Welcome to one of today’s stops for the 2015 Debut Authors Bash, hosted by YA Reads!
I am extremely excited to introduce all of you to Lauren James. Lauren is here today to talk about her debut novel, called The Next Together!
Title: The Next Together [The Next Together #1]
Author: Lauren James
Publication Date: August 20, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Romance
How many times can you lose the person you love?
Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.
Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?
Maybe the next together will be different…
Hey, Lauren! Welcome to Between Printed Pages, we’re so happy to have you here today.
It’s so great to be here!
Before we start, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 23, and during my final year of university I got a book deal! I wasn’t really expecting to be a proper writer, as I only ever wrote as a hobby, so now I’m taking a “gap year” while I work on being a proper author. The Next Together was published in the UK and Australia in September, and is due to be released in 2016 in the USA, Turkey, Brazil and Germany.
The Next Together is what I like to call a “reincarnation romance”. It follows the various lives of Katherine and Matthew as they meet and fall in love throughout history. There are timelines in the recent future and distant past, and each time a mysterious being is tracking Kate and Matt’s relationship, and making sure they fall in love and save the world in every life….
What was the inspiration for The Next Together and what gave you the jump start to begin writing it?
I’m not really sure where the idea first came from, actually. I’ve been thinking about a couple who are reincarnated throughout history since I was about sixteen. I always wrote about them during Creative Writing assignments at school! It stuck with me long enough for me to actually start writing the full novel when I was eighteen.
I noticed that you’re background is in the sciences, so why writing?
My grandfather was a scientist, so ever since I was little I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I think that it really helps creativity to study something different, so you get a wide range of experiences to draw from. I’m actually writing a science fiction thriller right now inspired by a special relativity problem I was assigned as coursework for uni (no, seriously. I am!). The Next Together also features university students who meet when they are paired for experiments in a science lab, something I was doing myself when I wrote it.
I always loved reading and writing, but I never really thought being a published author was something people could do until they were in their thirties or forties! Luckily I was brave enough to try and get published anyway, and proved myself wrong.
Also, any advice for other aspiring writers?
Find out what makes your writing unique and own it. Be completely shameless about it in your query letter. If you love the zombie cats in your novel, make sure they are front and centre in your query. You need to find an agent who loves your book as much as you do, and spending months crafting the perfectly written query letter isn’t going to do that – but maybe persuading them to read the book with the promise of zombie cats might.
Within The Next Together, which character was your favourite to write and why?
I adore my two main characters Kate and Matt. They are like my babies, who are also both really similar to me (is that weird? I think that’s weird!). I love them for all their ridiculousness and occasional stupidity. Kate is very bossy and confident, and Matt is a little more shy and contemplative. He’s also completely in awe of Kate. They’re such a pair that I don’t think I could choose between them!
Among the different years and centuries you wrote about in the novel, which one would you want to live in the most? Why?
Probably 1745. I’m a big fan of regency romances and there’s something so romantic about carriages and ballgowns. I doubt I’d be able to survive without hot showers and shampoo though, so I’d visit 1745 and then live in 2039!
What are three songs that describe The Next Together?
I am 100% convinced that all of these songs were written about The Next Together:
Love Story by Taylor Swift
Centuries by Fall Out Boy
Pompeii by Bastille
(You can listen to all of these songs in my playlist here)
What are three books you believe everyone should take a chance on?
Lirael by Garth Nix
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke
Aside from reading and writing, what do you do in your spare time? Any unusual hobbies?
I swim as often as I can, and I love embroidery. The real, secret answer to this is probably: tumblr.
Last, but not least, what is your favourite word?
At the minute I’m a big fan of cantankerous. I also like scathing.
Thank you so much, Lauren, for taking the time to answer our questions! Congratulations on your debut release! We’re extremely excited for the sequel!
Lauren James is 23, and graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics.
Her first novel The Next Together, a YA reincarnation romance, is out now with Walker Books in the UK and Australia, and will also be published in the USA, Germany, Turkey and Brazil. The Last Beginning will be published in Autumn 2016. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James or Tumblr at http://lauren-e-james.tumblr.com.
Open for the UK. We’re giving away one (1) signed copy of The Next Together by Lauren James!
Contest ends December 25, 2015 at midnight EST!
Fill out the form below to enter!