I finished editing my book for publisher submission

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

I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to spain to visit Steph. It’s boiling hot in the uk so I’m basically looking forward mainly to the pool and seeing her ahhh.
Yesterday I finished my 2nd draft and I’m consequently freaking out rather a lot about it, i keep having nightmares about my agent realising how awful it is and blocking my emails and calling my parents for a chat about how disappointed in me she is, full on wake-up-sad nightmares.
Its nice to have it done though, I feel like I can think about the sequel and I really hope I don’t have to make more changes because I’m kind of done with this book, I feel like it I rewrite it anymore it’s going to be really jampacked and overloaded to read, even if what it’s overloaded with is well written witty banter and jokes. Idk, I know the plot so well now I can’t even reread it without skimming like yeah, yeah, got it.
So yeah I like it as it is, its the perfect mix of humour and angst and romance and drama and it’s pretty funny too.
Other news: having family trouble with my aunt, she sucks. Turn 21 soon, I’m getting a barbour jacket and a mustard yellow zatchel bag because I’m just that ridiculous. Been hanging out with people lots and trying not to think about how much I miss everyone who lives in other countries because missing them isn’t going to make a difference to when I see them again.

I met up with my agent for the first time

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015.]
I was absolutely terrified, as you can imagine, and drove everyone mad for roughly three weeks prior freaking out constantly about what I was going to wear, whether I might throw up on her, whether I should look her directly in the eye, what kind of accent I should use &c &c. Well, exaggeration but you get the idea.

Anyway of course it was WONDERFUL and we got on great! Obviously we did: she loves my book, she’s going to at least find me bearable in person.  When I went into the office there was a guy lying on floor playing tug of war with a black Labrador, so I kind of knew straight away that it was my kind of place. There were posters on the wall for Zadie Smith, and Kazuo Ishiguro, who they represent.

She made us a cup of tea which gave me a minute to calm down (and investigate her bookshelves). I can’t remember how it started because at that point I was still crazy with nerves, but at first we were discussing women in publishing, and I asked her if she’d seen Coverflip, where covers of books by women are redesigned as if they’d been written by men. She had, and said it was awful that there was still such a bias when a lot of the publishing industry was run by women. That broke the ice a little bit, and then she asked me was whether I read many YA books and whether I considered myself a YA author. I said that I think I was writing for my age group, which at the time happened to be a young adult one. I said that if I was to start a completely new book now it probably wouldn’t be YA, although I did like the more casual fun style you could write for teenagers. She agreed that that style is getting more common recently and that it was a very exciting time to be in publishing, especially with the advent of self-publishing.  She asked what I read mainly and I brought up the lack of YA LBGT books and she recommend a few that I hadn’t heard of.

I asked her what she thought of Kindle Worlds, and we discussed fanfiction for a bit and the effect that was having on how teenagers read.

She said the thing that drew her to my book when she was skimming through submissions was the chapter introductions, which are fridge notes or skype chats, like:

Kitkat: I want you to do the leg flick
Gallows Humour: What? I’m not doing the leg flick.
Gallows Humour: What’s the leg flick?
Kitkat: Like in films. The girl flicks her leg and waves it in the air and that shows how good a kiss it was. Next time we kiss, I think you should do that.
Gallows Humour: Why don’t you do it? You’re the girl.
Kitkat: Boys can leg flick too! GENDER EQUALITY.
Kitkat: Anyway, the point is that then I’d get to say my kiss is leg-flicking good. I can’t make my own leg flick.
Gallows Humour: Mmm, now that’s an image.
She thought they were really funny and original.

Then she pulled up her FILE ON ME, SHE HAS ONE OF THOSE WHAT, and asked me if I had anything in particular I wanted to discuss. I took out my list of questions that I’d frantically composed on the train and basically quizzed her for a while. The main thing that I got out of it was something she’d mentioned in her emails, but I hadn’t realised how important it was. She said that publishers really don’t accept dystopian books anymore because there are so many unsuccessful ones, and she says my book is really good but that’s going to make it hard to sell. We spent a while trying to resculpt it to get around that, and at the time we drew a blank but my mum and I brainstormed a couple of days ago and I came up with an idea! I’m still waiting to hear back from her, but that’s a relief that I can avoid that.

She said lots of nice things about me that I’m not going to brag about, the main one being that her agency is really picky and reject about 99.9% of submissions, so publishers will take notice that I’m being represented by her.

Basically I spent the whole time feeling like I’d made it up, because she was SO UNBELIEVABLY NICE, it couldn’t be real.
Then she asked if I had any questions about her job and publishing and we spent a ton of time talking about contracts and what her job involved and I asked far too many questions. She’s quite young, and only started a couple of years ago, so she doesn’t have many authors yet. She said the best part of her job was seeing book covers for the first time, because it feels like it’s a real thing. She said “you’re definitely going to get that moment, even if it’s not with this book. You’ve got what it takes to be an author,” and I blushed everywhere.

At the end I said thanks for taking a chance and reading my book, and how I hadn’t been sure whether to mention how young I was in the cover letter in case it put people off, but she said “Oh no! Publishers love that! It shows you’ve got a great career ahead of you.” So I left in a cloud of delight and sat at a bus stop and gushed at my mum on the phone until I felt better.
Since then I’ve pretty much been writing constantly and I’m having so much fun guys, I can’t believe this is really happening.

I submitted my book to agents

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015.]
So this is a thing that is happening:

Harper Voyager, the global science fiction and fantasy imprint of HarperColins is accepting unsolicited manuscripts for the first time in ten years for two weeks from 1st-14th October 2012 in the following genres: adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural.

Obviously, I’m going to submit my stupid thing. It’s basically all of those genres, and it’s a complete manuscript, and when am I ever going to get another chance like this? HARPERCOLINS, GUYS! So even though it really, really isn’t ready- like first-draft-there-are-some-parts-i-haven’t-reread-since-I-wrote-this levels of unready- I’m doing it. Excuse me whilst I ahhhHhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

I know it’s extremely unlikely to go anywhere but even just the possibility of other people, professional book publishing people, looking at my stupid thing, is freaking me out. So far the people who have read it completely are my mum, Abbii, Sarah and Steph. Am I being stupid, sending it in this early? I mean, it’s the first time they are doing this in a decade, if I miss this opportunity I have to go the long route of getting an agent and drafting and redrafting and blah blah. So I’m doing it. It’s a thing.

Consequently I’ve spent the last week frantically redrafting, and I can’t even write this entry without betaing the hell out of it in my head. I’m so sick of the first few chapters right now, guys. I can’t tell if they are any good at the minute.

Sooooo, anyone want to read the first few chapters and give me feedback? I would really, really appreciate it, and I’m trying to catch as many errors as possible (funny how they never run out however many times we go over it). My mum and Katie and Abbii and Sarah are being real troopers in helping out (Katie has read half of the entire thing in one night, she’s a power machine) but the more eyes the better, etc, etc. LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE POTENTIALLY INTERESTED IN HELPING EDIT A THING I WROTE IN LESS THAN A WEEK, GUYS!

Update: I finished editing my novel with the amazing help of an army of awesome people, and I’m submitting it…tomorrow. Ahh!! I’ve had to write a query letter, which was a painful, agonising, insert other hyperbolic adjectives here, experience. Anyway, here it is. It’s a good synopsis of my book, so I thought I’d post it so you guys can see what all the fuss is about!

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.

If you are reading this before Friday and you notice any errors, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. If you are reading this after Friday then never, ever point out any errors to me because I will have submitted it already and I will go and kill myself. WISH ME LUCK GUYS, PUBLISHERS ARE GOING TO READ MY STUPID NOVEL!


October update: I got my first rejection letter! A month after I sent my query out.
January Update:
So I sent out a few query letters to some agents back in October, and I got a reply from one in December who wanted to read the full manuscript. I got this response from her a few days ago:

Dear Lauren,

Sorry to keep you waiting. I finished this just a few days ago, and have been giving it a lot of thought. You are an exceptionally talented writer. I’m afraid that in my view there are some significant plot issues with THE RED EARTH ROLLS that don’t allow me to feel confident of finding it a place in a very competitive market; however for a first novel at such a comparatively young age it is a really extraordinary feat. Katherine and Matthew felt real, and their relationship was beautifully drawn – as well as often very funny.

Are you based in Nottingham full time? I’d be really happy to meet for a coffee should you be in London at any point, to discuss your work further. No worries at all if not – I can put my thoughts into an email and then we could always talk it over on the phone

Best wishes,

UM. OMG. Firstly, even though it’s a rejection, she wants to meet me in person to discuss it. I think that kind of says a lot about what she thinks of me. For a while I thought she might just be letting me down gently because I’m so young, but because of that I think not. She wants to work with me on the plot, it sounds like, and it looks like if I redraft it (which I really do need to do anyway- a lot of it is pretty terrible and all over the place) she’d be willing to look over it again. At the very least she read the whole thing, and think’s I’m ‘exceptionally talented’ and ‘often very funny’ !!!!! !!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and she knows who I am. I’m so excited, even though at first I was kind of upset that it was a rejection. This is actually real guys, an agent read my book and thinks it was a ‘really extraordinary feat’. AHHHHHHHHH

I am completely bowled over by the fact that you wrote this at such a young age, not to mention the fact that you are a scientist too, on the side! This is an incredibly exciting demonstration of talent in a what you refer to as a first practice attempt – I can only imagine what fantastic books lie ahead of you, and am so pleased to be in touch. The below feedback might feel a barrage of criticism, but please know that I have spent so much time thinking about this because I’m genuinely excited about what you can do. It’s very rare to come across such an exciting new voice.




Tumblr tag archive – The Last Beginning (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) | 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) 



There need to be more epic regency novels in the world. Preferably with thieves, if you can manage it. (I’ve read fingersmith too many times I think).

#the last beginning
23RD SEP 2011



wallacegardens: The Voynich Manuscript is a mysterious volume of text and illustrations written some time in the 15th or 16 centuries, so named after Wilfrid M. Voynich who acquired the book in 1912. It has been classified as “magical” and “scientific” but is written in an undeciphered text and is said to be the most “mysterious manuscript in the world.”

Voynich discovered the manuscript at a villa in Frascati, Rome, which was operating at the time as a Jesuit College. The pages are filled with botanical illustrations, herbal recipes, women frolicking in the water, charts with zodiac signs and constellations, and pages and pages of text which, to date, defy all efforts at translation.

The manuscript is owned by Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University.

#index #the last beginning
21ST NOV 2011


When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness and call it love
— Dr. Seuss (via youaremylove-theastronaut)

#the last beginning
20TH OCT 2011


I accidentally started writing a sequel at 3am last night and i’m not even done with this one yet oops

“Do you have a boyfriend yet, dear?” her elderly neighbour asked curiously. “Your facebook status is set to single but you never know with you youngsters.”

Against her will Heather’s gaze slid to where Meg was sitting on a bench with one of Heather’s older cousins. Her face was turned towards him, a flirtatious grin on her face. Her soft blonde hair was fluttering in the wind and she pushed it away absently as she let out a laugh. Heather couldn’t hear her from across the garden but she knew Meg’s laugh better than her own, and filled in the sound. Her heart clenched.

She forced her gaze to return to the neighbour. “No,” she said, expressionlessly, “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

“Ah,” the old woman said cheerfully, refilling her drink. “Best not to rush these things. You have plenty of time, don’t throw away your childhood too quickly, you’ll never get it back. Now, dear, do you have a twitter account? I should add you.”

#clove #writing #The Last Beginning #tlb extracts
9TH JUL 2012



Crying forever over my lack of artistic talent

#the last beginning
4TH AUG 2013

Son,” the father says, examining the broken petri dishes littered about the floor, “I’m not a mad scientist, I’m just a disappointed scientist.

#the last beginning #tom to clvoe
2ND AUG 2013

caluminium replied to your post: I never thought this would negatively effect my…
is the tag your sequel’s title? :O

Yep! It’s not yet as well developed as my TRER tag, which is a stunning look into the mind of a person alone in their own fandom, but it’s on it’s way. Sequel sequel sequel!!

#the last beginning
4TH APR 2013

I never thought this would negatively effect my life in any way but I…DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS
It’s a terrible drain on my powers of imagination to do writing right now

#clove #The Last Beginning
4TH APR 2013

carbohydrate: who has a crush on me. this is very important i need this for research i am a scientist

#the last beginning
27TH MAR 2013


#the last beginning
6TH MAR 2013



#file under: fanfiction #the last beginning
13TH JAN 2014

relicanth [Sarah Barnard] said: you excitedly telling me about bright with phosphenes [The Last Beginning] when you had just started it was the most cute thing jsyk

that sounds like an embarrassing anecdote you should never ever share with anyone ever

#was this on that crappy old sofa at greend i remember that #writing #The Last Beginning
27TH NOV 2013

chronicintrovert [Alice Oseman] asked: So what’s it like having to plan a sequel/sequels!? I can’t really imagine it, seeing as mine’s a standalone, and my next one will also be a standalone…

Okay, so I never originally planned to have a sequel. I wanted to leave it on a cliffhangery ending, that explained the book’s premise but left it a bit mysterious as to how it happened. I didn’t even know myself, and I liked how it was an explanation and not an explanation at the same time.

I also didn’t really want to write a sequel, because I had so many ideas I wanted to play with. I don’t want to be one of those authors who spend ten years on one series- I want to play with horror and space and murders and ghost sitcoms and try my hand at everything I can.

But then when I was getting near the end, I started thinking about it a lot more, and came up with all these amazing ideas and plots that I couldn’t fit into the book. Then I came up with a character that I knew I had to write about asap. So I started writing it!

It’s a sequel in that it is about the same idea, but it’s a completely different set of characters and style of book (it’s a lot more sci-fi time travel than the historical style of the first book). So I’m happy that I’m doing a sequel that’s not limited to the same story and characters, and my main worry right now is that my writing and plot development will have improved so much in the sequel it will make the first one seem terrible! but i can deal with that (probably).

i’m also scared that i won’t finish it before the first one is published, and i’ll get caught in a plot hole that i can’t change the first one to fix, and it will all goes terribly wrong….i imagine J K Rowling had so many sleepless nights over that too. how do people do it??

the good things about sequels:

*you can include references in the first one to things that don’t happen until the next book!

*you can add long term plots that spread over several books!

*you can make mysteries which have just enough information to be solved, if you read both books.

*you can have cameos from characters, that are older or younger than they were when you last met them.

*you can have scenes that you saw in the first book mean something entirely different in the sequel because you know more about what’s going on and how much the characters know.

*you can have character traits appear in related characters and be like OH WOW HIS BROTHER DOES THAT TOO, OMG and it gives you enough time to actually explore it

basically, IT’S ALL AMAZING. i love tricking my readers into thinking something happened, but it was totally different all along.

i love it i love it i love it

#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs #clove #writing #The Last Beginning
27TH NOV 2013






#grown up #clove #The Last Beginning
12TH JUN 2014

robot: i don’t understand. what is… love?
scientist: oh… well. i. love is-
robot: ahahaha i’m just fucking with you. anyway i found some cool swords online i want you to buy for me
#the last beginning #spart

a-p-o-s-t-a-t-e: “so what are you up to?”



#clove #the last beginning
7TH MAY 2014



pir8crabs: Some people theorize that one extra factor that made the Titanic sink was added weight from loads and loads of time-travelers attempting to prevent it from sinking.

#the last beginning
26TH APR 2014


#dream team #clove #The Last Beginning #romy #the loneliest girl in the universe
12TH APR 2014

chronicintrovert asked: THAT’S A HORRIFIC AND DIFFICULT QUESTION SO YOU GET IT TOO: Write a story in 3 sentences!

Wanted: date for single father of one (1) precocious toddler. Must be reasonably okay with not exactly following every letter of the law and happy to never travel outside of Scottish borders on penalty of arrest. Call Tom for more details and/or baby snaps.

#writing #claire’s coven #clove #The Last Beginning #tlb extracts
8TH APR 2014


dreamsandink‘s amazing book playlist got me itching to make another mix so here, have an early preview of my sequel playlist if that’s your thing
it’s about kickass lady superheroes having a great time & getting stuff done
okay enjoy

girls like you/the naked and the famous
you’ve got time/regina spektor
a better son daughter/rilo kiley
exile vilify/the nation
weight of living part I/bastille
she’s a rebel/green day
brave/sara bareilles
she keeps me warm/mary lambert
girls chase boys/ingrid michaelson
why am i the one/fun
get home/bastille
if she wants me/belle and sebastian
laughter lines/bastille
pencil full of lead/paolo nutini
feeling good/muse
(via laurenjames)

#the last beginning
3RD APR 2014


Train —Drops Of Jupiter – “tell me did you fall for a shooting star one without a permanent scar
and that you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there”

#The Last Beginning
19TH MAR 2014


I just found a very major plot hole in book 2



*laughs until I cry*

#writing #blog #The Last Beginning
12TH OCT 2014

kars: I am awake but at what price

#clove #The Last Beginning
26TH SEP 2014


actualanders: my biggest disappointment in life is that i will probably never kiss someone wearing a full suit of armour

not with that attitude

29TH JUL 2014

I know it’s slightly creepy, but I’ve written one of my characters to look like Dylan O’Brien will look in ten or so years time, at the age he will be when any potential films of my book are being cast.

I am super serious about Dylan O’Brien. I’m not messing around here.

#dylan o’brien #tom #blog #The Last Beginning
25TH JUL 2014


narcissvs: Random Aesthethic Generator


#see: book 2 #clove #The Last Beginning
3RD JUL 2014

spoopycopequinn: I babysit for a girl who use to think her mom’s name was “my love” because her dad said it so often to her and that’s just freaking cute I can’t

#tom and jen #TOM AND JEN #The Last Beginning

terpsikeraunos: au in which the library of alexandria didn’t burn down

#The Last Beginning #ella

7TH DEC 2014




word-stuck: phosphene

#clove #aaaaaaaaah this is so perfect jesus #The Last Beginning
30TH NOV 2014


I’m so close to finishing book 2 and I caaaaaaan’t. I can’t let go.

Help me focus guys. How do I do this.

