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Lucy Powrie

Read with Pride The Paper & Hearts Society

Introducing… The Paper & Hearts Society: Read With Pride!

I am so excited to be able to share that my second book, the sequel to The Paper & Hearts Society, is called… The Paper & Hearts Society: Read with Pride!

I’m having so much fun writing this book and working on the next adventure for The Paper & Hearts Society, which I hope you’ll enjoy just as much as TP&HS.

What is Read with Pride about?

Read with Pride follows Olivia as she accidentally starts a secret underground book club at school for LGBTQ+ students. There’s a national school book club competition, an online #ReadwithPride campaign, and new characters who I already love so much and hope you’ll love too.

But don’t worry: all your favourite Paper & Hearts Society members will also be back! We’ll catch up with Tabby as she starts therapy and tries to get her life back on track, find out more about her and Henry’s relationship, and also find out just what Ed is getting up to by inviting Felix into The Paper & Hearts Society. And there will be more Mrs Simpkins, of course ..!

Why Read with Pride?

In writing Read with Pride, I was (and am) very conscious that I didn’t want this to be solely a story about coming out. It’s also a book about staying in, not having to reveal who you are and how you identify before you’re ready, and finding people just like you for maybe the first time ever.

I don’t want to feel like I have to “come out” before I’m ready and comfortable, but I hope you know that there are many #OwnVoices elements in Read with Pride and it’s a book very close to my heart.

When I was in school, it only ever felt acceptable to be cis and straight. The students who weren’t were made fun of, and this made it even harder for those of us who weren’t straight, like me, or cis, to understand that it was okay to be gay (or bi or asexual or queer, or however you identify). It wasn’t until I went to college and realised that most of my friends weren’t straight that I managed to shake off a lot of the fear and self-hatred I’d been keeping inside me, because I didn’t realise it was okay to be attracted to boys and girls and also feel very confused at the same time.

So when it came to thinking about Olivia’s story and the journey I wanted her to go on, the idea for an underground book club for LGBTQ+ students wouldn’t leave my mind. Just as in The Paper & Hearts Society, which is all about finding your people, I wanted to write about a group of people brought together by a common interest, but I also wanted to explore how it feels to know that it might not even be safe to be loud and proud about yourself and your new friends. Those people who were open and honest about their sexuality helped me feel comfortable with my own, and I hope that I can do the same in Read with Pride.

I am incredibly scared, still, to be writing this. It feels terrifying to be so open and honest and raw, but I am writing Read with Pride for 16 and 17 year old me, who desperately wanted someone to tell her that she didn’t have to be scared, not all of the time. And if anyone thinks differently of me for sharing this, that is their problem and I won’t hide or cower from who I am. 

What else?

One of the other major things I wanted to explore in Read with Pride was the “after” part of “happily ever after”. I’m very lucky to be able to write about The Paper & Hearts Society over the course of three books, and so something I’ve loved being able to delve deeper into is what happens once the girl has got the boy, once the girl has got the girl — how do teenagers make relationships work? What are those beginning stages of being in a relationship really like, especially when you identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum? It’s not easy, it can be very complicated, but it’s not something I ever see written about in YA. 

And it wouldn’t be a Lucy Powrie book if there wasn’t a big helping of mental health discussion somewhere in there. It’s GCSE year, Olivia is running two book clubs and trying to make her relationship work … One word: BURNOUT. 

When will it be (coming) out?

If all goes to plan, The Paper & Hearts Society: Read with Pride will be out in May 2020, so less than a year to go! I’m busy writing it at the moment and then there will be lots of editing, but I am so, so excited to share it with you, and hope you’ll be as supportive of it as you have been with The Paper & Hearts Society.

There will also be a cover reveal and more brilliant stuff to share at some point, but not quite yet. In the meantime, I’m always talking about my writing over on Twitter and Instagram, as well as YouTube. 

Olivia Santos is determined to win the National School Book Club Award for her school. Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society, a book club that she runs for her friends.

But when Olivia discovers the need for more LGBTQ+ titles in her school library, an idea forms which has the potential to inspire a new book club, encourage more students to read, and make the library as inclusive as possible.

With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.

Sometimes, when you’re in too deep, it’s up to your friends to look out for you …


The Paper & Hearts Society

Revealing the cover of The Paper & Hearts Society!

It’s time for a Friday treat! I am SO HAPPY that I finally get to share the cover of The Paper & Hearts Society, my debut novel out in June, with you all.

Honestly, I must admit that I cried as soon as I saw it. It’s everything I could have hoped for and more, and I have wasted many a day staring at it when I should have been working.

So would you like to see it?!

Are you ready?

Are you sure?!

