Category Archives: the next together

Kindle Highlights for authors

As you may or may not be aware, Amazon Kindle has a feature where popular sentences of eBooks are underlined, showing parts that multiple readers have highlighted.

This is basically the best gift ever for a writer: if you’re ever feeling down, go and flick through your eBook and see what people like. It’s great.

I thought I’d share the quotes that were highlighted in one of my books – The Next Together, since it’s been out the longest.

To be honest, if I stopped joking around I’m pretty sure I’ll go to bed and never get up again. I’m only barely holding onto my sanity right now through a series of poorly thought-out puns.

All throughout history they had been doing this, finding and loving each other and being ripped apart before they even had a chance to live.

I don’t think there are any true heroes. Just people who ignore their survival instincts long enough to do something incredibly foolhardy.

It doesn’t do any good to mourn for someone who is gone. They don’t care. Their story has finished.

Will you marry me, Katherine? I want us to spend this life and the next together.

“Did you have nightmares about it?’ He nodded hopefully and then said, completely seriously, “It was traumatising.”

“A pencil. A PENCIL,” he said, with growing horror, staring into empty space as if at the horrific vision she had laid before him. He shook his head. “Some people just want society to collapse.”

Isn’t that cool?! From that I’ve learnt that readers like the romance, the humour and the intellectual thoughts about life. I can provide more of that.

Authors, I’d love to see yours if you do this (and make sure to add the quotes to the book’s Goodreads page, as it’s a great way to draw in new readers).

What would Kate and Matt’s wedding be like?

Someone sent me this ask on tumblr:

If you were to write Katherine and Matt’s wedding scene, what would it be like and why? (ps. love your books ❤ <3)

I loved it so much I answered in detail. I thought some of you might also appreciate it, so I’m reposting it here. It’s kind of an unofficial epilogue to The Last Beginning. Spoilers within!

omg. WELL first off in 2056 kate proposes to matt. i know this is obvious, i barely need to say it. she does the whole monica thing and fills a room with candles, courts him until he’s blushing etc.

on the day, Matt wears a tuxedo and is so nervous that he’ll get the words wrong that he gets drunk before he even puts the suit on


Kate dips Matt when the vicar says they can kiss.

she doesn’t wear white (”i did that last time”), she wears something shiny like this:


her ‘something old’ is a tortoiseshell hair clasp from carlisle in 1745, her ‘something borrowed’ is clove’s watch with the rainbow strap (so spart can be part of the ceremony – matt insisted, “since you brought us together after all”).

her something blue is a tattoo of matt’s name written in blue fountain pen ink which she gets done drunk on her hen night. jen got a tattoo too: hers says ‘st andrews university <3′.

tom has this whole melodramatic joke about it. at the rehearsal dinner he tells every. single. person. that he’s not jen’s first love and he might never recover from the heart break. clove has to move to a different table because he’s so embarrassing.

oh, clove! Clove is the maid of honour. ella is technically her date but officially the ring bearer (”why do you want to be the RING BEARER?” – clove “we don’t have them anymore! i want to hold the cushion!” – ella. “if you lose the ring you are time travelling right out of that church to buy another.” – clove)

on the day, ella arrives in some futuristic dress that clove absolutely refuses to let her wear (”is that – is your dress made of clouds? are you FLOATING? No. no way. how did you think you would get away with this without anyone noticing?!”) so meg lends her a dress that looks like this:


the wedding is the first time meg and ella meet and that goes as awkwardly as you would expect.

kate and matt’s wedding song is come on eileen.

ella lends them her Skim for their honeymoon. they go on a tour of all of their lives. they’re gone two years but they time it so they come back after 2 weeks. no one notices how long they were really gone. even though matt has started going grey.

they have a baby boy six months later, and clove is the best big sister in the entire world. tom and jen enjoy being aunt and uncle and taking a less active role in the parenting (”you’ve got enough grey hair for both of us, i don’t need more stress in my life” – tom to matt. “if that were true you wouldn’t demand to babysit once a week” – matt to tom “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DON’T STOP HIM!!” – kate to matt)


(If you enjoy tumblr rants I recently made one about the excellence of Pacific Rim)

In other news: The Russian cover of TNT was revealed today! Title translation: “Love and other catastrophes”. Out in March!



