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Cover reveal for The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker

The cover was designed by Chloé Tartinville ( I am such a fan of the colours and style here – it’s so different from my other books, while keeping the same font and brand. It’s so creepy and ominous, which perfectly matches the book.

I love the neon pink font especially! There is going to be a shiny foil finish on some of the dust specks, and I’m rooting for a metallic pink colour there to match my name. Leave your suggestions for other foil colours in the comments!

The fog tunnel featured in the video is from the Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Tate Modern (cinematography by Alice Oseman!)

“Lauren James is a genius.” SFX Magazine

“Lauren James isn’t just headed for the stars – she’s already there.” Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

What if death is only the beginning?

When Harriet Stoker dies falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a world of ghosts with magical powers – shape-shifting, hypnosis, or even the ability to possess the living. As she learns more about their community, Harriet is willing to do anything to unleash her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy. Because who knows what grudges people have been holding onto for millennia, just waiting for a reckless girl to give them the chance to get vengeance.

A sharp thriller with a twist of the supernatural from a masterful sci-fi writer.

Goodreads | AmazonWaterstones | Foyles | Wordery |Buy a signed copy on my Etsy 

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker will be published in the UK and Australia by Walker Books on 3rd September 2020. It’s my first ever fantasy novel, about a girl who gets in above her head when she tries to become the most powerful ghost in a building of ancient spirits.

The other ghosts happen to be freshers who all died in their halls of residence during their first year of uni, decades earlier. They’ve spent years bickering, flirting, play-fighting and developing in-jokes with each other in the decrepit and abandoned building where they all died. When Harriet becomes a ghost, she finds them as baffling as they find her modern. She has a lot to learn about life, even after she’s died.

I’ve always loved the idea of ghosts, but I’ve always felt like there was something missing from paranormal stories. Where do ghosts get their energy from? What happens when ghosts live together in the same building? Do they share ‘haunting’ duties, or do they have to compete for space? And, most importantly, can a ghost die? What happens to them when things go wrong? I wanted to answer those questions in this novel.

I’m so excited for you to meet my nineties ghost gang – Rima, Felix, Kasper and Leah, as well as Leah’s young baby Claudia, and Rima’s pet fox Cody. If you liked Being Human, Misfits or Crashing by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, then I hope you’ll like this book. It’s a horrom-com (AKA a genre I just invented, the horror romantic comedy). It’s grisly and gory, with an epic romance and quite a few plot twists along the way (would it be a Lauren James book without them?).

If you’re excited to read it, I’d love for you to go ahead and give it a preorder. It really makes a difference to authors, because it shows publishers how many people are excited to read it.

For more information, check out the writing journey blog posts I’ve been posting about this project since 2016 –  parts one ,  twothree and four. There’s also lots of additional content in the Tumblr tag. There are some fun extras below!

I introduce the new book
My free online novel is about halfway through posting. You can catch up on the latest chapters here:


Chapter 1 – The Undeniable Facts

Chapter 2 – Evidence of Nathan’s Sexuality

Chapter 3 – Rob’s Social Media Presence

Chapter 4 – Manipulation in Media Narrative by Management

Chapter 5 – The Beginning of the End for Silentwakes

Chapter 6 –  Net Worth and Property

Chapter 7 – New Evidence Uncovered by this Essay

Chapter 8 – A Warning to the Commenters

Chapter 9 – The Unravelling of the Sockpuppets

Chapter 10 – I NEED HELP

Chapter 11 – Plagiarism and Pirating

Chapter 12 – An Explanation for the Drama

Chapter 13 – Silentwakes’ Last Stand

Chapter 14 – Laptop Analysis

Chapter 15 – Mistaken Unverified Claims

Chapter 16 – IP Addresses Of Essay Commenters (or, The Spy Among Us)

Gottie is a fangirl for Loch & Ness, a TV show about paranormal detectives. She’s convinced that two of the male actors are secretly dating, and she’ll stop at nothing to prove it. When her online investigations accidentally uncover far more than she expects, she becomes complicit in secrets beyond just a romantic conspiracy theory.

An internet thriller told in a ‘true crime’ style recollection of events, the novel includes social media extracts such as modern Tumblr posts and early-noughties LiveJournal blog entries.

More information

Upcoming Events

Monthly: Sparks Young Writers classes, Rugby, Years 5-9 – book here

27th Feb: Alice Oseman in conversation with Lauren James - Portobello Bookshop, Edinburgh, details here

26th March: Chairing An Evening With Natasha Pulley and Zen Cho - Waterstones Birmingham, details here

10-13 April 2020: Eastercon 2020, Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel

30th May 2020: Day course in ‘Write the one percent: creating diverse, inclusive fiction’ at University of Cambridge – tickets here


The number one way a book spreads is through word of mouth. If you like my writing, please spread the word!

If you're an aspiring author you may be interested in my editorial critique services.

The current cheapest places to buy my books are:
The Next Together - W H Smith (£5.75)
The Last Beginning - W H Smith (£5.75)
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe - Amazon UK (£5.75) 
The Quiet at the End of the World - Wordery (£4.95)

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Lauren James
Walker Books
87 Vauxhall Walk
London, SE11 5HJ
United Kingdom

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Lauren James · Walker Books · 87 Vauxhall Walk · London, SE11 5HJ · United Kingdom

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