Author Spotlight: Lauren Blackwood


Nov. 5, 2021

We are thrilled to feature author Lauren Blackwood and her best-selling young adult novel, WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS (Wednesday Books, 2021). Enter to win a copy!

cover design by Kerri Resnick; cover art by Palesa Monareng

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for teens.

I’ve always loved YA novels, but the book that inspired me to really write was Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. After that there was no turning back.


Congrats on your debut young adult novel, Within These Wicked Walls! Tell us about the story and what inspired you.

It’s about a girl named Andromeda who is hired to cleanse a haunted castle of the evil eye, but gets in way over her head. It was inspired by the gothic vibes and romantic trope of Jane Eyre combined with Ethiopian lore of the Evil Eye.


Your book launched with a huge bang! It was picked to be Reese Witherspoon's Fall 2021 YA Book Club pick; Britney Spears posted about reading it; and the book was on the New York Times Bestseller list! Tell us what emotions and thoughts you were going through when these amazing things happened.


No thoughts, only screaming, haha! Just felt incredibly blessed to have written something that spoke to people so strongly. I’m very proud of this book, super honored to have been selected for Reese’s Book Club, and blown away by the reception so far.


Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?

Long, but to be honest I needed all that time to work on my craft.


Did you have a playlist or aesthetics when writing this book?

Not so much aesthetics as much as photos to reference while describing setting. But definitely a playlist! Having the right inspiration song for a scene/manuscript is almost essential for me.


What projects are you working on now?


Secrets 😉


What advice would you give to your younger self? Is this the same as you'd give to aspiring authors?


Don’t query too soon. Don’t rush it. Worry more about working on your craft than getting published.


What is one thing most people don't know about you?


Telling you would only diminish my allure. Have to maintain a little mystery to keep people guessing.


Where can people find you online?


Mainly Twitter @LJ_Blackwood and sometimes Instagram @LaurenBlackwoodwrites


 Lauren Blackwood is a Jamaican American New Yorker living in Virginia who writes Romance-heavy Fantasy for most ages. When not writing, she’s a physical therapist assistant and violinist who really doesn’t know how to settle on one career field. Her debut YA novel from Wednesday Books, Within These Wicked Walls, is the Reese's Book Club Fall 2021 YA Pick as well as an Indie Next List pick and New York Times Bestseller.

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  1. Wow, this book sounds amazing! And super huge congrats on the book club selection!! Thanks for the great interview and the chance to win a copy.

  2. What a beautiful book! I can't wait to read it! :)
    Megan S.

  3. An evil-eye castle sounds rather foreboding!

  4. Wow, you really got a great reception for this book. You must be really pleased and proud. Your book sounds very Gothic and mysterious. I'm looking forward to reading it. Great post!

  5. I have this book on my TBR and can't wait to read it.


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