#The Last Beginning
28TH NOV 2014


*raises hands above head* *hollers* IT’S THREE AM ON THE 29TH NOVEMBER 2014 AND I JUST FINISHED MY SECOND NOVEL

#writing #book #The Last Beginning
29TH NOV 2014

A list of things I have googled during writing.
Scottish qualifications
royal baby’s name
movie trailer tropes
how they worked out JK Rowling was Robert Galbraith
jfk shooting
suffragettes chained to fences
red dwarf
word for all-knowing
what rock is in superman
#writing #blog #The Last Beginning
19TH NOV 2014


spacezeros [Alice Oseman]:  today i drew Clove, the protagonist of lauren-e-james’s book 2! her first book, The Next Together, is out next year. add it to your to-read list, this series is going to be a good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOOK WHAT ALICE DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clove is my DARLING that I’m currently writing about I LOVE THIS SO MUCH

#clove #book #blog #The Last Beginning
14TH NOV 2014



robot: i don’t understand. what is… love?
scientist: oh… well. i. love is-
robot: ahahaha i’m just fucking with you. anyway i found some cool swords online i want you to buy for me
#this is SO RELEVANT to my sequel #spart #and #clove #The Last Beginning
5TH NOV 2014


qwantzfeed: look upon my time travel theories, ye mighty, and despair… but also be honestly kinda impressed

#the last beginning
15TH APR 2015

Anonymous asked: How is Book 2 doing?

It’s going pretty well, thanks! I’m still working on edits, but I got to write some pretty fun scenes this week, including a flirty water fight between my lovely ladies!! I’m really enjoying it, and I hope that comes across in the writing.

#the last beginning #Anon
14TH APR 2015

yourgaydarisonpoint: If you’re not at least mildly obsessed with her, she’s not the one.

#lol this is Ella #The Last Beginning
18TH MAR 2015


#spart #sigh i write stupid stuff sometimes #The Last Beginning
26TH JAN 2015

patrocius: girls don’t like boys girls like space travel and natalie dormer

#clove #The Last Beginning
23RD DEC 2014

The most challenging and non-intuitive of all the concepts in the general theory of relativity is the idea that time is part of space. Our instinct is to regard time as eternal, absolute, immutable – nothing can disturb its steady tick.

In fact, according to Einstein, time is variable and ever changing. It even has shape. It is bound up – ‘inextricably interconnected,’ in Stephen Hawking’s expression – with the three dimensions of space in a curious dimension known as spacetime.
— Bill Bryson

#clove #The Last Beginning
8TH DEC 2014

First draft of book 2 is ready for editing!

#the last beginning
8TH DEC 2014

Tumblr tag archive – The Next Together (part 1)

Everything is going a bit nuts over on Tumblr, and it’s made me think a bit more carefully about what I have on that site and what I would like to keep if it shut down. The main thing I have there is a history of each of my books in tags for each project, with inspirational pictures and progress updates. So I’m going to go through each tag in chronological order and upload them here as individual posts for each book. This is the one for The Next Together. You can find the others here:

(links to come) 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) 

These are going to get loooong – there are 32 pages in The Next Together’s tag alone. But hopefully it’ll be quite interesting. I imported all my Livejournal posts to this blog too, a few years ago, so it should now be a complete(ish) record of all my internet writing activities. And it’s good to have a record in a place I can trust it will be accessible for longer than the next week.

Today I have written about 2000 words of crap about statistics, done a lab and got full marks, and painted a lion. I deserve a night off I think. Going to see RED now!

#the next together

15TH FEB 2011

laurenjames: Sarah and I had a writing competition. I wrote 2,323 words, she wrote about 400. I AM SO MUCH THE WINNER ITS NOT EVEN A PROPER VICTORY.

I have to go to bed now because I have to get up for pancakes tomorrow.


relicanth [Sarah Barnard]: all my creys

I am a lazy writer okay. I will draw your picture tomorrow





#the next together

8TH MAR 2011

This is what I’ve written since 11 last night. I’m so proud of myself for getting back into it. Most of it is dreadful run on sentences and too much dialougue, but it’s getting the plot down thats the hardest. I love editing and fixing it afterwards, so this is great ❤

#the next together

8TH MAR 2011


relicanth [Sarah Barnard]: LAUREN

You can’t see it very well, but you didn’t specify what kind of urchin you wanted so I drew a street urchin holding a sea urchin. The carriage is in the background.

laurenjames: egdfjsdljsldghowrehfero OMG this is wicked. I’m writing about a street urchin WHO SAILS IN A BOAT. so they may well be holding a sea urchin at some point


#the next together

10TH MAR 2011


phantomry-blog [Sarah Barnard] asked: BUT WHAT SHOULD I DRAW FOR YOUR BOOK

…I’m keeping that typo.

laurenjames: Ok here is a detailed list

1) a really awkward cute guy in a lab using a labcoat as a bag with apples/pens etc in it, wearing a waistcoat and docs

2) a girl dressed as a boy

3) people in space suits looking through a loft full of christmas trees and boxes etc


4) a girl cutting all her curly red hair off in a ship’s kitchen and chucking it out of a porthole

LOL I reread that and was like, wow, my novel sounds mental

#the next together
27TH MAR 2011


sherlockholmes-: Look guys my iPod offers Helvetica as a font for my Notes AM I HIPSTER YET.

Ignore my notes they’re really odd aha.

laurenjames: I think it should be a Thing that people post their notes contents page, it reveals so much about a person. Mine say stuff like

  • the adventure of the t-rex
  • arthur had only known merlin
  • value your thesis
  • a stephen king dream
  • matthew is a reporter in coach

#the next together

3RD MAY 2011

ive nearly reached 10,000 words and my brain has switched off




#the next together
17TH JUN 2011

tumblr_ln8ksc7ePo1qzfnw6o1_540aosakana: Village Girl

this is my characterrrrr *saves as inspiration*

#the next together
27TH JUN 2011

why do authors never mention how fun it is casting actors as your characters?

picspams of your original fiction are the most fun you can have

#the next together
27TH JUN 2011

Today I have:

-put a shitton of crap on ebay

-wrote notes on a primary source about the crimean war FOR FUN*

-made a picspam of my characters**

-ate trifle

-forgot to brush my hair and only realised when my mum came home from work and called it a birds nest

*for research for my book

**if you want to see i may be persuaded to post it. just saying.

#the next together
28TH JUN 2011

My characters!



VICTORIAN MODE (yeah ignore the fact that she’s underwater or whatever, thats her LOOK:



What do you think? There aren’t enough redheaded pictures out there so the girl is varied but the boy is Cillain Murphy through and through. He even has tiny little freckles on his nose! Exactly as I’ve described him. He’s a bit brooding though, my character is more cheerful.

28TH JUN 2011



yes but he has stubble and….hair, and stuff. AND MY EDITING NEEDED ANOTHER PHOTO THERE

the one with the glasses or the one where shes leaning? YES I CAN DESCRIBE THINGS

#the next together
28TH JUN 2011

abigailpatrick asked: THE ONE WHERE SHE’S LEANING. =]


It is a terrible thing that googling ‘redhead scientist lady’ doesn’t give any results whereas ‘cute guy cheekbones glasses’ gives lots. That must be sexist in some way but I’m not sure how.

I had to make do with a girl in a suit. SIGH

#the next together

28TH JUN 2011

i have now used up every possible method of writing avoidance. Abbii, get round here so I can bug you to write as a form of procrastination.

#the next together
28TH JUN 2011

I just hit ~*~thirty thousand words~*~!!!

Some of it is notes, but still 30,000!! Thats over half of NaNoWriMo!


Also I now have plotted out every chapter to the very end, and I know exactly how it’s going to end (its a killer because I am a tease and love upsetting endings).


now if only i could make myself write more often.

#the next together
28TH JUN 2011

I think I’ve found the title for my book – The Red Earth Rolls

Jesus fucking Christ that’s a terrifying thought

I can’t do this.

(at the minute it’s from this because its so appropriate for my story

They will come back – come back again, as long as the red Earth rolls.
He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think He would squander souls? – Rudyard Kipling)

#the next together

29TH JUN 2011

a romance novel written by a scientist:
when a girl looks at her crush’s PhD thesis instead of his facebook page

i’m enjoying writing this so much

#the next together

8TH JUL 2011


Siege of Carlisle (November 1745) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The siege and capture of Carlisle was an important event of the 1745–1746 Jacobite rising. Jacobite forces loyal to Prince Charles Edward Stuart captured the city of Carlisle and Carlisle Castle on 14–15 November 1745.

#the next together

22ND JUL 2011

tumblr_loyq8649bt1qdessbo1_250relicanth [Sarah Barnard]: LAUREN I DONE YOU A PRESENT

cos I have neglected you

laurenjames: opsgjfdoslikjsdl;kcs;lfksdgkpf;jgpjgsp;sdfl


#look at the pretty #sarah is the best #the next together
26TH JUL 2011


my note making is getting progressively more and more chavvy the more i write
this is a sign i should go to bed
my note making is getting progressively more and more chavvy the more i write

this is a sign i should go to bed


#this post contains a ridiculous amount of swearing considering i don’t swear #the next together
28TH JUL 2011

timetravellingtortoise [Louis Osbourne] asked: How’s the book coming along?

i’m nearly at 50,000 words which is like novel length which is pretty scary

so far it has cross dressing, war, ships, apocalypse, finding hidden treasure, space suits, SCIENCE, russians, periods, pet seagulls (and owls) and cocky freshers


#the next together
30TH JUL 2011

timetravellingtortoise [Louis Osbourne] asked: What would you do if you were trapped on a steamship for a fortnight?

[This is a reference to knowing I was writing a book about being trapped on a steamship!]
ah, its my turn is it? bring it on


i would like to say i would invent a better system of government based on ant society, but i would probably just sleep

#the next together
30TH JUL 2011



#the next together
29TH JUL 2011


So I’ve moved onto the siege of Carlisle in my endless hobby of Research Everything Ever For This Story
Part of the 2nd Jacobite uprising, in 1745 Carlisle was attacked. It surrendered after about a week of pointlessly aiming canons over the city…
So I’ve moved onto the siege of Carlisle in my endless hobby of Research Everything Ever For This Story

Part of the 2nd Jacobite uprising, in 1745 Carlisle was attacked. It surrendered after about a week of pointlessly aiming canons over the city walls. The Jacobites put their helmets on spades and waved them at the city walls to tease the city garrison.

#the next together

30TH JUL 2011



lets celebrate my nervous breakdown over this terrifying milestone shall we

#the next together
1ST AUG 2011



60,000 words. Well, fuck.

#the next together
25TH AUG 2011


A short love story.
The boy was looking at her again. I nudged her, and she shot him a glance and then looked away quickly.

“What is his problem?” she murmured under her breath to me, barely audible under the sound of the music.

“He likes you,” I said, “Go and talk to him.”

“If he liked me he’d come over and talk to me,” she replied, returning her attention to the people dancing, a mass of multicoloured limbs in the darkness. She was looking out for her on- again, off- again boyfriend. They were currently off-again, and Clare had spent a significant part of the evening declaring her deep-seated hatred for him, whilst watching his every move.

“Maybe he’s shy,” I said, sympathising. He was cute, in a skinny kind of way, clutching a pint and listening to a friend chatting in his ear, eyes fixed on Clare.

Clare’s phone beeped and she checked it absently, visibly perking up as she did so. She turned vaguely to me, saying, “Matt wants to talk. I’ll be back soon.”

I nodded, but she didn’t see, already getting up to meet her boyfriend on the dance floor. I sipped my drink quietly, watching the boy who was watching Clare.

#the next together #writing
28TH AUG 2011

Prince Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart

what a name

what a man

i hope his friends called him maria

oh no wait they called him bonnie

nobody noticed my joke

i make a rant about torchwood and it gets like 5 notes

i make a humorous historical pun and it is ignored

why is life so unfair

#i feel like noone understands me #maybe its that i don’t understand myself #i turn into an emo when tired #the next together
2ND SEP 2011

death scenes are the most fun to write

i dont care if that is mean but it is so true

sex scenes are good but just embarrasing because im like OMG, MY MUM WILL DEFINITELY READ THIS ONE DAY SOON

and exposition is good but im all ‘what adjective should i use to describe the speech here’

but death scenes are so, so great

you dont need to worry about any of that

because the more out of control the writing is the better

and there is a challenge of can i make myself cry when writing this (yes) and if so you win all the awards and its just brilliant ok


#the next together
4TH SEP 2011

phantomry-blog [Sarah Barnard] asked: hello Lauren I like you so I just read through what I had missed on your tumblr. It made me laugh, lots of it!! One day I will illustrate your novel and they will be gr8 illustrations but not as gr8 as your novel!! Yes! This ask is written ridiculously. I think because it’s late. Hey there’s a maximum word count now isn’t there? Well I’m going to try and get to that. Did you like Doctor Who? I’m going to France soon. Scary times! I keep fighting with my mum about it 😦 26 caracteres restants eh?


the pic you already did for my book is my wallpaper on my ipod i love it ❤

france ahhhhhhhhhhh

i’m going to nottingham soon AHHHHHH

oh, wait.

#the next together #nice people
18TH SEP 2011

I’m currently having a massive moment of doubt at whether anyone would even want to read a romance type novel set in 3 different war zones except me

i hope so, otherwise these 70,000 words are going to waste.

oh dear

#the next together
17TH SEP 2011

that awkward moment when you use the description ‘like a rabbit caught in the headlights’ when it’s set in 1745 and headlights didn’t exist

#the next together
18TH SEP 2011


Why the convoluted sentences, people of the past?
“If only we knew what was happening, this is bullshit.”

#the next sentence is even longer #not a word of a lie #the next together
18TH SEP 2011

Trying really, really hard not to make a ‘rim me, hardy’ joke [reference to this comedy sketch] in this scene about Nelson, but I don’t think I’m strong enough. I’m abusing my powers as an author here, guys. Help.


hi, i’m a mature adult, nice to meet you

#the next together
14TH JUL 2012

Hey, clever people.

Is it ‘he fell towards her’ or ‘he fell toward her’?

I feel like one is an Americanism but I don’t know which.

#the next together
13TH JUL 2012

i’ve written like 23 chapters of continuous plot whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat

#look at that word count #how did this happen #the next together
6TH JUL 2012

and so we start another day of doing everything possible to avoid doing any writing, including but not limited to organising all of my c drive in minute detail

procrastination update: made mars bar cookies

#the next together
28TH JUN 2012

i want to draw my characters and have a general fanart session with pretty dresses and curly hair and plotty things but i can’t art waaaaaaahh

#the next together
25TH JUN 2012

andalites [Sarah Barnard]: omg go away congrats on ur words though

laurenjames: thanks!!

i think i am getting better at writing completely PG porn though

“This is a stupid idea,” he eventually muttered, mouth pinched. “This is going to end so badly.”

“Will you help?” she said eagerly, ignoring his pessimism. He let out a long suffering sigh and nodded.

“I will. But you have to be mature about this. We are going to have to be really careful.”

“It will be fine,” she said breezily. He stared at her, and she rolled her eyes. “I promise to be really careful and do everything you say, or you can do something really bad as punishment.”

“A warning isn’t at all threatening when it’s as vague as that, but yes, I will do something really scary if you behave like an idiot,” he replied, so she relaxed slightly. If he was joking with her he wasn’t about to panic and run just yet.

After a minute of silence, Matthew sulking and Katherine squirming in excitement, she added, “Well, look on the bright side. If it ends badly, I’m sure you can write a wonderful novel about how much you hated the whole experience.”

He snorted. “Sure,” he said dryly. “It will go down in history as the gospel truth on ‘Why Not to Trust Katherine Hallward Ever, Under any Circumstances’.”

She laughed giddily and relaxed in a boneless sprawl against his arm, already wondering how she could convince Matthew to lend her some of his clothes. He nudged her shoulder with his own, smiled down at her. She held his gaze, feeling the buzz of it under her skin, and he kept eye contact, until he had to look back to the road.

“So,” she asked after a content silence, “Can I borrow a shirt? Maybe a pair of trousers?”

He hummed sceptically. “I think my clothes would overwhelm you.”

She sat upright and stretched out her arms alongside his to measure the difference. Her fingertips reached the base of his thumb and she casually left her hand on his wrist as she pressed against his side. He was warm and she softly rubbed the bone of his wrist with her thumb. He didn’t mention it, but as he guided the reins his hand twisted. Her fingers curled into the palm of his hand, and she rubbed small circles into his skin.

“I don’t know, I think I’ll fit just fine.”

He pressed his hand tighter around hers.

“It might work, I suppose.”

 #the next together
21ST JUN 2012


#lauren does words #all of them are terrible #i have a ‘lauren drinks sherry’ tag is that really neccessary #the next together
21ST JUN 2012

Doing the writing
“Will you go on a date with me?” Matt asks, and Kate mutters “I guess so,” in the general direction of the floor. She’s pretty sure her face is telling him that what she really means is ‘Yes, yes I will, can we go right now before I explode with glee’ because when she plucks up the courage to look up he’s grinning smugly to himself.

#I’d forgotten how much fun it is #the next together
10TH JUN 2012

History repeats itself. Somebody says this.
History throws its shadow over the beginning, over the desktop, over the sock drawer with its socks, its hidden letters.
History is a little man in a brown suit trying to define a room he is standing outside of.
I know history. There are many names in history
but none of them are ours.
— “Little Beast” by Richard Siken from Crush

#my story #my heart #the next together
19TH JAN 2012

for like life in general idk

  • finish my story
  • never going to happen but
  • i can dream
  • do my quantum coursework
  • learn to beat matlab
  • at everything
  • make a soufflé they look cool
  • go a day without buying someone a present on amazon
  • no cancel that
  • do laundry
  • like proper laundry with ironing and everything
  • start sleeping normal hours
  • that can wait til next year actually who needs to be sensible
  • revise point groups
  • goddamn things i hate them so much
  • get them away from me
  • then bring them back when they make sense
  • see The View live
  • get my birds tattoo

#the next together
25TH NOV 2011

sarah is reading over something i wrote

her only comments are on the food

“mmm i had pasta today” “pancakes oooh”

shes a great beta

#the next together
22ND NOV 2011

So this is mainly a refernce for Sarah if she’s ever doing another drawing of my characters (not that I’m asking, derp) but Katherines hair looks just like this in my head!

#the next together
20TH OCT 2011

Today I’ve written 700 words. Depressingly, thats more than I’ve written in about the last month.

