Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty works of historical fiction, including Band of Sisters, The Summer Country, The English Wife, the RITA Award-winning Pink Carnation series, and four novels co-written with Beatriz Williams and Karen White. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages, picked for Book of the Month Club, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best, and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. An alumna of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a JD from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband, two young children, and vast quantities of coffee.
The Somewhat Longer Bio…
A native of New York City, Lauren Willig has been writing ever since she got her hands on her first romance novel at the age of six. Three years later, she sent her first novel off to a publishing house—all three hundred hand-written pages. They sent it back. Undaunted, Lauren has continued to generate large piles of paper and walk in front of taxis while thinking about plot ideas.
After thirteen years at an all girls school (explains the romance novels, doesn’t it?), Lauren set off for Yale and co-education, where she read lots of Shakespeare, wrote sonnet sequences when she was supposed to be doing her science requirement, and lived in a Gothic fortress complete with leaded windows and gargoyles. After college, she decided she really hadn’t had enough school yet, and headed off to that crimson place in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a degree in English history. Like her modern heroine, she spent a year doing dissertation research in London, tramping back and forth between the British Library and the Public Records Office, reading lots of British chick lit, and eating far too many Sainsbury’s frozen dinners.
By a strange quirk of fate, Lauren signed her first book contract during her first month of law school. She finished writing “Pink Carnation” during her 1L year, scribbled “Black Tulip” her 2L year, and struggled through “Emerald Ring” as a weary and jaded 3L. After three years of taking useful and practical classes like “Law in Ancient Athens” and “The Globalization of the Modern Legal Consciousness”, Lauren received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. For a year and a half, she practiced as a litigation associate at a large New York law firm. But having attained the lofty heights of second year associate, she decided that book deadlines and doc review didn’t mix and departed the law for a new adventure in full time writerdom.
With all that extra time on her hands, Lauren branched out into a few new projects, including teaching a class at Yale called “Reading the Regency Romance”, an exploration of the rise and development of the Regency romance sub-genre from Austen, Heyer, and McNaught up through all the more bizarre modern permutations, including “wallpaper” historicals, Regency vampires, and Austen-inspired chick lit.
Lauren also teamed up with two of her closest friends, Beatriz Williams and Karen White, to write a collaborative work of historical fiction. The project began life as a thinly veiled attempt to get their publisher to pay for their girls’ trip (and bar bill), but the resulting novel, The Forgotten Room, was an instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller, as well as an absolute joy to write. Since then “Team W” has written three more books together, gone on several riotous book tours (see “bar bill”, above), and are plotting their fifth collaboration.