon!!!!
It doesn’t have a cover yet, because that isn’t finalised, but it’s now available for preorder. My book is now a real thing! (If things that are available on amazon are considered Real, which I think in…
Exciting news!!! My book is now on amazon!!!!

It doesn’t have a cover yet, because that isn’t finalised, but it’s now available for preorder. My book is now a real thing! (If things that are available on amazon are considered Real, which I think in this case they do.)

MY BOOK IS ON AMAZON.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Next-Together-Lauren-…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

I would be very very very grateful if you could preorder (PREORDER!!) my book (MY BOOK!!!!!!!!). It’s not out until September, which I know is a very long way off, but the more preorders I get then the more exciting things happen! My publishers will do more fun things with marketing and publicity if people are interested. You don’t have to! But I would LOVE it if you did!!!

MY BOOK IS ON AMAZON.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that my BOOK IS ON AMAZON, all the exciting things are going to start happening, like cover reveals, and launch parties, and more pretty fanart by chronicintrovert probably, so……..I made a mailing list!

I’m only going to post very very infrequently, but if you want to sign up for updates about my book THE NEXT TOGETHER, then you can do so here. There will probably be rude jokes and links to cool youtube videos. Just saying.

While we’re at it, you can add the book on Goodreads here.

Thank you!

#the next together #blog #book
16TH DEC 2014

 


Character pictures
I just had to make up reference images of my characters in THE NEXT TOGETHER for my publisher, for cover related reasons, so I thought I’d post them here too!

Kate Finchley

Sassy, ginger, lewd sense of humour

Matt Galloway – Cautious, glasses, sweet.

So those are my babies!

#the next together #book
8TH DEC 2014


Anonymous asked: random q, but how different is your 2039 world from today? any major technological developments? or will i have to wait for the next together to find out? ;D

Hello nonny! I presume this is in relation to my interview with Kate here.

I’m not a huge fan of future books where the technology is constantly mentioned because its ~so different~ and ~fancy~ so I’ve tried to limit the number of those kind of references. The characters have tablets, which I imagine as being paper thin and kind of opaque. I don’t think that’s ever mentioned though.

The big changes in my 2039 are all political! England is getting into some trouble with the rest of the world, but I can’t say too much about it without spoiling anything……but Things will go down. It won’t be good.

#the next together #writing #book #Anon
25TH NOV 2014


chronicintrovert asked: Assignment time! Interview one of your new characters.
Okay, I’m a couple of chapters from the end of book 2 (!) and I’m avoiding writing it because I’m sad to finish it. So here’s a question from the archives!

I can’t do this for book 2 without major book 1 spoilers, so here’s an interview with THE NEXT TOGETHER’s one and only Katherine Finchley. This is set pre-book, so no spoilers for anyone!

Hey Kate, how are you feeling about starting uni?

Hi! I’m really really excited about uni, especially because it means I’ll be moving closer to my grannies (I have married grandmothers, it’s 2039, get over it.). I can’t wait to go and steal all their baking!! I’m going to eat so many pies.

What are you studying?

Biology. AKA THE BEST SUBJECT, OBVIOUSLY. I have major plans to take over the world one day. Wait, what?

Have you made any friends at uni yet?

Not yet!

And is there anyone you’re going to be sad to leave behind? A boyfriend?

Nope! I’m single and ready to mingle. I have high hopes for fresher’s week. If you are/see any shy, brunet boys with glasses, hit me up, okay?

What are your hobbies?

Uh…..does stalking cute boys count as a hobby? Because I’m an expert at that.

Oh, fandom! I’m big into fandom. Have you heard of that famous blogger, Spartacus? No? Well, he does social activism stuff. He’s a little bit illegal, and a little bit hilarious, and a whole lot of cute. I’m a big fan, as you can tell from my AO3 page.

Wait, now I think about it, that’s just stalking cute boys as well. Dammit.

Well, I hope you meet the boy of your dreams at university. Any words of advice for any fellow freshers?

Nobody has any idea what they are doing. Just fake confidence and everyone will be so impressed and intimidated by you that you won’t have to worry about anything else.

