A Year in the Life: Adventures in British Subcultures

By Lucy Leonelli

An A to Z of British subcultures

Humour | Travel
105% funded
336 supporters
On press

Publication date: January 2022

book cover
It’s happening. A Year in the Life: Adventures in British Subcultures is at the printers and will be shipping to supporters as soon as the ink is dry.
37 pledges


An e-book edition
Pre-order this reward

Sold out!

$25  + shipping
131 pledges


A first-edition copy of the book, and your name listed as a supporter in the back of the book
$40  + shipping
108 pledges

Signed Paperback

A first-edition, SIGNED, copy of the book, and your name listed as a supporter in the back of the book
$45  + shipping
19 pledges


Can't decide whether or not to do the thing? Worried you will miss out on doing the thing if you do the other thing instead? Cure your decision paralysis with your very own FOMO dice


  • signed book
  • ebook
  • your name in the back of the book
$55  + shipping
16 pledges

Shout Out

I will literally shout your name out loud and post a recording on social media


  • PLUS: Everything from the Signed Paperback package
$75  + shipping
13 pledges

Flashdrive Roulette

A USB full of interviews, recordings and videos from Lucy's travels.


  • PLUS: Everything from the Signed Paperback package
$180  + shipping
5 pledges

Book Bundle

5 signed books shipped together + up to 5 names listed as supporters in the back of the book
$225  + shipping
2 pledges

Dinner for Schmuks

I will make a guest appearance at your dinner party and regale your friends/clients of my adventures and hilarious stories


  • three signed books
$330  + shipping
1 pledge

Big Book Bundle

10 signed books shipped together + up to 10 names listed as supporters in the back of the book
$375  + shipping
2 pledges

Name A Character

Lucy has been asked to change the names of some of the people (or animals) she's met during her trip - so why not pledge to give them your name instead? We'll name a character after you, a loved one, or your dog/cat!


  • PLUS: Everything from the Signed Paperback package
$375  + shipping

Advice Session

How the f*** can I do something like this? (60 minute Q&A skype to help you get the balls for a similar project)


  • PLUS: Everything from the Signed Paperback package
$450  + shipping
3 pledges

Launch Party

Invite to the book's launch party in 2020, and meet the characters


  • PLUS: Everything from the Signed Paperback package
$750  + shipping
2 pledges


Reading/talk with your book club/class/party, dressed in a costume of your choice from the book (excludes naturist birthday suit and vampire latex costume)


  • PLUS: 5 signed books shipped together + up to 5 names listed as supporters in the back of the book
$750  + shipping

Your Face

I will wear a t-shirt with your face on it to the launch party


  • PLUS: Everything from the Signed Paperback package
$750  + shipping

Lunch and Learn

I will present to your team in person, sharing adventures and lessons learned as an inspirational value-add to the team


  • everything at the book bundle level
$1,500  + shipping
1 pledge

Patron Backer (Individual)

Your name printed on a special page at the front of the book to thank you for your support.


  • PLUS:5 signed books shipped together + up to 5 names listed as supporters in the back of the book
$1,500  + shipping
2 pledges

Sales Workshop

I will lead a half-day sales workshop, utilising both my FOMO writing and professional sales experience, including research methods, cold reach-outs, creating connections and building rapport


  • everything at the 5 book bundle
$3,000  + shipping
1 pledge

Corporate Sponsor / Money Laundering

A special thank you for your business on its own page in the front of the book (but only if your business is cool. obvs)


  • PLUS:10 signed books shipped together + up to 10 names listed as supporters in the back of the book

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We deliver to most countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book.

How do supporter names work?

Every person who pledges to help to make a book gets their name included in a supporter section as a thank you as long as they pledge before the list closing deadline. If you want to add a different name, this can be changed in your account after you have completed your pledge.

Will the book and rewards that I receive look the same as the images shown on the Unbound website?