Here we go… I give you, The Paper & Hearts Society!


The cover was designed by Alison Padley from Hachette Children’s Group, who has done an amazing job of bringing Tabby, my main character to life.

I love everything about it – but especially the gorgeous Paper & Hearts logo, the BOOKS under the ‘O’ in my name, and the mini Paper & Hearts Society book that Tabby is reading!

Add on Goodreads & Preorder!

Click here:

Amazon | The Book Depository | Waterstones 



What’s it about?

Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn’t want to go to parties – in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It’s like she hasn’t found her people …

But Tabby joins a book club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING. Why did she think she could make friends with a group of strangers while experiencing AWKWARD BUZZING all over her body?!

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it’s the Jane Austen themed dance parties, Ed’s fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins or, could it just be Henry himself …

Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?


Questions you may have!

When – and where – is it going to be published?

The Paper & Hearts Society will be released on 13th June 2019 in paperback and eBook in the UK and Ireland, and the 11th June 2019 in Australia.

I can’t promise anywhere else for now, but if you are living somewhere other than the UK/Australia and would like to read it in English, you can order it on The Book Depository who offer free worldwide shipping to lots of international countries!

I’m a blogger/reviewer/Official Book Person, how can I receive a proof copy?

Proofs are going to be available reaallyyy soon (which is very scary!!), and the best way to get your hands on one is by contacting the lovely people at Team BKMRK if you’re in the UK, who are handling everything to do with proofs.

How do I know if The Paper & Hearts Society is for me?

Officially, The Paper & Hearts Society is a book for teenagers, but I like to think that anyone can read it! Its main themes are friendship, fitting in, the perils of social media, and learning to believe in yourself. 

Will you be sharing anything else with us?

Yes! More announcements, news, and sneak peeks coming soon!

I hope you love the cover just as much as I do! What do you think?!


2018 in Review | Books, Guinea Pigs, the Brontës & Everything Else I Got Up To

This is it! The end of 2018! I know I say it every year, but I really can’t believe how fast this year has passed. I spent the last few days of 2017 feeling anxious, worried, and unsure of the future. What would this year hold? Would it be a good year, an exciting year; could it surpass 2017?

2018 has been the year I finished education (but I’ll never finish learning!), the year I got a book deal, the year I made new friends and explored new places and found an inner confidence I never knew I had. It’s had its lows — stress and worry and a few too many meltdowns — but there have been incredible highs too. Thank you for being a part of it!

The Year in Review


Happy New Year to you — I hope 2019 is joyous and prosperous and filled with many, many books. Here’s to the year ahead!


A Book Lover’s Nightmare: Damaging Books


I have a secret. A big secret. One I’m scared to admit. Ready? Deep breath in. I’ve started damaging books.

Before you begin to imagine me with fifty billion books burning on a bonfire or cutting up books in some kind of weird ritual, let me clarify: I’ve stopped being so precious about the condition my books are kept in.

I used to keep all of my books in pristine condition. No creases on the spine, no bent covers, and definitely no dog-eared pages. I used to say that cracking a book spine was like cracking a human spine: it couldn’t be done without inflicting severe pain (on both the book and the reader).

Now, though? I really can’t be bothered to be that precious about it.

There’s something almost magical about reading a book and finding a page or quotation you love, folding down the page with adoration so that you can remember where to find it again, and moving on until you find another section that you fall for. It’s not just an emotional experience; it’s a physical one. The action of folding the page down, as you move to get the crease just right so that it doesn’t cover any of the text, as you quickly press it down so that it stays in position, feels exhilarating to me.

Wear and tear also shows deep love for a book. The original editions of my Stonewylde books are so battered now that I have to be careful that they don’t fall apart in my hands as I read them. I’ve read them so many times, turned the pages so often, that the spines are ripped and teared; tiny fingerprint ink stains litter the margins.

And then there’s my edition of Emily Brontë’s poetry, which I take everywhere with me, so of course the glue is unsticking and I long ago accepted that the dust-jacket is destined never to again touch the book. I bought it secondhand, but I can’t imagine myself parting with it now because even though it has only a plain green binding and looks just like any other book, the memories contained within are pure magic.

I still can’t bear to hear the crack of a spine breaking and I have been known to hesitate before dog-earing a page, but I’m getting better.

How do you like to keep your books: in pristine condition or are you more relaxed, like I’m becoming?

Blog Tour UKYA

Chris Russell, author of Songs About A Boy: “Exclusive Reading From the Book”

Today I’m very happy to welcome Chris Russell, author of the Songs About A Girl trilogy to the blog with an exclusive reading from the final book in the trilogy, Songs About A Boy.