#the next together
21ST SEP 2011

laurenjames: it kind of ruins the romance of a victorian sex scene when you go into a detailed description of the undressing process, doesn’t it?



unapologeticfangirl: Dude. I would have lost my desire after about ten minutes of trying to get a corset off!

laurenjames: at least the possibility of sex before marriage would be greatly decreased just because its too much effort.

#the next together
20TH SEP 2011


#trapped in the ben wyatt tag #he’s my matthew #the next together
7TH NOV 2012

o well i guess this scene is ok

He shifted on the spot, his shoulder brushing against hers. She watched him as he looked out across the fog covered landscape, the shape of his nose, the curl of hair against his forehead. His Adam’s apple- moving as he swallowed. He turned his head, catching her eye, but she didn’t drop her gaze.

“Katherine,” he said thickly, voice low and with the slight hint of a warning. She could feel her eyes flick to his lips, so close to her own, and he blinked slowly in surprise, eyes darkening.

“Matthew…” The sound was barely more than a breath in the air, but it seemed to physically touch him. He swayed slightly, stepping back then rocking forward, closer toward her.

She could see each eyelash in perfect detail, fluttering as he blinked, his gaze darting over her face to rest on her mouth. She wet her lips, watched his pupils widen. Katherine felt unsteady, lit up from the inside like a beacon. She pressed closer until she could feel his rough breath against her, could see nothing but his face.

He closed his eyes, cleared his throat, and stepped abruptly away from her as if it were a physical ache. He ducked his head and turned, disappearing into the crowd without her seeing his face. She looked after him silently, gasping air like she’d been running, and pressed her palms against her hot cheeks to cover her blush.

#the next together #i keep getting caught up in the obvious UST and forgetting to edit
5TH OCT 2012


redstrawberryginger: “ Redhead by ~onesummerago

#the next together
25TH JUL 2012


question that may or not be related to writing (spoilers: it is)
What would be the least sexy thing to wear on a date? Like, as a prank?

(must be funny)

(also not offensive)


#the next together
24TH JUL 2012


First Look At Ben Whishaw As The New ‘Q’ In SKYFALL





laurenjames: YES





also i made a #the red earth rolls tag so now the entire world can see how bad at writing i am

#the next together
16TH JUL 2012

In the last half an hour I have googled radiation sickness, full highland dress, bloodletting and maid’s sleeping quarters. That was to write about a paragraph.

I’m either doing something really wrong in my research, or really right.

Also: my novel wouldn’t exist without wikipedia.

#the next together
16TH JUL 2012


tumblr_lxyxl7K45o1qkjkwao1_1280Abbii: Lauren. Him. But Slightly lighter. In fact quite a lot light. And either less stubble or more. No in between stubble like this pic. Not as skinny though.

Laurenjames: hmm, wrong haircolour, and his face is a bit too thin. but he has the right build! also, ben winshaw is perf

#the next together
15TH JUL 2012



laurenjames: hey abbii

you weren’t around earlier so i’m totally asking again

what does matthew look like in your head cause in mine he is this guy and i ONLY JUST REALISED

Abbii: Hmm…sort of. I see him with that hair but not that face shape. Also this guy wouldn’t suit a cowboy shirt and corduroy trousers. Matthew makes it work for him. In my head he does anyway.

laurenjames: yeahhhh maybe. he has the right eyes though

Abbii: And eyebrows. I dunno, I think Matthew has a less…triangular(?) face. I wish I could draw him for you. Fuck, how do you art?

laurenjames: i haven’t found a good katherine yet. i don’t really know how i see her features.

also i’m about a chapter away from being completely DONE!! i’m planning to read through it/have a quick edit and then i want to print off a copy, get everyone to read it and note down any corrections etc, pass it around so i can fix it all in one go. i’ve been looking for a good place to print it off and the minimum cost i can find is £12 for 250 pages 😦

i’m so excited to have people read it, everytime i write a good bit i’m like ‘JUST SHOW THEM NOW DO IT DO IT’ and i have to actively stop myself so i can read it through myself first and check for stupid mistakes. I’m so excited!!!!

Sarah: THAT WAY I COULD ACTUALLY READ IT. If you actually trust me enough to give me a copy, that is.

laurenjames: yeah of course you can read it!! i want EVERYONE to read it, which probably isn’t the best way to go about it. people can only read it for the first time once, so i should maybe save some people to read it after i’ve redrafted it to see if it reads better? if that makes sense. ANYWAY I’M TOO EXCITED IT’S UNFAIR

#the next together #stuck on a plot point in the last chapter #trying to avoid fudging it in my excitement to finish because it’s kind of important #the next together

15TH JUL 2012


A possible Katherine. She needs to have the kind of face that would work as a boys in disguise, so I’m struggling to find a good match, but Amy Nuttall is pretty close.
A possible Katherine. She needs to have the kind of face that would work as a boys in disguise, so I’m struggling to find a good match, but Amy Nuttall is pretty close.

#amy-nuttall #the next together
30TH JUL 2012

yes she’s perfect

#the next together
30TH JUL 2012


nameless-passerby: – I’m your new quartermaster. ~ Ben Whishaw as Q – Skyfall


#the next together
29TH JUL 2012


what do i do with my life from this point on

i finished

all the words



I…..wrote a novel.

#draft zero complete #the next together
25TH JUL 2012


I’m been staring at this picture awestruck for about ten minutes because this is my character, Matthew. It’s like my brain made this picture.
I’m been staring at this picture awestruck for about ten minutes because this is my character, Matthew. It’s like my brain made this picture.

#cloud atlas #ben whishaw #the next together #lauren’s stupid novel
1ST JAN 2013


laurenjames: Going through my inbox and just found the first EVER review of my book, which apparently passed the minimum requirement for published fiction. Let’s hope this leads the way for reviews to come.

Sarah: # i’m my favourite person# (that’s not true but shh)# lauren i’ve been going through your novel tag# i liked the hugh dancy posts and amy nuttall and the disney princess exchange# but i’m reblogging my own jokes instead

laurenjames: I think about Hugh Dancy too much.

The Disney princess is good, but I think the leg flick is my all time favourite novel IM convo now.

#better that 50 shades #the next together
1ST JAN 2013

Hey guys!

I went to Germany, which was amazing. Whilst I was there I also had some amazing news: an agent is interested in my YA novel! She read it and liked it and described me as often funny,which I keep telling everyone as if it’s some kind of official review of my personality. LAUGH AT MY JOKES, I’M OFTEN FUNNY. She’s going to help me work on the plot, which needs a lot of love before we can take it to any publishers, but fingers crossed soon (by which I mean, in the next year or so….when do I have time for writing on top of school?) I’ll have some exciting news!

Alright, ~Lauren OUT

#america #the next together #to all my professors now: I deserve an A on that essay #an agent said I was ‘extremely talented’ #you don’t know what you are talking about
22ND JAN 2013

Sometimes I go through my novel tag and weep at how carefree and innocent I was.
When now I’m actually getting stuff happening with it and it’s all STRESS and REWRITES and PAIN, SO MUCH PAIN.
can I go back to the days all I did was reblog pictures of Ben Whishaw and write makeout scenes

#the next together
23RD JAN 2013

My agent is literally just feeding my ego email by email:
I am completely bowled over by the fact that you wrote this at such a young age, not to mention the fact that you are a scientist too, on the side! This is an incredibly exciting demonstration of talent in a what you refer to as a first practice attempt – I can only imagine what fantastic books lie ahead of you, and am so pleased to be in touch. The below feedback might feel a barrage of criticism, but please know that I have spent so much time thinking about this because I’m genuinely excited about what you can do. It’s very rare to come across such an exciting new voice.





#the next together #when you can only express your emotions through anthropomorphised animals
23RD JAN 2013



hey there, kate

#the next together #CHARACTER!!1!
31ST JAN 2013


I may have introduced my agent to Dinosaur comics. I may have the best agent ever.


#ryan north #dinosaur comics #the next together
6TH FEB 2013

I’m waiting for some important news (TUNE IN SOON FOR HOPEFULLY EXCITING NEWS, GUYS) too which is making me antsy.

#the next together

19TH DEC 2012

#why does everything give me book feels
29TH JUN 2013


#his jumper #his glasses #urgh #the next together
27TH JUN 2013

A The Red Earth Rolls reincarnation playlist for procrastination reasons


It’s strange how soon you forget

That you’re like stars

They only show up when it’s dark

The past, it knocks on your door

And throws stones at your window at 4 in the morning

Well maybe he thinks it’s romantic

He’s crazy but you knew that before

Isn’t it time you got over

How fragile you are

We’re all wait- Waiting on your supernova

Cause that’s who you are

And you’ve only just begun to shine

Shine, Anna Nalick

I’m so tired

Tired of waiting

Tired of waiting for you

I was a lonely soul

I had nobody till I met you

But you keep-a me waiting

All of the time

What can I do?

Its your life

And you can do what you want

Do what you like

But please don’t keep-a me waiting

Tired of waiting,The Kinks

Well I came home

Like a stone

And I fell heavy into your arms

These days of dust

Which we have known

Will blow away with this new sun

But I’ll kneel down

Wait for now

And I’ll kneel down

Know my ground

And I will wait,

I will wait for you

I will wait, MUMFORD & SONS

I cut my hands

And break my back

Draggin’ this bag of stones

Till they bury me down, beneath the ground

With the dust and rattlin’ bones

Rattlin Bones, Kasey Chambers

Time is racing toward us

till the Huns arrive

Heed my every order and you might survive

You’re unsuited for the rage of war

So pack up, go home you’re through

I’ll make a man out of you, Mulan

New life decides we never had a clue

The two of us deciding what to do

Though my hands are all but tied

I rebound so I can say at least I tried

If I only just begin to understand it that’s because

Every time I time I start to change my mind again

It gets me back to where I was

And long as I’m allowed I’ll change my mind

That’s what it’s for I’m getting older but I’m still the same

I’m just thinking anymore

Back to where I was, Eric Hutchinson

I was left to my own devices

Many days fell away with nothing to show

And the walls kept tumbling down

In the city that we love

Grey clouds roll over the hills

Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

Nothing changed at all?

And if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

You’ve been here before?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

Pompeii, Bastille (I can’t get over how perfect for Book it is (if you close your eyes does it almost feel like we’re been here before) (the walls kept tumbling down in the city that we loved))

A terrible autonomy

Has grafted onto you and me

Our trust put in the government

They told their lies as heaven-sent

‘Til the war came

And the war came with a curse and a caterwaul

And the war came with all the poise of a cannonball

And they’re picking out our eyes by coal and candlelight

When the war came, the war came hard

When the war came, The Decemberists

I lose my page in the book then the plot then I swear

She makes the most of her time by loving me plenty

She knows there’ll come a day when we won’t be getting any

Stain of the sepia of the butcher Crimea

Through the rack of a brass band I thought I could see her

In a cake walk she came through the dead and the lame

Just a little bird floating on a hurricane

To the dogs or whoever, Josh Ritter (courtesy of Sarah)

Feel the beat; music and rhyme

While there is time.

We all go round and round

Partners of lost and found

Le meme Histoire, Feist (courtesy of Sarah)

Every time she rises up the ocean sinks

Her memory drags a drape of a thousand angry stings

Set adrift into her swarm-man o war

Caught up in her dangling sting-off the shore

Of a foreign brown sand beach as blue as bottles cover you

Many messengers and rebels have come and gone without a trace

And many more will come tomorrow and many more will be erased

They tap the lines to hear the sounds that start the songs the rebels sing

And drag a net to seine the bottom for the purse the bastards bring

And like a lion don’t mind if a lamb takes her time

A beast doesn’t care if you surrender tonight

Cause a beast knows she’ll get what she wants in good time

What she wants all in good time

Man o War, Eric Bachmann

I fell asleep beneath you

In the tall blades of grass

When I woke the world was new

I never had to ask

Most kind of stories

Save the best part for last

Most stories have a hero who finds

You make your past your passed

It’s a brand new day

The sun is shinning

It’s a brand new day

For the first time

In such a long long time

I know I’ll be ok

This cycle never ends

You gotta fall in order to mend

And it’s a brand new day

Brand New Day, Joshua Radin

And a preview of the sequel:

Run, whirlwind run

Further and further away

Into the sun

In, 20 minutes

Everyone will remember you when you’re gone

And your heart, is a stone

Buried underneath your pretty clothes

Don’t you know people write songs about girls like you?

How would you cope if the world decided to

Make you suffer for all that you were?

Girls like you, The Naked and the Famous

#the next together

25TH JUN 2013

dreamsandink replied to your post: Love Bastille! I can totally see it!

lonelycarp replied to your post: the bastille song in the context of your book is actually really clever wow

laurenjames: the first time i heard that song i was v suspicious about where they got their ideas from, it was that accurate


fuckyourwritinghabits: Why Your Characters Never Poop (And Other Unnecessary Information)

Writing an interesting novel is all about your ability to cut needless or boring information. When I was younger I often found myself thinking about why characters never go to the bathroom or do any mundane activities in books. I thought, “When I write a novel, MY characters will take bathroom breaks.” This is a weird thing to think about when you’re in middle school, but it’s safe to say I was a weirdo (I still am, don’t worry). As I got older, however, I realized why these things should NEVER happen.

• No one wants to read about your character doing things we do every day that ARE UNINTERESTING. The only time your characters should be in the bathroom is when they are staring at themselves in the mirror and thinking about life (avoid writing this scene because it’s overdone, but I know it happens). Maybe they’re checking their appearance or maybe they’re in high school and they’re hiding out from the school bully. The point is…WE DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHETHER THEY ARE POOPING OR PEEING. Especially in novels with a lot of action, we don’t want them to suddenly step away from your well-crafted scene and say “well, I gotta go take a wiz.” THAT’S why it doesn’t happen.

• Everything in your novel should drive the plot forward, not bring it to a screeching halt. When we take the time to describe over and over again what our characters are wearing or how they look or what they’re going to eat, we take away precious time we could be spending with more important character development. Explaining how your character dresses once is usually enough. Obviously there are circumstances where you need to continually explain what your character is wearing, but that isn’t normally the case. We want to hear about the love interest’s bulging muscles over and over again, especially if they have no depth whatsoever.

• I read because it takes me away from the normal world and transports me somewhere more interesting. I’m not saying my life isn’t interesting, but reading IS a form of escape. I don’t want to read about characters doing the same stupid crap I do all the time. I don’t want to hear about them taking a shower every chapter or how they lace up their shoes. CUT THIS INFORMATION. CUT IT NOW.

• You don’t want to waste everyone’s time. If someone reading your novel keeps waiting and waiting for your narrative to go somewhere, they’re going to get bored. You want it to be exciting so that people stay interesting. Anything unnecessary will only turn people off from your work. You need to be very careful about what you decide to include. The boring stuff is always unnecessary.

This post is mainly a way for me to yell at my middle school aged self for being so stupid…in case I get a time machine.Thank you for your time.

-Kris Noel

I actually made a character getting her period the big pivotal point in my novel in one draft because I really wanted to make a point of this, of having bodily functions be not only mentioned but important.

#the next together
18TH MAY 2013

I lasted the grand total of one day on holiday before I began writing again. I’ve missed it so muchhhhh

K: I want you to do the leg flick
M: What? I’m not doing the leg flick.
M: What’s the leg flick?
K: Like in films. The girl flicks her leg and waves it in the air and that shows how good a kiss it was. Next time we kiss, I think you should do that.
M: Why don’t you do it?
K: No, the point is that I get to say my kiss is leg-flicking good. I can’t make my own leg flick.
M: Mmm, now that’s an image.

#the next together
13TH MAY 2013



ooh, cartoon matthew hey

#all i blog about is my book #the first fangirl #the next together
30TH APR 2013


hotandbusted: Photo courtesy: Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee
Charge(s): Misdemeanor probation violation

what a good website

#matthew’s causin trouble #the next together
26TH MAR 2013


This is still my favourite part of my novel. I laugh every time i reread it, not gonna lie.

#the next together
17TH FEB 2013


she’s just so much Kate


#the next together #kate #jessica chastain #all i talk about is my book #deal with it
9TH FEB 2013


The most impressive naval career of all the female sailors is that of William Brown, a black woman who spent at least twelve years on British warships, much of this time in the extremely demanding role of captain of the foretop. A good description of her appeared in London’s Annual Register in September 1815: “She is a smart, well-formed figure, about five feet four inches in height, possessed of considerable strength and great activity; her features are rather handsome for a black, and she appears to be about twenty-six years of age.” The article also noted that “in her manner she exhibits all the traits of a British tar and takes her grog with her late messmates with the greatest gaiety.”

Brown was a married woman and had joined the navy around 1804 following a quarrel with her husband. For several years she served on the Queen Charlotte, a three-decker with 104 guns and one of the largest ships in the Royal Navy. Brown must have had nerve, strength, and unusual ability to have been made captain of the foretop on such a ship….The captain of the foretop had to lead a team of seamen up the shrouds of the foremast, and then up the shrouds of the fore-topmast and out along the yards a hundred feet or more above the deck….

At some point in 1815, it was discovered that Brown was a woman and her story was published in the papers, but this does not seem to have affected her naval career….What is certain is that Brown returned to the Queen Charlotte and rejoined the crew.

— David Cordingly, Seafaring Women

#my jam #the next together #kate
2ND OCT 2013

if anyone is interested in the gradual mental decline of a writer check out my book tag



join me next week when i’ll be crying into my pillow

#the next together
27TH SEP 2013

I just finished the latest draft, ahhhhh

draft…five? six?

#it feels like draft fifty at this point #the next together
27TH SEP 2013

Help i’ve forgotten how to write plot

things? happening?? how????????????????????

#why do books have to have anything except characters making out #plooooooot #the next together
22ND SEP 2013

It’s got to the point where I open up my draft and just stare at it helplessly. I can’t make any more changes! I’ve done enough!! (She says, as she rewrites two chapters)

#the next together
19TH SEP 2013

I’m so sick of editing urgggggh
& I know it’s not going to stop for at least another few months

#stupid book #the next together
15TH SEP 2013

#kate and matt?KATE AND MATT???? #the next together
13TH SEP 2013



Formatting your Manuscript
If you’re planning on one day turning your manuscript in to literary agents and publishing houses, you need to make sure it’s formatted correctly. In many cases, your manuscript will be skipped over if it isn’t done to industry standard, so here’s the basics that you’ll need if you don’t want to be ignored. Before I get started, please know that this is aimed specifically at fiction manuscripts. If you’re writing non-fiction or a memoir, the expectations will be different, so it would be wise to Google what you need.