Book designs, cover and other images are for illustrative purposes and may differ from final design.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

Subculture (n): Subdivision of a national culture or an enclave within it with a distinct integrated network of behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes.

A few years ago, Lucy Leonelli was seemingly on top of the world. She was 28 and had already been made a partner in her headhunting firm. But like lots of people living the corporate life, she’d worked so hard and buried herself so deeply into one world that she was constantly worried she was missing out on life out there.

So Lucy did the only reasonable thing she could do: she hung up her suit to spend a year with people who were living their lives as the fullest, most authentic versions of themselves; the secret and little-understood communities of Great Britain.

FOMO charts an adventure in stepping outside of her comfort zone. Using the alphabet as the backbone to her journey, Lucy spent a year investigating 26 subcultures, from Aristocrats, Battle Re-enactors and Circus Performers to Xtreme Sport Fanatics, Yogis and 'Zeitgeist' Political Activists.

Over the course of the next year She lived with each group, immersing herself in their social rituals and customs and often finding herself in compromising situations; from swimming naked with lawyers and vets, to casting spells with teachers and IT consultants. Whether dressed in tight latex and drinking with self-proclaimed vampires or fighting the undead in an epic LARP battle, Lucy went deep into communities often heard about, but very seldom seen.

After 6 flights, 11 B&Bs, 6 hotels, 8500 road miles, 200 pints (probably more), 7 letters to the royal family, 13 carefully crafted costumes, 1 quadruple vodka shot (never again), 3 naked photos in the British Naturism Magazine, 1079 speculative emails, and countless pleading Facebook statuses ‘does anyone have any contacts in the ___ world?’, Lucy now has 26 ceremonious ticks on her whiteboard. An A – Z of British subcultures...and you get to read about all of them!

Support this project

Quick select rewards

37 pledges


An e-book edition
Pre-order this reward
  • Lucy Leonelli avatar

    Lucy Leonelli

    Lucy Leonelli is a Partner in the Global Executive Search Firm Wilton & Bain, where she leads the firms West Coast operations.

    Born in 1985, she spent her childhood in Bristol sitting on the ground and refusing to walk any further, on all fours as her alter ego 'Uffie' the dog, and playing the Double Bass, very, very badly. She has since lived in London, Northern Australia, Southern Portugal, Denver and California. Playing women's rugby and exercising racehorses while she was supposed to be studying, Lucy somehow holds a First Class Hons BA in Philosophy from the University of Exeter and Denver University combined. She is also a certified NLP Practitioner, a guest lecturer at Columbia University and a graduate of City University, London in Narrative Non-fiction Writing.

    Now an avid acapella singer and board game player, Lucy lives in San Francisco with her husband Mathieu and T-Rex the Corgi.

  • N is for… Naturism

    “Sometimes my willy pops over someone’s chair and hits them in the back when I am squeezing past. It’s inevitable.”

    I’m not being the first one out there,” my friend Tori declares as she scurries over to the peephole to scout the corridor for naked bodies. She squashes her nose against the door and glues her eye to the small bead of glass.

    “Oh my God,” she says, spinning her head around to beam at me, her face alive with tipsy excitement – “a willy!”

    And why, I hear you ask, was Tori so excited about seeing a willy?

    Rewind the scene an hour, and we are standing in the lobby of a famous water park in the North of England, our senses assaulted by the smell of chlorine and the glaring aquarium- themed wallpaper. I look around the room, trying to imagine the scene when ‘Clothing Optional’ commences in less than an hour. Oh God. Less than an hour. A feeling of dread washes over me and I seem to have forgotten how to breathe.

    “It’ll be fine,” Tori tries to reassure me in voice two octaves above her usual pitch, her blond hair framing an increasingly reddening face.

    I reach for Tori’s hand as we walk up to the welcome desk.

    “We’re here for the Naturist weekend,” I manage to squeak, convinced that the young, fully clothed reception workers are inwardly laughing at us. I feel an overwhelming urge to tell them all that we aren’t actual Naturists, but I had made Tori promise that we wouldn’t do that on the drive up. “No disclaimers,” we agreed. That would be cowardly.