And don’t go mad on the canteen food. You’re better than that.

#chronicintrovert #claire’s coven #the next together #writing
23RD NOV 2014

 

I got a book deal

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015.]

So I keep meaning to write this entry, but I wanted to wait until it had sunk in a little more than just miscellaneous squealing, and somehow that delay turned into a month and I still haven’t even told you what happened with my novel, let alone written a summary of the process.

Long story short: I got a two book deal, with Walker books (Candlewick Press in the US), with publication set for late 2015. I’m so, so delighted, obviously, and initially was in complete disbelief, and confusion.

But I’m a little more steadied now, and for the first time in months I can relax. Rather than continuously questioning and worrying, I can actually settle down and think about what is going to happen to me, and what I am going to do over the next year to make sure to works out. All my dreams have come true, obviously, but more than that- I’ve suddenly got a set plan for my life after I graduate. I now know exactly what I am going to be doing in a month, six months, two years, and that is incredible, and terrifying.
In a little more detail, here’s how it all went down. I thought there might be some people who find it useful, and apart from that I just want a record for myself of how it happened, so I don’t ever forget the excitement of it, and how lucky I am. Sitting down to write this made me realise what a blur the whole thing is in my memory, so a lot of this was written with the help of emails, to remind me what happened! That sounds silly, that I can’t remember something that is basically the biggest deal to ever happen to me, but I genuinely can’t. It’s all a stressful, delightful blur.

So on Monday November 18th, 2013 my agent C rang up 16 UK editors of YA fiction, and gave them a brief introduction to the book, and then sent a copy by email, along with the following pitch:

THE RED EARTH ROLLS (YA, 87000 words)

Katherine Finchley and Matthew Galloway are destined to be together. In 1745, during the siege of Carlisle, in 1854 on the way to the Crimea, in 2016 and 2036 as first scientists and then students uncovering and rediscovering a dangerous plot, and in multiple alternative timescales between. Again and again they are thrown together, with no memory of having met one another before, only an irresistible instinct that they must be with one another against all odds – even while the epic events unfolding all around seem sure to tear them apart.

Recounting through a series of intertwining love stories Katherine and Matthew’s increasingly urgent attempts to divert history, THE RED EARTH ROLLS is a romance that combines unique warmth and humour with an ambitious journey through reincarnation, time travel and war.

Lauren James is a student studying Chemistry and Physics at the university of Nottingham. She is 21 years old and this is her first novel.

She told them that the deadline was the following Friday, but said that might be extended if anyone wanted more time to decide. Then there was a week where we just waited. I had labs every day, so I basically worked in a distracted but diligent haze, and then came home and fell onto my bed in exhaustion. I didn’t really relax from the time I woke up until to past 6pm, when I knew there was going to be no more news. I couldn’t sleep, except when I could, when I slept like the dead and could barely bring myself to wake up.

I always had one finger on my phone, clicking the standby button to check for new emails. Whenever the little symbol for a message appeared in the top bar my heart skipped a beat, and I grew to hate the words ‘Unitemps’, ‘Prospects’, ‘Target Jobs’, because they were all signs it was just another false alarm, just another newsletter coming through instead of an email from my agent. (Meanwhile ‘C’, ‘Nottingham’ and ‘TRER’ are all still buzzwords that still make the breath catch in my throat because this time, maybe, just maybe this time….)

There was a weekend, during which I used up almost an entire month’s worth of minutes, lying in bed on the phone to my mum. (I didn’t see my parents until a fortnight after the deal was closed, and having to do the whole thing alone without them was probably the only part of the experience I would want to change). I ordered takeaways three times in one week, felt immensely guilty about the amount of washing up I just couldn’t bring myself to focus on, didn’t do any work for lectures (did I even go to them? I’m pretty sure I missed all my lectures that week, mentally if not physically). One night my housemate had to actually intervene, because I came in and tried to make a meal of fish fingers, cheese on toast and rice pudding in a complete stupor.

