Friday, September 16, 2016

"Willkommen...bienvenue...welcome...come on in..."*

Hello, and welcome to my blog!  If you were led here by one of the many "wanted poster" promo cards we've been plastering all over God's green Earth, I'm glad to know they're working.  Feel free to take a look around the site, and to learn more about Swords & Sixguns, you can follow this link to a side-page I have specifically set up for it, as well as click on the "Swords & Sixguns" label at the bottom of this post.  I also recommend you view the "Welcome" video I recently posted on the Facebook page for Swords & Sixguns (I was going to post it here as well, but the file's too big to upload...that's a still from it up at the top, though).  It'll fill you in on a few more details about the book and its upcoming release.

Okay, let me step aside so you can walk in here proper.  After all, you are my guest and I am your host.  Y'all got any questions, drop me a line at and I'll do my level best to answer 'em.

*(read title aloud in your best Lili Von Shtupp impression for proper effect)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I did this drawing of Richard a few days after September 11th, 2001, when I was still reeling from the events but had become clear-headed enough to try and get my feelings on paper in some fashion.  Fifteen years on, this is what I can recall of the actual day...

My husband Jamin and I both had that Tuesday off, so we were sleeping in when my Mom called around 10 AM.  Since we work nights quite a bit, we've got this rule that you don't call us that early unless it's an emergency, so I picked up the phone and wondered what was so darn important that she had to call and wake us up.  Mom asked if we were watching TV, and I said no, we were sleeping.  She insisted that we had to turn on the news, so we got out of bed, half-asleep, and went into the living room to turn on the big TV.  That's when we saw the World Trade Center on fire.  We sat there staring at this for about a minute when Jamin said, "Isn't there supposed to be two of them?"  As he said that, the news replayed the footage of the planes flying into the towers, and we realized that one of them had collapsed due to the impact.  Not long after, the second tower fell -- unlike the South Tower, which we'd slept right through, we got to watch the North Tower collapse on live TV.
We numbly watched TV for about a half-hour or so, still in our pajamas but too transfixed by what was going on to think about getting dressed, when a horrifying thought grabbed me: my Dad goes to New York on business trips a few times a year.  I ran to the phone and called his place in Ohio, and was glad to find that both he and his wife were home.  Then Dad told me that my stepbrother Matt was in New York -- I was right about the business trip, but had thought of the wrong family member.  Matt had already called home and was safe, but he'd been roughly 15 blocks away when the planes started coming in.  I've never really talked with him about the experience, as I don't find it an easy subject to broach, but I do thank God that he made it out of the city unharmed.

After a few hours, Jamin managed to pry himself away from the TV, but I kept on watching.  There was so much to take in -- all the planes, all the places, all the people -- that it didn't feel right to turn away.  I think I quit after 5 hours or so, and finally got into the shower and cleaned up.  I don't remember anything else we did that day, but I think we turned the TV off for a little while, just to give our minds a break.

Friday, September 9, 2016

In the Cards

Take a gander at the promo cards that just came in! These were printed by a local shop called In the Mix Productions (, and they will definitely be getting more business from me. A big thank-you once again to Matt Erkhart for putting this together. Can't wait to pass these around at Motor City Nightmares next week!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Happier Anniversary

As you may or may not recall, I officially began work on what became Swords & Sixguns on September 1st, 1994, plus I started the Facebook page for the book on the same day twenty years later in 2014, back when I thought Permuted Press was going to be publishing it.  Well, that didn't pan out, nor did Fear Front earlier this year, but I am happy to report on this 22nd/2nd anniversary that I'm still plugging away at self-publishing, and I hope to have the visuals for the promo flyers to the printer by this weekend.  It'd be great if I could have the book itself published in September as well (just to keep the anniversaries all within the same month), but I'm not certain we'll have everything in place by then.  If we do, I'll be ecstatic, but I think October seems more likely.

My husband and I have been tossing ideas back and forth in regards to next year, when we hope to actually get tables at some of the local cons.  This whole self-publishing venture is still scary as Hell on a few levels -- my anxiety is through the roof some days, making me freak out over little things, book-related and otherwise -- but there are moments when we think up some really cool way to promote this book, or when I open up an email from Matt Erkhart with a new art file attached, and I can see that Swords & Sixguns is going to be a real, tangible thing finally.  Those are good moments.

Keep on checking back here for more updates, and please spread the word about Swords & Sixguns far and wide.  It'd be nice to have a big audience waiting when the books start rolling off the presses.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Coming into Fcous

As promised, here's a peek at Matt Erkhart's work on the promo art. I asked him to base Richard's look on a photo of Robert Cornelius (specifically, the first photographic self-portrait, circa 1839) I'd come across in a magazine roughly 20 years ago. I'd been struck at the time by how much this man looked the way I pictured Richard in my head (the shared initials are a coincidence, by the way...I originally had no idea what the man's name was), so it became my go-to reference if I ever wanted show a picture of the "real" Richard Corrigan.
As you've probably noticed, own art skills lean towards cartoony: whenever I draw Richard, I can never reproduce exactly what I want, I just get as close as my skills will allow. In fact, aside from one quick doodle by my husband, Matt is the first person other than myself to draw Richard, and he knocked it out of the park. This character is finally leaving the confines of all my little scribbles and becoming something more substantial.
Once we get the cards all printed up, I'll show off the full piece. I think you're gonna like it. And remember to check out for more of Matt's work.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Self-Pub Progress Report #2

I am registered with CreateSpace now! Signing up was pretty quick and painless, but their terms of service took quite a while to read (two most important points: I will own all rights to my work, and I cannot refer to Amazon/CreateSpace as my publisher...they are just the printer). The only downside to CreateSpace I've found so far is that the big chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble probably won't stock my book in-store, since Amazon doesn't have the same kind of bulk return policy as a big publisher. However, the B&N employee I spoke with said they will order individual copies for any customer that requests one. Also, some of the smaller independent bookstores in my area operate on a consignment basis, with me getting 70% of the sale, so I can get my books stocked with them.
I'm also happy to report that the art for the promo flyer is done! Matt Erkhart did a fantastic job, and he'll be designing the backside with all the book info once I figure out what exactly we're putting there. Check out for some samples of his work, and come back tomorrow to get a look at his Swords & Sixguns work.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Self-Pub Progress Report #1

Been a busy week prepping the business side of this whole self-publishing gig.  I had a sit-down with the folks who handle our taxes and asked what exactly I needed to do to keep this venture on the up-and-up with the IRS.  Turns out that one bit I thought was necessary isn't so much: since there's no real liability involved, it's just me hawking a book to folks, I don't need a small-business license, and I can let that one I signed up for a few years ago expire (no biggie, it only cost me ten bucks and a few minutes of filling out paperwork).  All I have to do is keep track of my expenses and earnings -- which I'll have to claim quarterly -- and we're good with the government.  *Whew!*

I've also been looking into doing some advance promotion, as Motor City Nightmares -- one of the conventions we go to -- is having a show on September 16th-18th.  Seeing as how that's only a little more than a month away, I doubt we'll be ready to launch by then (I'm figuring it'll be more like October), but I am working on having some promotional postcards for the book printed up that we can lay on the swag table and pass around in general, as well as doing like everyone else does at this show and tucking said cards into every wall crack and picture frame we can find (the bathrooms are usually plastered with flyers!).  I'll give y'all a sneak-peek at the promo art when it starts rolling in.

That's it for now...gotta get back to work!