Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shortlisted for the STEAM book prize!


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

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




Preorder campaign for The Quiet at the End of the World


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

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Waterstones | Foyles | Wordery

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

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

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

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

Also, here’s my events schedule:

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

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

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

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

26- 28th July – YALC – Details here

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



Tumblr tag archive – The Next Together (part 3)

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) 



I just did some sneaky googling of my book, and found a TON of blog mentions that I’d never seen before! I was so ridiulously gleeful about it that I had to make a post. LOOK AT ALL THE LOVELY PEOPLE EXCITED FOR MY BOOK!

Afterwritten | Sarah Sky @ YA Birmingham | Kendra Leighton | Daisy Chain book reviews | The Book Nooks | Luna’s Little Library |  Fic Wishes | Overflowing library | Neon Yeti Reads

#the next together #blog #aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh
21ST FEB 2015

lylamariemazie: This will be me as a wife

#kate to matt THE DORK #the next together
19TH FEB 2015


#kate’s wedding dress #the next together
14TH FEB 2015



Researching history for fiction

I recently posted about the historical events and locations in The Next Together, so I thought I’d explain how I did my historical research. If you asked my editor and copyeditor, they’d likely admit that I’m not the best at historical accuracy. I’m not a historian.

View On WordPress

#the next together
10TH FEB 2015

one or both members of otp: dead
me: they’ll work around that

#kate and matt #KATE AND MATT #the next together

Anonymous asked: Is there anything in the final version of The Next Together that survived all the way from that first draft of The Red Earth Rolls, or has it all been changed? (Also, can you explain the change/meaning of the titles?) Thanks!

Yes! There’s lots of scenes which made it from my very first draft, usually the more romantic, banter-y scenes, because they weren’t affected by the plot changes. I think all three of my favourite scenes were actually from the first draft.

There’s one particular scene from the 1745 storyline, where Katherine and Matthew have a very flirty hand-holding carriage ride, which I fought really hard to keep. It was one of the earliest scenes I wrote, and it was the first one that really felt like I’d found My Voice, and might actually be able to do the whole writing thing.

The scene nearly had to be cut because it didn’t really fit the plot anymore, but I did a lot of frantic adjusting to make sure it could be kept.

Here’s one scene that I’m really sad to have lost, but it just didn’t work!

The original title came from a Rudyard Kipling poem, about reincarnation:

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?
Everyone thought that was a bit too literary for YA, and might put off younger teenagers, so my publisher asked me to change it.

We spent a long time looking for a new title (with tumblr’s help) but eventually we settled on The Next Together, because it gets across the idea of reincarnation, as well as them coming back for a particular reason:

How many times can you lose the person you love? Maybe the next together will be different.
I was really sad to lose The Red earth Rolls at first, but now I absolutely love The Next Together, especially after seeing it on a cover!

(Speaking of which, I saw my final(ish) cover this week, and I absolutely adore, adore, adore it. I’m hoping we’ll be able to share it in the next few weeks!!!!!!)

#Anon #the next together #blog
2ND FEB 2015



cracked:  But come on, it’s not like they can just turn male scientists characters into female scientist characters whenever they want.

#the next together #manifesto
2ND FEB 2015

Anonymous asked: was the next together the first novel you’ve finished/written?

It was, but it took a lot of drafts to arrive at the final version! I originally started writing it when I was 16, and began to write it “properly” when I was 18. Reincarnation was always an idea I had knocking around in my head from a young age.

#the next together #Anon
2ND FEB 2015

The locations in The Next Together

Last time I posted, I had just found out that my American publishers, Egmont US, have closed down. I tried to sound positive but it had got me down quite a bit. However, I’ve got lots of wonderful people looking after me, and being very positive, so I’m a lot less upset about the whole thing now. I really hope that there’s still chance for The Next Together to be published in the USA, but either…

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#the next together
27TH JAN 2015


Anonymous asked: How long did it take you to write The Next Together and how long after that did you get your agent?

I wrote The Next Together, then called The Red Earth Rolls, in my first two summer holidays at uni, so around 4 months total. I spent 2 years thinking about it inbetween writing, though!

I finished it in July 2013, and sent the first 3 chapters to 6 agents in November 2013. I had 2 form rejections and then Claire Wilson at RCW asked to read the full manuscript. She offered me representation in January 2014. (I never heard back from the other agents.)
We revised the manuscript throughout 2014 (because I was busy at uni and couldn’t do anything until the summer) and sent it out to 12 UK publishers in November 2014. Walker offered me a book deal 2 weeks later!

4 months to write
2 months to get an agent
11 months to get a publisher
And it’ll be published 2 years after I finished the first draft.

Hope that answers your question! If you want to know more about the querying process, let me know, I’ve got a ton of links I can share with you.

#the next together #blog
26TH JAN 2015


#matt would have this in his office #with kate’s face on #the next together
25TH JAN 2015


The most important post I’ve ever written.
My second novel has an LGBT protagonist.

I have something that I guess is an announcement, but I don’t really think of it like that. It’s just something I’ve not mentioned online before. Ever.

My second book, the sequel to The Next Together, which doesn’t have a firm title yet, has an LGBT protagonist. The main character is a lesbian.

View On WordPress

#clove #the next together #The Last Beginning
17TH JAN 2015

My page proofs are the prettiest thing in the entire world. This is my BOOK, it’s REAL.

#blog #the next together
21ST MAR 2015


Bringing this back because I just remembered it exists: this Lynx/Axe soulmates advert is the perfect trailer for my book The Next Together. Just….just watch it. You’ll see.

so many feelings

#the next together
18TH MAR 2015

A little ten question interview I took part in for my local Waterstones posted yesterday!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Regency sci-fi romance.

I had to do a lot of historical research as the book contains two plotlines in the past, one in 1745 during the Jacobite Uprising and one in 1854 during the Crimean War. Writing it was a very messy process involving a lot of Wikipedia and trawling through history books.