Then the next Tuesday I walked onto campus, listening to my WAKE UP, IT’S MORNING playlist (Campus- Vampire Weekend, Chloe- Grouplove, Lady Percy- King Charles, 22- Taylor Swift) and didn’t check my phone for emails the entire journey. I didn’t even check it when I got into labs, instead messing around in my bag for my goggles, determining which labcoat was mine by the faint chemical marks on the left sleeve, dumped my stuff under the bench. It was my day to make cakes for the lab group, so I had an ice cream carton full of chocolate chip cookies in my bag. I’d made them in a distraction the night before, and was a little embarrassed of them. They hadn’t risen right because I’d added raisins.

But it wasn’t time for coffee yet, and half the post-docs weren’t even around, so I sat down at the desk that I had commandeered since I started working there, shook the mouse to wake up the ancient computer, which is only still used because it’s hooked up for Gas Chromatography analysis. It still uses Internet Explorer.

So I clicked onto Internet Explorer, waited the necessary seventy-eight seconds for it to load, realised I hadn’t checked my emails in almost half an hour, good god, and logged into my university email account. There was a new message from C, dated fifteen minutes before. A forwarded email. I skim read the words ‘enjoyed enormously’, ‘Walker’, ‘encouraging’ and then suddenly all the tension I hadn’t really realised I was carrying left my body and I sagged back into the seat. I had never really believed before then that anyone other than C and I would enjoy it, and suddenly I had this reassurance my book was worth all this hassle, which was all I’d been craving really, just a sign someone liked it. It was a forwarded email from an editor at Walker, and I could probably still pick out the exact blue colour of the font, and the yellow of the footer in her signature, I have read that email so many times.

I don’t think I even stopped to read the whole thing, I just called my mum, the first time I’d ever used my phone in labs to make a call (I did this multiple times over the next few weeks, because I always seemed to be there when I got news. I never stopped feeling like I was crossing some grave moral or ethical line). She didn’t answer; I remembered she was at work and called her mobile. She didn’t answer again; I called her work phone. She picked up. I tried to say hello, but it came out a breathless, giddy kind of choked giggle.

I avoided the eyes of some students who were watching my breakdown from across the lab, and ran into the corridor. I told my mum; she was delighted. I didn’t stop to discuss at all, hung up quickly because I suddenly realised  that I hadn’t actually even read the whole email. I ran back into the lab, leant over the desk and read the whole thing.

This is encouraging! I’ve let her know we can probably extend things a little if she keeps me posted.

C

Sent: 26 November 2013 10:16
Subject: RE: The Red Earth Rolls by Lauren James

Hi C,

Hope you are well? I enjoyed The Red Earth Rolls enormously – what an original concept and such strong characters. I am sharing with the team, but annoyingly a few people are away this week (how inconsiderate!). Is there any chance of extending the deadline? I will do my best to come back by Friday but want to give us a bit more wriggle room depending on how things progress.

Very best,

A

I span in a little circle, let out a giggle in delight. The girls were watching me, so I quickly mumbled an explanation. It was someone who hadn’t even known about the book, so I probably said something like ‘I wrote a book, and I just got interest from a publisher!!’
Which publisher?

Huh. I opened a new tab, typed walker into the bar, realised I was using Internet Explorer and typed google.co.uk instead. Found their website, saw the logo- a bear with a candle- realised I recognised it- not only was this a publisher, areal book publisher who had read my book and liked it– it was a good publisher, one who had published books I loved, who was incredible and well known and respectable. I was overwhelmed.

Suddenly I realised I hadn’t told my Dad yet, so I ran into the hall again, rang him. He’d already spoken to Mum, and he sounded like he was in tears on the phone. I think my Dad was more emotional about the whole process that either of us, actually. While we were gleefully exclaiming together, a phd student in my group walked past. I remember I was saying ‘I’m going to die’ in delighted hyperbole at the time, and he looked at me strangely, lingered in the corridor waiting for me to hang up.

He wandered over, asked what I had made for Cake Monday. I stared at him, and then blurted out my embarrassing little explanation: ‘I just got an email from a publisher. Sorry- I wrote a book. My book- it has an interested publisher.’
He stared at me. Suddenly about ten, fifteen people came out of the next lab. Coffee time.

