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Lauren Beukes

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

String Theory

I’ve been remiss about posting to this blog, because I’ve been focusing on The Shining Girls Tumblr where there’s lots of great content, including reviews, interviews, research pictures and Jade Klara’s rendition of the Dead Duck stories.

Please do go check it out (or my personal Tumblr of strange and interesting things I’ve picked up on the Interwebs), and in the meantime, I’ll try to catch up on some cross-posting.

Kicking off with the Wired Magazine piece on how I plotted the novel, String Theory in which I look like a crazy person.

Lauren Beukes has a murder wall. “It’s full of crazy pictures, three different timelines, murder dates…” The elaborate web of string, photos and objects above her desk helped Beukes to plot her latest book, The Shining Girls, about a time-travelling serial killer. “It’s been completely insane trying to keep track of all of this,” she says. Her other essential tool: “Scrivener.”

The image on their site (by Morne van Zyl) is pretty big, if you want to zoom in for detail. SPOILER ALERT, obviously, and this was also one version back before the final draft, which means a couple of the notecards in the middle section, which is the book’s timeline, may  be ever so slightly off, if you’re geeky like that.

Leo & Me

My official comment on who won the TV/film rights in the four-way bidding war on The Shining Girls.

This guy.

And yeah, that’s the closest I’ve got to him in person. He’s a busy man.

John Ridley from Leonardo diCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, and MRC’s Joe Hipps  landed the option after months of careful negotiation with my agents.

I chose them over the other brilliant, passionate production companies because they’re thinking smart about the future of television and breaking the current funding models to do cool new things with hot talent, like MRC putting together House of Cards, with Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher and releasing it straight to Netflix – which is NOT to say they’ll use the same model for The Shining Girls. (Not least cos Kevin Spacey would make a terrible Kirby)

Here’s the Hollywood Reporter exclusive on the deal.

Watch the book trailers:

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From “underground” author to Underground author

Tube ads for The Shining Girls just went up in London! I can pretty much die happy now.

Unfortunately I’m gonna miss seeing them “for real life” as my daughter would say, because although I’m flying off to Australia-USA-UK today for the Epic Book Tour of Doom (check out my full schedule here), they’ll be down again by the time I get to London.


Anyway, here’s the poster. If you spot one in situ, please post a pic to Twitter #shininggirls.

Good Causes

If you buy (or have bought) your copy of The Shining Girls from The Book Lounge in Cape Town, 10% of the proceeds goes to Rape Crisis, an organisation working to fight violence against women and support survivors.

I’m also very happy that we’re going to be doing a Shining Girls charity art show (curated by Jacki Lang) in conjunction with the Open Book Festival in September to benefit Rape Crisis. Details in the next few weeks.

But hey, maybe you already have a copy of the book or won’t be in Cape Town in September. You can still make a difference. 

Sign up for Rape Crisis’s 1000 Hearts Campaign to commit to just R100 a month, or make a donation (it’s tax deductible and tax certificates can be arranged) or volunteer.




Shiny UK Release Day

The Shining Girls hit the shelves in the UK today! Which makes today crazy happy and crazy stressful. Eeek! It’s lovely to see the response on Twitter and blogs so far.

Lego Han Solo already got his copy. Have you got yours? (via @mattlibrarian)

You can pick it up from all major bookstores, some major supermarkets or order online by clicking here.

Here’s the trailer by the evil geniuses at One Darnley Road.

Here’s a round-up of some of the reviews so far:

SciFi Now says, ”The Shining Girls is both a fascinating journey through modern American history and an utterly compelling and chilling thriller.”

“It’s the chapters devoted to Harper’s victims that really stand out. The shining girls are chosen because of their strength and potential, and each one is a fully realised character. Their separate eras are wonderfully rendered and Beukes endears these women who are doomed to meet Harper’s knife to us with great speed and skill, from the paranoid Fifties architect to the ship-welding WW2 widow to the radium-painted ‘Glow Girl’.”

Naomi Frisby on The Writes of Women: “It would be difficult to overstate how much I loved this book. It’s a thriller for people who don’t read thrillers; fantasy for people who don’t read fantasy, and literary fiction for people who don’t read literary fiction. It’s a bloody good book for people who like to read bloody good books.”