I love Catherine Doyle, Alice Oseman, and Louise O’Neill. Brilliant young authors who are also very cool!

I don’t know if I can choose between my main characters Kate and Matt . . . this is too hard! They are the best as a pair.

I write at night. I’ve tried writing during the day, but I’m totally unproductive until the sun has gone down!

Mental illness seems to be the new trend, like the recent books All the Bright Places and I’ll Give You The Sun.

I’d prefer a TV series just because I’m greedy and would want it to be as long as possible! I spend a lot of time thinking about my dream cast, it’s probably unhealthy. I see Kate Finchley as a young Gillian Anderson, Matt Galloway is Ben Whishaw and Tom Galloway is Dylan O’Brien.

Young Adult fiction has the huge responsibility of being read by teenagers. The right book can shape a young person’s ideas about important issues like feminism, homophobia, sexual assault and mental illness for the rest of their lives. If you read the right book at exactly the right age it can stay with you forever, and YA does that really well.

Right now I’m working on the sequel to The Next Together, which has an LGBT protagonist! I wrote a blog post about it here. I can’t say much more than that without spoiling something though, sorry!

Love transcends time and space and social constraints, even when the world is working against it.

#blog #the next together
17TH MAR 2015

Get ready!
My cover is being revealed in SEVENTEEN DAYS on Friday the 13th along with the first chapter of The Next Together!!

Are you ready?! I’m not.

Here’s a sneak peek.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun

#the next together #blog #book
24TH FEB 2015 4 NOTES


Anonymous asked: Are you happy with the cover for TNT?

I am! I absolutely love it. Every time I look at it I can’t believe that it’s really my book. It looks so mature and sophisticated and special.

The designer (the fantastic jackdraws) went through a series of different ideas, and I loved each one more than the last. It was kind of heartbreaking that we couldn’t use them all.

Sixteen days until you can all see it!!

Here’s another sneak peak:

#the next together #blog #book #Anon
25TH FEB 2015



It’s going to be on Friday the 13th!!!! TEN DAYS!!!!

I’m not going to give you any more sneak peaks, but here’s a fanmade one by chronicintrovert to keep you going:

The real one is just as good, if you can believe that.

Also today is six months exactly until the book comes out!!!!!! LET’S PARTY LIKE WE’RE TERRIFIED!!!!!

#the next together #blog #book #Anon
3RD MAR 2015

negative-pessimist asked: Hi Lauren! This is a very random question but do you have a playlist for TNT/a playlist of songs that helped inspire TNT?

Rae! I definitely do, and you can listen to it on 8tracks:

shine/anna nalick
love story/taylor swift
tired of waiting for you/the kinks

dear river/kina grannis

rattlin’ bones/kasey chambers

back to where i was/eric hutchinson
radioactive/imagine dragons
young volcanoes/fall out boy
when the war came/the decemberists
to the dog or whoever/josh ritter
la meme historie/feist
centuries/fall out boy
man o’ war/eric bachmann
maybe/ingrid michaelson
brand new day/joshua radin
first day of my life/bright eyes

“But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all? If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like you’ve been here before?”

If you’re super ahead of the game you can even listen to the sequel playlist here. This one is a lot longer and very fluffy. It’s that kind of book. There’s a lot of Taylor Swift.

girls like you/the naked and the famous
classy girls/the lumineers
happy together/the turtles
once was love/ingrid michaelson
why am i the one/fun.
exile vilify/the national
girls chase boys/ingrid michaelson
laughter lines/bastille
a better son daughter/rilo kiley
campus/vampire weekend
you’ve got time/regina spektor
become the colour/emily wells
she’s a rebel/green day
brave/sara bareilles
get home/bastille
wonderland/taylor swift
she’s electric/oasis
how you get the girl/taylor swift
high hopes/the vamps
riptide/taylor swift
if she wants me/belle and sebastian
i’m a believer/the monkees
take me to church/hozier
party in the usa/miley cyrus
pencil full of lead/paolo nutini
big parade/the lumineers
feeling good/muse
love you much better/the hush sound
she’s got you high/mumm-ra
year 3000/busted
“She’s electric, she’s in a family full of eccentrics, she done things I never expected. And I need more time.”

#negative pessimist #the next together #book #blog #oh GOD this gave me so many feelings #The Last Beginning
26TH FEB 2015


Anonymous asked: Was it harder to write or edit The Next Together?

Firstly, thank you for all the lovely questions I’ve had recently! The Next Together isn’t even out for *checks* 192 days, so it means a lot that people are interested in my experiences before you’ve even read the book! ❤

I found editing really fun, actually – except for copyediting, when the final checks of everything are done. That just made me feel bad for all my grammar and factual errors!

I really like editing because it really feels like you’re improving your work and stretching the plot as much as you can. I love the feeling when my editor/agent points out something that could be done differently, that will dramatically make it better. It’s a great oh, duh moment, and improving on their initial suggestion (which might be something like ‘maybe add more tension to this scene’) is really, really fun.

That said, I love writing too! There’s nothing better than writing something completely original and making yourself laugh/cry/scream/sigh happily at something.

I think writing is harder though. It’s a lot more stressful than editing, because I’m a big worrier, so I spend a lot of time panicking that I’m writing something rubbish (whereas with edits I know exactly what my editor doesn’t like, so I’m a lot happier with it and not second-guessing myself). It’s a huge gamble for anyone, to spend such a significant amount of time working on a project that you have no guarantee anyone will like, and that doesn’t change just because you’ve successfully published one book! I think that makes writing new things a lot harder than editing, for me.

#the next together #writing #blog #Anon
22ND FEB 2015


negative-pessimist: Bookblr, you are in for something awesome, gorgeous and perfect at 4pm GMT tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled, and be ready to add yet another book to your TBR. #remember remember the 3rd of september #the release date at long last
#of lauren james’ the next together

laurenjames: Only 174 days to go!!!!

