I’ve been sitting on this news for a few days, but I finally got the green light to reveal the cover for Ivar’s Prize, which is being released Tuesday, July 11.

People do judge books by their covers, and I’m thrilled with this one.

And now, a note about why it’s so special to see my name on a cover. At every stage of the writing process, I’ve gone step by step. Baby steps, even, just like Bill Murray’s character inĀ What About Bob? At each stage, I never let myself think about the next one. Years ago, I read a book by Pat Walsh: 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might. It might sound self-defeating, reading all the reasons why you won’t make it as a published author, but aspiring authors need to hear them. And you know the #1 reason Walsh lists? The number one reason your book will never be published is because you have not written it.

I took that to heart.

When I was writing, I didn’t edit. When I edited, I didn’t google literary agents. When I buttoned up the manuscript and sent it out into the world, I didn’t allow myself to think about what I’d write in the acknowledgements section, or what my author bio would sound like, or what the cover would look like.

That’s all different now. I wrote a book. Here it’s cover.

Cover artist: Natasha Snow.