    According to the British Naturist (BN) website, there are as many as four million naturists in the UK, 10,000 of whom are signed up as members of the national organisation. We will be spending the weekend with 420 of their most active members, here to enjoy an annual holiday of ‘fun, in a non-judgemental environment’.

    After check-in, we head straight for the bar, a novelty Caribbean-themed room with a warm stone floor, wicker furniture and fake palm trees. The air is sticky, and there is a buzz of anticipation in the air as people mingle from group to group, hugging and shaking hands. We order a bottle of wine to numb the awkwardness of our impending de-robing session and take it up to our room.

    15 minutes and four glasses of wine later, we both set to work lowering expectations before the big exposé, describing the intricate details of our anatomy to each other in preparation for what was about to be unveiled, like school kids sheepishly saying, “it’s not very good” before revealing their art projects. We take it in turns to remove one layer at a time, our nautical themed hotel room – complete with bunk beds and SpongeBob SquarePants welcome packs – providing a surreal backdrop for our platonic striptease.

    Once naked, we begin to fire panicked questions at each other: what do we do with our phones? Do we wear shoes? What if I have to bend down to pick something up? We wrestle with these questions as 6pm approaches.

    Cue the peephole ‘willy’ scene.

    By 6:03pm we are walking down the corridor, completely naked but for compulsory towels around our necks, our social norms shattered, and our dignity left somewhere in the discarded pile of clothes under our bunk beds.

    According to our research, the first rule of naturism is to always carry a towel, for hygiene reasons in case you want to sit down. We also discover, to our delight, that they make convenient boob covers for nervous first-timers.

    We walk past the cartoon fish wallpaper lining the corridor, trying to avoid looking at each other to maintain our poise. At the end of the hallway, we call the lift, which takes approximately four months to arrive, and bundle into it next to a couple who look to be in their 60’s. He wears nothing but a pair of Crocs, carrying his first-rule-of-naturism towel and a newspaper in his weathered hand. She wears a pearl necklace, her hair in a neat bun behind her head. They grin at us.

    “Hi,” I raise my voice to be heard over the blaring Captain Pugwash lift music.

    “Hello!” the ladies smile widens. “Lovely day isn’t it? I can’t remember the last time we had such a sunny November.”

  • 30th September 2021 Address changes?

    Hello wonderful supporters! 

    A quick update that the official publication date for the book is January 20th 2022, but you should all be receiving your copies directly from the warehouse in advance of this date - hopefully a week or two before, in early January. The original plan was to try and get them to you for Christmas, but due to all sorts of delivery/ logistic delays thanks to the pandemic…

    24th September 2021 It's HERE!!!!

    Something amazing happened today!

    Watch the video to find out more..... 

    9th July 2021 How cool is this?!

    Hello Wonderful Supporters.

    Me again :) This time to reveal something very exciting... drum roll please ...

    ... it's the cover design! 

    Over the last month I have been working with an artist and the team at Unbound to refine our vision for the front cover, followed by refining the layout and details, and, voila! One of the more crucial tweaks was a very prudish - "erm ... can you make the…

    22nd June 2021 What? No more editing?!

    I can't quite believe it but I have just sent back my final edit of A Year in the Life, following our completion of the legal read and a couple of small amendments. This is the culmination of FIVE YEARS of editing, and over 100 drafts of this book, which is both a huge relief and pretty darn terrifying as I don't get to make any changes from now on. Yikes! 

    Next up is typeset and cover design …

    12th April 2021 Copy Edit - Check!

    A quick update...

    Copy edit is in the bag. Legal read is afoot. Cover design has started. Eeeeek!!!

    I'm hoping to have some visuals of how it's shaping up to share with you in the next update... hang tight. 

    Thank you all again for being awesome.

