Some of you may know that I have this book called THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING that I almost sold to a major publishing house in the summer of 2010.

Since then it has gone on a shelf while I wrote another book, hoping the new book would be “less violent” and “more YA” (which were the ultimate reasons given that THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING didn’t sell). I hoped to sell it later…perhaps.

However after seeing Hunger Games in theaters this spring, I realized that THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING, awesome as it was, was maybe never going to be “YA enough” or “Un-violent enough” (not a word!) to suit the larger publishing market. So I decided to do a Kickstarter for it and self publish. That got put on hold as well (for a reason I hope to share with you all soon) but in the meantime I had already commissioned the absolutely fantastic Stephanie Hans to do my cover illustration for the book.

If all goes well, you all will be seeing the final cover illustration (and hearing more about the Kickstarter) sometime in June.

Stephanie, in addition to being a brilliant illustrator, actually read the entire book (it’s big) in order to do the cover work, which is above and beyond everything I could have hoped for. Perhaps even more amazing, she loved the book, and I think you can see how much in the quality of her illustrations. Below is a sketch that (though it’s perhaps my favorite of all the sketches she did) was more appropriate for a comic book than a novel and so we didn’t move forward with it. But Stephanie liked it so much that she kept on going…and the results are unbelievably cool.

So world…please welcome Bonnie and Lola into the world…two wonderful badasses that I love – and hope you’ll all get to read more about soon!

This is Stephanie’s first sketch – which blew my mind – from a scene mid-way through the book:

Bonnie & Lola Sketch (Bonnie in the water, Lola above)

This is the work in progress sketch:

Bonnie and Lola, wip

And the final version, which makes me want to do an illustrated edition, or a graphic novel adaptation SO MUCH:

Bonnie & Lola, final

A huge thanks to Stephanie, who went above and beyond, and is generally the best person ever. Buy her work here!

And you can of course see Stephanie and I collaborating on a comic together for Womanthology with “SuperLess Hero”

Follow me on twitter here: @79SemiFinalist

& Stephanie on twitter here: @HansStephanie