New Kate & Matt short story – SNAILS.

My old university, the University of Nottingham, asked me to write a short story for their alumni magazine recently!

As one of the timelines in The Next Together is set on the University of Nottingham campus in 2039, I decided to write about Kate and Matt during their time at the uni.

The short story is set somewhere between Kate and Matt’s first meeting, and the point when everything goes to hell. So… Chapter 2? :’)

If you’re a Nottingham uni alumni, you can enter a competition to write a 1000 word short story set at a Nottingham campus, to be judged by me! Details here.



“So,” the Head of the School of Life Sciences said, eyeing them both over the rim of her glasses. “Why don’t you tell me how this happened?”

“Kate?” Matt said, in a strangled voice. “Why don’t you explain?”

Kate grimaced. “Well- I mean- I guess-”

“Please.” The Head massaged her temples. “Just tell me how the fire started.”

Kate swallowed. “I suppose it started with the snails.”

Beside her, Matt slowly sunk lower in his seat, deflating like a very embarrassed balloon.

Read the rest here on Wattpad!

Kate and Matt are characters from The Next Together series, published by Walker Books.

Amazon UK | Waterstones | Amazon US | The Book Depository (free international shipping)|Barnes & NobleWordery | Foyles | Kobo | iBooks | WHSmith

You can add the book on Goodreads or subscribe to my newsletter to receive an exclusive short story about one of Katherine and Matthew’s other lives.

In other news: I was interviewed in a few places: on the Author Allsorts blog by Cat Doyle and by Ally Dewing, who had this amazing thing to say:

” I absolutely adored the character of Clove; she was so realistic with her strengths – her intelligence and her passion – as well as her weaknesses – her impulsiveness and stubbornness – making her a well-rounded and easily lovable character. Her actions and reactions were all so understandable; this is something that I think can be overlooked in books, when something crazy or unbelievable happens within a story it can be played off as normal when the characters respond in a way anybody else would, and this is something done so well in The Last Beginning! I also found all the characters were well developed like Clove, in particular Spart and Ella! #CLOVELLAFORLIFE”

Thanks, Ally!

Alice and I did another infamous talking-nonsense video:

I’m obsessed with collecting seasonal pictures of my books. Here’s Spring, SummerAutumn and Winter.


Valentine’s Day extract

As it’s Valentine’s day, I’m going to copy the lovely Kate Ormand’s idea and post a little romantic extract from my book! After you’ve read about her Flo and Jett being cuties, here is Katy and Matthew being cuties too.

If you prefer, you can read it on Wattpad here.


Varna, Bulgaria, 1854

Katy had never felt such relief as the first time she managed to clean herself properly after the voyage from Southampton. It was the evening of their first day back on land, in the camp at Varna in Bulgaria. Their tent was dark and small, with only a single tiny cot, but it afforded

the privacy she needed to unwrap her chest, and it felt like a wonderful luxury. She scrubbed her skin until it was pink and the bowl of water Matthew had collected from the pump was brown and soapy.

When she finally felt clean again, she went outside to where Matthew was waiting. They were sharing the tent, just as they would have been if she really was his manservant. They couldn’t ask for another and, besides, Katy had been sleeping in a hammock next to Matthew and dozens of soldiers for weeks now, so she didn’t think it would be awkward.

“I’ll fetch you a fresh bowl of water,” she said. He nodded wearily. It had been a long journey from the steamer to the encampment, which sprawled outside the city of Varna, along the edge of a huge lake. Once they had arrived, they’d had to collect their tent and erect it. They were both exhausted.

As Katy walked to the pump, she passed the campfire where soldiers were cooking the meagre rations they’d managed to get. Katy felt a pang in her stomach. They hadn’t had any food since arriving and probably wouldn’t until the next day.

When she returned to the tent, Matthew was inside, shaving, having developed a layer of stubble during their voyage. She wouldn’t call it a beard exactly.

“Thank you,” he said, washing off the soap with the clean water she’d brought him.

