Where did you get the idea for The Next Together from?
I started writing about a reincarnated couple in English lessons at school aged 16, so I don’t know where the idea first came from! #destiny
Do you enjoy writing from historical and futuristic perspectives?
YES!! But having loads of historical periods in my first ever novel wasn’t a great plan – it was hard enough to write without the research!
How did you come up with the characters, Katherine and Matthew?
Kate and Matt were inspired by…….myself! I think any character has to have a facet of the writer’s personality to feel genuine and real.
Which is easier for you: characters or plot?
ALWAYS plot! I develop characters around the knowledge of what they’re going to do in the book – the kind of person who would do that stuff.
What does all the reaction towards The Next Together mean to you?
It’s a daily kind of awe, esp when people tell me they’ve reread the book. Then I get this feeling of shock, like “They really DID like it!”
Who are your writing inspirations?
Maggie Stiefvater. Sarah Waters. Susanna Clarke. Zen Cho. e lockhart. P G Wodehouse. Shirley Jackson. Neil Gaiman. Phillip Pullman. LOADS.
What’s next for you?
The Last Beginning is released on Oct 6th. I will also have a big announcement about future books then too...but for now my lips are sealed!
Any tips for aspiring writers?
Write for yourself. Always. The book that you are desperate to read. Always put it in a drawer for 6 weeks and reread it before querying it.
Is there anything you find you need whilst writing, or do you have a specific process?
I NEED my music. I can’t get into the book without songs to set the tone. Also the perfect chair, temperature, snack, coffee, nap, laptop..!
Be honest; how difficult was it to answer these questions in 140 characters or less?
I made it extra hard by making every answer EXACTLY 140 characters, which was a true challenge. It was a lot of fun, but….never again, ha!
Lauren James was born in 1992, and graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics.
She sold the rights to her first novel The Next Together, a Young Adult science fiction romance, when she was 21. It has been translated into five languages worldwide and is out now with Walker Books in the UK and Australia, and will also be published by Sky Pony Press in the USA. It was described by The Bookseller as ‘funny, romantic and compulsively readable’. It was also longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, a prize given to recognise an outstanding novel by a first time writer. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient.
Her other novels include The Last Beginning, the epic conclusion to The Next Together about love, destiny and time travel. A short story set in the world of The Next Together series, Another Together, is also available as a free eBook.