I had the pleasure of reading Songs About A Boy recently and LOVED it, but I am sad to have to say goodbye to the wonderful characters who I’ve fallen in love with over the course of the trilogy.

It’s been a joy to read each book, and I’ve come to know and love Chris’ painful (but in a good way) cliffhangers, the friendships and complicated relationships between his characters, and the exciting world of his fictional band, Fire&Lights.

I hope you enjoy this exclusive reading of Songs About A Boy!

Music, boy bands, first love and heartbreak in the explosive finale to the Songs About A Girl trilogy – a modern love story for anyone who has ever dreamed of being ‘with the band’. From a Zoella Book Club friend.

Just as Charlie allows herself to succumb to Gabe’s charms, the explosive revelation about her mother’s death threatens to pull them apart.

Meanwhile, a media circus has exploded around the future of Fire&Lights – when they announce a US tour to show the world that they are stronger than ever, Charlie gets the opportunity to accompany them. New York City, here she comes! But it’s not all fun and games. Charlie is still feeling all kinds of awkward around Gabe and knowing that her mother’s last days were in America touring with her band, Charlie uses the opportunity to uncover some more truths about her mother’s death.

As Fire&Lights try to win over the world again, and as Charlie and Gabriel uncover the true story that links their pasts, will Charlie finally be able to follow her heart?

Chris’ Website | Follow Chris on Twitter

Have you read Songs About A Girl, Songs About Us or Songs About A Boy?

Blog Tour

Lindsay Galvin, author of The Secret Deep: “Boys Will Be Boys”

I’m very pleased to welcome Lindsay Galvin, author of The Secret Deep, to Queen of Contemporary today! Lindsay has long been a friend of mine and it’s been wonderful watching her writing career blossom over the years. She’s always been very open and honest about both the hardships and successes she’s had whilst writing, and is a much-needed voice in the YA community.

Over to you, Lindsay!

Boys Will Be Boys

One of my favourite characters in THE SECRET DEEP is Sam Banks. The story is dual narrative, told from the point of view of fourteen year old Aster and sixteen year old Sam, but it wasn’t always that way. Sam’s storyline was added later during edits. These two characters have different threads, which intertwine so you never see the same action from two points of view, but Sam’s quest becomes equally important to Aster’s in perilous ways.

I am a feminist and continuously aware of male and female representation in films, books and especially my books. I don’t want to see any more inequality and damaging representation, but there’s still such a long way to go especially in the movie industry. Many YA books are trailblazers in combatting this.

Creating women and girl characters as multi-faceted and complex as they are in real life felt natural. I still found myself slipping into tired stereotypes, but I was vigilant and made sure I edited them out. I wanted to include rich female friendships and family relationships, a variety of motivations, realistic flaws and struggles. Aster driving the action of her story came quite naturally and her character developed over five years. But what about adding a new boy into the mix? I certainly didn’t want him to save the day, or save her. Cue Sam.

I think it’s fair to say moody and mysterious heroes are common in YA and teen storylines. I’m a big fan of hilarious @broodingYAHero and the way it explores stereotypes – some of which I have loved reading just as much as I adore a love triangle. But I have often wondered where the ‘good lads’ are (that’s how my dad would describe Sam and the boyfriends I had he didn’t hate). These boys are out there already; I had brilliant writers such as Sarah Barnard, Patrick Ness, Rainbow Rowell, Non Pratt, and many others to inspire me.

When I wrote Sam, I needed a ‘good lad’. I decided what I didn’t want him to be and I started from there:


Sam does not have:

  • A mysterious past.
  • Emotional issues that can be solved by a girl.
  • A need to arrive at the last moment to save the day.
  • ‘Bad Boy’ personality traits with a good heart.
  • Tendencies to brood.
  • Excessive bravery or a sacrificial personality.

As I wrote my way into Sam, he felt very real to me. He’s flawed, but not in a way that a girl needs to fix, he’ll learn his own lessons. He’s got a serious lack of judgment at times because he’s sixteen and I throw some very weird stuff at him. He is both indecisive and reckless, but not without noticing it and freaking out. He’s brave but not without being understandably terrified. He loves his family above everything and is in awe of the girls that he recognizes are a lot braver than him. He notices girls are attractive but that isn’t all he notices about them. He never takes the lead at the expense of a girl and that’s exactly the way he likes it. He’s got a dry sense of humor.

What I hope above all is he feels real to readers.

Can you tell from the aesthetic I also think he’s very cute?

THE SECRET DEEP is out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)

Connect with Lindsay on Twitter: @lindsaygalvin

Find out more at and

The Paper & Hearts Society Writing

Introducing… The Paper & Hearts Society!

The call came as I was waist-deep in books. Literally.