“You’re welcome.” She sat on the cot and ran a brush through her hair, wincing at the build-up of tangles. She was going to need to get it cut soon. She’d kept it closely clipped ever since some of the other servant boys had teased her for her curls, saying they made her look like a girl. Now her hair was starting to curl up around her ears, and while she was androgynous enough to pass as a boy, it would be just asking for trouble to have long curly hair.

She sniffed at herself. Since she’d washed she had become very aware of the smell of her dirty clothes. “Do you think if I wash my clothes they will be dry by morning? I don’t think I can stand to wear these again. They smell horrendous.”

Matthew shrugged. “If they’re still damp then you can borrow some of mine.”

She looked up in surprise. Although she knew that he’d forgiven her for lying about her gender, this new kindness was unexpected. “Thank you,” she said softly.

He nodded, and returned his attention to shaving with an air of quiet embarrassment.

She tugged at the loose hair on the brush, admiring the mix of strands, her ginger and Matthew’s brown.

“Can I borrow some now? A shirt or something, to wear tonight?”

Matthew focused more than was necessary on washing the soap off his razor. “Yes. Take whatever you need out of my bag.”

Katy swapped her dirty shirt for Matthew’s clean one with relief. Matthew, who was washing his face, carefully kept his back to her. When she’d changed clothes, she sniffed herself again, but all she could smell now was a lingering trace of Matthew’s scent on the clean material.

Katy then tried her best to clean her clothes with just a small bowl of water and cheap soap. By the time she was finished, and the wet clothes were hung outside the tent to dry, it was dark.

Katy took a sheepskin off the cot and laid it on the floor, before making a pillow from a brown linen coat. The dirt floor didn’t look appealing, but she told herself it was better than sleeping outside, or on a ship, and settled down for the night.

“What are you doing?” Matthew asked. Arms crossed, he looked like a man on a mission. He would have been quite intimidating, if it hadn’t been for the way his hair curled around his face as it dried.

“I’m going to sleep?” she said.

“No. Stop it.”

She raised her eyebrows at him. “We’ve had quite a long journey. I think I deserve at least a nap.”

“I’m not going to make you sleep on the ground. Obviously you will take the bed.”

“We could always … share it,” she said. “Aren’t people supposed to huddle together for warmth in hostile conditions?”

He rolled his eyes, but a hint of a blush rose to his cheeks and the tips of his ears. He began violently brushing out his hair, sending water droplets flying. “That’s in the Arctic. I don’t think you’re in danger of getting frostbite here.”

“Oh, I wasn’t talking about me,” she said. “Me, I’ll be fine. I was talking about you. You’re so thin you might freeze completely through.”

“I think I can handle sleeping on the floor.”

“Well, don’t come crying to me if you’re a cold dead corpse tomorrow morning. You’re a delicate flower. I don’t think you can handle the floor.” Then when he didn’t respond, she added more firmly, “Matthew, I’m not making you sleep on the ground. I’ve caused you enough trouble as it is. Besides, I bet that cot is full of bedbugs. The ground is probably cleaner.”

“I’m not giving in, Katy.”

He started a brief staring contest, which was apparently his new method of persuading her to agree to his point of view without the hassle of actually yelling. She always squirmed under his steady gaze, but she was determined not to be the first to look away. However, this time Matthew was even more determined. She rolled her eyes, conceding defeat by overdramatically throwing off the blanket. It actually was quite cold on the floor, though, and she shivered involuntarily.

Matthew punched the air. “I win!”

“We will alternate nights. I’ll have it tonight and you can have it tomorrow. Otherwise we are both going to end up sleeping on the ground, aren’t we?”

“We are going to have the same discussion tomorrow, because I’m never taking the bed from you.”

“I’ll have a whole day to think of arguments,” she warned him.

“So will I.” He smirked.

Katy felt a rush of affection for him. She usually enjoyed their exchanges, and would have replied with something cutting, but today − in their new tent with a completely stationary floor and a proper bed, and not even one snoring soldier in here with them − she just wanted to be nice to him. He had been so forgiving and lovely to her since finding out that she was a girl, and she had never had the chance to return the favour. She’d have to wash his clothes for him and maybe find food for them both first thing tomorrow. It didn’t look like they’d be getting rations from the army any time soon. A sudden impulse overtook her and she stood up and wrapped her arms around him.