“We’re dying for cake,” one of them called to me. I looked at her, wide-eyed.

“Oh, that’s a guilty look,” she said, “Does that mean you forgot?”

“I’m not guilty, I’m happy,” I blurted, and then suddenly I was explaining to a whole audience what had happened. I was dragged along to coffee, dished out cookies, realised how ridiculous it was that I hadn’t even told my brother yet, any of my family, and a whole tearoom full of scientists already knew, and were fighting over my cookies.

Someone was teasing me about physics- I was the only physicist in the group, even though I’m really more of a Chemist now- but I just stood up, went into the corridor and leant against the printer for a bit. I closed my eyes, rang my brother. I don’t know what I did for the rest of that day. Sent out a few embarrassingly incoherent emails, (hopefully) did some labwork. I just remember telling my brother, and running out of the tearoom.

In fact, from then on everything is a blur. I had to go through my emails to work out the order of what happened.
That was Tuesday. On Friday we got expressions of interest from two another publishers, and more importantly I talked to A, the editor at Walker, on the phone.

I can’t remember anything except the panic of it, of sitting on my bed staring at my phone and waiting for it to ring. C called me first, calmed me down, talked me through what I could and couldn’t say (don’t mention how many other publishers are interested; don’t go into great detail about what edits were done to it before submission). She reassured me that A was pretty much probably the nicest person in the publishing industry, and we’d get along great.

And then the phone rang again, and she wasn’t scary at all, just a normal, lovely person. She told me how much she liked the book, how she could barely talk about it without crying because the ending was so sad. She asked whether the sequel would have a love story, and whether she’d guessed rightly about what would happen (she was on the right track). She loved how I’d included real historical figures in the story, and she’d done a bit of research into the Jacobite uprising and Crimean war to find out what happened in reality.

She asked how I’d chosen my time periods, and I rather sheepishly admitted that while originally I’d wanted to include moments in history that weren’t immediately obviously gamechanging events, when it came down to the final choice it was just points where I could find primary sources for free on Google Books. She said that was a perfectly reasonable reason for choosing them, and said that she’d want to add more historical detail-  really bring out all the different worlds so they felt real- so I’d better be prepared to get back to Google Books!

She asked how I’d got the idea, and I explained I loved the idea of nature versus nurture in how people’s personalities developed, and how interesting it would be to see whether two people would still have a connection if they were raised in different times, different places; whether their love was related to circumstance or was really soul-deep.

Eventually we finished talking, and I was surprised that our conversation had only been half an hour.

I also spoke to another editor on the phone, who was just as lovely. Interestingly, she suggested the opposite type of changes- she wanted to cut back some of the historical storylines, make it more modern. She wanted to bring in a lot of the sequel into the first book in little excerpts, so that at the end there was a satisfying explanation of the machinations in the background, but I thought that it might ruin the impact of the sequel if it was all explained in the first one.

She had some really great questions about the main theme of the book- whether it was all about changing history, or about the couple getting together. She really challenged me actually, pulling out all the questionable vagueities of my sequel outline, and forcing me to decide what was really important. I’m so glad that I got the chance to hear two points of view (even if they were opposing and confused me a bit) because it has really helped see what the core of the book is that people enjoy- what I should focus on, what needs to be less confusing.

I had two full expressions of interest, and two delays from other publishers who wanted more time to consider, and then we just had to wait for everyone else to come in with their decision. There was another weekend, which I tried to spend doing stuff- Christmas fairs, lab reports- rather than just lying around panicking. The next Monday, a fortnight after submission, a solid offer came through from Walker.

Dear C,

Hope you are well and had a good weekend. It was so lovely talking to Lauren last week. Everyone here is very excited about her original and epic romance. We feel it has lots of potential, and its central themes – of love, loss and courage – are ones that will resonate with young readers everywhere. It also offers lots of fun opportunities for marketing and promotion, and I am already dreaming of a gorgeous cover look!