The Basics

Make sure your font is 12 point Times New Roman, Courier New, or Arial. These are the only three fonts you are allowed to pick from.
Your spacing should be 1 inch on all sides of the text. This is the default on most word processors, but double check your settings just to be sure.
Your text should be double spaced.
All of your indentations must be a half inch. Do not press indent. Instead, drag over the top arrow on the ruler to have every new paragraph automatically indent.
The Title Page

The top left-hand corner of your title page will have all your personal information. They want to see your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, the novel’s genre, and word count.

Your novel’s title is allowed to be between 20-24 point font if you want. Bold is also an option, but not necessary.
The title will appear halfway down the title page.
“A novel by [your name]” will be about three quarters of the way down the page.
The Next Pages

If you have a dedication, it will be on its own page.
If you have some sort of verse or quote, those will also need their own pages.
Do not include a page for acknowledgements.
The Chapters

Chapter titles will be 12 point font. No bolding or italics.
Chapters will start from one quarter to halfway down the page.
An easy way to format chapter headings is to press enter five or six times
Make sure you always start your chapters the same way every time.
When you start a new chapter, make sure you use a page break to bump the new chapter onto a new page. This will keep it in place so that it will never budge, no matter how much you cut out or add to the previous chapter.
Page Numbers

Page numbers will start with 1 on Chapter 1 of your manuscript. Page numbers will not appear on the title page or dedication page.
Page 1 will be labeled in the footer of Chapter 1. It should be centered.
Page 2 will be in the header of the next page.
From page 2 onward, your headers will be labeled like this:

If you insert a section break after the title and dedication pages, it will make it easier to insert the page numbers.
For the most part, this is the most important of what you’ll need to know for formatting your manuscript. I used this video as reference, so I’m trusting everything it says is true because it was made by an author who has several novels published, and because it was uploaded this year, it should be up to date.

But just remember, whenever you go to turn in a manuscript, make sure you check the website of the agent or publisher you’re trying to contact. They might have specifications that differ with the ones stated in this video, and you should always do whatever you can to abide by what they want.

Oh wow, I didn’t do any of this

#the more i think about the more i realise how freakin lucky i got that my agent took a chance on me #jesusssssss im so bad at this #having a minor panic attack over paragraph indents here ignore me #the next together
27TH AUG 2013

I’ve read this damn thing so many times I can’t even tell if the first few chapters make sense. Is this enough information? Would new readers understand this? I have no idea anymore

#the next together #why i make new friends #so i have new people to force to read my stupid book
25TH AUG 2013



An edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein laid out using characters and glyphs from PDF documents obtained through internet searches. The incomplete fonts found in the PDFs were reassembled into the text of Frankenstein based on their frequency of…
An edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein laid out using characters and glyphs from PDF documents obtained through internet searches. The incomplete fonts found in the PDFs were reassembled into the text of Frankenstein based on their frequency of use. The most common characters are employed at the beginning of the book, and the text devolves into less common, more grotesque shapes and forms toward the end. (via The Frankenfont project reconstructs Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein using parts of incomplete fonts found in PDFs from the internet. | Fathom)
(via the1001cranes)

#the next together #this is a cool idea for titles #different fonts to show different lifes? #note to self
24TH AUG 2013


Making this AU headcanon for my own novel ngl

#the next together #kate just totally ignoring matt like always #god matt just learn to climb rocks jesus #kate ignoring matt like NEVER #cmon girl play it cool
19TH AUG 2013



I found him.
I found my soulmate.
Behold my idiot as he spazzes into the sunset

#kate #the next together
11TH JUL 2013



Hello friend, welcome!

+This is the perfect month for this question, because I originally started writing because of 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 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 finallly 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.


#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs #chronicintrovert
22ND NOV 2013


chronicintrovert [Alice Oseman] asked: So, on the subject of covers – what sort of cover are you hoping for?

I’ve never really thought about the cover that much, although I do have a few photos that I think summarise the book quite well in my tag. something like this?


idk man i can’t graphic design

Sarah: can’t believe the disrespect for my design


laurenjames: I forgot you were kind enough to make me this!! Sorry guys, this is my cover and that’s final.

#the next together
25TH NOV 2013


chronicintrovert asked: so here is my writing question of the day: why did you decide to write YA sci-fi/fantasy/dystopia?

hello! the short answer: doctor who.

the long answer: my book didn’t start out that way! it started out with the idea that someone could grow up in different times and be different in lots of ways, but also the same. i wanted to play with the idea of nature vs nurture, and how much of people’s friendships or attractions are really soul-deep, or just based on shared experiences or interests.

that grew into a story about reincarnation, and as i wrote it and started taking it seriously (rather than HEY WHAT IF MY 18TH CENTURY CHARACTER MET ANOTHER VERSION OF HER BOYFRIEND FROM THE FUTURE BUT THIS TIME HE’S NOT HER SERVANT, HE’S HER BOSS??? WHAT ABOUT IF SHE’S ALSO SPYING ON HIM??) then i needed an explanation for….all of that, and somehow it developed into an overcomplicated scifi plot. which, as a fan of doctor who (some of the time) i loved just as much as the crazy relationship stuff. i also love the way fandom explores alternate universes, and how their favourite characters behave in different places and times, and realised I’d never read an actual book that really explored that, so i decided to write one!

in terms of dystopia (which the original draft featured a lot of) i think i used it as a kind of crutch, actually, and i’m so glad i got rid of it. it’s an easy way to get people to connect to the characters and world, because you feel so sorry for them (and that’s why it’s going out of fashion a lot now, because it’s overdone and just gets boring if there’s nothing else to make you invest in the world). now i’m a better writer/have more confidence, i don’t think i would be as interested in writing that kind of story again, because it does severely limit the places the story can go, and doesn’t really add much to the plot other than some shock-driven scene setters. and once you’re already in a dystopia, you can’t really go downhill from there, so it removes a lot of the tension from the plot that isn’t purely character based.

#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs #chronicintrovert
24TH NOV 2013

relicanth [Sarah] said: laughs at you clinging to “often funny” after all this time


#probably the defining moment #the next together
22ND NOV 2013

I’m brainstorming book titles because apparently The Red Earth Rolls is too literary (…true) and i’m basically taking the piss

Déjà vu

So this one time

Sass: the novel

Things Kate said

What Katy said this time

That’s what she said

Shut up, Katherine

Matthew is exasperated: a memoir

Dust to dust

Up against time

Oh no, not again

Yet again

Stuck yet repeat

Time around

Next time around

Back in my day


#the next together #relevant readers feel free to make suggestions #help me out please i need it
8TH NOV 2013

Update: my agent vetoed ‘That’s what she said’ as a title so im probs gonna get new representation because some things just AREN’T A JOKE

#innuendos are very important to me #the next together
13TH NOV 2013

relicanth said: “three times a katy”


“What Katy did next [and next] [and then after that]”

#the next together
8TH NOV 2013

relicanth [Sarah] said: that’s what she said is perfect, exactly what i would expect a novel by lauren e james to be called

sampersands [Clare Samson] said: I second Sarah. Also don’t call it Regeneration that is already a wonderful thing I don’t think the name can handle two of them

thank you for the feedback friends. i have sent your opinions on to my agent re that’s what she said (which i am semi-seriously considering as a title; it’s a running joke through the book it totally makes sense!!!!)

#the next together
8TH NOV 2013

chronicintrovert: i just can’t wait until my book comes out i just can’t wait until people love my characters like i do i just can’t wait why is it not auguST ALREADY

laurenjames: same, samesamesame. i’m like a single person fandom atm.

“this story is so important to me i think you should all pay more attention!!”

“can i read it then?”

“noooooo not yet sorry”

#the next together
6TH NOV 2013


Novel updates!!
Things are happening! We submit 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 ???? ? ????????

Right now I’m writing an official outline for the sequel, which makes it REAL and it’s kind of more stressful than finishing the first one, because I’m having 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???

tl;dr book news soon! things happening exclamation marks terror!!

#the next together

chronicintrovert asked: We haven’t done any writing questions for a while so let’s do the classic writing question: Describe your writing routine!

My questions are piling up, oops. My writing routine involves a lot of dancing around excitedly, waking up in the middle of the night to make indecipherable notes, and almost exclusively takes place in the summer, because I can’t write during term time at all (see above re: the dead of night). I can’t wait until I graduate when my writing/life routine is going to be:

wake up after lunch lbr
walk across the fields to go for a swim in the village pool
get a coffee in the cafe and WRITE FURIOUSLY UNTIL MY HAIR DRIES
come home and play with the puppy
write more????? maybe??????
sleep forever
#the next together #writing #the lauren and alice faqs #chronicintrovert
8TH JAN 2014


timetravellingtortoise [Louis] asked: How’s the book coming along?

laurenjames: i’m nearly at 50,000 words which is like novel length which is pretty scary

so far it has cross dressing, war, ships, apocalypse, finding hidden treasure, space suits, SCIENCE, russians, periods, pet seagulls (and owls) and cocky freshers


laurenjames: awwwwwwwww have another post from 2 years ago because look at my baby fledgling story just stretching it’s wings in strange pet seagull related ways

(what happened to the pet seagull???? why did i cut it out??? why would i do that????????????????)

Look at this, this is precious. this is from 2011. i’ve been thinking about these characters for a long time.

#the next together
6TH JAN 2014 #blast from the past











Alternatively, Hugh Dancy:

Urgh. Urgh. Get away from me. Urgh.










Nope, changed my mind! Dylan O’Brien. Sexy hacker older brother Dyls O’B.



ELIZABETH SPENCER. The closest i can get is a young Meryl Streep? Idk.


I think that might be everyone? I had to cut a lot of characters out in the last edit, and maaaaan does it show. :/

#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs
30TH NOV 2013

chronicintrovert asked: STEP 3 – LOCATION! (this is going to be a very difficult question for you i think!!)

For those of you who are following along, Alice and I are fan-designing films of our novels, because what else are we going to do to avoid homework. Step one was fancasting (mine and Alice’s), step two was soundtrack (Alice’s and I actually did mine a while ago here*) and step three is location (Alice’s).

I have….so many locations, so I might try to keep this brief. Listen to the soundtrack while you read, go ooooooon.

Carlisle, England, 1745

Most of the action takes place at the castle during the Jacobite uprising and siege, which would have looked something like this:


Nowadays it looks like this (I really need to visit soon!):


Imagine a couple dressed as servants, cleaning those cannons and not-so-surreptitiously checking each other out. That’s my book.

There’s also a lot of action at the family house, which I imagine to look something like this:


Main points of interest:

dusty stables full of dozing horses and nooks and crevices for secret make out sessions.
a shy little boy who is never seen but leaves intricate toy battles in his wake
secret passages
an amazing library with creaky leather sofas. perfect for getting relationship advice and hugs from a greying gentle uncle. selection of scottish whiskeys.
bedrooms with views looking out over the city wall, mist rolling in off the hills, some kind of birds nest in the eaves outside the window, noisy in the morning and feathers and mess on the windowsill
Crimea, 1845

None of this is going to be historically accurate hahahaaha who cares LET’S DO IT.

A hefty chuck of the book takes place on the journey to Gallipoli, so here’s what I imagine the ship to look like:

Decks full of bored, smoking soldiers, playing cards and arguing over rum rations. Owls get stuck in the rigging a lot. Not much to do except flirt, discuss politics, learn shorthand, fall in love, &c.

Then when they get to the front, there’s some Florence Nightingale-esque hospital stuff, but the actual battlefield will look like this:


points of interest:

vineyard with lots of squidgy grapes underfoot, kind of gross
flowing river
ramshackle old cottage that’s kind of on fire but is also made of stone so is a possible refuge from the bombs
Okayyyyy, that’s enough history. Modern plotlines.

Central Science Laboratory, 2016

Just a typical lab at this point:


And on the inside something like this:



hip young scientists, everyone pulling pranks and joking around
lots of science gets done probably
whiteboard where people tend to just draw dicks until there’s a lab tour and it’s replaced with a quick sketch of some vague aromatic molecule
all these things might possibly be based on my lab
there are a lot of lunchtime hookups in the offices because half the lab is married to each other and there’s a secret signal that everyone knows means you probably shouldn’t interrupt that ‘meeting’
that part is unfortunately not accurate to my lab
I have a lot more headcanon about this lab but…..SPOILERS. It looks a bit like this sometimes, anyway.

University campus, 2036

So I never explicitly say it, but it’s probably at Notts uni. The campus:


Matt’s room:


lots of stephen king books
bed is a double: important!!!!!
he’s pretty messy
has a dedicated supply of snacks probably
also a collection of cutlery stolen from the caf that he feels continuously guilty about
no like it probably keeps him up at night sometimes
has a communal bathroom which is always full of very judgy neighbours
An Important Loft:


Messy, lots of christmas decorations and boxes. There is probably a lot of broken glass on the floor, but neatly pushed into a pile.


*this is mainly just music about my book than a movie soundtrack, but you get what you’re given so be grateful.

#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs
4TH DEC 2013 1 NOTE


I know nothing about directors or cinematography, so here are just a few films that I like the general themes of!

1) Desperate Romantics
Lots of pretty redheads, sumptuous clothing, countless innuendostumblr_mj1tmdL1wD1qmb2tco1_500

2) Stoker

Okay so this isn’t really my genre but I adore the style of this so so much. I just love everything about it, the pastel clothing and silent communication and the soundtrack. I love the way the background is faded and mute, to bring your focus onto the main characters.


3) Cloud Atlas

This is an obvious one, for a reincarnation novel about characters in different time periods. Also Ben Whishaw, so.tumblr_muaxl6yDFk1spg0mio2_500

4) Pride and Prejudice

So much awkward panic! The beautiful cosy family home! Quiet humour! Visual jokes involving geese! There’s a whole scene in my book based on the misty field ending, too.


5) The Hour

Their friendship to relationship is perfect and the clothing is wonderful and cute but also historically accurate and just, perfect.


I guess in general the main things it needs are

chemistry between the main characters. so much chemistry, even when they are trying to avoid it, unmistakable unstoppable ust
so many costumes. all of the historical costumes.
each different time would have a different colour scheme, so you can tell them apart immediately. some would be darker than others, the modern very clean and crisp and the oldest very sumptuous and intricate.
very upbeat and fun and jokey
#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs #desperate romantics #stoker #pride and prejudice #cloud atlas


chronicintrovert asked: Step 5: Marketing!!!

Hmmmmmm. I really want to do a thing where I run twitter accounts of my characters, have flirty meetcute interactions between them, maybe pulling pranks on twitter on each other, that kind of thing. I think that would be really fun. I might do that for the book release.

I think what works really nicely about my book is the juxtopostion of future and past storylines, so it would be lovely to play with that in the posters. Maybe having three posters/book covers, one representing each timeline.One would be really modern and then another could be super 50’s style old fashioned:


It would be really interesting to see the same film marketed as a few different genres, I think.

so YEAH. How i want to market it: in every way.

#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs #chronicintrovert
17TH DEC 2013

So, my bio just went up on my agency’s website. Nothing special. CHECK IT: http://www.rcwlitagency.com/authors/lauren-james/

#the next together
13TH DEC 2013

chronicintrovert asked: STEP 6: Changes. Is there anything about your book that you think wouldn’t work as a film?

My story takes place over multiple timelines, like Cloud Atlas, so I think that in general it wouldn’t work very well as a film, because it would either be too long or too condensed to let you properly invest in the characters.

I think for it to work properly, it would be a tv miniseries, maybe? Although I’m not sure how exciting the first few episodes would be.

One other problem would be adapting the present day storyline, which is told mainly through diary entries and letters. I think to adapt it properly there would have to be an expansion of that storyline, because a lot happens there, so it can’t just be written out.

I think in general it would have to be adapted quite a lot for the screen, but I don’t really mind that. I’m not hugely protective of every scene. I’d prefer a really good adaptation than one that’s a bit dull but is loyal to the book- because things work differently in writing to on screen.

#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs #chronicintrovert
21ST DEC 2013

masrika [Kat Harris] asked: Dude, congratulations on getting published! It’s seriously amazing. I mean, not shocking, because you’re a fantastic writer, but so much well done. 🙂

Thank you!!

I’m still completely overwhelmed, but so, so happy! Best christmas present ever!

#the next together
18TH DEC 2013

chronicintrovert asked: So what’s it like having to plan a sequel/sequels!? I can’t really imagine it, seeing as mine’s a standalone, and my next one will also be a standalone…

Okay, so I never originally planned to have a sequel. I wanted to leave it on a cliffhangery ending, that explained the book’s premise but left it a bit mysterious as to how it happened. I didn’t even know myself, and I liked how it was an explanation and not an explanation at the same time.

I also didn’t really want to write a sequel, because I had so many ideas I wanted to play with. I don’t want to be one of those authors who spend ten years on one series- I want to play with horror and space and murders and ghost sitcoms and try my hand at everything I can.

But then when I was getting near the end, I started thinking about it a lot more, and came up with all these amazing ideas and plots that I couldn’t fit into the book. Then I came up with a character that I knew I had to write about asap. So I started writing it!

It’s a sequel in that it is about the same idea, but it’s a completely different set of characters and style of book (it’s a lot more sci-fi time travel than the historical style of the first book). So I’m happy that I’m doing a sequel that’s not limited to the same story and characters, and my main worry right now is that my writing and plot development will have improved so much in the sequel it will make the first one seem terrible! but i can deal with that (probably).

i’m also scared that i won’t finish it before the first one is published, and i’ll get caught in a plot hole that i can’t change the first one to fix, and it will all goes terribly wrong….i imagine J K Rowling had so many sleepless nights over that too. how do people do it??

the good things about sequels:

*you can include references in the first one to things that don’t happen until the next book!

*you can add long term plots that spread over several books!

*you can make mysteries which have just enough information to be solved, if you read both books.

*you can have cameos from characters, that are older or younger than they were when you last met them.

*you can have scenes that you saw in the first book mean something entirely different in the sequel because you know more about what’s going on and how much the characters know.