“Good night,” she murmured into his ear. He was tense, but he relaxed slowly, finally pulling her tight against him and pressing his face into her hair.

“Night,” he said back, a touch of something like surprise in his voice.

She stepped away, pulling down the shirt which had ridden uncomfortably high on her thighs. Then she climbed quickly into the cot and pulled the blanket over her.

“Matthew, thank you, really,” she said. “You’ve been so good to me.”

The corner of his mouth turned up. “It was a small matter.” He paused, and then added, “As the girl said to the soldier.”

Katy let out a thrilled, too loud laugh, and Matthew settled into the makeshift bed on the floor with an unmistakable air of self-satisfaction.

If you enjoyed this extract, you can buy The Next Together on Amazon UKWaterstones or The Book Depository  internationally, and add it on Goodreads. 

US Book Deal announced!


THE NEWS IS OUT! The Next Together is being pub’ed in the US by Sky Pony Press, edited by Alison Weiss! I’m absolutely thrilled to bits. I’ve been keeping this a secret since MAY so I’m going to be talking about it a lot now that I finally can!

I’m really excited to work with the wonderful Alison and the team at Sky Pony to make the most beautiful American editions of my duology that we can. Both books are going to be coming out in 2017, so there’s  not too long to wait after the UK release. It’s going to be a hugely exciting year. Bring on 2017!

The Next Together is released!!

“Funny, romantic and compulsively readable” – The Bookseller

Perfect for holidays” – Marie Claire

How many times can you lose the person you love?

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and  the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles. 

As of RIGHT NOW, my book has been released in the UK and Australia! I’ve already been sent pictures of it in real life bookshops, oh my god guys.


At Queen’s Park Books!


At Foyles Stratford!

I started writing this book in 2010, when I was a young innocent of eighteen, and I can’t believe my story has come so far that I now have an actual book which I can hold in my hands, that people can read and love as much as I do. I even have incredibly cool things like animated covers, and fans! There are already gifsets! For a book that has been officially released for… minute!

I mean…..who ever thought this would be real life? I definitely didn’t.

I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me on this journey. Your endless enthusiasm has made my jump into the world of publishing, which could have been terrifying, into an absolutely thrilling experience. I feel like the luckiest person in the world and I’m so proud to be part of such a loving community. The YA book world is a magical place.

I really, really hope you enjoy the book as much as I’ve enjoyed writing and publishing it. Here’s to many more books to come!

Before I get completely teary, I’m going to leave you with my final treat. It’s a good ‘un.


This beauty was made by the genius Jack Noel, as always! Check out that shooting star! MY HEART HURTS.

(Reblog here

Happy Birthday to The Next Together! I hope that everyone loves you as much as I do.

If you’ve missed any of the extra goodies I posted over the last few days, here is a complete list:

If you use an e-reader, you can request a free personalised digital signature from me using Authorgraph to go with your eBook here!
Get your e-book signed by Lauren James

If you’d like to buy my book, it’s available online here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones | Amazon USThe Book Depository (free international shipping) |Wordery | Foyles | Kobo | iBooks | WHSmithGoodreads

A rebloggable version of this post can be found here.

2 days to The Next Together: 20 Alternate Universe Kate and Matts

To celebrate the release of my first book, I’m posting a new “Behind the Scenes” exclusive about The Next Together daily until September 3rd. You can find them all here, including Chapter One from Matt’s Point of View, a Harry Potter crossover,  A scene from start to finish, a playlist and the book as different genres. 

If you preorder The Next Together before September 3rd you can get a free signed bookmark! Details here. The last person to email me with their preorder information before midnight GMT on September 2nd will receive an extra special gift with their bookmark!

Only twenty-nine hours to go until The Next Together is officially released! Can you believe it?! I can’t! People have started getting their preorders, which is …. sending me a little crazy with happiness.


This dog looks the way I feel.

Today I’m continuing the theme of the book as different genres by sharing 20 Alternate Universe Kate and Matts, based on this meme. 

1. New Neighbors!AU

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

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

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

“That butt,” she sighed, dreamily.

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