Lauren shows so much talent for one so young. Having spoken to her last week, I feel like she is someone with whom it would be a real pleasure to work. During our phone call, Lauren and I touched briefly upon ways to make this novel even stronger. I feel that by building out the different time periods that Matthew and Katherine inhabit while finessing some of the historical detailing, the book will become even more compelling and so tug more firmly on readers’ heart strings. This work would build on the extensive research that Lauren has already obviously done.

As you know, Walker is a company that invests in its authors in the long term. We have a proven track record for working closely with authors to launch their careers around the world, most recently with Timmy Failure, a property we bought jointly with our sister company in the US. As well as a dedicated and passionate UK sales and marketing team, we also have a passionate foreign rights team, with an excellent track record of securing deals, often at auction. As such, we believe that we are in an excellent position to provide a global home for Lauren and her books, and we sincerely hope that Lauren will choose us!

Thank you again for sharing Lauren’s terrific novel with us! I will be sat excitedly (and probably biting my nails!) as I wait to hear from you.

An identical offer came in from another publisher on Wednesday. C got to work trying to improve the terms- she wanted to keep the film/merchandise rights, etc. I’d already decided I wanted to go with Walker, regardless of the offer, because my vision of the book matched A’s more closely, and she was so keen and excited about the book- although I did like how the other editor had challenged me, and how enthusiastic she was about elements of the sequel that I hadn’t really discussed with A.
We waited anyway, to see whether they would improve their offers, and they both came back with increased offers that Friday. Walker’s was better.

The offer came in at 10am, and by 6pm C had closed the deal. It was done, I had a publisher! I sent C several excited gushing emails of thanks, tweeted 140 exclamation marks at A, and went home from labs (of course all this had happened in labs, under the amused eyes of the French postdocs, of course it had). I slept so well that night, oh my god. I slept that whole weekend, I think.

It’s been a bit hard to come to terms with, especially because several days after the deal was closed my agent went on maternity leave, and then everything stopped for Christmas, so I haven’t actually met my editor yet! It doesn’t actually feel like it has happened, really, but I feel so much safer in myself. But it happened! I actually got a publisher, which is ridiculous. The next things to do are decide on a final title (I have been brainstorming furiously), and then begin edits in March (A has been great about working around my exams and stuff).

Publication is set for late 2015, to give me more time to write the sequel- which they want to publish within a year of the first.

So, yeah. Book! It’s happening!!

My author profile is now up on my agency’s website, by the way: http://www.rcwlitagency.com/authors/lauren-james/

This entry is on friends-only for now, because we’re not releasing an official press release until the Bologna book fair in March, so sssssssh! 😉

I got an agent

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015.]

So in November 2010, I decided to do Nanowrimo!! It’s a great way to force yourself to do Writing without getting selfconscious about it, because there’s barely any time to reread it, let alone doubt its quality. So yeah I failed (I blame….university and also my inability to exist with less than 11 hours sleep a night) but it really made me realise how easy and fun writing was if you just did it and didn’t make a big deal of it.

Okay, sit down and listen up. Here’s what I did. I decided one day I wanted to write a story, so I made a list of all the things I like most in the world (thieves, secret passages, sass, time travel, hidden treasure, Science, history, long boat journeys, enforced close quarter living with UST) and then I made up a plot that used them all.

My number one tip is WRITE THE BOOK YOU WANT TO READ. If you don’t spend the entire time going ‘aw, man, I can’t wait to find out what happens! I wish someone would finish writing this so I can READ THE HELL OUT OF IT’ then you are doing it wrong. If you find it boring, why should anyone else care? JUST HAVE FUN. Write something that makes you giggle and flows out of your fingers faster than you can type because it’s just SO GOOD YOU NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. Also have making out, it’s sure to add quality to your story unless the characters are like giant space snails (in which case, each to their own!).

so I had an Idea, and suddenly had miraculously gained the confidence to actually write a large thing instead of staring at a paragraph and silently weeping or w/e. I just DID IT. Over the summer, so I had no homework/distractions(/social life, sob). And I wrote and wrote until I had a half finished thing, and then I went back to uni and left it in a drawer. But I kept thinking about it, and I had 6 months to tease at plots and develop ideas and that helped SO MUCH. Like, I’m not saying wait six months before you finish a thing, but the next summer when I went to finish the thing I finished the thing in like four weeks flat, because man was I ready to finish that thing.

aaaaaand, then some stuff happened. I turned 20, I went to america for a year. I forgot about my book for a bit, until someone told me that harpervoyager were accepting submissions of manuscripts for the first time in 10 years. So I dug it out my harddrive and polished it up a bit, and sent it off. While I was at it, I send it off to some agents too, because why not.

then guys. THEN.