#rae rocks guys #the next together
12TH MAR 2015


My cover and first chapter reveal is happening tomorrow at 4pm!!! It’s going to be on some tumblr book blogs and review sites so KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED.
I’m so excited!!!!!!!!!!!

#the next together #blog
12TH MAR 2015 24 NOTES

Cover reveal for The Next Together + First Chapter!

the-next-together_intro-imageYesterday, the cover of my debut novel was revealed, along with the first chapter! Thank you to Lucy at Queen of Contemporary, Daisy Chain Book Reviews, Jim at YAYeahYeah, Hannah at Luna’s Little LibrarySarah Likes BooksBecki at A Word ShakerTilly-and-her-booksManda at Bookmad, and Ink-slingers for their help with the reveal!

As you can see, it was posted practically everywhere,but just in case you haven’t seen it yet…here it is!

tumblr_inline_nl7y2q6mMA1qzl77qIf you want to read the first chapter, click on the link to see it in full!

View On WordPress

#the next together #blog
14TH MAR 2015

I think the reason I love my cover so much is that it’s not super girly and pink and glittery. It’s a romance, so I could easily have ended up with a cover like that…but instead I get this!

It’s very non-gendered and sophisticated and classy and I LOVE IT. Last week I blogged about coverflip, about how female writers tend to get more fluffy and less serious covers compared to similar books written by men. I think it’s a great sign that my cover escaped that. It could be used for a book by a male writer too, like David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas! It’s so AMAZING.

#the next together #blog
13TH MAR 2015

I was tagged in a few memes, so I thought I’d do them in one post!

I was tagged by negative-pessimist​ in the Female Authors meme.

1. Favourite female author? (Or authors, I know it can be hard to choose only one!)

Sarah Waters for sure.

2. Favourite book by a female writer?

Fingersmith by the above!

3. Favourite quote by a female writer?

Mainly because it’s relevant to The Next Together:

“Everyoneremembers things which never happened. And it is common knowledge that people often forget things which did. Either we are all fantasists and liars or the past has nothing definite in it. I heard people say we are shaped by our childhood. But which one?”

From Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing the Cherry

4. Favourite fictional heroine?

Lirael from Lirael by Garth Nix

5. Favourite female poet?

Margaret Atwood

6. Favourite female author of your childhood?

Probably Jacqueline Wilson or J K Rowling.

7. Favourite living female writer?
A. M. Homes is excellent.

8. Do you have a not very known favourite female author? Share her with us!

I’m gonna say e. lockhart, because however famous she is, it’s not famous enough.

9. Bonus: Which female author would you have loved to meet? What one question would you have asked her?

I’m going to meet Emily St. John Mandel this week to get my copy of Station Eleven signed (which has just been longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s prize for fiction!!).

I tag anyone with an s in their username to answer this!

I was also tagged by catherine-doyle​, chronicintrovert​ AND blackbirdonthewire​ to do the Terrible Titles tag, so I thought it was probably about time I got around to that….

The rules of this game are as follows: “Scroll through your manuscript and stop at a random place in the text. Whatever you land on becomes one of ten terrible titles.”

HERE GOES. The Next Together, if it were terrible:

Who Were These People?
That’s What She Said
Wedding Planning: A Threat, A Nightmare, A Powerpoint
With Awkward and Sometimes Even Aggressive Determination
An Air of Quiet Embarrassment
You are ridiculous and I love you.
Her Plans Were Vague
Exactly the Same
A Little Plotting Involved
In A Shocking Turn of Events
Hmm. #8 is actually kind of good, but #7 is the most accurate, I think.

I tag my editor and fellow author A J Grainger/book-sleeves-and-tea-leaves​, because I want to see what else Captive could have been called!

#blog #The Next Together
10TH MAR 2015


The Next Together by Lauren James | →


#mate don’t even ask why it says laurence i’ll try and get that fixed #the next together
3RD MAR 2015



littlebundleofbooks: Seriously I get so many feelings about it when I’m listening to Lorde (and also just all the time tbh). Look, I’m just here to fangirl and think about Kate and Matt (and Matt’s hair), y’know?

Matt’s hair is supreme. Here is my ultimate Matt’s Hair fancast:

=tumblr_n6vmj33CSt1s49g11o1_500 (1)


#the next together #blog
22ND APR 2015

Today I got to hold my book for the first time as a real physical thing. I’m feeling very emotional and a little tearful about it right now, so please indulge me for this post. Here’s the story of The Next Together, and why this is such a huge huge deal to me.

Two weeks after I turned eighteen I started university. I was very shy and awkward and didn’t really make many friends at first. Especially not in my hall/dorm, where I didn’t know anyone at all. I would sit in my room and feel so homesick I couldn’t bear it.

So to make myself less lonely, I started writing a story. I didn’t really have any ideas, so I started by making a list of all the things I like best in books, and brainstorming from there.

reincarnation 24

I described it on my livejournal, back in the early days pre-tumblr, as a ‘reincarnation type thing’.reincarnation 1

I quickly realised that I wouldn’t have enough time to work on it, so I put it to one side for a while, until the summer.

reincarnation 15

It took me a while – so long that I’d moved from livejournal to tumblr to scratch my social networking itch by then –

reincarnation 11

– but eventually I finished it.

reincarnation 2

Reading back through these entries now, it’s unbelievable how much determination it took to get to this point, where it’s a real actual book I can hold in my hands. On and off, I have been editing this story from July 2012 to March 2015. That’s three freaking years. THREE YEARS. I’ve been thinking about it for even longer – the earliest post I can find about it is from 2009. Six years ago. I was sixteen.

reincarnation 4

The internet has been a huge part of my writing process, from fancasting to research to just complaining about writing. I even ran a poll to ask the internet what I should call my characters!

reincarnation 3

Tumblr, you’ve seen this book develop from the very beginning:

reincarnation 7

You were the first people to ever read it:

reincarnation 8

You were there when I sent it to agents:

reincarnation 18

And then you put up with my panic again when it was submitted to publishers:

reincarnation 6

And celebrated with me when I got a book deal:

reincarnation 19

You helped me objectify actors in the noble pursuit of fancasting:

reincarnation 10

(Many, many times.)

reincarnation 13

(No, really.)

reincarnation 16

You mourned with me when I had to choose a new title to replace the original name, The Red Earth Rolls:

reincarnation 5

And you went mental with excitement when the cover was revealed.

reincarnation 9

The Next Together cover reveal

reincarnation 21

I can’t even count the number of friends I’ve made because of a stupid idea I had for a book.

reincarnation 12

Some of whom have even drawn me FANART!!

reincarnation 20

And now, it’s time.