“Are you okay to talk?” my agent, Lauren, asked.

I surveyed the pile of books, taking note of my lack of exit route. “Yes, of course!” After all, I’d read the blog posts and the stories, watched all of the videos about what it means when your agent rings you when your book is out on submission to publishers. My heart began to race.

Then I heard the words offer and pre-empt and, three book deal and, even now, I haven’t fully recovered.

I remained fully professional on the phone but after that, I burst into tears and spent the next week bawling my eyes out at the most mundane things.

Because it was real. I had a book deal. The one dream I’d had since I was small, the one dream I’d had since I finished my book last summer and then got an agent, had come true.



In June 2019, Hodder Children’s Books will be publishing my debut novel, The Paper & Hearts Society. It’s the book of my heart, about a book club, a literary road trip, the highs and lows of friendship, and there’s even a bit of romance too.
And it’s going to be a series! There will be a second book out in 2020, and a third in 2021, and I’m over the moon that I get to stick with my characters (who are all my best friends) for the next few years. I hope you’ll love them just as much as I do!

Hodder are part of the much larger Hachette Children’s Group, who publish so many of my favourite authors, like Cat Clarke and Chris Russell, Juno Dawson and Leigh Bardugo… Need I go on?!

The past few months have been a blur of signing contracts, coming up with a new title and preparing for the reveal, amongst my exams and trying to act as if everything is normal. It’s been very hard keeping this a secret!

I’m so excited to begin working on edits and then I’ve got the mammoth task of writing two more books. I will, of course, be documenting the entire process on my blog and my YouTube channel, and can’t wait to share more details as we get closer to publication next year.

Thank you so much, dear blog readers, for supporting me over the years. I’m so excited to start this next chapter of Queen of Contemporary with my new author hat on, and I of course can’t wait for you all to read The Paper & Hearts Society next year.


Blog Tour UKYA

5 Tips for Getting Published with Annalie Grainger, author of In Your Light

I am pleased to welcome Annalie Grainger to the blog today, author of Captive and newly-released In Your Light, as well as commissioning editor at Walker Books. I’m a huge fan of Annalie’s work (she also publishes some of my favourite authors, like Lauren James and Katherine Webber), so it’s fascinating to see into the mind of someone who knows both sides of the publishing industry.

As a commissioning editor and a writer, talking about tips for getting your book published is one of my favourite things to do! I think this list could have been about twenty points long, but here are my top five suggestions:

1. Start writing and then keep writing!

You can’t get published if you haven’t finished your book. That might sound really obvious, but writing a book is hard work, and it can be very easy to put it off. My creative writing tutor said to me that the difference between those who make it and those who don’t is often down to a matter of how much time they put in.

You have to be disciplined to keep writing through the easy chapters and the hard ones. Set yourself a word limit each day and stick to it, no matter what. (Mine is 300 words – which I chose because it is manageable in half an hour, even on a really bad day when I feel like throwing my computer out of the window!)

2. Read as much as you can

I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times before, but reading, especially in the genre you want to write in, is essential. Joy Nicholson, who wrote one of my favourite novels (The Tribes of Palos Verdes), read books to see how authors made transitions between things. This is such a beautiful way of saying to learn from other people. See how your favourite writers create sentences, tension, plot, pace. When I first started writing, I would create plot diagrams from my favourite novels to see how they were structured – where were the high points, the low points, how was the ending foreshadowed, how did the subplots fit in etc.

3. Believe in what you are doing

Don’t try to write something because you think it will sell. Write the book you want to read and you’ll find your own voice.

4. Edit, edit, edit!

Don’t be in a rush to send your script out. Take your time to read what you’ve written. Try to be objective. If you can bear to, put it in a drawer and don’t look at it for at least three months. Then take it out again and be ruthless – what is good, what isn’t, where are the baggy bits, which character is one-dimensional etc.?

5. Get impartial advice on your script

Before sending your script out to agents, find someone you trust to give you honest (but kind!) feedback. This doesn’t need to be a professional but it should be someone who loves to read as your reader will need to instinctively understand what makes a good book. I would avoid your mum, brother, husband, beloved aunt if possible, as they might be biased or might find it hard to tell you the truth.


And a bonus piece of advice: when you’re ready to send your script to agents, do your research very carefully. Literary agents will list their other clients on their website, so check those out to make sure that your chosen agent will be a good fit for you. Also agents get a lot of submissions, so make sure you adhere to their submissions guidelines, otherwise they might not even read your work.

And of course – have fun! Yes, writing can be hard, but it should also be enjoyable. Good luck!


In Your Light by Annalie Grainger is out now (£7.99, Simon & Schuster)

You can follow Annalie on Twitter or visit her website.