I
got
an
agent.

I GOT AN AGENT. SHE LIKED MY BOOK, AND THOUGHT I HAD POTENTIAL.

I died.

but she said there were problems with it, mainly that it contained some dystopian themes which were a dying trend, that I needed to change if it was sellable. But she said I was ‘often funny’ and had a nice writing style and all these wonderful things so it took away the sting of ‘pls change your thing thx’.

so I thought about it for like three months straight I s2g and then I did some writing for the third summer in a row, and when it was done (and so much better this time, because I knew my characters inside out and could build on the foundations of what i’d written before and just add layers and layers of deja vu and recurring themes and inside jokes (and that’s what she said jokes) and guys it got SO GOOD I wanted to cry with happiness

so YEAH. I sent it back to my angel of an agent and she was like, ‘hmmm, way better but maybe if you just do this and this it would be even nicer’ and we sent at least 30 emails just about one single paragraph of the thing and then IT WAS DONE. I had a palatable draft, and a desire to never edit the thing again, and a satisfied agent.

that leads us to TODAY. When it had been submitted to 16 publishers! So ! Yeah ! That has happened ! And I will probably hear about the thing by next Friday so KEEP THOSE FINGERS AND TOES CROSSED FOR ME EVERYONE.

Here’s the blurb:

THE RED EARTH ROLLS (YA, 87000 words)

Katherine Finchley and Matthew Galloway are destined to be together. In 1745, during the siege of Carlisle, in 1854 on the way to the Crimea, in 2016 and 2036 as first scientists and then students uncovering and rediscovering a dangerous plot, and in multiple alternative timescales between. Again and again they are thrown together, with no memory of having met one another before, only an irresistible instinct that they must be with one another against all odds – even while the epic events unfolding all around seem sure to tear them apart.

Recounting through a series of intertwining love stories Katherine and Matthew’s increasingly urgent attempts to divert history, THE RED EARTH ROLLS is a romance that combines unique warmth and humour with an ambitious journey through reincarnation, time travel and war.

Lauren James is a student studying Chemistry and Physics at the university of Nottingham. She is 21 years old and this is her first novel.

We’re submitting my book to publishers

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015.]

Why, hello, yes i AM still alive and well and able to type out blog entries in my spare time, so it’s a mystery why i haven’t updated in so long.

Wait, no it’s not. I don’t have any spare time anymore! Hahaha free time what even is that, amirite guys (sob).

I started my masters research and since then I have been sucked into a black hole of labwork and cute phd students (so.many.babes.) and meetings and learning to use every piece of equipment under the planet and I’m having SUCH A GOOD TIME. Everyone is perfect and my project is amazing and I want to do what I am doing right now for the rest of my life. (I’m doing a couple of modules too in cosmology and astrophysics and the like, but I s2g they have yet to enter my consciousness in anything other than ‘ooh! A lecture! An hour I can sit down and nap and not worry about thing exploding in my face!’)

I will explain my project in detail at some point, but basically I’m looking at using a fancy piece of equipment to hydrogenate organic molecules in a more environmentally friendly manner, and trying to find the optimum conditions for it to work in. It’s a lot of pouring liquids and running NMRs and crying when we get unexpected results.

Anyway I TOTALLY KNOW that none of you care about that, so let’s talk about what you are all here for (haha I’m kidding, no one uses lj anymore it’s just ME). MY BOOK, which is currently known as Untitled Manuscript, because apparently ‘The red earth rolls is too literary a title for the blockbuster this is hopefully destined to be’ according to my agent.

After I spent approx my entire life rewriting, we are finally submitting to publishers next week, so I’m oscillating between terror and excitement on a particularly increased rate atm. Next week editors are going to be getting phone calls about my book and hopefully reading it and ???? ? ????????