I’m now twenty two. I’ve been writing this book since I was eighteen. It’s more of a part of who I am, and my personality and my experiences growing up than almost anything else. When I started it, I was a shy teenager who couldn’t bear to be away from home, who wrote to escape the real world. Now I’m a grown up (kind of) (I mean, not really) (I still spend a lot of time on tumblr) and writing is my job: my actual, real life job. This book has changed and evolved and matured at the same rate as me.

And as of today, it’s no longer a figment of my imagination. It’s real. An actual, paper book that I can hold and stroke.



Please excuse me while I stare at it forever. And thank you, tumblr. Thank you, livejournal. Thank you, internet. You made this happen. Let’s celebrate.

The Next Together will be published on 3rd September. You can read the first chapter here.

How many times can you lose the person you love?

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer.

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

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.

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones | The Book Depository


tumblr look what you did:


I’m gonna die. This is the end. I’m done in.



Is this not MADNESS? Tumblr did this. This is all tumblr.

Wow. WOW. Thank you so much guys. I’m blown away by your support! ❤

#blog #the next together
21ST APR 2015  1,892 NOTES

jenndoesnotcare asked: Aw, that is a great story! I can’t wait to read your book. And (writer to writer) I SUPER understand multiple fancasts! Anyway you seem super adorable and reading your story cheered me up immensely 🙂

Aw, Thank you!!

And yes, I’m not just satisfied by one actor for fancastings. I will collect as many actors as possible and combine them to create the one optimum fancast of my characters, in a kind of ‘his arm’, ‘his nose’ pick-and-mix. It will be my finest creation.

Your message cheered me up immensely too! Thank you!

#nice people #blog #the next together #jenndoesnotcare
21ST APR 2015

nataliebina: YAY LAUREN THIS IS SO AMAZING I AM SO HAPPY YOU HAVE GOTTEN HERE WITH THIS BOOK! I love nothing more than stories of great writers who started with great programs like NaNoWriMo and have taken their stories far. You are an inspiration, and I can’t wait to read The Next Together!

thebookbangtheory: Omg I saw this recommended to me on Amazon and thought “huh, thus sounds like an interesting concept, maybe I’ll get this with my next paycheck”. Never would’ve guessed it would’ve come from someone on Tumblr! That’s amazing!! Congrats, Lauren!!

THANK YOU! I’m tumblr for life ❤

paellego reblogged your photoset and added: oh god i actually have this on my tbr list omgg congratulations! I am so happy about this ❤

keris replied to your photoset: Huge congratulations! x
kirstysmash replied to your photoset: The first chapter was intriguing! Can’t wait until September 3rd!
littlebundleofbooks reblogged your photoset and added: lauren-e-james I’m literally so happy for you that I’ve started welling up at work help

GUYS YOU ARE ALL INCREDIBLE, THANK YOU. I’m so happy right now I don’t know what to do with myself.

#the next together #blog
20TH APR 2015

jardindesfees asked: Hi Lauren, I’m Cat and we have never met, bet let me just say this: I AM EXTREMELY PROUD OF YOU!!! You wrote a book! And it’s out!! I can’t wait to read it! Good luck with your future projects and have a nice day! xoxo Cat

Thank you so much Cat!! I WROTE A REAL BOOK!

It means a lot to me that so many people are supportive of me. ❤

I hope you have a nice day too! I’m just gonna be here cradling my book.#blog #the next together #nice people #jardindesfees #me
20TH APR 2015

rvvve: adds “we just caught our alternate universe selves making out and now everything is super awkward” to list of shipping tropes that need to be implemented everywhere

#the next together #wait what? #who said that
20TH APR 2015

(via malech)

#the next together #katherine? #trying on matts glasses? #hmmmm

I did a debut author interview at the blog of Marci Lyn Curtis! →

Today I’m interviewing Lauren James, incredibly sweet fellow Fearless Fifteener and author of THE NEXT TOGETHER, a remarkable reincarnation romance that I was fortunate enough to read recently. Add THE NEXT TOGETHER (Walker Books in the UK, 3rd September 2015) to Goodreads or preorder on Amazon.

THE NEXT TOGETHER has such a brilliant, twisty plotline! How did you manage to keep everything straight? Did you outline?

Thank you, Marci! It was hard to keep everything in my head, and after a few confused conversations with my agent, where neither of us knew what was happening, I taped about five huge pieces of paper together, laid them on the floor, and wrote out the plot in each timeline. There was lots of post-it notes and highlighting and multi-coloured notes used to keep everything in order!

I think if I’d realised how complicated to would be to write a three timeline, historical, time travel novel, I might have saved the idea until I’d already written one or two other novels. As it was, I chucked myself straight into the deep end as an author.

A good portion of this story occurs in the past. How much research did you have to do in order to stay historically correct?

There are three storylines in The Next Together, each about a different life of my main characters, who are reincarnated throughout history. One is set in the future, one in 1854 during the Crimean war, and one in 1745 during the Jacobite Uprising. So I did a lot of research to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself!

I visited one of the locations, Carlisle Castle, to make sure my descriptions of the layout were accurate. I also read a lot of primary sources, usually diaries and letters from people around at the time, as well as history books about the time period.

I wanted to make sure that my writing was a little realistic, but I didn’t go hugely overboard with the research – I think the story is more important, and I didn’t want to make the dialogue too heavy and historical, especially for a book aimed at younger teenagers. It’s a historical novel, but it’s hopefully exciting and modern and funny regardless of that.

