It’s time to reveal the stunning cover of Ash Parson’s upcoming YA novel Girls Save the World in This One! And not just that…WE HAVE AN EXCERPT!
“A few years ago I went to a zombie fan convention. That’s where I had the idea for Girls Save the World in This One: while in my fangirl happy place, wandering around an exhibit hall, pursued by zombie cosplayers. I couldn’t stop laughing at the idea What if the zombie apocalypse started right now? How would we even know?
Of course, once the idea started I couldn’t stop thinking about it. At the same time, I was remembering going to DragonCon when I was in high school. One of my best friends, Kari Bakken, took me, and it was the first time I felt a part of fan-culture. The magic of that was deep.
The last piece of the inspiration puzzle was an image: a group of teenage girls, best friends, not endowed with any supernatural abilities, but still out there, fighting against the end of the world. It turns out that was an image I really needed in my mind, and in my heart. It wouldn’t go away, it just kept coming back. It made me happy, thinking about these girls. I knew they would be funny, sweet, prickly, brilliant, flawed, and true-hearted. I wanted to see what they would do.
And so I made a kickass playlist, named it ‘Girls Save the World,’ and started writing.”
– Ash Parsons
Scroll down to read the excerpt!
It’s over. I didn’t get to ask my question. That’s it, there won’t be another chance. Photo ops move so fast I won’t be able to ask then, and besides I don’t want to monopolize the time because Siggy and Imani and I pooled all our money together for it.
I didn’t get to ask my question.
I still feel a little shaky from the adrenaline dump, and a little empty like a balloon drifting down to the floor.
Onstage Michaela is saying don’t go far, the next event is a panel featuring some writers of the show, and after that is the zombie makeup team, don’t miss it—
But all around me people are grabbing their things and making their way out, brushing past those of us who rushed out to get in line and are still standing in the aisle.
Imani and Siggy are making their way toward me. Imani has my mini backpack slung over one shoulder.
I’m struggling to keep from feeling furious at that girl, wondering if the session would have gone on longer, if I would have been able to ask my question, and also wondering if he smelled good and if that girl can die happy now that she got a selfie and a hug.
“Ugh,” Siggy says as they reach me.
“Ugh.” Imani hands over my backpack and starts to lead the way out. “That’s so unfair!”
“Yep,” I say, but they know how I feel already; they heard me practice my question all week.
We step out into the airy hallway, and file onto the down escalator.
“Okay we’re not going to let that ruin our day but can I just say, that was so much BS.” Imani runs a hand over her side-sweep of wavy hair.
“It was,” I agree. “I’m just gonna be in my emotions about it for a little bit more.”
“We still have the photo op,” Siggy says. “Maybe you can ask your question then.”
“Yeah,” Imani says.
“That’s for all of us, though,” I say. “It’s okay, I promise.”
I say it because I can see that they want to push the issue. They want to swear that they don’t mind and I should ask my question at the photo op.
But the photo op isn’t about me asking my question. It’s just a quick moment, to memorialize our day, and beyond that our friendship (and how much we love Hunter and Human Wasteland), and I’m not going to change that.
“The photo op is going to be great!” I continue. “I can’t wait until we’re all there together.”
We step off the escalator and walk forward, past the floor-to-ceiling exterior window wall and around the volcanic rock waterfalls to the bottleneck forming at the center set of exhibit hall doors.
“I just hope I can act cool during it, and not become a complete dork,” I say.
“You are cool,” Imani says,
“Thanks, Mom.” I roll my eyes at her.
She thwaps my shoulder, laughing. “Stop that, young lady.”
“June, you really are, you know.” Siggy adjusts the side-tie of her jumpsuit while we wait in line. “You’re cool and awesome and hilarious, too.”
“Aw, stop,” I feel my eyes start to well up. “You’re fun and beautiful and you have such a free spirit, Siggy.”
Imani gives a polite little cough. Ahem.
I turn to her, smiling.
“And you’re absolutely brilliant and loyal and your convictions are such a force for good, Imani,” I tell her.
Imani loops an arm around me.
“June, you’ve got the best sense of humor, you’re so smart no matter what you say, and you have the biggest heart of anybody I ever met.”
“Stop, I’m gonna cry,” I say.
“Too late,” Siggy says.
“What are we gonna do next fall?” I ask.
“I don’t want to think about it,” Siggy says.
“We’ll talk all the time,” Imani reassures us.
Siggy swipes her fingers under her eyes. “Aw hell, why don’t I ever have any Kleenex?”
Imani hands us tissues out of her purse and even has to dab at her own eyes.
We all stand in line, in our little trio, dabbing at our eyes and honking our noses and saying I love you guys so much and Stop talking okay? I’m still crying and Siggy starts humming the theme from The Golden Girls and that gets us over the emotional hump.
We inch forward, waiting to show our badges to the door guards. Behind us, there’s a ruckus, a person shouting “Whoa!” and laughter.
I turn and there are two people in head-to-toe hazmat suits pushing through the crowd, holding up some kind of scanner, sweeping it at people.
Imani laughs, and she lifts her phone for some pictures.
“Weirdos,” Siggy laughs.
“No, it’s cool!” I half wish I was cosplaying, but then decide I want to experience my first con as me.
In front of us, two zombies, a man and woman, sink a little when they see the hazmat guys.
“Rut-roh, they’re coming for us,” the man zombie says, smiling at me. I guess because he heard me say the cosplayers were cool.
“Don’t let them get you, babe,” the woman zombie replies. Her makeup is so cool. There’s a gaping bite mark in her neck, her skin looks positively necrotic, and her eyes are clouded with milky cataracts.
“Wow, you guys look amazing,” I say. “Can we take a picture with you?”
“Absolutely!” she says, so we get in the exhibit hall and slide to the side. I ask a man to take our photo, and the three of us act scared while the man and woman strike hungry-zombie poses at us.
“Thanks! Have a great day!” Imani says. The man groans and makes these wet choking noises, and the woman lets her head fall forward as she starts shuffling away.
The man stumbles after her, takes her arm, and steers her down the first aisle on the right.
They hold hands, and stumble-shuffle away. People all around are laughing good-naturedly, taking pictures of the zombie couple.
“True love, you guys,” Siggy says. “Till death do they part. And then not even then.”
“Those sweet kids. I hope everything works out for them,” I say.
“They’re already dead,” Imani says. “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”
Girls Save the World in This One hits shelves April, 2020!