I had to write an official outline for the sequel, which makes it REAL and it was kind of more stressful than finishing the first one, because i had to turn vague mental details into solid decisions and aaaaah the whole plot is going to fall apart why did i write so many cliffhangers???

And it’s done! I sent off the final draft and I have heroically stopped myself reopening it to start editing again, and I am so glad I have work up to my ears because I will not survive this is any other way than just living in the lab until the deadline.

Wish me luck, or a slightly accelerated agonising death, pls!

Tumblr tag archive – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (Part 1)

The Next Together (part 1) | The Next Together (part 2)  | The Next Together (part 3)| The Next Together (part 4) | The Last Beginning (part 1) | The Last Beginning (part 2)The Last Beginning (part 3) | Another Together | Another Beginning | The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (part 1) | The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (Part 2) | The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (Part 3) | The Quiet at the End of the World | Book 5 (ghost house) | Book 6 (loneliest 2) | Book 7 (earth) | Book 8 (fandom) 


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tumblr_lpuh46VHJJ1qdg5bno1_500

#the loneliest girl in the universe #dem embryos
8TH NOV 2011


tumblr_ltiit6XsSH1qdybmoo1_500


richwhitelesbian: are you single? are you seeing anyone? are you alone? can you see anybody? can you see anything? do you like it in this cave? how many days have you been here?

#the loneliest girl in the universe
7TH MAY 2013




 


tumblr_n2ozm7isqY1ql1ntjo1_1280

John James Chalon – Les Dames Artistes, ca. 1822

Tumblr salutes you, lady in the green dress painting ~artistic~ buff naked dudes.

I just couldn’t stop thinking about this fan artist foremother, so I had to draw her. She’s so high-minded, with her buff naked dude from a David painting, I decided to show her painting something less serious:tumblr_inline_pepquwQ0p41qzl77q_500

 

#the loneliest girl in the universe
25TH MAR 2014 S

I dislike the phrase ‘Internet friends,’ because it implies that people you know online aren’t really your friends, that somehow the friendship is less real or meaningful to you because it happens through Skype or text messages. The measure of a friendship is not its physicality but its significance. Good friendships, online or off, urge us toward empathy; they give us comfort and also pull us out of the prisons of our selves

John Green – (from the introduction of “This Star Won’t Go Out” by Esther Earl)


thedailylovejournal: I was waiting, for you. Everything I ever done, for you India.

Just as a flower does not choose its color, we are not responsible for what we have come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free.

–  Stoker

#the loneliest girl in the universe
26TH DEC 2013

 



abigailpaige: i thought of you, while in the shower

and i thought of how nice it’d be

to have your things among my things

along the bathtub’s edge

and i imagined myself running out of soap

and using yours

and wearing you to work, and the grocery store

and i imagined that night, laying down beside you

and smelling your neck

and finding out where all my soap had gone

#the loneliest girl in the universe
9TH NOV 2013

An agent wants to represent me

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015.]

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve spent the last couple of months rewriting parts of my book, because a lovely YA agent said she was interested in possibly representing me if I could make some changes. I sent off the new draft a fortnight ago, and the last few weeks of my life have basically been on tenterhooks, and stressing out on everyone I meet, to see if my changes were enough for her to want to officially take me on. Drumroll, it turns out they were. Cue huge, two hour hysterical sigh of relief. I’ve been jumping around the house since about 4pm.

“I’ve now read the new draft, and you’ve done an absolutely fantastic job.[….]I’d be delighted to offer you representation at this stage.”

I’ve got an agent! Who is committing to represent me! ME!!! She’s going to take my story to publishers and try and get them to like me, THAT IS SOMETHING SHE THINKS IT IS WORTH HER WHILE DOING. I’m…..so hAPPY ARGHH.

I’ve got a few things to adjust, and I’m going to see her again next week. I just….

the happiest hamster
me, if i had popcorn. and a piano. and was a hamster?

oh, and I turn 21 on saturday? that’s happening, i guess?[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015.]