Hopefully I found the right balance between accuracy and plot!

Can you tell us a little bit about your hero and heroine?

Kate and Matt are reincarnated multiple times throughout history, and they always find each other and fall in love. Kate is sassy and rude and rushes into things without thinking, and Matt is more contemplative and careful and a little shy. He thinks Kate is incredibly cool. Kate thinks Matt is exactly her Type.

They’re both a little silly and ridiculous, but they love each other a lot, and have a great time finding out just how much in every storyline.

What is your writing process like?

I write at night, usually from around 7pm – 2am. I listen to playlists I make for each book, and I chew gum and write and write and write. I usually know how a story is going to start and what’s going to happen in the first half, but I don’t know the rest until I get there.

I write dialogue first, starting with funny or romantic lines that I’ve noted down beforehand, and I build scenes around them. I write from beginning to end, and I don’t let myself jump ahead to other scenes however much I want to. I just force myself through the awful bits. It takes me about 2 months to write a first draft, and then I leave it for at least a month before I go back to it and work on edits.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love Rainbow Rowell, Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, but some of my favourite recently published authors are Robin Talley, Alexia Casale, Noelle Stevenson and Lisa Williamson. I have so many favourites it was hard to pick just a few! If you want some more recommendations, my favourite books of 2014 are here.
Lauren James is a scientist by day, writer by early hours of the morning. She graduated in 2014 with a Masters degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She now lives in the village of Berkswell, West Midlands. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, which she mainly uses to fancast actors as her characters and panics about all of the overly ambitious plans she has for her PhD, or her website at

You can find Lauren on Twitter, Tumblr, or WordPress.


Marci’s book THE ONE THING is also excellent and publishes in September by Disney, so be sure to check that out!

#blog #the next together
8TH APR 2015




#the next together #blog #FREAKING OUTTTTTTT #yes i have been refreshing goodreads all day waiting for this to hit 1000 why do you ask
4TH APR 2015

tilly-and-her-books: STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Have you heard about this book? Well listen up. This is The Next Together by Lauren James. This is the cover reveal and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you because look at how gorgeous it is.

About The Next Together
Howmany times can you lose the one you love?

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

ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT. I bet that’s got you hooked? IT HAD ME JUST AT FIRST LINE. Another thing that got me hooked was the goodreads ratings. This book has a few reviews from people who were lucky enough to receive early copies and it’s all five stars.Take a look for yourself! (add it to your shelf whilst you’re there!)

I also have an excerpt to share. It’s a very special extract from the book!
Part 7 of the exclusive extract from The Next Together by Lauren

>File note: Clipping from The Times classified advertisements

In the dressmakers’, Elizabeth settled on a light green silk with pink braiding. Katherine made sure to express her gratitude to her aunt, but she felt awkward in the close-fitting, expensive clothing. She hadn’t worn anything this fine even when her grandmother was alive.Katherine had a small circle of acquaintances, having spent the last few years looking after her grandmother. She didn’t regret it, but now she had to face the rest of the world she realized how introverted she had become.She was nearly eighteen and it was time to grow up. She shifted in the new clothing, suddenly feeling ready to start her new life. To read the next exclusive extract from The Next Together, go to

About the author Lauren James

Lauren James is a scientist by day, writer by early hours of the morning. She graduated in 2014 with a Masters degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She now lives in the village of Berkswell, West Midlands. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, which she mainly uses to fancast actors as her characters and panics about all of the overly ambitious plans she has for her PhD, or her website at

Hell, If you don’t like the book…you’ve got to like the author. Jump onto her Tumblr too because I really love her blog. You totally will too. At least check it out anyway 😀

The Next Together publishes in September 2015 (Walker Books) and can be pre-ordered now. (Book Depository/Amazon)

livinglovinglangston: I AM SO EXCITED AND I JUST CANT HIDE IT.

brainy13sweetheart: OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. OH. MY. GOD.


laurenjames: When did this post get nearly 400 notes?!? You guys are all amazing, I am so grateful to everyone in the tumblr/booklr community for sharing my excitement about this cover. ♡

#the next together
3RD APR 2015 389 NOTES

Heads up!
If you’re thinking of preordering The Next Together, some info:

I’m thinking of doing a reward thing for preorders a little closer to publication where I send people who’ve preordered a signed & personalised bookplate of some kind. If that would be of interest to you then could you please like this post to give me an idea of numbers? It will be open internationally. 🙂

Btw, the list price for The Next Together is going up to £7.99 (it already has on amazon) but it’s not changed price yet on other sites. So if you’re thinking of pre-ordering at any point this might be a good time! (I would love it if you would- the more preorders we get the more exciting things my publisher might do for publicity- think posters/bookmarks/postcards!!)

It’s currently at a low price in the following places:

The Book Depository (free international shipping) | Waterstones | Wordery (cheapest + free UK shipping!) | Foyles | Blackwell’s

Okay, that’s all, folks! Thank you my lovelies ❤

#the next together #blog
27TH MAR 2015

Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together?
Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences.
— (via bl-ossomed)

#the next together
26TH MAY 2015


dapperalbinobudgie: “This has always been and shall continue to be my favorite post

#the next together
26TH MAY 2015


#messy sobbing #matt #the next together
24TH MAY 2015


Upping my signing game with a gold sharpie oh yeahhhhh

#blog #the next together
20TH MAY 2015


Listening to the new Mumford & Sons album while I do my last ever ever checks to #TheNextTogether. Every post it marks a change…..oops…………….

#the next together #blog
19TH MAY 2015

Anonymous asked: I can’t wait any longer to buy your book. Like I’m too excited. I plan on buying it as soon as it’s out so yay me and yay you! Haha 🙂

I can’t tell you how much I love getting messages like this! Thank you so much for being as excited about my book as I am.

