Happy New Year! I felt like the heatwave went on forever and then suddenly we're at New Years Eve. This year has been full of surprises - good and bad but God is so good that all the bad ended up working in my favour. I feel like last year taught me loads about myself but this year taught me about business. I have hired and fired, I have a lawsuit against someone, Hashtag Press turned two but with that came lots of bumps that had me and Helen like WTF?! But we overcame it all. Emily Knight I am...Awakened literally blew my mind with the awards - Carnegie, London's Big Read, The People's Book Prize. I got nominated for a Black British Business Award. I didn't end up signing Beats with any of the publishing houses. If it's not a big house it makes no sense for me to sign as I have my own one. I started on a new fantasy series that I am obsessed with and Emily Knight I am...Becoming is out in 2020. I spoke to producers and I finally understand this whole film adaption world. Helen and I started up three new ventures -our imprint Hashtag BLAK, our self-publishing company ink! and The Diverse Book Awards. The Author School turns 5 next year. Isn't that wild? 2020 BRING IT ON! This whole year has been incredible growth. I said 2019 would be a game changer and it really was. Here are my highlights for the year - are you ready?
- Hashtag Press 2020 competition. Yousra S Imaran debut book is out in 2020!
- All the Girls Can Do Anything panels and my incredible female guests
- Egmont publicity video I got to film
- Ironically dating apps which I was so against has actually worked out
- Carnegie nominated
- Finishing Emily Knight I am...Becoming and my editor telling me 'Don't dread the notes. This manuscript is so strong.' GET IN!
- Beyonce. Homecoming. For the culture!
- Seeing Michelle Obama at the O2
- Game of Thrones - Arya freaking Stark was a highlight for sure
- Distribution in South Africa
- I got to tick of a bucket list and was invited by Arvon to lead a session
- The launch of our diverse imprint Hashtag BLAK and having Luisa on board
- Avengers Endgame was everything. I have never held my pee for so long
- The Spice Girls at Wembley. Geri apologised. My life was made
- Stormzy at Glastonbury showed how you use a platform
- Winner of London's Big Read
- Stranger Things 3
- First time watching Love Island and I can't believe I never watched it before - Ovie!!
- Getting back into dance has been more rewarding that I ever thought it could be
- Performing at the Myself 10 yr anniversary show at Stratford Circus
- My birthday - Lille, Hamilton and Magic Mike
- My knight rider car that I didn't want and now it's winter I'm appreciating the heated seats
- The Youth Takeover Show
- Thorpe Park - stuck with the boys ALL DAY
- Releasing Gen Alpha-Z
- Leading the SYP event at Hachette
- Hashtag Press bestseller Ticking off Breast Cancer by Sara Liyanage
- Going to the Graham Norton Show and seeing Regina King, Emilia Clarke and Jason Mamoa
- Fly for Jack show
-Launching The Diverse Book Awards 2020
- A Quick Ting On launch party - how all book parties should be!
- Meeting the Merky Book team and discussing all things diversity
- Missy freaking Elliot liking my dance video. AAAAHHHH!!
It's been a fabulous year but they're have been downsides. The terrorist attack at London Bridge, dealing with an idiot con artist, having someone trying to ride the coat tails of my company, going on dates with the dumbest boys in life, feeling so overworked that I legit had an eye twitch for two days - I can laugh now but it really wasn't funny. The Tories winning again for fucks sake. Don't ask us about Brexit as none of us know what the hell is going on.
I have felt since the summer that 2020 is going to be an epic year. I can just feel in it my bones :) So thankful to God for keeping me here and blessing me. Let's keep elevating and pushing ourselves. If I can start of this decade working in retail, teaching dance and performing and not knowing a soul in publishing and ending it with owning six different publishing ventures and an award winning books series - trust me you can do it too!
I'm excited!!! Thanks for reading my rants all year :)
Happy New Year peeps! xxx