    9th March 2021 Fear of Missing Out on a better title

    … so, how many of you had to Google the meaning of FOMO when you first saw the title for my book? Well, even if it was only a few of you, that's probably still too many, and the consensus from my wonderful publishing team at Unbound is that this unfamiliar acronym will likely be lost on a lot of people, and this adorable confused dog face will reign ↓ . So the BIG NEWS this week is that we are officially…

    11th January 2021 Developmental edit COMPLETE!

    Hello you bloody brilliant lot. 

    A quick update that I have JUST officially turned in my completed developmental edit to Unbound. I've been working on this with my editor, Rachael, over the last two months and have really enjoyed the process (check up my video update for more info). I especially enjoyed that Rachael didn't just tell me to scrap the whole thing and write it again from scratch, which…

    11th August 2020 Just nine percent to go!!!

    Hello friends.

    A quick check-in with you again to say THANK YOU so much for your support in getting FOMO to 91% funded! We are so, so close to the finish line now and I could not be more grateful. 

    My objective for getting the book fully funded is September 5th, which just happens to be my birthday, and what a present that would be. So, I'm also sending a final call to action to ask for your…

    29th April 2020 The finish line is in sight

    Hello wonderful backers.

    Another week, another landmark. We have now past 75% funding - hurrah! - and can buckle in for the final sprint to the finish line. 

    It's a crazy time for everyone around the world right now, and I've enjoyed interacting with the various tribes and communities who appear in FOMO on how they've all been coping with the new normal emerging around us. My Facebook feed,…

    1st November 2019 Boo!

    Me again, wonderful pledgers.

    We are now 42% of the way along the road to being fully funded and edging closer and closer to the top of the 50% hump!

    Please continue to pester your friends and family to jump on board as backers so we can get FOMO in the book stores and in your hands as soon as possible. In the meantime, in light of the occasion, here is the opening excerpt from one of the SPOOKIEST…

    2nd October 2019 According to the Evening Standard, one-third of British adults 'still sleep with childhood teddy'

    There's lovely.

    ... and by some mad coincidence, FOMO is now one-third of the way up that steep ole’ crowdfunding mountain! Or, to put it another way, if each one of you lovely people who has supported the book so far were able to persuade 3 of your friends/ family/ long-lost acquaintances to support the book as well, FOMO would be at 100% funding, and all of the ridiculous rewards would be on…

  • These people are helping to fund A Year in the Life: Adventures in British Subcultures.

    User avatar

    Barbara Joan Meier

    User avatar

    Mark Morgan

    User avatar

    Franny Mobbs

    User avatar

    Megan Mohring

    User avatar

    Ross Greiner

    User avatar

    Larra Van Dyke

    User avatar

    Alex Jones

    User avatar

    Jenny Staples

    User avatar

    Jay Paige

    User avatar

    Mike Hong

    User avatar

    Justine Gomes

    User avatar

    Duncan Sandes

    User avatar

    Gemma Bradshaw

    User avatar

    Kerry McGovern

    User avatar

    Mr Jakobek

    User avatar

    Sarah Taylor

    User avatar

    David Neill

    User avatar

    Eliza W

    User avatar

    David Stelling

    User avatar

    Lucy Henzell-Thomas

    User avatar

    Claudia Rapp

    User avatar

    Mark Pinto

    View more
  • Richard Taylor
    Richard Taylor asked:

    If we pledge to support the ebook, will our names still be put in the back of the book?

    Lucy Leonelli
    Lucy Leonelli replied:

    Hi Richard, Thanks for the question. The ebook is the only pledge level that doesn't include your name in the back of the book as standard. The next level up, which is paperback, does offer this for an additional 5 GBP. If you would like your name in the back, but prefer the format of an ebook, please go ahead and pledge for the paperback, and message me at lucyleonelli@gmail.com and we can change your order to an ebook in the back end, whilst ensuring your name is also included. Many thanks for the question, and for considering pledging. Lucy