Community · Roundtable

2019 Resolutions & First Reads!

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We thought we’d do a post about how we intend to go into 2019. For many people that means resolutions, but we’re also adding our first reads. Because as writers we’re all huge readers too!

So we all went around and answered the following 4 questions:

  1. What book we’re going to start off the new year with (first book of the year). Why we’re excited to start our year off with this book!
  2. Writing resolution
  3. Reading resolution
  4. Life resolution

Kat Headshot 1 Nov 18 SquareKAT CHO

FIRST READ: My first read of the year will be WICKED KING! I am SO excited for this sequel to THE CRUEL PRINCE. It’s a dark faerie story that tells about a human girl who has been raised in faerie after her (now step father) murdered her biological human parents. It’s a great exploration of how three different siblings deal with this same trauma and their new life in faerie. It ALSO has loooots of morally grey characters who do a lot of questionable things, but at the end of the day I still have a lot of respect for them because I can see why they feel they have to make the choices they do. I actually bought the special Owl Crate of WICKED KING just so I can celebrate this read with lots of bookish knick knacks!

WRITING RESOLUTION: Finish writing the sequel to WICKED FOX (previously titled GUMIHO)

READING RESOLUTION: Read at least 25 books this year (even while doing my debut year!)

LIFE RESOLUTION: have a regular daily routine (regular wake up, bed time, etc). I work from home and it’s so easy to have irregular schedules every day, but I’ve found that sometimes I’m taking a long time getting started in the morning and I’ve been very lethargic lately. I feel that with a regular daily routine I can get my brain to know when it is “work time” and when it is “fun time”


FIRST READ: I’m a big believer in reading with intention and setting the tone for my year in reading by making a deliberate choice on my first read of the year, every year. This year, I will start with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I’m excited to start the year off with this book because it will be my affirmation of Black Girl Magic going into the new year. Some people make a specific word their theme for each year, I think after reading this, “I Am Becoming” could very well be my phrase for 2019.

WRITING RESOLUTION: I have many writing goals for the year of 2019 but my priority is to make the book of my heart, my YA speculative fiction shine.

READING RESOLUTION: My reading resolution is something that I attempt to do at some point every year but have realized I’ve neglected in the past two years. I will usually examine past years of reading and make sure that I’m up to date on the works of the authors whose books I enjoyed. It’s so easy to miss out on an author’s work because there is so much amazing work being published every single week. If I miss a book announcement, if a writer has a new pen name, if someone writes standalones so I can’t just easily mark the next book in a series as To Read and not think about it until I see it chronologically on my TBR, if this, if that…I miss their next title. So I resolve to go back to being more mindful of supporting the authors whose work I enjoy and not just have a laser focus on my auto-buy authors.

LIFE RESOLUTION: When it comes to general life goals, I’d like my day job to change and I’d like to leave the roommate life behind and get my own apartment. We shall see!


FIRST READ: TESS OF THE ROAD by Rachel Hartman. This is a 2018 release that friends of mine have said emotionally messed them up (in the best way). I want to start the new year emotionally messed up.

WRITING RESOLUTION: Practice creating a good headspace for myself where I can write without worrying about other people’s expectations, or the market, or any of the other 500 things authors can have anxiety about. I’ll need a good headspace as I edit my debut and tinker with its sequel.

READING RESOLUTION: 2019 is going to be an extremely exciting year for YA. That said, on top of keeping up with all these bangin’ new releases, I want to broaden my horizons and read more adult fiction and non-fiction.

LIFE RESOLUTION: Sorry, you have to Paypal me at least $5 to find out my personal business.


FIRST READ: THE WONDERFUL O by James Thurber, because I am an Oh and I am wonderful. Seriously though, I want to start my year off going back to my childhood love of classic children’s books, that feeling of whimsy, adventure, and wonder in language.

WRITING RESOLUTION: With the going back to basics theme, I want to return to why I originally began to write in the first place. Because I loved reading. I loved on a macro level how good stories could make me feel boundless wonder, and how on a micro level, one beautiful sentence could ground me in a moment. I want to embrace that joy in my own writing.

READING RESOLUTION: I want to read all the books that I’ve put off reading because I have “once-I-read-the-book, it-will-be-over syndrome” aka a fear of reading books I know I’ll love and then be sad when they’re over. Is this a thing?

LIFE RESOLUTION: I want to make a daily task spreadsheet and keep to it–tasks will include writing, reading, walks with Toro, and limiting phone usage. I also want to travel more!

meg-blogpic-1MEG KOHLMANN

FIRST READ: I’m reading Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I’ve wanted to read this for a while because I’ve heard very good things.

WRITING RESOLUTION: I’d like to complete my novel, figure a few things out during editing, and then who knows!

READING RESOLUTION: My day job is pretty involved, so I’m usually reading on the way to and from work on the train. I’d like to read at least 40 books this year and check out at least 10 fun serials.

LIFE RESOLUTION: My personal resolution is to try to stop caring less. I guess that sounds weird, but it’s true! I want to live more in the moment and not hold myself back because of what others might think. I’d also love to travel to two new places and see as many friends as I can!


FIRST READ: I’m reading Pride by Ibi Zoboi. I don’t read a ton of YA contemporary, but I am a huge Jane Austen nerd and I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while! Plus I just read Persuasion and it really made me want to revisit Pride and Prejudice…what better way to scratch that itch than with a brilliant update on the original?

WRITING RESOLUTION: Practically, I know I need to draft and edit the sequel to There Will Come a Darkness this year. I’ve heard that your second contracted book can often be the most mentally challenging, so I’m really hoping to combat that by writing this book as joyfully as I can. That doesn’t mean I’ll shy away from hard work, but rather that I want to approach the process of writing with delight and wonder.

READING RESOLUTION: Last year was great in many ways, but not in terms of my reading habits. I think I managed to squeak out 20 by the end of the year. So my goal this year is to read 30 books in 2019. Between two book clubs and a host of fellow debuts I want to support, I think I can make it happen.

LIFE RESOLUTION: There are a lot of little things I’d like to adjust this year (my sleep habits, consistent exercise, etc) but the overarching theme is just to be more intentional with how I spend my time — including and especially my downtime.


FIRST READ: THE SPEAKER by Traci Chee! THE READER is one of my favorite books, and I’m really excited to finally finish this beautiful and clever series!

WRITING RESOLUTION: I want to spend this year writing for myself again and having fun creating without letting external pressures and expectations get to me.

READING RESOLUTION: Read more sequels and finish series. I have this awful habit of reading first books, buying the other books in the series, but then never reading them. Maybe this is the year I finally catch up on my ever growing TBR!

LIFE RESOLUTION: Rather than specific resolutions or goals, I like to pick a word of the year. My word for 2019 is present and I want to spend this year being more mindful in general, but especially when it comes to spending time with friends and family.

What are your resolutions and first reads of 2019?

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