Curiosity Killed The Bookworm: ”A genre defying novel… solidly crime but with an SFF element, weaving through periods in recent history as well as being a gripping thriller… [it] will stick with you long after.”

Over at Excuses And Half Truths, Rob Wickings said, “The Shining Girls is boldly inventive, fearlessly intelligent and bracingly original. Along with Michael Marshall, who made his name with a trio of mind-bending SF novels before moving into thrillers, Lauren Beukes is showing that it takes a writer with a taste for the fantastical to twist the serial killer genre into something new and exciting.”

KJ Mulder on Worlds In Ink: ”It’s a fantastically creepy, mind-bending read that grabs you and just doesn’t let go until the very last page… The ending is worthy of anything Stephen King can come up with. It’s satisfying, gives closure but also brings things full circle in the most unexpected way… I found myself haunted by the implications for days afterward.

@mattlibrarian on the Teen Librarian blog: “The Shining Girls has a breathless, multi-layered narrative that kept me guessing… It is the type of book that grips you, demanding your attention and then rewards you with a thrilling story and ideas that stay with you long after you have closed the covers.. In closing please let me say AUGH! This book is amazing! You have to buy it, read it then tell your friends to do the same!”

Liz Wilkins on Goodreads: ”Don’t let the “Thriller” tag give you preconceptions – it is thrilling, but trying to put this novel in a genre box is like trying to explain to people why you love your children.”

Dave Brendan’s blog: “This novel is disturbing, thrilling and intelligent – Lauren has shifted into new territory ”


Pretty Pony – The Shining Girls trailer from HarperCollins UK

With a week to go before The Shining Girls launches in South Africa and two weeks til it hits the UK, here are HarperCollins creepy-beautiful trailers, made by the evil geniuses at London creative agency One Darnley Road.

(Sorry, USA, you have to wait til June 4th, but that’s still pretty soon)

Click here to pre-order the book right now. 

Read the first chapter here.

And let me know what you think of the trailers.

Teaser Trailer 1

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Teaser Trailer 2

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Full Trailer

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Mini Moxy Monster Invades Fridge

Ad Astra’s edition of Moxyland arrived in the mail with a very cyberpunk-y cover by Kira Santa and a ridiculously cute mini Moxy fridge monster.

I love that Kira references the original covers with her work – this little guy now adorning my fridge is based on the Moxy monster on the first edition South African cover, designed by Joey Hi-Fi and made-up by Michelle Son .

14 Murders, 5 Launches in Joburg and Cape Town

View To A Kill

I love, love, love, love the very limited edition The Shining Girls viewfinders that HarperCollins UK sent out to a select few. (Author had to beg and plead to get her paws on one.)

Mythic fiction in Minnesota: First-ever Fablescon

From 22-24 March, I’ll be in Rochester, Minnesota to attend the first ever Fablescon, aka Fabletown & Beyond, a convention put together by Bill Willingham to celebrate comics and books that riff off mythic fiction.

“Mythic Fiction comics are Fables and Sandman, The Unwritten, Bone, Kill Shakespeare, Mice Templar, Stuff of Legend, Memorial, Fairest, The Abominable Charles Christopher, Mouse Guard, Hellboy, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Arrowsmith, House of Mystery, Castle Waiting, and dozens more truly wonderful books. Mythic Fiction is that magic-bound alliance of fairytales, folklore, myth, legend, talking animals and characters from literature, given new life, new challenges to face and new adventures to chronicle.”

The line-up includes amazing writers and artists like Mike Carey, Gene Ha, Peter Gross, Adam Hughes, Chris Roberson, Sean E Williams and Chrissie Zullo among others, as well as Vertigo Executive Editor Shelly Bond, who will be reviewing artists’ portfolios, Not forgetting, of course, Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham, multi-Eisner award-winning creators of the fairytales-in-exile series, Fables. 

I’ll be hanging at the Kill Shakespeare Bar and doing some cool panels with interesting people, talking about the recent Rapunzel-in-Japan remix I wrote Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom, Fables spin-off with art by the amazing Inaki Miranda.

If you’re in Minnesota, or nearby, swing by. All the details for registration and accommodation are at the Fablescon site.

You can get Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom (six issues spanning #8-#13) at any good comic store (the final issue is due out this week) or wait for the trade paperback, coming in July.