I have some cool giveaways and stuff planned between now and September that will hopefully tide you over…but for now, here’s the first sentence of Chapter 2 (following on from Chapter 1 here):

Kate sat at the desk in her dorm room and stared at the concrete wall. She felt like something hugely important had just happened, but she wasn’t sure what.


#the next together #Anon
15TH MAY 2015


Today I went to inkslingerbooks to sign all my proofs ready to go out to bloggers, whaaaaaaat!

#blog #me #the next together
14TH MAY 2015

refrescorojo: Waiting on Wednesday: The Next Together

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by breaking the spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

WoW of the week is: The Next Together by Lauren James

Publication day: September 3rd 2015

From Goodreads:

How many times can you lose the person you love?

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer.

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

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..

Thank you! ❤

#the next together
13TH MAY 2015


At a conference my publishers held last week, The Next Together went out in the goody bags!
Look at it! [vibrates with delight]
Credit to Wei Ming Kam for the pic!

#the next together #blog
13TH MAY 2015

askkairi: some reincarnation AUs

I fell in love with you three lifetimes ago and I’ve been looking for you ever since but I’ve been starting to give up and my friend’s new crush has your eyes and oh god I’m not going to steal someone’s date just because I’m hoping you’re the person I met in a past life (jk yes I am)
I’ve met you in every single lifetime and I always hope it will work out but it doesn’t but I’ll still keep finding you again because those few days/months/years together with you are always so worth it
I meet and fall in love with you in every lifetime at the same age but your age is always different so it never works out and for the first time I’m meeting you when we’re the same age and I’m horrified that I might fuck this up
I skipped like four cycles of reincarnation and I know you’re pissed at me for leaving you all those lifetimes but it wasn’t my fault please please will you take me back
We only remember each other in alternating lifetimes so every lifetime we have to find one another and convince each other that we’re soul mates but half the time I won’t believe you and half the time you’re already dating someone else
I don’t know how to tell you this but the reason you didn’t see me in our last reincarnation cycle is because for some fucked up reason I was reincarnated as your dog
We keep reincarnating as people who speak different languages and it’s kind of pissing me off because I can never initially confirm if it’s you but at least I keep learning a bunch of cool new languages each lifetime

#[stares meaningfully into the camera] #the next together

I don’t know if this is exciting to anyone but me (I find the smallest most boring details interesting) but The Next Together is now available for preorder on kindle, ibooks and kobo! Yay!

#the next together #blog
8TH MAY 2015


So ridiculously (amazingly, absurdly) you can now buy a The Next Together mug from a shop set up by an author to promote UKYA books. Isn’t that so cute!! Look at it!!

You can get loads of other UKYA stuff too, including mugs with quotes by other UK authors. Beware, if you visit the shop, you may spend all your money. Enjoy!

#the next together #blog
1ST MAY 2015

damedonger: cool gender neutral things to call your significant other

a winner (because they’re dating you)

#LOOOOOK #it’s kate to matt #the next together
28TH APR 2015

Reviews for The Next Together have started coming in from people I don’t know and it’s the most exciting/nerve-wracking thing in the entire WORLD. [
[dances] [barricades self in bedroom]

#the next together #blog
27TH APR 2015

#Katherine by the pond in chapter 2


I made myself into a classy anemone mermaid lady, because how can I not jump on a mermaid trend set by maggie-stiefvater??

And of course, I couldn’t NOT make my leading lady Kate into a mermaid, could I? She’s flagging…

She’s flagging down Matt the octopus merman, who in this reincarnation is working as a seahorse taxi driver. Kate makes very lewd remarks about all of his tentacles when he drives her anywhere.

He doesn’t mind a bit.

#the next together
9TH JUL 2015


At an event at my publishers last month, my cover designer Jack shared some of the different versions of the cover for The Next Together. Aren’t they so cool?

Pictures taken from the lovely UK Shadowhunters, Walker Books, and Andrew Hall.

#walkerfictionfest #the next together #blog
7TH JUL 2015


chronicintrovert asked: LAUREN AND ALICE FAQ UPDATE. What alignments would all your characters be? (chaotic neutral, lawful evil etc) Which is your favourite to write? Which would you love to write in future? Which is the most boring? (sorry i copied your questions, they were really interesting lol)

I TOTALLY DON’T MIND AT ALL. I will shamelessly always answer my own questions.

What alignments would all your characters be?

Kate – Chaotic Good
Matt – Lawful Good
Tom – Neutral Evil
Lord Somerset – Lawful Neutral
Elizabeth – Neutral Good
and secret upcoming characters:

Clove – True Neutral
Ella – Chaotic Neutral
Spart – Chaotic Good
Romy – Neutral Good
J – Chaotic Evil
Which is your favourite to write?

Definitely any of the chaotic characters. They are so hilariously wild and unpredictable.

Which would you love to write in future?

Lawful Evil. I think the boundary between good and bad, in that grey area between a hero and a villain, is the most interesting.

Which is the most boring?

Mate, Lawful Neutral is so dull. Like, what is even the POINT of you?

#the lauren and alice faqs #claire’s coven #the next together #the last beginning
6TH JUL 2015

Writing a query letter
Before we begin, an announcement. If you preordered my book, firstly: THANK YOU. Secondly, you can get a free signed bookmark! All the details are here. Again, THANK YOU.

I get a lot of tumblr asks with questions about how to write a good query letter, so I thought I’d make a blog post with some advice. There are lots of other similar posts out there with probably better advice; I highly recommend googling round.

