The Story

When I was very little, my grandfather would set me on his knee, open a picture book or magazine and ask me what was happening in the picture. We would sit for hours (or as it seemed to a small child) and make up stories about the political comics or what an eagle was thinking in the wildlife shot. I remember reading Anne of Green Gables years later and finally feeling like someone got my brain. There was a chapter where she said she had invented colorful back stories for all the members of her church. Yes! This was me all the time!

People always ask what I read. I don’t read much any more. People ask what I write. I haven’t written a lot or at least anything you can find. But I have a love affair with stories, sometimes loving the world the story was written and the back story more. I probably was the only person who want to know more about Hobbiton or wished there had been a chapter or two more on Diagon Alley.

There have been more disappointing news with my stories coming to life, I’ve had trouble getting together with my new artist but every time we speak he says he’s still interested in the project but with a surgery coming, everything gets to be pushed back again. Even with all that, don’t give up on me and I will continue to fight to make these stories real!


Our New Artist!

Or should I say illustrator? Which sounds better? Personally I like Artist more because it speaks to more than one…..

What am I doing?! Seraphim City is happy… Gleeful to announce our new artist in residence Don Brown… Or Donald E Brown the 3rd if you go from his fancy contracting business card. I took 3 months, 20ish applicants and a few serious thoughts of quitting writing altogether before it was determined that Don had the talent needed for the stories. He is a Pittsburgh resident, father, contractor, tattoo artist and thankfully draws so that you can feel the emotion of his art. I have already seen a few of his rough sketches of his interpretation of the stories and you are going to love them!

Join me in welcoming the new team member Don and if you know anyone who needs a new tattoo in the meanwhile, give him a call!


The Search for the Right Artist

Well, it is now week 4 of the hunt for the perfect artist to join the Seraphim City team. I honestly had no idea how involved this would be. As before, my requirements were; nice, talented, and local. I can’t really see myself handing my “baby” over to someone who can’t sit across from me, share an intelligent conversation and get excited about the projects potential (yes I want anyone who would join up to come to comic con with me!) Meanwhile, my faith in humanity has taken a bit of a bruising with last minute cancelations, creepy inquiries, ridiculous price tags and people who just plain can’t follow basic instructions.

Thankfully, I feel like the search is at an end and I’m hoping that by the beginning of next week I will be announcing our new artist. Not having an artist has greatly deflated the fun of blogging and my writing on every level. It is only the passion and faith of my family that has kept me going through this setback. At the end of the day though, I have committed to making Seraphim City a reality through this blog and the graphic novels that will come into being! Thank you for your patience!


Why Kyla

When I finally decided to investigate doing something with my short stories, I had a few requirements for who I wanted to work with.
1) I wanted the artist to be a Pittsburgh local. I figured on a project like this, especially my first, I’d like to work with someone who I could meet for coffee, where we could sit down together easily and really brainstorm together.
2) I wanted to work with a woman. This was not exactly a requirement, but I was hoping. The geek world still seems pretty male dominated and I wanted to bring a female artist with me on this journey so there would be two more female geeks contributing to my favorite genres!

And that was it. Obviously I was hoping for talent, niceness, and flexibility, but having worked with artists before, I knew going in that all these features aren’t always all found in one person. Frequently, artist fall somewhere on the talented/tormented scale, (as the talent rises, so do the chances of narcissism, arrogance, depression, brilliance, and lack of inspiration, in waves, usually all in the same hour).

I was lucky enough to discover Kyla Kemmerer to design our logo and some of the initial story boards. Unfortunately, the demands on her time became to great and she was unable to commit to the project full time. I feel lucky she was able to give some of her time and artwork before the rest of the world discovered her talent!

And from the below logo design, i’m sure you can see as well that she was a good choice.


The big unveil!

The big unveil!

Steel City Con!

Dec 5th-7th is the Pittsburgh Steel City Con, a quarterly celebration of all things that are geeky! I have always want to go, and this time it is going to happen. But of course, if it’s gonna happen, then we have to do it big! So my plan is to dress as a background character from our soon-to-be-reality, graphic novel series Seraphim City. A costume needing a Victorian/Steampunk look. I plan to be there soaking up the vibe and making plans for our own table some day, hopefully sooner than later. Please join me as our baby projects starts off.

Pics of the rest of the outfit to be posted as they arrive and come together!



Welcome to the City



My name is Jill. I’ve spent most of my life in the Pittsburgh area, though I’ve lived in two other countries. I have a beautiful girlfriend, three step-kids; I’m a full time student (18 credits this semester); I work part time at a home improvement store, and I am a sergeant in the Army National Guard.
I have also had an intimate relationship with fantasy fiction since I was in fourth grade when I read C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. At age 12, I began writing–poems, short stories, and parts of novels, although I never finished anything until my late 20s. In recent years, I began writing a series of short stories inspired by events in my life and how they made me feel. I’m sure you’ve had those days where you are so hurt and angry that there are no easy words or ways to express it. Or just met someone that deserved a beating. But we can’t just beat people up–jail time would interfere with our busy schedules of saving the world and drinking good coffee. So instead I take my revenge in fiction or capture the ugliness of life in a scene.
And this birthed Seraphim City, a place of magic, violence, and most importantly, Angels! The world is styled as a drunk combo of Victorian/early steampunk/slightly medieval elements and is completely enchanting, but more details to follow in future posts.
I had a few people read my stories and they all lovingly nagged me into doing something with them. So what do we do with highly visual and intense short stories? We turn them into graphic novels, of course! But my nine-year-old draws better than me, so that sent me on a quest by the name of Craig and his infamous List, for a local, talented artist to balance my crazy and make my imaginings come to life. My quest led me to Kyla Kemmerer, for logo design and my early story boards. Still searching for the right artist to take on the rest of the project though! Know anyone?
This blog will chronicle my adventures as I go from scratch to…. wherever this project takes me. I shall share tid-bits of the stories and drawings with our readers, and of course share my love with all things fantasy fiction!
I will keep you up to date on what happens, where things go, and the projects.

Welcome to The City!