Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chris Sicurella of Tri Star Boze Books

September 21, 2014
   Went to the memorial for Chris Sicurella yesterday out in west Phoenix.

Chris Sicurella, 1956-2014

Chris was one of the driving forces behind Tri Star Boze Books, the publishing arm of my Old West publications prior to my involvement with True West magazine. Chris could be abrasive and hard headed but in the end he was fair and he promoted my books like crazy, buying doubletrucks in Wild West magazine every issue for almost a year or so. So much so, I got a call from an author acquaintance who asked me accusatorially, "Did you come into money?" Ah, no, I met up with a master promoter. Chris created Time-Life style mailers and bought mailing lists from Wild West and other national publications, and when I questioned the expense, he just smiled and said, "The margins are there." We moved more than 80,000 books which is the punchline, if not the proof, of his point.

Chris also made an effort to buy the cover art for each of my books:

Original painting of Billy the Kid for the cover of "The Illustrated Life & Times of Billy the Kid" (1996) which still hangs in his den.

   He also owned the Doc Holliday image and the Wyatt Earp image that ended up on the cover. He was a stickler for that kind of stuff. I had forgotten about it, but at his house, Chris even had a proposed cover for Wild Bill Hickok which we never got around to doing because of True West magazine:

Wild Bill cover painting that also hangs in his den

   Remember those five skies I whipped out last week? Well, I've been noodling horseback riders all this weekend as I lean on finishing the Gift Guide doubletruck for tomorrow.

"I may not know who I am, but I know where I am from."
—Wallace Stegner