Scene: Me, sitting on my desk chair incorrectly, scrolling through Twitter.
"The 50 YA books everyone is going to be reading next year!"
"It's fine," I tell myself. "I'm publishing through a boutique house; they're not eligible for these kinds of lists. Just the fact that I'm publishing a book at all is amazing! It's fine!"
"The 100 Best Books coming out in 2019!"
"Lists are just someone else's opinion on what's marketable!" I remind myself. "They ultimately mean nothing! Lots of people are excited for Collateral Damage, and that's all that matters!"
"If You're Not On This List Then Your Book Is a Waste of Space That No One Will Ever Read!"
Okay. Now that's just being rude.
Here's the thing: if you're any kind of author--debut, established, large press, small press, self-published, whatever--lists are kind of the worst thing ever. I mean, even having the courage to write a book at all is already terrifying enough without the added competitive pressure of hoping that book will be appealing enough to get the marketing boost that comes with being added to someone's "most anticipated" list.
So for that reason, I've decided that only one Most Anticipated List actually matters: the list of things I'M anticipating for MYSELF this coming year.
And it's a pretty exciting list.
#1: Collateral Damage hits shelves June 25.
My book?? Is going to be released?? I've been "anticipating" that since I first got the idea for it SIX YEARS AGO while watching Man of Steel, and this year, everything I've been working on for so long is finally going to be bound and published. THAT'S REALLY FREAKING EXCITING. It also honestly outweighs everything on this list, but you can't have a list with only one item on it, so--
#2: I'm going to BookCon for the first time.
Every year I get jealous of all the people tearing each other to shreds over ARCs, and this year I'm finally going to get to join them--and with one of my best friends and writing partner, Paige LaVoie! I can't wait to bring a separate carry-on just for books, tell V.E. Schwab how much I love her, and embarrass myself in front of so many of my Twitter friends in real life.
#3: I'm going to finish drafting An Infinite Pull!
After spending literal years on Collateral Damage, I was really worried I'd never come up with a concept that consumed me as much. But then, over the summer, I got the idea for An Infinite Pull--a Little Mermaid in space retelling that I've completely fallen in love with. I've been so busy working through revisions of Collateral Damage for my publishing house that I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work on it, but the layout is all there, and I know without a doubt that it's going to be finished this year. I just can't wait for the garbage first draft to be done so I can start working on making it like...not garbage.
#4: I'm going to DragonCon!
Another con I've always wanted to attend is DragonCon--one of the biggest fandom conventions in the country, and the inspiration for Geekerella, my favorite book. Not only am I attending for the first time this year, but I'm actually going as Geekerella's main character, Elle, in the cosplay-contest-winning costume she wears in the book (notice me, Ashley Poston; please be my friend). I mean, nobody else is gonna know who I am, but it's fine. I'll know.
5) I'm going to discover new characters and stories I can't even fathom yet!
I'm a huge fangirl. I'm a card-carrying citizen of more fandoms than I can count--Miraculous Ladybug, Star vs the Forces of Evil, Harry Potter, Marvel, Gravity Falls, Disney, Broadway, Doctor Who. The list could go on forever. But at the beginning of 2018, I had no idea that this year, the ever-growing ranks of things I'm obsessed with would be joined by shows like She-Ra and The Dragon Prince, movies like Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, and books like Vengeful and The Light Between Worlds. I won't know what stories will end up being irrevocably important to me until after I've experienced them, of course, but just thinking about all the characters still waiting for me to discover them makes me giddy.
See? This year is going to be amazing. Whether you're an author or not, what are you most anticipating about 2019?