*you can have character traits appear in related characters and be like OH WOW HIS BROTHER DOES THAT TOO, OMG and it gives you enough time to actually explore it

basically, IT’S ALL AMAZING. i love tricking my readers into thinking something happened, but it was totally different all along.

i love it i love it i love it

#the next together #the lauren and alice faqs #clove #writing #The Last Beginning
27TH NOV 2013

veryunsure: i love boys with with really strong accents like irish or scottish. i don’t have a clue what they’re saying. i love it. i hate hearing a coherent boy. i don’t actually care about what you have to say.

#kate #The Next Together
12TH JAN 2014

Anonymous asked: Once you finish your trilogy, have you considered writing science fiction? You seem particularly suited to it, due to your apparent ease at working with multiple dimensions and overlapping times. I would like to see your lady scientist persona evinced in your literary contributions….

I AM ALL ABOUT THE SCIFI. There’s a lot of it in the sequel anyway (it’s a lot more timetravelly) but my third book (if I ever get that far eeep) is TOTALLY ABOUT SPACESHIPS AND SPACE AND MURDER. IT’S GONNA BE ACE.

but yeah one of the things I want to do most is include more science in books, i think that’d be amazing.

#The Next Together #writing #it’s not a trilogy btw #i’ve got a two book deal #i don’t think i could stretch out the plot to another one D:
12TH JAN 2014


Kate is clearly a Gryffindor, she’s an idiot.

My little cutie Matt is a Hufflepuff. Kate is always running off into danger and Matt tries to stop her. He thinks a lot before he acts (Kate doesn’t think at all, ever.)

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven #clove is a ravenclaw #wait what who’s clove #chronicintrovert
11TH JAN 2014

chronicintrovert asked: (Sending this again bc not sure whether it sent the first time) What is important to you when writing a book? Is it telling the story? Expressing a moral? Generating empathy? SOMETHING ELSE?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I don’t really have an answer. I want to make people laugh, and I suppose come away from it caring about the characters. I want to tell an outrageous story in a believable way, in a way that makes people really care about the outcome.

I think the biggest achievement for me would for people to smile because something happens that reminds them of a joke or reference in my book. That would be fitting, I think. A little bit of deja vu about my book.

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven #chronicintrovert
11TH JAN 2014

chronicintrovert asked: So I was thinking more about your book and basically it’s as if you’ve written the prequel before the main book. It’s like you wrote the Marauders story before the Harry Potter story. And that’s basically the greatest thing ever.
(Without spoiling anything)

It is, kind of, isn’t it? I can’t wait to write the sequel and find out how it all happens. I hope it lives up to those Harry Potter expectations…

I really hope that people say that when they read the sequel though, because what a compliment- the sequel was so good it made the first one feel like a prequel to the main event.

#The Next Together #writing
11TH JAN 2014

catherine-doyle asked: Do you have a favourite line or passage from your book? If so, TELL ME IMMEDIATELY.


“Can I borrow a shirt? Maybe a pair of trousers?”

He hummed sceptically. “I think my clothes would overwhelm you.”

She sat upright and stretched out her arms alongside his to measure the difference. Her fingertips reached the base of his thumb and she couldn’t help herself, she casually left her hand on his wrist as she pressed against his side. He was warm in the cold night air and she softly rubbed the bone of his wrist with her thumb. Her fingers curled into the palm of his hand, and she rubbed small circles into his skin. He pressed his hand tighter around hers.

“I don’t know, I think I’ll fit just fine,” she murmured. Her voice sounded huskier than she’d ever heard it.

He let out a gruff, slightly strangled noise of confirmation.


“You don’t know, do you?” he said. “What…what men and women do. Together? Once married.” He flushed. She stared at him.

Eventually he managed to explain, with great delicacy and awkwardness, something that made them both flush redder and redder. She stared at him, blankly. He lifted his hands and then dropped them ineffectually.

“So. That’s that.”

He leant forward and made an aborted attempt at a kiss, but sat back when she didn’t respond. Her mouth opened and she closed it with a snap. Well. She had been missing a lot.

She stared in the general direction of his chest with vague horror, trying to stop her gaze dropping to his crotch, which it tried to do several times. He cleared his throat. She jumped a little, and tried to hide it by standing up.

“That was…enlightening, thank you. I- er. Well. Yes. I think I’m going. I need to. Er. Do that. That thing. The library! Yes. I’m going to the library. Goodnight. It was very pleasant to, er, see you? Yes. It was, let’s do it again soon,” she mumbled, backing away to the door. He stepped towards her, mouth opened to speak, but she scurried away like a frightened mouse before he could utter a syllable.

“Kathy!” she heard him call, confused, from where she was hiding in the hallway, “You didn’t even eat your dinner!”


She pointed a finger at Matt, and exclaimed, “You!” Matthew rubbed his eyes, and frowned at her lively face.


“You listen to farming shows!” she gleefully announced, “Oh my god, you loser!”

He stared at her. “Shut up. There isn’t anything wrong with a healthy interest in crop rotation.”

She choked on her laughter, utterly delighted. “No one listens to farming shows except farmers. It broadcasts at four am! You record it, to listen to later,” she said, amazed at the sheer dedication he took to listen to farmers discuss fields.

He crossed his arms, petulant. “They have interesting sections on badgers and stuff too.”

She couldn’t help shaking her head at him. “I thought you were cool,” she said accusingly, sadly. “You misled me. All this time with the fountain pen and the retro haircut and the mismatched clothes I thought you were being ironically hipster but really you are just an old man! I can’t date someone who listens to this, it will utterly ruin my street cred!”

#The Next Together #claire’s coven #writing #dreamsandink
10TH JAN 2014

melsalisbury asked: How do you feel about the idea of your book being optioned as a film? How will you deal with that?

I would probably die of excitement, and then immediately go to bed with a stress headache. I have enough problems trusting myself to tell the story properly, I can’t really imagine passing over the reigns to someone else.


#The Next Together #claire’s coven #writing #melsalisbury
9TH JAN 2014

catherine-doyle asked: Who (if anyone) was the inspiration behind Matthew and Katherine? Also, have you considered the couple name ‘Mattherine’ If not, WHY NOT?

I always say that both Matthew and Katherine are me. Both of them, at the same time, in different ways. (I’m quite looking forward to writing new stuff because I feel like I’ve never really created an original character yet…I just write stories about myself.)

SAYING THAT, Matthew is totally based a little on Char, from Ella Enchanted*. I would have taken a bullet for Char when I was thirteen. He’s this wonderful male love interest who just thinks the girl is hilarious and incredible and he’s quite shy and quiet and serious until she brings out the fun and jokes from him. (“That’s funny, you’re funny. I like you, I’m quite taken by you.” )And he had freckles, and slid down the castle banisters. I had a lot of feelings about that character. So a lot of Matthew is based on my residual childhood crush on Char, but I didn’t realise that at all until recently.

Kate is probably more based on just who I would like to be as a person, and……………………do I want to say this? Okay I’ll say it. She’s probably a little bit of Jim Kirk from the new Star Trek. THAT SOUNDS WEIRD, OKAY, BUT SHE TOTALLY IS. JUST….GO WITH IT. SHE IS. I read a lot of Jim/Bones fanfic when I was writing it, cough.

And roughly 80% of the time I accidentally say Matterine or Kathew when talking about my book. It’s a problem.

*The book, not the film. The film….let’s not talk about what they did to Char in the film.

#The Next Together #claire’s coven #dreamsandink
9TH JAN 2014

cartoonology [Melissa] asked: I remember you telling me about this story in 2009, when we first met by reading each other’s answers to a LiveJournal writing prompt about reincarnation. I dropped my story about it ages ago but now your’s is getting published next year!!

I KNOW, ISN’T IT CRAZY. My life has been about this book for far too long.

#The Next Together #cartoonology
8TH JAN 2014

catherine-doyle asked: My questions is about the timelines in your wonderfully witty book, in which you are ‘often funny’. Were there other periods in time you explored/liked the sound of when you were writing it? And what made you decide on the ones and the number of timelines that you ended up with? Haha, that’s actually two questions sucker. That’s how I roll.

Awwwww, you’re gonna make me blush! I’m going to have the infamous ‘often funny’ written on my gravestone not even joking.

So my editor asked me the same question on the phone before I signed with her (most stressful phone conversation ever. best phone conversation ever.) and I had to rather sheepishly admit that it was just events where I could find primary sources for free on Google Books……

(She said that was a perfectly reasonable reason for choosing them, and that she will 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. I laughed nervously.)

Anyway I am a lazy writer with research (wikipedia is my BFF) so yeah. It was almost entirely practicality.

I also really didn’t want to do just another WWII book, because although that’s an obvious choice (and I’m so glad I didn’t since Life After Life by Kate Atkinson did the WWII reincarnation thing better than I ever could) I feel like there’s an oversaturation of it in the media. I find myself a bit anaesthetised by it, so I didn’t think taking such a well known historical point could really bring out the emotion that I wanted.

For a really long time I wanted to include a medieval storyline, with Kate as a midwife who gets accused of witchcraft for all her herbal remedy skillz and is put to death. Matthew would be the hangman (hence the origination of the surname ‘Galloway’ OH YEAH I PUT THAT MUCH THOUGHT INTO IT) who realises she’s not a witch, and they run off together and become underground doctors~~

But in the end I just got a bit intimidated by all the research I’d have to do and put it off, and also thought it was a bit too similar to a plotline from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

And I ended up with 3 timelines just because that seemed like the usual number of multiple storylines that people can follow, I guess? There wasn’t a great deal of thought behind that decision. (The 4th one in the chapter headings crept up on me a bit, that wasn’t supposed to be there originally.)


#writing #The Next Together #the lauren and alice and cat questions #too long a tag???? #CLAIRE’S COVEN SECRET WRITERS GROUP #my agent described me as ‘often funny’ in her first ever email #if you are confused #dreamsandink #claire’s coven
8TH JAN 2014


dreamsandink replied to your post: Oh my God, I was reading that and falling in love with the medieval story as you were explaining it. I would read that fan fiction.

one day. ONE DAY.

chronicintrovert replied to your post: you should write a medieval!kate&matt fanfic just saying
…..i may have done that at one point. maybe it’ll be a short story eventually.

dreamsandink replied to your post “chronicintrovert replied to your post “chronicintrovert replied to…”

Will you stay up all night and write this and then send it back to me tomorrow? Please please please.


so this is medieval!Kate, who is a midwife with a place in the woods where she keeps her herbs and medicines. Matthew is the village hangman.


Kathy was frozen to the spot. She stared at the proffered hand, trying to hold back the impulse to run. A clump of mud fell off the monstrous, ugly thing he was holding out to her. The hangman shook it slightly, in what was presumably a threatening gesture of intimidation.

What was it, some kind of… some kind of death token? Did this mean he was after her now? Oh god he was going to hang her and she’d never see her parents again and this was terrible, everything was the worst how had she made such an unbelievable misjudgement in setting up her stores so close to the gallows. She’d thought no one would come near here- everyone stayed away from Gallow’s Way, avoided the lingering reek of death. She hadn’t even thought about the hangman.

He cleared his throat, and she flinched, expecting him to shout angry demands for her arrest, accuse her of witchcraft.

“It’s garlic,” he said, a little sheepishly. “I heard it was good for wounds.”


“Witch! Kill her!”

The villagers were screeching wild, terrified wails of anger as she was hoisted onto the gallows. A tomato hit her shoulder, breaking into her hair with an ugly squelch.

Matthew pulled the noose over her head, and she stared at his bowed head, disbelieving. He couldn’t be doing this, not after everything he’d said, not after he’d given her the wooden token she could feel pressing against her thigh, engraved with their initials, entwined together. He’d found her garlic, and now he was going to kill her.

He leant in to adjust the knot. She could feel his breath against her neck, a warmth of heat against the abrasive roughness of the rope. She closed her eyes, tried to hold back the rush of tears pressing at her eyelids.

“I’ve got you,” he said, low and quiet into the dip of her jaw. He turned his head nearer, where the villagers couldn’t see, and pressed a kiss to her earlobe. “Trust me.”

She opened her eyes, stared wide at him, and he nodded once, almost imperceptibly.

She didn’t take her eyes off him as the noose tightened and she fell down, the air full of victorious cheers, the world going black. She met his unwavering gaze until the very last moment, and trusted him completely.


When she woke up her throat was on fire so she couldn’t breathe, her neck and spine a tight swell of pain, but Matthew was there, pressing kisses against her cheek, holding her close.

“I’ve got you,” he said, quiet. “I’ve got you.”

#claire’s coven #The Next Together #i’m supposed to be revising physics #you are all a terrible influence


chronicintrovert replied to your post LAURENASDFALSKDJHF
dreamsandink reblogged your post and added: IT’S PERFECT

laurenjames: And then obviously they both die in a very tragic and violent and emotional way, no big deal.

this is medieval!Kate:


what a babe huh

she’s probably got a little place in the woods where she keeps all her medicines to stop people destroying them, and one day Matthew is going for a walk and TOTALLY INTERRUPTS HER MIXING HERBS. she probably runs off because it’s the hangman, oh my god he’s going to actually kill me, and he is left standing there feeling guilty and lost because he was just about to offer to find her some more ginger root

#chronicintrovert #The Next Together #claire’s coven
8TH JAN 2014

Anonymous asked: How do you pick what sections of history to place your characters in? There are so many really good ones, though many have been over done. I would like to see Matt and Kate in Roman occupied Britain, perhaps caught up in Boadicea’s fight for liberation.

I just answered this here!

But I have endless short stories I could write about Kate and Matt in different timelines…the book has to stop somewhere!

#Anonymous #The Next Together #writing #hi cherra
11TH JAN 2014

chronicintrovert asked: HELLO! How is everything going a la book? Decided a title yet? Are you being ~revealed~ at Bologna? What’s happening!!??!!

Book goes…slowly at the moment. I have 3 weeks left of classes and 8 weeks in total before I graduate (aaaaaaAAAAAAHHHHHH) so I have had to put edits a little on hold while that real world stuff goes on.
But i have my edits and I have solved all of the plotty problems they will cause so I just need to get writing! I’m so excited to get it done and FINISH THE SEQUEL. I wanna know what happens!!
The title needs to be decided by April and the current frontrunners are:
Then & Again
The Next Together
Given Time

So LEAVE YOUR FAVE IN MY ASK PLEASE GUYS. Or any suggestions, obv.

(Oh, and Bologna! We decided because I don’t have a presentable draft (or title….) yet that we’re not announcing at the fair. Which, I’m kind of sad about. I could be holding a proof copy in my hands right now! But I want my ~big reveal~ to be with as good a copy as possible to give it the best chance, so it’s the right thing to do. There’s always Frankfurt! I don’t know if we’re releasing a press release anyway, probably when the title is decided on? Then I’ll actually have proof it’s real and they can’t back out (which I still have nightmares about))

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven
24TH MAR 2014

#as suggested by Shannon #is this guy not EXACTLY MATT?? #The Next Together
9TH FEB 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…

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven #dreamsandink
3RD FEB 2014

masrika asked: So did your characters go off and do their own thing and leave you to clear up the mess? Because mine just brought a plot point early and now I don’t know what to do. >.<

My characters are pretty well behaved in terms of plot points, it’s the conversations I can’t do. If there’s any sort of misunderstanding they will resolve it immediately and become friends again, there’s literally nothing I can do to stop them. They talk about their feelings so much.

My advice is to go with the flow, and see where they take you. You might come up with a bigger, better plot point that happens next, now that ones done and dusted. You can always go back and add more conflict to extend the earlier one later!

#The Next Together #writing #kat tell me what you’re writing about PLEASE???? #masrika
3RD FEB 2014

chronicintrovert asked: WHAT ARE KATE AND MATT’S OTPS?


I think Matt would be really confused by the concept of OTPs, but when Kate had explained it to him he would realise he has very strong feelings about Amy/Rory and Rory being Mr Pond because….yeah. Mr Finchley. And Simon/Kaylee for pretty much the same reason. (He just has a thing for dominant women, okay? It’s totally not even worth thinking about. CAN WE NOT TALK ABOUT THIS, PLEASE, KATE.)

Kate would be into black widow/pepper potts because STRONG LADIES and hannibal/will because she has a hugh dancy thing. (just because he looks a bit like you, matthew, it’s nothing, it’s not an issue, ssssh, it’s fine matt).

#The Next Together #claire’s coven #writing #the best of all possible questions #chronicintrovert
2ND FEB 2014

catherine-doyle asked: Heeeeere comes the hypothetical question because I love me some hypotheticals! And you’re all getting the same question because I want to know your answers. So, if you could swap lives with any of your characters and live in their world, would you? And if so, which one?

Uhhhhhhhh i genuinally don’t think I would. Like there are certain aspects of characters that I’d like- Kate’s hair (omg), ~regency dresses~, some of Matt’s personality traits, but in terms of the world, I’m pretty happy living in the 21st century with internet and washing machines, thanks. I’d rather not break out the barricades and guns just yet.

#The Next Together #claire’s coven #writing #dreamsandink
2ND FEB 2014

melsalisbury asked: Hello. I like your hair today. What kind of research did you do when writing your book? Did you look up anything potentially incriminating on the Internet or in a library? Did you try or experience anything bizarre in the name of accuracy/believability?

In terms of real research, rather than wikipedia, I got a lot of books from the uni library about the Crimea. I think that having access to that resource about 5 minutes walk from my halls of residence is probably the only thing that forced me to actually start writing instead of avoiding it.

This summer I want to go on a road trip to Carlisle, to visit the castle and make those scenes a bit more real. Also I think I’d just like to visit, it would be surreal to actually be there.

Apart from that I just did stupid acting out of poses or whatever when I couldn’t remember which way arms bent or how horses ears worked. Yeah.

#The Next Together #claire’s coven #writing #melsalisbury
2ND FEB 2014

catherine-doyle asked: This question is about naming your characters. I’m always fascinated by this process. Is there any special significance behind the names of any of your main characters, or how did you come to decide on them?

aahahHhahaahah I made a HUGE mistake naming my characters. Kate and Matt were always my favourite names, that I wanted for my kids, and when I started writing I was like, ‘eh, i’ll call them that for now’ and now i can NEVER CALL MY KIDS THAT. SUCH BAD PLANNING.

