New Year, Same Author Obsessions
In Which We Discuss How So Many Common Author Dreams Are Out of Our Control! Isn't That Fun For Us?!
It’s the first full week of 2021 and whew, I’m not going to make any grand statements like the below tweet again, I’ll tell you what. I mean sure, it features a monumental career milestone, but “The 2020s are already the best decade ever, hands down, no doubt about it…”?! There’s definite doubt, JJ! Definite doubt!
Like many of you, I wasn’t sure how the holidays would feel this year. 2020 was such a wild ride, and I didn’t know if I’d feel the same joy during December that I usually do. I mean, it’s the most wonderful time of the year (there’s a song about it, so, you know, it’s science), but when the whole year is a letdown, can any time be wonderful? But then I threw on a pair of Frosty the Snowman PJs and some sparkly heels and I felt the magic!
We decorated the house down, we watched holiday movies every day, and my husband and I had the coziest Christmas we’ve had yet, just the two of us, and I got into such a spirit of appreciation. Appreciation for my health, appreciation for my husband, appreciation that I get to write books and create worlds and in 2021 have a book with the words “Gay Agenda” in the title that’s all about celebrating queer love. So I’m feeling this post-holiday glow and got to writing down all the goals and hopes and dreams I have for this new year. I thought I’d share them with you here, to give you an inside look at all the things a debut novelist is hoping for at the dawn of their publication year. So, so many of these things will be beyond my power to make come true, and at least half the work of being an author is telling yourself to stop obsessing over things you can’t control. Your publishing date, your sales numbers, whether or not you get starred reviews, whether or not people even read your book. But, even though we tell ourselves time and time again not to get our hopes up for these things, I’m the kind of person who instantly gets his hopes up. About everything. Like, I’d buy way too many Monopoly-piece-loaded Big Macs as a kid being absolutely certain I’d get a Grand Prize Winning Piece, and even to this day when I see a mysterious old wardrobe I whip the doors open expecting to find another world inside it. Neither of these things have happened, but I can’t stop myself from keeping the hope alive, and I think my lesson from 2020 was that hope is the thing that keeps me going. So, I thought I’d share here my New Years Hopes and Dreams so you can see 1) really how big author goals can get and 2) just how much is outside a writer’s control 😂 😭
Become a Bestseller
Now, I’m going to start big here, and as all authors will tell you, this is the Ultimate Beyond Your Control part of being a writer. Bestsellers are made from the perfect mix of reader excitement, PR buzz, and marketing dollars, and you can’t control how readers will react to your stories or how the publisher will go ahead and market it. But oooh golly wouldn’t this just be ohmigawd, rolling on the floor amazing? To be an Indie Bestseller, a NYT Bestseller, to get a #1 New Release orange banner on Amazon? But think of getting any of these distinctions like synchronized swimming, where every swimmer has to float in place perfectly and at the same time to make the most exquisite routine. Except, instead of swimmers, it’s readers heading to a bookstore or clicking buy all around the same time… Maybe I don’t have a perfect grasp on similes yet, and that’s another goal I should be putting on this list. 🏊♀️
Sell Movie Rights to JAY’S GAY AGENDA
I’d love to see those pining, lovestruck expressions on Jay and Albert’s faces on the cover, IRL. And if anybody in Hollywood is reading this: *cough* the rights are available *cough*. Also, like, what if I got to have a hand in writing the script?! That’s not often how it goes, but it does sometimes and if this whole post is about putting my biggest dreams out there, I’m slapping that one on the table too, baby. 🎥
Have Jennifer Garner Read PORCUPINE CUPID
I’ve been robsessed with her since Sydney Bristow days, and it would just be a trip to see this children’s book advocate reading my Valentine’s Day story. I’m going to send her a copy and see what happens. I mean, odds are this won’t pan out, but just like when you sent valentines to your crushes as a kid, it never hurts to put your heart on the line. Okay, maybe it does hurt sometimes, like when that crush is unrequited, but we’ll try anyway 🤷♀️
Edit Book 2 and Feel Good About It
Aha! Here we are at something I can control! The first go at Book 2 is with my editor, and soon I’ll have an edit letter and I’ll be in the midst of revising this sucker. I actually wrote myself an edit letter that I sent along with the manuscript, something I’ve never done before, so my brain is already starting to get into revision mode. This novel is dual POV, which I thought might be the end of me, but it was actually so much fun to go back and forth between these two MCs that I love so much. I can’t share too much about it now, but this one does have a genderqueer protagonist, fake dating, and a light fantasy element that I just cannot get enough of in my life and have always dreamed of putting my own spin on. Ah! 🖊
Sell Another Book
We’re heading back into things you can’t control territory, since you can’t Fairy Godmother your way into making an editor acquire your book, but I can at least write things that get into their inboxes! Who knows what 2021 has in store, but I’d love to sell another book, in any age group, in any format, that continues the flamboyance, zaniness, and heart that I think is the Jason June trifecta. 📖
Remember Why I Write
I write books for kids of all ages, for them to enjoy and escape and laugh and see themselves or a world they’d like to live in. It can be so easy to forget this. We can get so caught up in reviews or sales that it’s easy to lose sight of the joy we’re putting into the universe. Regardless of how the other goals pan out, this is really the one I’m going to focus on the most. I’ve read a couple reader reactions for PORCUPINE CUPID about how seen they feel by the queer-inclusive cues, and that really made my heart burst, or the notes on JAY’S GAY AGENDA from early readers about laughing at Jay’s observations and voice, and that’s what this is all about. I write for them, I write for you, and nothing can change that, whether huge Pie-in-the-Sky dreams come true or not. Thanks for being with me on this journey, and here’s to a new year that’s a much more fun ride than the last. ❤️