Don’t just send your query letter out to all the agents you can find. Sometimes you’ll get given feedback with rejections, and you can make changes to the manuscript based on that. Then you can send the new version to other agents. You can’t do this if you’ve already sent it out everywhere. Send it out in groups of 6 or 7.
Don’t bother printing out your manuscript- there’s plenty of agents that accept electronic submissions and it’ll save loads of money.
Don’t be upset if you don’t get replies immediately. Agents are very busy, and it can take weeks before they even look at submissions. It has no bearing on the manuscript. Honestly, do not take this personally.
Try to find agents who represent books in similar genres to yours, or ones who say they like specific things on their websites. I applied to my agent because she said that she liked humorous stories, so I knew there was a chance she might like mine. It worked!
Don’t give in after a few rejections- it doesn’t mean your MS is bad. It can just mean their list is full, or they already have something similar, or they just don’t fully fall in love with the story. It’s a huge commitment taking on a new client, and they have to absolutely love it to do that. Everyone has different tastes, so keep trying.
How can you get your manuscript read by an agent? I can only tell you what my agent told me about why she read my work. I include little funny messages at the start of each chapter, which I formatted to look like this:

Basically I tried to make it look as much like a book as possible, to trick agents into thinking it was publishing worthy.

When my agent was skimming through a huge inbox full of manuscripts, this apparently caught her eye as something original, that she’d not seen before. It wasn’t enough to persuade her to represent me, but it gave her a push to read the whole thing. So I would say that you need to find something that makes your writing unique, even if it’s only a small element of the story.

Make sure it’s in the first few chapters, along with all of your very best writing, because when you’re querying that’s what agents will read. Read your favourite books, and try to narrow down a few reasons why you like that book so much.

For example, my favourite YA book is probably Sabriel by Garth Nix. I love it because:

unique portrayal of the afterlife
talking cat
shy adorable boy and powerful confident girl
secret royalty
magical paper flying machines
zombie monsters
That obviously isn’t a full list of the great things about the book, but those are the things that I think about when I get the urge to reread it. Try and make a list of the things that you like about your own writing in the same way. If you love a certain element, make sure there’s more of it! Give it the space it deserves. If someone reading it likes talking cats as much as you, then your work is going to stand out to them.

(This is also a good way to brainstorm if you haven’t started writing yet. If you make a list of your favourite things from your favourite books, then those are things you should try to include in your own writing. For example, try and combine a dystopian storyline with something from your list of favourites that’s never been written about in that genre before – like with STATION ELEVEN, where a post-apocalyptic world is combined with a Shakespearian travelling theatre group. If you love theatre, and you love dystopia, that mix is irresistible. In the same way, if you love secret royalty like me, then maybe writing about what happens to the Royal family after an apocalypse would be fun.)

When you’re writing a query letter, make sure you mention all of these irresistible elements. Read some blurbs from your favourite books, and try and copy how they write. How did they drop in the details that first made you pick up the book? That’s what you need to do! Remember that an agent is a reader, just like you, and they are going to pick up books they want to read, not the books written by people who can write the fanciest query letter. Don’t get too stressed out about it. Just write the best representation of your book that you can!

You’re not trying to write the perfect query letter that any agent won’t be able to resist. You just need to make sure that the one agent who will love your book reads the manuscript. Once they start reading, the book will speak for itself! You just need to hook them.

There are loads of examples out there, but here’s my query letter as an example. I sent it to 6 agents along with the first 2 chapters of The Next Together (then called The Red Earth Rolls). I had one request to read the full manuscript. She accepted me as a client!

Dear [Agent],
The Red Earth Rolls is a completed 120,000 word young adult novel based on the idea of reincarnation, and encompasses genres such as dystopia, regency, romance, science fiction and thriller. An adventure spanning three hundred years, this story has something to interest every reader.
Katherine and Matthew have done this before. They keep being brought back to life and every time they do things seem to be getting worse.
In 1745 Katherine Hallward is spending a little too much time with her coachman, Matthew, when the Jacobites attack the city of Carlisle, on the border of Scotland and England. Somehow the city has to defend itself against the feared Highlanders, and Katherine is determined to help in any way she can, regardless of the consequences.
In 1853 Katy, an orphan girl, is running from the police in disguise when she accidentally gets stuck on board a steamer bound for the battlefield of the Crimean war. Luckily a journalist is there to take her under his wing; although there is the slight problem in that he thinks she is a boy. Together they try and help the war effort as much as possible, despite the hostility of the soldiers.
In 2090 Kate meets a new researcher in her biology lab and discovers that together they bear a startling resemblance to her mysterious great aunt and uncle. 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.
I hope this helped a little. Good luck!

#writing #blog #the next together
26TH JUN 2015


The Bookseller called me ‘compulsively readable’ today, so I think I’m gonna get that tattooed on my arm.

#the next together
19TH JUN 2015

The lovely bookpigs mentioned my book in her latest video! SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

#the next together
18TH JUN 2015

Get a free signed bookmark!
I will send anyone who preorders a physical paperback copy of my novel The Next Together a fancy signed bookmark.

This is open internationally. The offer will run until the book is published on September 3rd 2015, or until I run out of bookmarks, whichever comes first. You can check whether bookmarks are still available here.

How to enter:

Keep reading

#the next together #blog

18TH JUN 2015 152 NOTES

Anonymous asked: Hey Lauren, I can’t wait to read The Next Together! I’m really interested to know what the publication process has been like since you first sent it off to agents – how long did it take between getting an agent and hearing back from publishers? Did you find editing scary or fun? Have final copies of the book been printed yet? xoxoxo

Hello! I’m so glad you’re excited about TNT!

I wrote a blog post about getting my book deal here. It was about 5 months after I signed with my agent before we submitted to publishers (we spent a lot of time editing the book first), and then two weeks before I had offers from publishers!

I found editing weird at first, but I really enjoy it now! I love getting editorial notes back, and feeling yes, that’s exactly what I need to do to make it better. It’s a really satisfying feeling.

They haven’t! We’re still discussing final changes and designing a few bits and bobs on the pages. I think they’ll be ready in July or August.

Thank you for the great questions!

#writing #blog #the next together #Anon
15TH JUN 2015


I am giving away a signed ARC copy of my YA novel The Next Together, which will be published in September.

How many times can you lose the person you love?

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer.

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

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.

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones | The Book Depository

Rules and junk:

Open internationally
Reblog this post to enter
Must be following me (lauren-e-james)
Reblog as many times as you like
No giveaway blogs
Winner will be chosen randomly on June 15th
Good luck!