#The Next Together #claire’s coven #dreamsandink #calling my kids that would be so incesty now #why???
26TH JAN 2014

chronicintrovert asked: We haven’t had any questions for a while, so here’s a classic one we haven’t done yet: Who are your writer heroes? Did any particular writers inspire your work?

I’m not even going to try and give a list of my writing heroes, because I will read everything and anything and it would go on forever. Instead, here are some books that I would recommend, that have stuck with me, and have a big influence on my writing (I got a bit carried away).

Cross Stitch, by Diana Gabaldon
The time traveller’s wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susannah Clarke
Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters
Lirael, by Garth Nix
Northern Lights, by Phillip Pullman
The passage, by Justin Cronin
Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood
The Dark Tower series, by Stephen King
Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
Spindle’s end, by Robin McKinley
Exodus, by Julie Bertagna
The lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
The disreputable history of Frankie Landau Banks, by e lockhart
The Shoebox project
The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman
Daddy long legs, by Jean Webster
The thief lord, by Cornelia Funke
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
The Bromeliad trilogy, by Terry Pratchett
The Host, by Stephenie Meyer
The Wind Singer, by William Nicholson
The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
Daughter of Venice, by Donna Jo Napoli
#in other book news #today i found a draft of TRER from when i was sixteen ahahahahahah #sob #The Next Together #claire’s coven #chronicintrovert #recs
26TH JAN 2014

catherine-doyle asked: Can you remember the most emotional moment (positive or negative) you ever experienced as a result of a scene in a book? Elaborate.


I think the most emotional I’ve been about writing is when I’m plotting. I tend to get hugely overexcited if I solve a plot hole, and jump around in an extremely embarrassing manner. I remember solving one particular problem involving Matt finding out something about Katy and just LEAPING AROUND ON THE SOFA LIKE A CHILD. I don’t know, i really don’t.

In terms of a particular scene, the very last one (the one under the table) was only written about 2 days before we submitted to publishers (on a last minute suggestion from my agent) and that gave me shivers down my spine in a way nothing else had. I was literally shaking when I wrote it. It just felt like it slotted into place, as if the whole thing had been waiting for that one last scene to finally come together, and when it was done I felt like I’d actually written a complete story and…yeah I cried a bit about that scene.

#The Next Together #writing #claire’s coven #dreamsandink
23RD JAN 2014



Blog post compilation from writing draft 1

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015. These are the posts I wrote about writing whilst I was drafting the first version of THE NEXT TOGETHER, then called THE RED EARTH ROLLS. In 2009 I was sixteen.]


Brilliant news! I’ve come up with a storyline! I don’t wanna say too much in case it jinxes it, but I’ve been trying to decide on what to do for ages so I could START writing, and I finally can. It’s a reincarnation love story.

5TH-FEB-2009 – Snow day!

Yay! No school! I’m stupid- I got up at 7.30, despite there being no school. I’ve been writing, it’s addictive. And easy, so far. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.So my mum woke me up at 7.00, telling me I had to walk to school in the snow, cause she didn’t wanna get the car out. Luckily I checked my phone, and my form tutor had sent me a text saying school was cancelled. I sat with my mum and brother and ate porridge and had a cup of tea and watched a squirrel play in the snow, then went back to bed and wrote.

I’ll post again later, with pictures of the snow, I’m going sledging with my little cousins. Yay!

Oh, do this for me?


16TH-FEB-2009  – Question: Do you believe in reincarnation?

I don’t, but this is something I’m writing about in my story. So, I suppose I sort of do. Maybe. I don’t know. I think we don’t get reincarnated, but I  like the fairy tale idea of it. What happens to true love if you get reincarnated?, etc.

I’m not going to say yet what my story is about in case I jinx it- but hopefully I’ll post it sometime. 🙂


tumblr_ly2hmbiSHM1qa24muo1_500 (1).png

The beginning of my story:

She saw him first. She was walking home from school with Chris after swimming training, shivering in the icy winter air, hair like an icicle down her back. They walked along the edge of the Rugby pitch, an out of bounds shortcut they could only take advantage of long after school had let out for the day and the teachers had given up control and gone home.  The PE teachers running the training session currently going couldn’t have shown an ounce of discipline even if they’d wanted to; they couldn’t care less. Rugby training. That was another plus to this route home.  They had a familiar routine, Kate focussing on her favourite player from the year belows rugby team to ogle whilst showing total and utter indifference and contempt for them. Chris used to tease her about it, in between describing his latest crush in great detail.  It was a skill they’d honed with practice.

He was new. She’d been admiring his shoulders when he turned and she’d realised those were shoulders she’d never mentally gawked over before. She’d been wondering where they’d been hiding, surely she’d have noticed them before.

“Who is that?” She inquired under her breath to her friend. She had to repeat herself to get Chris’ attention- he’d been extolling the virtues of his crush’s backside with a great deal of concentration. 

“Um, sorry- who?” Kate would have grinned if she hadn’t been so intent on the new guy. Chris was hopeless.

“The new guy by the goal. He’s cuuute.” He was. His broad shoulders were joined by an impressive six-pack, dark hair which curled over his eyes, a dark green, and the rest of his body continued a pattern set by his jawbone- crisp, cool and totally-unfair-but-We’re-not-complaining-beautiful.

“Oh, yeah, he’s new. He started when you were in Florida. Why, fancy a piece of that?”

Kate blushed. “Chris, you are so crude! Of course not.  What’s his name? What A levels are he doing? Is he in any of my classes?”

“Slow down, will you? God, someone’s got a crush. He’s called Matt. As for the rest, I have no idea, I’ve never spoken to him. He’s just the hot gossip amongst every girl in the school.”

“Hot is right.”

They lingered near the edge of the pitch, Kate needing a last glance before they headed off shivering for the warmth of home. But her minds stayed on smooth muscles and rugby kits.

Kate lay on her bed, drying her hair. She couldn’t stop thinking about his eyes. God that sounded sad. She hadn’t had a crush like this since Primary school. Usually she just admired what was around. Not focussed on one face until she could trace it in her sleep, the smooth lips, open in a pant from jogging, leading to his neck…wow. She’d only caught a glimpse of him for godsake! This was ridiculous. But so, so perfect.

The next day, she was on high alert, desperate for another glimpse, to see if she had been exaggerating his features. He was in her Maths class, it turned out. Sitting in front of her. Perfect. She grinned. She could stare at him unnoticed. Even if she did end up looking like she was enjoying maths far too much. His hair curled into his neck, which was a dark auburn colour. She spent a great deal of time admiring the fine hairs at the back of his neck, numbers washing over her. Over her shoulder she could see him doodling on a scrap of paper. Annoyingly, she couldn’t make out what he was drawing. 2 hours passed in a haze, then the bell went, startling her. Quickly she packed her stuff away, watching him sling his rucksack over on broad shoulder. Later, she realised she had no idea what the lesson had been about, and thought how unfair it was that he had come here and taken up her head so fully with his perfectness. But just then, her whole mind was focussed on him, and the scrap of paper he left lying on the desk when he left.


Kate stared at the note, trying to decipher the scribbles. It looked like a barbed wire fence, but why would he be drawing that?

Chris nudged her, bringing her out of her pondering. He was staring at her from across the canteen. She blushed, pleased, and quickly looked away.

“Have you spoken to him yet?” Chris whispered.

”No. He’s in my maths class, sitting in front of me.”

“So why didn’t you introduce yourself! He’s new, it’s expected!”

“I couldn’t. He’s too cute. I’d be scared to.”


She grinned at her, and stole a glance at Matt. He was still staring, a slight frown marking his face. Kate looked away quickly and widened her eyes at Chris.

“He’s still staring!”

“Of course he is. Go and talk to him.”

“No. Not now, anyway. I will in maths, ‘kay?”


Kate sighed, and bit her lip.

The next day, she walked to maths very slowly, both dreading and anticipating what she was about to do. He had arrived before her, and was sitting watching the door as she entered. Blushing, she walked towards him with her head down, watching the floor. He was obviously waiting for someone. She’d talk to him after the lesson. Maybe. So it surprised her when h stood up and cleared his throat in front of her. She stared up at him, confused. He was beaming down at her, hand stretched out.

“Hi! I’m Matthew. Pleased to meet you.”

Oh, but he was too amazing for words! Handshakes, honey smooth voice and everything. And his whole face just lit up when he smiled. She stuck out her hand, lips twisting upwards at the formality of it all. He grasped it and jiggled it up and down.

“Kate,” she replied simply.

“Oh, I know.” His grin widened. “I can’t believe it’s you; after all this time! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw your face.”

“Whaa..?” She frowned up at him.

“Oh, you don’t remember me. Bugger. It was the other way around, last time. What did you say…? Um, okay.. So, yeah. You’re my soul mate.”

Kate stared up at him, open-mouthed. He was completely insane. He beamed back at her. He didn’t say anything. Neither did she. They stayed that way until the teacher cleared his throat.

“If you don’t mind..?”

Kate realised they were holding hands, staring into each other’s eyes in the middle of a maths class staring at them. She let go of his hand like it had scalded her and nudged past him, dropping into her seat and staring red faced at her desk.

Damn. That was weird. Trust her to develop a major crush over the freakiest boy in school. He’d looked so normal, and gorgeous. Maybe that should have started the warning bells ringing. Noone that perfect would be interested in her.

This was unbelievable. Totally crazy. Kate lifted her head up, she’d better at least pretend she was paying attention to the teacher’s lecture on imaginary numbers. Oh no, everyone was looking at her. Everyone. She glared in a random direction around her, then looked determinedly at the whiteboard. Helplessly, however, her eyes slid down to Matthew’s hair, and neck, and shoulders. Maybe it didn’t matter that he was completely insane? She could overlook that, right? For his jawbone, arms, eyes?

No. This was stupid. The first thing he’d even said to her was complete nonsense. No one was that mad, surely? Then she froze. Exactly. No one was that mad, who wasn’t locked up. He’d been playing with her. He’d seen her looking at him, and popular, cool and evil as he was; he’d decided to have some fun. That scheming little weasel. Sometimes looks could be so misleading. She stared lasers at the back of his head, spending the rest of the lesson trying to kill him with her stare. When the bell rang, another lesson missed, she swept out, purposefully, looking anywhere but at him, and ignoring his half spoken words aimed at her as he gathered his things. He stood behind her, staring after her in disappointment.

“Oh my god, Chris, you’ll never believe what just happened!” Kate cried to Chris the minute she sat down with her tray of food.

Chris grinned, “What? Did you talk to him?”

“Yes! And it serves me right! He’s absolutely insane. He started talking nonsense! Went on about how we were soul mates, or something!”

“Whit woo!”

“Shut up Chris. It was really scary!”

“He can’t have been being serious, I mean, he’s made loads of friends. He’s really popular.”

“Looks can be deceptive. He clearly believed whatever he was going on about. I mean what kind of-“

“Kate!” Chris glared at her, and gave her a meaningful glance which Kate completely failed to understand the meaning of.

“Why are you looking at me like you’re about to throw up?”

“That would be because of me.” Kate turned, and suddenly it made sense. Standing behind her was Matt.

“Oh. Uh, hi.”

“Yeah. Hi. So, um, I need to talk to you. Now.”

“Why, so you can freak me out again?”

“No, so I can explain why I freaked you out the first time.”

Kate stared at him hard, and sighed.

“Fine. Lets go outside.” She said goodbye to Chris and left the canteen, ignoring Matt trailing behind her. She stopped at a bench and sat down, dumping her bag on the floor next to it, and frowning as he sat down beside her and turned to stare at her.


“I’m sorry.”

Kate stared at him, uncertain whether this was another trick. Was he really sorry for teasing her?

“What are you sorry for?”

“I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that. It’s not fair on you.”

“Oh! Er, okay.” Kate bit her lip.

“I mean, springing it all on you like that. I know I didn’t believe it at first.”

“What’s your problem? I get it! I’m a geek, ridiculous, etc. etc. Jokes over. Leave me alone.”

She stood up quickly and strode off. Some people were just too unbelievable. Was she really that blatantly sad? Gullible looking?

“Kate!” Matt called after her. She ignored him and walked faster. She could hear him striding to catch her up. He reached her and grabbed her arm.


She turned angrily to him, ready to scream if he didn’t let her go, when he quickly added, “You forgot your bag.”

Kate stared unseeing at it, then quickly grabbed it off him and shrugged it over her shoulder.

“Thanks” She turned away.

“Please, Kitty.” He pleaded.

Closing her eyes, she gritted her teeth.

“Leave. Me. Alone.” She said, facing away from him. “And my name is Kate.”

He was silent. After a long pause, he said, “Fine. I’ll give you some space.”

When she didn’t reply, or even move, he walked away. She listened to his footsteps, fuming.

Thank god he was only in her maths class.

2ND-NOV-2010 – NaNoWriMo, day 1: 1771 words.

I love how the NaNo site is already completely down and its the first of November

Is it bad that my 1st scene is set in a lab and uses the words centrifuge, petri dish, pipette, incubated and bacteria? OH HI SCIENCE NERD

My story is a post-apocalyptic, conspiracy theory, reincarnation type thing with lots of scientists. 😀

I started writing about reincarnation a year ago and this story is not the same plot but the idea of reincarnation is the same. i’ve just matured and improved it. last time i had that idea and tried to build a plot around it, and so i didn’t really get inspired by it much, this time i have a proper story line which i love. something about the idea of reincarnation really appeals to me though.

Here is a small extract for you to peruse at your leisure:

After his speech, most people turned back to their work, talking across the lab benches, to each other. Kate stayed where she was, watching Dr Galloway as he finally wrestled his way into a sparkling new lab coat, dumping its contents on a desk (he’d been using it as some kind of bag type receptacle) and rescuing an apple from where it bounced across the floor.  He turned around, and blushed again when he noticed her watching. He looked away, pretending to glance around the lab, but Kate carried on watching. There was something….familiar about him.

Finally, he gave in and walked over to her, clearing his throat. Kate didn’t let him speak, instead, saying, “You know, I knew exactly what your voice would sound like before you spoke. Why would that be, do you think?”

He looked even more confused at this than he had at her socially unacceptable staring, and gaped at her momentarily. She stared at him with an amused expression until he recovered.

“Sorry, what was your name?” he asked, looking her up and down, from her curling hair to her Completely Inappropriate For a Lab sandals, and labcoat decorated with badges and beads.

“Kate. I know you from somewhere. Have we met before?”

“We haven’t met before. I would have remembered.” He blushed bright red, then stammered, “I mean, I haven’t been here before.”

“Hmmm.” She eyed him speculatively. “You don’t look the type to hang around internet forums bemoaning the hidden conspiracy theories in the government, either. So where do I know you from?”

He frowned at her, working this out in his head. “Wait, what do you mean? You are?”

Kate coughed, startled, looking around hurriedly. “Never mind that. So, you’re working with my tutor, then. You’ve probably heard about me.” She said, clearing her throat.

A look of understanding dawned on his face. “Oh, you’re Kate. James warned me to keep away from you.”

Kate looked immeasurably pleased at this. “Did he really? Glad to hear I’m not letting the old lad down.”

“What did you do exactly? He said if I valued my sanity, and more importantly my thesis, I should stay away from you.”

“I think in order to maintain my air of mystery we shall leave it at that for now,” Kate winked at him, turning her back to him, and grabbing rubber gloves from a box on her bench. “I’m sure you have some important supervising to do.”

The doctor stood behind her, and she could feel the skin on the back of her neck prickling as he watched her press test tubes into a centrifuge. As he was turning to leave, she turned her head and called out, “Oh, and Matt? You have your lab coat on inside out.”

He looked startled and looked down, blushing a familiar red. He walked off quickly, ignoring her, and stripped off the offending article to turn it the right way around as he left her side.


Hi guys! I’ve been Doing Things this week.

I’m about 6K into my story, and I’m not slowing down yet. I keep itching to write a scene I’ve just pictured, and I love my main characters, they almost write themselves.

9TH-NOV-2010 – I’ve passed the 10,000 words barrier! *dances*

Question for computer people: if you left a working laptop in a dry loft for about 70 years, would the battery work if you tried to charge?

Update, answer: “Once lithium-ion batteries have expired, simply place them on a charger and allow them to be re-filled with power. Very low self discharge rate. Can retain charge for up to ten years. ”


never mind I should be >20,000 by now, its AWESOME NEWS THATS 32 PAGES


So I’ve been thinking lately I need to get back into writing again. I haven’t really done much since NaNoWriMo, and I really should because I really enjoy it. So today I was sitting in a 2 hour biology lecture (I don’t even do biology) (It’s a long story) (I was coerced.)(Actually that was quite short) and I decided to make a list of all the elements of books and films and tv shows that make it a show that I like. It… turned out to be quite long, so I thought I’d share it. If you have any additions, comment with them if you feel like it. You don’t have to.

Oh, in brackets is what I’ve seen this in that I like.

· Thieves (the lies of locke lamora, fingersmith, firefly)

· Historical or future (not modern)

· Funny in a confident sort of way (Doctor Who, Misfits, Green Wing)

· Steampunk

· Reincarnation, soulmates

· Long boat journeys where you have to avoid someone on board

· A rivalry

· Strong, intelligent women beating the men

· Successful orphans

· Old books/caves/secret passageways

· Discoveries (harry potter, sandman)

· Outfits- bow ties, waistcoats, dresses, hats

· Secret hoards of weapons/money (watchmen)

· Forgeries- inks, different types of paper in scrolls, lots of stationary

· Someone in the police who knows you and gets annoyed by your antics (Sherlock, Dirk Gently)

· A mystery you can’t talk about (from a buick 8)

· Oddball anecdotes (Amelie, Watchmen)

· Science labs- if in past, glimpses of the beginnings of modern discoveries for readers to notice (sandman)

· Normal people thrust into impossible situations (neverwhere)

· Strange situations in normal places (green wing, black books, spaced)

· Drunkards causing trouble (black books, father ted)

· A den/home ground (sandman, misfits, doctor who, black books, spaced)

· Carriages

· A quirky pet who saves the day

· Getting out of hopeless situations in a genuinely intelligent way (misfits, doctor who)

· Going against the law in a cheeky manner

· Secret identities

· Strange talents (cats cradle, men who knit) which later come in useful

· Secret escape routes/passageways made by paranoid people (RED, enid blyton, watchmen)

· Annoying families who you love

· Surprise! Twists in the plot (fingersmith)

Obviously that isn’t everything, but its good enough to give me some ideas.



