As is fairly common knowledge seeing as this blog started life as a year abroad blog, I spent 9 months in Germany. And being in the middle of pretty much nowhere, working only 12 hours a week, leaves a lot of down time. Which meant when a friend offered to send me her novel, I was quick to accept.
And how glad I am that I did. Lauren sent me a Word doc of what was then called The Red Earth Rolls. It had been accepted by a publisher and the long process of making it into a real, live book had begun. So I settled down after work and got stuck in.
I read it in one sitting because I couldn’t stop. About Matthew and Katherine, the book was immensely clever in weaving together three different timelines where these two characters meet in different lives. It’s a love story and yet somehow, I didn’t want to throw it across the room. I love YA novels but recently I can’t deal with their tales all consuming love. Thankfully, in addition to being a stomachable love story (technically three different love stories), it also has sci fi elements and strands of historical novel. I genuinely loved it.
It’s now nearly two years since I sat in my room in Germany, unmoving for hours, fascinated by Matthew and Katherine. Which means The Red Earth Rolls has gone through some changes. Like the fact that it’s now called The Next Together. And that it’s now out in bookshops.
I really love the cover. It’s so great.
Lauren was lovely enough to invite me to the launch party, and so last Friday after work, I scuttled off to Leamington Spa to enjoy book themed cakes, free wine and of course, to get to congratulate Lauren.
Cupcakes with toppings inspired by the book and it’s cover – so cool!
Held in a Waterstones, it was bound to be great and it was. In the general milling about and mingling, I bumped into a friend from university and Katie Everson, author of Drop, who was the most lovely. After a speech from Lauren’s editor, it was Lauren’s turn and she decided to read out her acknowledgements from her novel, which worked really well. And what was very cool, was there was a guest book. Literally a copy of The Next Together for the guests to write in.
Such a clever idea.
Afterwards, she had to get busy with a Sharpie as everyone wanted to get a signed copy. My copy of The Next Together had turned up the day before, which those of you who follow me on social media may have seen, and so I got Lauren to sign that. It’s got pride of place on my bookshelf.
Eventually, I had to go, and that was the end of my first book launch. I’m hoping there will be more in my future. But travelling home, I was so thrilled to finally have a copy of The Next Together, all these months later.
If you’re interested in my review of The Next Together, you’ll want to look here. Or if you want to find Lauren on social media and tell her how much you love her book or how much I won’t shut up about it, you can find her on Twitter here or Tumblr here.