My sister called this morning to say she received a paperback version of Picture Perfect Murder. This was the first time she’d held the actual book in her hand and could see how the cover turned out. We’d been shot down multiple times from the publishing place because of size.

We discussed the Pros and Cons of the book cover…what we want to keep and what we want to change for the second book. Juliana suddenly laughed and said, “Thirty books from now we will look back at this book cover and laugh and laugh!” And while I laughed with her, I quickly assured her that I LOVED this book cover…if nothing more than for the fact it was our first! Everyone always remembers their first.

And then I got excited at the thought of THIRTY MORE BOOKS! LOL…her belief that we will still be together writing, editing, and designing books years from now makes my heart happy! I’m very thankful for the time in which I live where I can make my mark in the literary world…and not wait silently for “someone else’s”  approval of what I have written.

I always wonder about Mary Rockwell. She was the wife of Norman Rockwell, and had three talented sons, an artist, a writer, and a sculptor. It was years ago (won’t say how many) while reading the back cover of Thomas Rockwell’s book, How to Eat Fried Worms, that I first became introduced to his mother, Mary. He wrote a simple line that said, “His mother, Mary, an unpublished author.” And in ALL seriousness, those simple words have always haunted me. I can’t help but wonder why she was unpublished (after all, she’d have a foot in the door with her husband), and why Thomas chose to write those words in his book cover. I’d like to think it was because he was proud of her, and even though “someone” never gave her the accolades she desired, she still wrote.

So going into the New Year of 2016…I am thankful I live in a time that doesn’t look at my sex as “inferior” when it comes to writing, like the generations of women before me had to endure. And I’m thankful I live in a time where I don’t have to wait for someone I’ve never met to tell me that they “like” what I have written. Or worse, to be like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, and wait with bated breath, running to the mailbox each day to see if something has come–usually a rejection letter.

There is nothing better than seeing your book next to other people’s books. Sometimes I scroll through Amazon in my genre just so I can see my book with the countless other books on the page (hey, it’s my first book, give me a break!), and it makes my pulse race. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the cover…I think it’s beautiful. I think it’s beautiful because I got to embark on this journey with my sister.