Flist, what is your favourite period in history? Regency, Tudor, Victorian, Medieval, Roman? It’s very important, please answer? Cheersss..


Yesterday i got out the library 3 books on the Crimean war as research for writing. Is that bad, or good, doing research as a hobby?


I’ve written ~5000 words since Monday for my story. It’s a past/present/future one, the one I did for nanowrimo was the future part, set in an apocalypse nuclear bunker with my characters solving a conspiracy, and I got about 2/3 through that storyline, before I hit a dead end. Now I’ve started the ‘past’ one, which is set during the Crimean war and has a girl thief dressed as a boy pretending to be an assistant to a war reporter to avoid getting caught by the police, and has lots of delicious situations where she steals stuff and has it hide the fact that she’s a girl when they live together in a tent. The third segment, is either modern day, or further in the past, I haven’t decided yet. Anyway, I’m really, really enjoying writing again.


i’ve finished my exams! which means nothing until october except holidays, and writing. I am just going to reread my ~25,000 words of reincarnation romance (so far split unevenly between scifi thriller and victorian thieves at war, and a whole third of the plot has yet to be decided on) and see how crap it is and then get back to it. i’ve missed it so much!
i want to set up a writing club over summer with fabbii , thecatinthetree , and ghosted and anyone else around coventry who is interested, where we sit in a cafe all afternoon on our laptops and write, because that is just my perfect day I think.

now i’ve got a dog’s head on my knee and a printout of words, so i’m content.

eta: is it weird that the sexiest scene is basically just Pen Porn? i have the strangest kinks

“So, shall I just assume you don’t know any letters, and start from the very beginning,” he said wryly as he flipped his notebook to a fresh page.

Katy nodded eagerly, and he continued, smiling. “Ok, this one,” he rested a finger below the first shape, and she bent closer to memorise it, “is A.” He paused, and she looked up at him, face closer than she’d intended. She realised he wanted her to repeat it.

Self consciously, she shot nervous glances at the soldiers around them and then said quietly, “A,” trying to hold back a laugh that was brushing the back of her throat at the situation, and a rush of something else at the feel of his breath on her cheek.

“B,” he murmured, finger sliding to the next letter, but eyes holding hers. She turned her gaze back towards the paper reluctantly, trying to concentrate on the shape and not on the scattering of freckles she’d discovered on the bridge of his nose.


They continued along the line, and Katy lost her self-consciousness at saying the noises out loud, along with him, and became immersed in the new world he was showing her. It was with a shock, that she realised he had reached the end of the line.

“Right. That’s all the letters you need to know. Once you know those, you can start looking at words and guessing what they spell from the sounds the letters make,” he looked down at the letters, not meeting her gaze, “So you need to learn the sounds. But the best way to do that, I think, is to write them out.”

He pulled his pen from his pocket and handed it to her. “Write the letters out underneath, and tell me the sounds they make, if you can. Don’t worry if you can’t, it will take a few goes to get them all. But can you remember the first one?”

She looked at the shape of the letter, the triangular top, and remembered the colour of his eyes as he’d told her the sound.

“A,” she whispered. She felt him nod from the movement against her hair, but kept her eyes on the black lines, afraid to look up in case her eyes showed too much.

“Well done. Want to have a go at writing it?”

She looked down at the pen, warm in her grasp, so small for something so powerful, and carefully pulled off the lid, hearing a low, satisfying click as they separated. She held it up, twisting it to look at the nib, silver and sharp.

He pushed his ink well towards her, and she unscrewed the lid, dipping in the pen nib. She looked to him for reassurance she was doing it right, and he nodded encouragingly.

“That’s it, now wipe the end on the edge of the well, so it doesn’t drip… and you are ready to go.” he directed, and passed her the notebook which she rested on her own knees, “Be slow and careful, don’t rush.”

She held the pen awkwardly in her right hand, as Matthew had done, and pressed the end to the page. Immediately a dot of ink appeared, spreading across the surface. She pulled back, startled, and then did it again. This time it only left a small dot, the excess ink had gone. She drew a line across the sheet, and frowned as nothing happened. She tried again, and realised that the nib needed to be pulled in a certain way to let the ink flow. She twisted the pen with her left hand, altering the angle. It was hard to hold, but she thought it must be something you got used to.

19TH-JUN-2011 I feel like I should update but I don’t know what to say ahhhh

Since I got back from spain I have been:

1) trying my hardest to become nocturnal
2)worrying about exam results (monday gdjskskcjdnsm)
3) trying to write- I’ve done about 2000 words, so not too bad but NOT GOOD enough. i had great hopes to write the whole thing this summer but its not going to happen lol

In the comments, could you please tell me what you would do if you were stuck on a ship for 10 days, without any books or anything? GO ON WRITE MY NOVEL FOR ME.


-put a shitton of crap on ebay
-wrote notes on a primary source about the crimean war FOR FUN*
-made a picspam of my characters**
-ate trifle
-forgot to brush my hair and only realised when my mum came home from work and called it a birds nest

*for research for my book
** Oh LOOK I have nothing else to do so here it is
Basic idea: the same 2 characters are in different time periods, so we have, SCIENCE MODE:


VICTORIAN MODE (yeah ignore the fact that she’s underwater or whatever, thats her LOOK:



What do you think? There aren’t enough redheaded pictures out there so the girl is varied but the boy is Cillain Murphy through and through. He even has tiny little freckles on his nose! Exactly as I’ve described him. He’s a bit brooding though, my character is more cheerful.

ETA: I just hit ~*~thirty thousand words~*~!!!

Some of it is notes, but still 30,000!! Thats over half of NaNoWriMo!


Also I now have plotted out every chapter to the very end, and I know exactly how it’s going to end (its a killer because I am a tease and love upsetting endings).


now if only i could make myself write more often.


so i’ve given in writing in order and i’m now hopping back and forth to the interesting bits. is that greedy or productive? i can’t decide


Authors never mention the gut clenching fear when you writing a sorry that someone will get there first, write your idea and get it published.

It only started recently (which I suppose is when I decided I was going to do it, I wasn’t going to give up this time) but everytime I read a blurb summary now, it comes with a kind of stress in case one of my ideas is in it.

The other day I read a blurb of a book- not a particularly famous book, I’d never heard of it before and it was in a charity shop. It started off in the crimea, and for a while the character was a journalist (which is what I am doing about). It obviously wasn’t a big part of the book- even the blurb only mentioned it briefly before he went on to have more adventures- but I nearly threw up. I froze for about 5 minutes, because it was like being stabbed in the heart.

You feel intensely protective of your area- which for me is kind of everything because that’s how I’m trying to write it, spread over time and genres. An apocalpse novel, how dare they! Maybe I am just too possessive, I don’t know, but if someone publishes a novel too similar before I have finished writing mine, Im not sure I can deal with that.

I know it’s silly, because when a popular novel theme exists people look for similar ones, like twilight did for vampire novels. so it can only help, but still jsfdljslfjsdl

i don’t want to read any of the competition in case it alters how i write it, expecially fro something as changable as reincarnation. but ive been reading lots of historical research and that helps


Here is a little extract for you, my lovely flist, because I was pleased with it. If you read it and like it, comment? 😀

Oh! I don’t know if I said, but I now have a title. The red Earth rolls, from this poem (the last two lines are appropriate).

[Katy has just mistakening flirted with a woman (she’s pretending to be a boy). At this point Matthew knows shes a girl, but only recently found out]

“Oh, yes! I’m sure Christopher here could row us out, couldn’t you?” Mrs McKenna looked at her from beneath her eyelashes. Katy was unsure how to reply, but was prevented from doing so by Matthew’s sudden arrival. He coughed from behind Katy, and she turned in surprise. He moved to her side, a look on his face she’d never seen before- something like envy, or jealousy.

“If you will excuse me, ladies, I need Kit’s help,” he said. He sounded polite but Katy knew him well enough to hear the protectiveness beneath it. She blushed, taken aback but pleased. He took her shoulder and led her away, nodding his head to the women.

“Sorry,” she added, as she followed. When they were out of hearing distance, alone in the corridor, he commented to her, “You need to be careful. They think you are a boy- someone’s feelings could get hurt.”

She grinned, thinking that his already had been apparently. “It wasn’t my fault. I smiled at her, that’s all! Is my smile that charming it sends women swooning left, right and centre?”

He smiled back at the image, commenting, “Yes, well. We are in a war; you have no reason to be smiling at women. Or men, for that matter,” he said, his voice hardening, “Just be careful in future. Mrs McKenna is working her way through the ranks, from what I’ve heard.”

“I’ll reserve my smiles solely for you in future,” she replied softly. He didn’t answer, ignoring her comment, and instead replied, “It has stopped raining. Shall we walk on deck?”

Katy nodded, and then left the metal interior for the cold but refreshing sea air. A dark, cloudlike line was visible on the grey water, and Katy realised with a shock that she was probably seeing her first glimpse of another country, having missed seeing Malta. She pointed it out to Matthew.

“That’s good. We should arrive in two days or so, if the good weather continues.”

The deck was wet and they gingerly made their way over to the rigging, holding on as they walked to avoid slipping. They walked in silence for a while, both awkward to speak now the truth was known. They would have to rebuild their easy banter from scratch, if it was possible at all. Katy was determined not to stop trying to get it back.

She stopped suddenly, catching sight of a brown blur in the rigging ahead of her, high up.

“Matthew, is that a bird?”

He peered upwards following her pointing finger, and cried out. “Yes! It’s a little brown owl, trapped in the rigging.”

“We need to help it!” Katy walked to where it was, and tentatively put her foot on the rope, testing it. It held her weight, and she began climbing up the rigging to the bird.

“Kit, what are you doing? You can’t do that!” Matthew hissed. She looked down from her perch above his head, grinning at him.

“I must say, climbing is much easier in trousers! Usually I have to tuck my dress into my bloomers.”

Matthew opened his mouth, gawping at her, and she giggled, turning back to climb further. She had nearly reached the bird, which was tangled in the ropes. It was still, obviously exhausted from trying to escape. She climbed beside it, moving slowly so as not to scare it.

Matthew had recovered his speech and was calling up to her in a flustered voice to be careful. She smiled but ignored him, focussed on the tiny creature. She tentatively reached towards it, brushing her fingers on its soft feathers. It started then settled back down when she pulled away. One of the ropes was wrapped around its wing, and she pulled the free end towards the owl, giving it slack so she could untangle it.

When released it flapped its wing madly, obviously unhurt, and she moved onto another rope around its leg. How it had gotten into such a mess she couldn’t imagine. The owl was now wiggling madly, desperate to escape and get away from her. When she released its leg it slipped easily out of the remaining rope and was off, wing brushing her face and ticking the skin. She turned, leaning against the rigging, and watched it fly off towards the coast until it was barely a speck on the horizon.

Then she looked down at Matthew, who was watching her with a small smile on his face. She smiled back, and he called up.

“Well done. But please come down before you fall into the sea!”

She laughed out loud, the excitement of rescuing a living creature making her dizzy- or maybe that was the height. She turned and carefully made her way down. The ropes were slippery from the rain, now she was paying attention to them and not teasing Matthew. It was harder climbing down, but as she reached the bottom Matthew was there to help her down, gentle hands around her waist. She turned to him, a wide smile splitting her face. He was closer to her than she realised, and she could see the freckles around his nose, the small kiss curls in his hair, made as it had dried from the rain. He didn’t pull away and she stared into his eyes, smile dropping and her breath catching. After a moment he shook himself, releasing her waist and stepping back. He asked in a stunned voice, “What’s your real name?”

“You need to keep calling me Kit, for other people’s sake,” she said gently and he frowned slightly.

“I know. But I want to know.”

“It’s Katherine. I don’t have a real family name, but in the orphanage they called me Katherine Russell.”

“Katherine,” he repeated. The way he said her name made her stomach trip over itself. In his Scottish burr it sounded like a caress. After a stunned moment she added, “My friends’ call- well, called, I guess- me Katy.”



hey guys!

i can’t even remember what i was whittering on about last time i posted so here is a picture of stuff i have looked at recently


what my notemaking has devolved into


Since when have you been writing, and what type of stories do you write? Why?

I started by writing fanfiction about my dogs. This is from when I was about 12 or 13 maximum. I’m not sure when I started it though:

The door into the warm house closed on the dogs, leaving them in the dark garden. Once they realised that all that was happening was the chance to empty their bladders before bedtime, they disappointedly set off for a night time ramble. They were followed by a black and white cat called Perkins.

There were 5 dogs in the group. Clara, the mother figure of the group, and actual mother of Merlin, was an elegant lady poodle with long curly ears down either side of the face. Her fur, she insisted was ‘blue’ but was really grey. As a dog she was quite unique because she could sit and gaze at a human for hours, wanting to be stroked.

Her son Merlin was, well let’s just say large in size but not in IQ. His fluffy black top-knot had given him the nickname Pom-Pom, which could always be seen nearby at dinnertime. He was amazingly strong, so all the other dogs refused to play tug-o-war with him. But he was also very loveable.

Tommy, the loudest of the group, was a white mongrel terrier who couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He had a serious addiction with stones, which he loved to hunt. He would have been an excellent guard dog, but he tried to stop everyone entering the house with his insistent barking.

Sophie, a black white and ginger collie, had been through so many homes she couldn’t count them on a paw, which was strange as she was the nicest dog out of the lot, although she was a bit shy, and her bark was very squeaky and immensely annoying.
And finally, Jake, a hunting border terrier, who if let off the lead on a walk would not be seen for 3 days and nights. He could either be a grumpy old dog, or a loving, sneezing, affectionate terrier, and no-one could predict beforehand which it would be.
Tommy broke the silence of the night first.

“Right then! What now?” He squeaked, a look of pure joy on his face as he found a stone he had lost. ‘Right then’ was one of the few human phrases he knew, ‘walkies’, and ‘lets go’ being his other favourites.

Perkins, the cat, sniffed disdainfully at Tommy and purred, “I’m going hunting.”

He then strolled away, tail up high and once out of sight entered the house through an open window.

At the mention of hunting, Clara’s eyes had misted over with longing and Jake had begun to quiver. Merlin had trotted off to find his ball, Sophie dashing after him, yelping madly. Tommy meanwhile barked at his pebble.
“Let’s go!” Clara whispered in Jake’s ear, grabbing his leg and attempting to drag him by it. She didn’t need to encourage him, he was only too eager.

I like how I introduce new characters by giving interesting details, which is something I struggle to do now. The rest of it is a bit cringy though. It made me a bit teary that since I wrote this, Jake, Perkins and Sophie have died.

Now, I am writing a plotty novel, the main idea of which has gone through about 3 different incarnations, and I (hope) I’ve settled on an actual novel form, which is currently 65,000 words. My main objectives when writing it is to get in everything I love in books (i think i posted a list I compiled of things I love, I’ll fish it out if anyone is interested?), and fix everything that annoys me. For example: typical romance novel cliches actually being used reasonably, romance being part of the plot instead of *being* the plot, not enough plot to keep you interested, etc etc.

Since I posted the first thing I wrote properly, here is the most recent (from last night):

Once the conversation turned to Alfred’s forthcoming nuptials, Katherine excused herself for some fresh air, and went to find Matthew. She found him talking to the stableboy, who ducked away when he saw Katherine.

“Sorry,” she said apologetically, “Did I interrupt?”

“No,” he said, turning, “It’s alright. That’s my cousin.”

“Ah,” she said, casting an eye over the working boy, “I see the resemblance now.” Matthew and the boy had a similar physique, all sharp edges and angles.

“You do?” Matthew turned, eying up his cousin curiously. “Where?”

“The freckles,” she said teasingly, and he mock sighed at her, so she added cheekily, “He’s more elegant, though. There’s something about his posture that is just more dignified.”

“Excuse me, ma’am, but I have better things to do with my time than be insulted,” he said stiffly, eyes twinkling, and bowed before turning to walk away.

“Don’t trip!” she called after him, and his formal pose broke as he snorted. She laughed with him, and caught up with him as he returned to the carriage.

“Did you hear about Glasgow?” she commented.

“Yes. Did you hear about Dublane?”

“Dublane? No, what happened there?”

“Before they reached Glasgow, they passed through Dublane. I heard a story about one of the rebels. It is not as interesting as many, but I thought it was good.”

“What did he do?” she asked, curiosity piqued.

“He read a bible passage as they rode through the town.”

“A bible passage? Which?”

Matthew cleared his throat, closing his eyes and preparing himself like he was about to perform a play. She beamed at him in delight.
Without opening his eyes, he said, “Stop grinning,” and Katherine controlled her expression. “Sorry.”

He shushed her and after a moment began, voice strained to sound slightly mysterious.

“And thou profane wicked Prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end. Thus saith the lord God, remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it to him.”

The quote sent a shiver down her spine, and Matthew looked down at her wide eyed expression with satisfaction.

“That’s…. scarily apt.” She said, after too long a pause.


i wrote the death scene for my novel. death scenes are the most fun to write.

i dont care if that is mean but it is so true

sex scenes are good but just embarrasing because im like OMG, MY MUM WILL DEFINATELY READ THIS ONE DAY SOON

and exposition is good but im all ‘what adjective should i use to describe the speech here’

but death scenes are so, so great

you dont need to worry about any of that

because the more out of control the writing is the better

and there is a challenge of can i make myself cry when writing this (yes) and if so you win all the awards and its just brilliant ok


also: Prince Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart

what a name

what a man

i hope his friends called him maria

oh no wait they called him bonnie


About half an hour ago I hit 70,000 words! ~*~party~*~ still no closer to the end, though. It feels at the minute that every little bit of progress I make I discover another chapter of plot that needs to be written. I’ve written my first death and sex scenes, though. So that’s progress.




Why the convoluted sentences, people of the past? “If only we knew what was happening, this is bullshit.” sorted


Write about your favourite book.

The boring but accurate answer is that my favourite book changes all the time. So I will recommend instead a book I think everyone should read.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is one of the longest books I have ever read. It is written in old fashioned language, with lots of footnotes, and nothing memorable really happens in the plot. But it is something every writer or booklover should read, just because it is a brilliant lesson in world building, and keeping an audience captivated for months and months of reading. There is something so perfect and quirky about it that you don’t find very often, and for me it changed how I see books- they can do more than tell a story for a few hours; they can make a whole new place you can live in and want to know every tiny detail about without getting bored. Basically, its the perfect book. READ IT.