#the next together #giveaway #tumblr giveaway #ya #young adult #romance #reincarnation #fiction
29TH MAY 2015 1,853 NOTES

punkscully: i love the victorian era aesthetic.. .shitty ass candles and dirty streets, tweeds, carriages, ghost stories, the widespread existential panic due to newly discovered dinosaur bones and the theory of evolution

#the next together
27TH MAY 2015

Tumblr tag archive – The Next Together (part 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

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

I thought about this too much.

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

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


This took sooooo long but it was the MOST FUN.

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



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



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



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

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

(Reference: hot hacker )

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“Er, sure.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> First contact established in time-landscape 2036

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Kate,

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


Dear Matt,

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Get Draco,” he said, choking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What.” Katherine said, and blinked.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Matthew and Katherine shared a glance, and sighed.


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

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

“Less balls, Draco,” Hermione added.

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

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

“What’s a pound?” Draco asked.

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i. crime

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

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

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

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

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

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


ii. chick lit

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

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

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


iii. high fantasy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iv. middle grade

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

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

v. poetry




they reached for one another

twisting together in an eternal embrace

love after love

time after time

death after death

life, after?


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

Hi guys!

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


#the next together #writing
14TH APR 2014

cchronicintrovert replied to your post:
yeah there’s no use asking you that question because TRER basically covers all of them anyway GOD LAUREN WHY ARE YOU SO GENRE DEFYING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

# also lauren write some matt/kate for every AU

Why thanks for the homework relicanth. Here you are.

1. New Neighbors!AU

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

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

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

“That butt,” she sighed, dreamily.

2. Runaway Royalty!AU

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

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

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

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

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

He stared at her meaningfully. She raised an eyebrow.

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

3. High School!AU

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

“How are the summer holidays over already?”

They both sighed in unison.

4. Superhero!AU

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

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

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

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

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

5. Childhood!AU

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

6. Rule 63!AU

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

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

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

7. Magic!AU


8. Vampire!AU

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

“Except for the biscuits, right?”

“Except for the biscuits.”

9. Werewolf!AU

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

“Did you get the steak?”

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

10. Zombie!AU


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

11. Barista!AU

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

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

“Cream is unimportant! This is true love!”

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

“I trusted you!”

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

The Cute Professor waved back.

12. Hooker!AU

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

13. Royalty!AU

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

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

14. Prison!AU

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

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

15. College!AU

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

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

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

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


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

17. Pretend Couple!AU

“Quick, kiss me!” Kate yelped.

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

“We’ll think of a reason afterwards!”

18. Camp Counselors!AU

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

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

“I deserve the lie-ins.”

19. Met In Detention!AU

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

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

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

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

20. Pen Pals!AU

Dear Kate,

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

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

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

M. G.

21. Ghosts In Love!AU

“Back off,” she hissed. “He’s mine.”

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

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

22. God and Counterpart From Another Pantheon!AU

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

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

23. Brand New Step-Sibling!AU

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

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

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

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

Kate beamed at him.

24. Mundane/Domestic!AU

“Kate, you forgot to buy milk!”

“You forgot to kiss my arse!”

(via thelategreatrelicanth)

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

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

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

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

The castle as it is now.

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

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

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

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

It was a great day!

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


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

#the next together

19TH JUN 2014


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

#matt #the next together
19TH JUN 2014

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


#the next together
16TH JUN 2014

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


i think

says it all

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

13TH JUN 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His reply was sullen. “Sure. Thanks.”

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

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

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

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

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

He stared at her. “You aren’t?”

“Why would I be?”

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

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

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

Kate watched him leave incredulously. What was that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, Matt.)

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

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

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

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


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

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

I want talking bears and witches and alethiometers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30TH AUG 2014

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

#my book #the next together
20TH AUG 2014


chronicintrovert:  lauren-e-james ASKED ME TO DRAW HER TWO PROTAGONISTS, SO I DID


Alice drew my characters and she got them SPOT ON.

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

Matt’s blush! His jumper!

I’m going to stare at it forever


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#the next together
13TH AUG 2014

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


Probably something like this, I would imagine.

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


Except, you know, good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how the trailer would go:

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

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

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

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

Cut to black.

This Christmas, don’t miss out on….


Coming to the small screen near you.

And then BBC iplayer.

You can watch it whenever, really.

No rush.

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

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

Thanks for the questions!

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

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

#the next together
24TH JUL 2014

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

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

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

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

hope this is helpful, and good luck!

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

Dear [Agent],

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I still feel like a bit of an imposter.

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

#kate #the next together
25TH SEP 2014

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

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

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

THE RED EARTH ROLLS (YA, 87000 words)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sent: 26 November 2013 10:16

Subject: RE: The Red Earth Rolls by Lauren James

Hi C,

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

Very best,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was Tuesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear C,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


heatherwpetty: Novel-length kissing scene: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

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

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

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

-bite their lips


-be thrilled/delighted

-gaze at each other


Not really a surprise

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

I just saw my cover guys it’s WONDERFUL

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

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

“You go.”

“No, you,” the older boy hissed.

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

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

Matt nodded frantically. “Okay.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No,” said the girl. “Go away.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Get off me,” someone screeched.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“Thanks, kid.”

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


– What will your duties be?

– Sword fighting, obviously, administering rum and swabbing.

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



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

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

MY BOOK IS ON AMAZON.…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

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



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

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

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

Thank you!

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


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

Kate Finchley

Sassy, ginger, lewd sense of humour

Matt Galloway – Cautious, glasses, sweet.

So those are my babies!

#the next together #book
8TH DEC 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey Kate, how are you feeling about starting uni?

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

What are you studying?

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

Have you made any friends at uni yet?

Not yet!

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

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

What are your hobbies?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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:

#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 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



A couple of Etsy shop updates!

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

I have about 20 enamel pins left.


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

“James is one to watch.“ Kirkus Reviews

How far would you go to save those you love?

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

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

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

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