Post something you are proud that you’ve written.

I don’t usually like what I write until a few months afterwards. But here is something I wrote today that I was pleased with:

“I think I’ve found my calling. Strip shows- to keep the men’s spirits high!”

“As long as you practise for me first I have no problem with that.”

She giggled and leant down, kissing him thoroughly in delight. Focussing again on her he rolled her underneath him, and began to make use of her newly revealed form. They spent the rest of that evening together, blocking out the world and relearning each other, before falling into a deep sleep.

The next morning they woke up to find the tent so cold their breath misted in the air. Katy pushed closer against Matthew, who wrapped an arm around her. She shivered still, and tentatively pulled an arm out from under the blanket, hair standing up in the cold air. She reached, glad for once the tent was so small, and grabbed their discarded clothes, pulling them on top of the blankets. They may have to start sleeping in their clothes to avoid freezing.

Settling back against Matthew, she tried to go back to sleep, but her mind kept drifting back to what was awaiting them outside. Her stomach rumbled and she reluctantly sat up, reaching for their baggage. The food they had brought would only last them a few more days, and then they would be forced to beg distrusting officers for food.

But for this morning she pulled apart some bread, and cut slices of cheese with her dirk, making sandwiches for her and Matthew. She ate hers in under a minute, wanting more immediately but knowing she should save the rest until dinner.
She began dressing, carefully picking her clothes off Matthew so she didn’t wake him. It was hard to dress in the bulky skirts in the small tent, especially as she still wasn’t used to such complicated clothing- it had been a lot more basic when she lived on the streets.

Matthew didn’t wake however, and she made her way out into the cold morning air. She self-consciously weaved her way through the curious stares of soldiers, returning to the hospital. She passed a funeral possession on her way, and noticed that all along the path was a row of graves. The general opinion was that if you entered the packed hospital, you were unlikely to leave alive. Judging by the amount of soldiers whose primary occupation was digging the graves of their comrades, she could see why.  Katy noticed one of the graves was half dug up; wild dogs had been scavenging. She blanched and looked away quickly, but the image of a torn limb, bone visible and gnawed, was imprinted on her eyelids.


More time to write. I’m just getting back into it and taking it slowly at the minute to get into the story, and the other day i passed 80,000 words 😀 If only I didn’t have like three lab reports due in and coursework and exams in a few months, right?


So, I mentioned in my last post that I’m doing chapter intros for my book. I wanted to write little funny snippets of Kate’s and Matt’s life at the start of each, so that you see what they are like when they are together, seeing as the whole novel is full of drama and tension and they never actually just hang out. So here’s a little bit of it. The chapters alternate between Kate and Matt and it’s all stuff they write to each other, like facebook posts and text messages, and this bit is notes they leave on the fridge:

Chapter 31: Jumping

Section 3 Bunker, 2080

Matt hereby declares that Katherine Galloway is retroactively responsible for all embarrassing and painful incidents that have occurred in his life to date. Including but not limited to that time that he broke his own nose with a tennis racket in year nine. KATE’S FAULT.

There are no naked pictures of me on the internet!! None!! That is a barefaced lie!!


Chapter 32: Stolen Thunder

Matt, you need to watch out, you are starting to sound like me. You do realise you used MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS in your last note. What happened to ‘Excessive use of punctuation is for idiots and chavs, please don’t email me if you can’t control your typing, Miss Finchley’ and ‘Stop shouting at me in capitals Kate, it’s weird and doesn’t make your point anymore valid, the data still doesn’t fit the hypothesis’? I’ve trained you so well. :’) One day you might even be cool!

Chapter 33

I’m cool! Just because I don’t communicate like a drunken teenager doesn’t mean I’m not hip. Or ‘epic’, or ‘gangsta’ or whatever I’m supposed to call it, because I know you are laughing at me for using the word hip, don’t lie. Maybe you are wearing off on me a little bit, though. It’s kind of fun, messing around with notes on the fridge. (Also, did our relationship really start with me telling you off for your grammar? Why did you even go out with me?)

Chapter 34

Matt, our relationship started because I wouldn’t leave you alone until you took me out for dinner, remember? You were all determined to keep it purely casual because we worked together and everything, but I pestered you until you gave in. How can you have already forgotten that? YOU DIDN’T THINK YOU HAD ANY CHOICE IN THIS, DO YOU?

A dramatic re-enactment of how it went down:

K: Hey, sexy, nice to meet you, I’m Kate!

M: You used too many commas in that sentence.

K: Let’s make out now

M: No. Please leave me to die alone and miserable in a pit of despair.

K: But look at my charming sense of humour! My fabulous breasts! How good I am at error analysis! We should make out.

M: But, we work together! I’m reserved and no fun!

K: Did I mention my fabulous breasts?

M: Sure, let’s make out.

Chapter 35

I love how you describe things you’ve made up in your head like they are facts. That isn’t how it happened! You are a liar. The truth:

K: Excuse me, DUDE, I know you are right in middle of a very important and delicate experiment but I’m new here and from now on I will take up all of your attention and you won’t ever escape me, so get used to it! So, yeah, if I ever give you a chance to speak could you show me how to requisition new chemicals?

M: Wow. Did you even pause for breath in there? Sure, I’ll help you. I’m Matt, a fool who doesn’t know what he’s letting himself in for.

K: Nice to know, I’ll be sure to pester you almost incessantly for the rest of your life. Where’s the best place to buy alcohol around here? I’ve only been here four hours and I really need to get drunk!

M: ……. um what

K: Never mind! So, requisition forms? That’s an interesting cupboard. I can’t wait to have sex in it!

M: …..what

[Cut to a few months later, when I had got used to your….Kateness]

M: Hey Kate, I know you are weir d and have no brain to mouth filter and think you are a teenager and everything, but somehow I find it oddly charming. I don’t know, maybe you’ve brainwashed me, but it’s too late to do anything about it now! So, yeah. Drink?

K: We’ve been going out for like a year what is wrong with you.

M: What?!?

I’m worried about a few things. First, I can’t tell if it’s actually funny or if it’s just me. I think it’s hilarious, but I don’t know if it’s a kind of Tumblr Based funny that isn’t actually funny. So, is it fun? It’s supposed to be a contrast to the angst happening in the story.

Second, I’m very aware of the John Green Funny Writing Style, where all the banter is funny but all the characters sound the same. So, could you tell me what you can gather about the characters from this? Do they all sound like the same person, i.e., me? Or do they sound like their own people? Any feedback would be awesome! This is all I’m thinking about at the minute, mainly because it’s FUN, like writing fanfiction for my own story. I don’t have to worry about planning plots, I just get to play and make myself laugh, and it’s a productive way to avoid doing the actual writing (at the minute I’m trying to decide how best to write a transcript of a video they are watching that has Important Exposition, and make it sound interesting….also I’m on the final climax of the storyline and I can’t bring myself to finish it, because it’s so scary! I’ve nearly finished my story!! I’ve never done something so big before).


Now exams are over Ive been writing like crazy and I’ve finished a huge section! I’ve written a full plot arc, from start to finish with an ending and plot twists and drama and romance and ahhhhh! That’s something I’ve never done before. My current word count is scarily close to 100,000, may have a heart attack when I go over that, we shall see.  I’m confident I can get draft zero done before I go to the US, which is perfect timing to leave it in a drawer for a year and come back to it when it’s matured a bit. I’ve nearly written a novel, guys!
2090 apocalypse scientists  storyline: DONEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
1745 Jacobite uprising/time travel plot: not even close to being done; about 3 chapters or a fifth of the way in


Also I started planning a sequel :3 already. They storyline I finished is the v end of the book so I started planning what would happen next, and then realised I still have to write the rest of this book. AH WELL SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
ummm thats all my news, London on friday! LONDON, BABY!


I’ve written a novel! How did that happen? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh What do I do now?
It was a really undramatic finish because I’d had the last few chapters done for months and i was just matching up the ends, but it’s done!! Ended up 254 pages, 121,000 words.


Now I have to sit and watch people read it :S I managed to get a bound copy printed for £11.50 which is amazingly cheap. I’m going to get everyone to pass it around and write all over it so I can correct it in one go. If anyone fancies a read…that would be cool? Scary, but cool. Mel, Sarah, Lambie (if you read these??) if you want to read it and tell me what you think that would be AMAZING. I’ll send you a pdf.



So Sarah gave me some questions, a while ago but I HAVE A BUSY LIFE OKAY, so here’s me answering those. Because she has a hard time being nice, she gave me some mean questions first:

1. why do you suck so bad
2. why aren’t you awesome like me
3. is it hard knowing you’ll never be as cool as i am
4. what are the best things about being my friend TRICK QUESTION everything is the best thing

So take a moment to appreciate those for the high humour they are so Sarah can feel happy with herself. Now, the REAL STUFF.

What was your favourite thing to research for The Red Earth Rolls? Or your favourite part about writing it generally?

I did a LOT of research because I chose the worst kind of novel; a historical one set in MULTIPLE TIME PERIODS, URGGGGGGH, past!Lauren you are a crazy, heartless slave driver. Here are a few of my bookmarks, to give you an idea:

That is only a small selection, mainly because most of the others are Wikipedia links and it’s far too embarrassing to share with the world how lazy my research techniques are.

My favourite bits are the diaries from the Crimean war, because some of the anecdotes are so crazy I could barely believe they were true. At one point the soldiers were marching on the Russians, who were firing at them from the other side of the riverbank. The Brits stopped on the riveredge to pick grapes, IN THE MIDDLE OF A BATTLE, RIGHT, GUYS, and then waded through the river, shooting at the Russians, with bunches of grapes clenched between their teeth. Soldiers were dying, clutching bunches of grapes. THAT IS A THING THAT HAPPENED, HISTORICALLY. If that was in a film people would think it was too farfetched to be accurate.

My favourite part of writing in general was probably the diary entries, because that gave me a chance to show off my well-honed Blogging for Tumblr skills. Basically they were extracts from a diary written in 2012, so I tried to make them really popculture-y and modern to contrast with the old fashioned parts. It was one of the only parts I felt really confident doing, because WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW, or whatever, and I KNOW blogging, trust me. Apart from that it was just hilarious, because Kate is hilarious and naive and I love writing her a lot. A tiny extract:

Tuesday 5th June 2014
So, I’ve decided to be even more fantastic and mysterious and write in code, partly because Matthew and I have been discussing something recently which I need to write down- but I don’t feel comfortable leaving it around for anyone to read, but mainly because it’s the coolest possible thing in the world. I WANT TO BE A SPY WHY AREN’T I A SPY WHEN DID MY LIFE GO WRONG.
So, despite the deep wrong the universe has given me by making me a paltry research scientist rather than a kick ass spy, I do have something kind of terrifying to discuss. Over dinner last week, Matt told me that he’d been talking to Mick about his work. Shocking, I know. Save some excitement for me, guys.
I’d been thinking he was going to mention the baby thing again, considering he had taken me out for a posh meal and told me to wear the sexy dress he can’t get enough of, but no, apparently he has a life changing and dangerous dilemma he wanted to discuss instead. It looks like babies are going to have to wait until all this has blown over. So YEAH, I wasn’t really paying attention when he started talking about Mick, considering it was an UTTERLY DULL TOPIC OF CONVERSATION, WAY TO SPOIL THE MOOD DUDE, but then he said something so seriously that it completely took me by surprise. Like, he said it as if he wasn’t even sure he could trust me enough to tell me that he’d had a conversation with Mick about the labs.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THEN READ MY BOOK. No, seriously, read it, that would be amazing. Only two people have finished it so far, I WANT OPINIONS!

How would you describe your sense of humour?

My sense of humour is a really important, defining part of my personality, and something I value in people a lot more than usual, I think. I tend to deal with things by finding the humour in them, and generally I try to make friends with people who have the same sense of humour. If we don’t have much in common, that doesn’t matter so much as being able to joke around with them, I’ve found. Which is why I’ve been hanging around with Brazilians, cause we all have the same insulting way of teasing which a few Americans have been really confused by so far.

Anyway! I think my humour is very dry, sarcastic, and insulting. Alice summed it up perfectly the other day when she said “English people are horrible to their friends and extremely polite to their enemies.” If I insult you, then I’m comfortable around you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about humour this summer, especially on rereading Draft Zero. The style of writing changed a lot as I wrote and discovered my own abilities, and one of the things that changed the most is the humour. I’ve found a good way of writing humour that isn’t oneliners; in the words. I’m not really sure how to describe it, so here’s an example.

“I’m going to ask Colonel Durand!” Katherine exclaimed, running into the stables midsentence. Matthew was cleaning the wheels of the carriage. He dropped a washcloth into a bucket with a heavy sigh before turning to her.

“Kathy,” he replied, in a long-suffering tone. “Do you remember me telling you that I have to present for the entire conversation- you can’t just filter me in at the end?”

“Sure, of course,” she said, not really listening. “I said I’m going to ask him. I want to learn to fire the cannons!”

“What? Is this a joke?” he hedged.

“No! Every morning we get more and more news of the Jacobites fighting their way closer to Carlisle. They are going to be here any week now, and despite Durand’s fine speeches, we aren’t ready. There isn’t enough time. There aren’t enough soldiers!”

“That doesn’t mean you have to become one, Kathy, you are being ridiculous.”

She could feel her expression souring dramatically. “I’m not! You’ve heard the militia talk- more of them are leaving to go back to their families than are arriving. By the time the Highlanders get here there is going to be no one left to defend us! I’m willing and able to help fight, and I want to offer to help. Don’t you?”

“You can’t fire the cannons, Kathy.”

“Wha- Why not?” she spluttered indignantly. She’d been planning that speech all afternoon as she worked on her embroidery with Elizabeth, and Matthew’s resolute disapproval wasn’t the reaction she’d expected. She had thought he would approve of her plan. “Matthew, you can’t stop me.”

Matthew started a brief staring contest, which was apparently his new method of persuading Katherine to agree to his point of view without the hassle of actually yelling. She deflated slightly, squirming under his steady gaze.

I really like using uncommon words to bring a bit of humour to the situation, and I’ve gotten better at doing that. It’s also really good for succinctly describing a person’s attitude in an unexpected way, like ‘deflated’ used to describe Katherine giving in. I don’t know, I guess I like the subtle ways of lightly saying something that is matter of fact. This ended up less about my sense of humour and more about my writing, but whatever. They are linked; and I think in the next draft I’m going to do more of this style of prose- a bit informal, but more relatable. Sour expressions and indignant splutters are so much more fun than dramatic arguments, I think.

What are your top 5 favourite TV shows and why?

Doctor Who, Spaced, Green Wing, Merlin, Black Books.
Those are all British, which was unintentional. I do watch American stuff too, but my favourites are all homegrown. They are all my favourites because of the sense of humour (except for Merlin, which, not gonna lie, I like because of the blatant fan service. I’m hardly there for the writing, anyway. Arthur’s bare chest is its own character at this point.), the actors, the way they make me feel instantly calm even though I know episode off by heart. They are my comfort zone, I guess.

Who would you say are your main ~creative influences~?

My mum. She is the funniest person I know, and I try to make her laugh. If I can do that, then I’m on the right track. This is going to sound super lame, but I really like the new writing styles that are coming out of the online community. Because everyone knows the same in-jokes and people are writing for their friends, and no one is editing writing for a mainstream audience, there tends to be a lot more references and Dinosaur comic, slang type sentences in stuff. It makes prose a lot more interesting to read, and I’ve tried to copy that a bit and make it more relevant, rather than just being used to describe couples kissing in a way that hasn’t been done twenty four times in just this fandom. ANYWAY, YES. I’m not going to say fanfiction is my influence, but bringing Internet into real fiction is a Thing for me. Real authors: Terry Pratchett, obviously, because he has comic humour down to an art. In terms of plots, I love Moffat. He’s got a few problems but I do love the stuff he does with time travel in DW, and how that effect character interactions, rather than just the currentOMG! ADVENTURE plotline. I want to do a bit more research into cultural differences across time in the next draft, so I can really get some comparisons in there about the separate timelines. I’ve left all that stuff for now so I can get the plot down; I haven’t even put in accents yet (Matt is Scottish but his dialogue is still pure English, it really frustrates my mum, hah).

How did YOU end up on Livejournal?

Ooh, no idea. It was 2007, so I was fourteen? I think I was looking for Harry/Ginny fanfic, actually. Hah! What bad taste I had in those days. I don’t think I’d discovered non-canon pairings yet.

Why is everyone on about Teen Wolf?

Ok, I have two reasons for watching this programme, which is mainly kind of terrible.
Number one: Stiles.

Stiles, guys. STILES.

Number two: this is probably the first time the popular slash ship has a chance of becoming canon. And it really, really does. This explains it a lot better than I ever could, but basically the network is MTV, so they only have to worry about what teenage girls want, and they have a tumblr account, so they know. They showed Sterek fanart on tv and ask fans for their fic. They tag posts as sterek, and make promos where the actors are cuddling on a ‘ship‘, are you even serious with this right now. One of the actors made a joke about Sterek not actually being real and the network EDITED IT OUT of the clip so people wouldn’t get confused about whether it was happening or not. The writer is gay, and the actors said that there was a 50/50 chance of it actually happening. So….it’s a pretty big deal, for the LGBT community and for fangirls in general. If it happens the main pairing on a mainstream show is going to be a gay couple. Guys!
Also, the couple are perfect and I want it to happen so much, guys, I can’t even explain. IT’S SO GOOD.

We ALL KNOW about your TRER fancastings, but how would you feel about an actual movie adaptation? (Except for “!!!”) What do you think they’d inevitably mess up? What would translate really well to the screen? How much are you still expecting me to make a fanmix for your novel? (I’m DOIN’ IT.)
Aw man, I’m totally all about the fancastings. Jessica Chastain and Ben Whishaw are currently in the lead. I…don’t know how I’d feel about a film. Maybe a BBC short series? That would be a lot more appropriate. I’ve just seen Cloud Atlas, and the whole intertwining storylines thing in a film didn’t really work. It was too long, and also too short, because you don’t get enough of the stories to care about any of the plots. I think the same would apply to mine- it needs a bit more time to give enough attention to all of the timelines. (Make me a fanmix omg so excited)