Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, July 29, 2013

They're back!

Earlier this year, something bad (or maybe good?) happened to my daughter and I: Our contracts with GMTA Publishing were terminated. For this reason, our books with this publishing company were taken off the market and listed as out of print. These books were: Dogs Forever! Poems for the Dog Person (co-written with my daughter, and this book was her debut title as an author and illustrator); Follow That Dream; A Million Doughnuts; and Jennifer’s book, Sarah’s Special Angel. We were also under contract for my children’s book, Hunter’s Upcycling Adventures, as well as another poetry book we co-wrote titled Satyrs Are Cool. Contracts for these titles were also terminated.

After some serious soul-searching and a powwow with some authors/publishers who are also my friends, I decided to self-publish these books through Createspace. Thanks to an article I read by Angela Hoy of WritersWeekly, I knew I had to label these books as a “second edition.” Even so, I included the original publication date of all titles when I self-pubbed them.

Another thing I did to avoid any future problems with GMTA was to slap on a new cover for the books. The covers on the original books were either created by Kitty Bullard or Amber Rendon, so I figured it would be best to give the new books new covers. I did not, however, change anything else with these books – though I was tempted to, especially with Follow That Dream. In the end, however, I left all the books exactly the same as they had been when first published, except for removing their old ISBNs and GMTA’s info on the copyright page.

It has taken me three months but I have finally gotten all four books back up on Amazon. Yay! I am very excited to get it all done.

Here are the books, with their new covers. The buy links for these books are on my website.

Thank you so much to all of my friends and family who supported this decision and offered help: Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson, Kate Tenbeth, Charlotte Holley, Charli Ann Hartman, Brian Shell, Jenn Greenleaf, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Denise Bartlett and, of course, Jennifer, for all the discussions and the production work. We all make a great team! Thank you to other friends and family – Tara Chevrestt, Jeanette Dodd, Millie Colclasure, Allison Warner and my cousins – for all of your support and encouragement. You all have helped me to build up my confidence in being able to self-publish and now I am excited to move forward in the publishing industry with more books written by some talented writers!

This blog post marks the end of all of that business. I am glad I got all of the books back in print. Now it's time for new books and new things. It's time to move forward on this new journey. Onward and upward!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Interview with author and illustrator, Jennifer Wilson

It's been a while since I have had a guest on my blog, so I was thrilled when my daughter, Jennifer, who is an author and illustrator, volunteered to be interviewed for today's post. I must say that I am very proud of her for taking the initiative to write and illustrate books. She has illustrated pictures for my children's books, and some of her pictures have been used for the covers of these books. It's been a pleasure to work with this young talented artist and I look forward to collaborating on many more books with her. (And thanks for recommending me as one of your suggested authors to read, Jen. You rock!)

Interview with author and illustrator Jennifer Wilson

About Jennifer: Jennifer Wilson is 11 years old. She writes poems and short stories. She is also a young artist, and her favorite type of art is Anime. She draws a variety of pictures and has created mini comic books either alone or with her friends. She has also written short books, creating her own cover art, and she also likes to write songs. She also likes to read, especially Japanese comic books, play video games and watch a good horror flick. Some of her favorite authors are Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and Jeff Kinney.

Check out her Facebook page here.

How long have you been a writer?

Since 9 years old.

What was your biggest obstacle in getting your book published and how did you overcome it?

I don't think I had any obstacles....other than spelling words right and drawing the pictures as best as I could there has been no obstacles.

How did you end up getting your newest book published?

Well after finishing my first poem book about dogs Dogs Forever! Poems for the Dog Person, I wanted to do another one with my mom, Dawn. So she asked what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to do a poem book about mythical creatures. So Satyrs Are Cool was born.

How did you get the idea for your book?

I really like mythical creatures and Greek mythology so I thought it would be cool if we did a poem book about mythical creatures!

What is the most important lesson you have learned as an author?

That it’s harder than it looks. We read things so fast but it takes longer to come up with the right and perfect words. If you think it’s so easy and you start saying stuff like, "Wow, what a short book! This author was pretty lazy! She\he could have written more!" well, don't say that! Who knows how much work the author put into that book? It’s harder than it looks.

What genres do you write in? If more than one, how do you balance them?

So far I have done poetry and fantasy. I do the same amount of each genre in each book, sometimes in one book!

What are some of your other books we might want to check out?

Besides Sarah's Special Angel, Dogs Forever and Satyrs Are Cool...You could keep an eye out for a book called A Million Doughnuts! Written by my mother and cover and pictures done by me! Also, Hunter's Upcycling Adventures!

What else do you do besides write books?

Draw, of course! I also sing a little or play Neopets, Tinkatolli or Animal Jam. (Which I recommend to kids tweens and maybe even teens BTW!) I also read, or watch a little TV. (Doctor Who specifically! LOL!) I also like listening to music or watching videos on YouTube. (You can always find something entertaining on there!) And lastly, emailing my best friends or texting them. Nothing like talking to friends when you can't hang out right? :)

It’s common knowledge that writers are also readers. What kind of books do you like to read?

I just LOVE reading adult books or mature books. They are always so interesting! Or space books or books about knowledge. (Even though I am not very smart I still like reading those.) Right now I am reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. But I would not recommend it to children younger than 10 years old. It is ok for me so I think it would ok for 11 years olds. :)

Do you read books in the same genre you are currently writing in? Why or why not?

Actually, yes. I like reading poetry books by Shel Silverstein! I like other books but I can't tell if they are fantasy so I would list them as fantasy. :) I read Shel Silverstein's poetry books because the poems and pictures make me laugh. And I love to laugh.

What can we expect to see from you next?

I am currently writing a book called The Legendary Wolf but I have changed the name to The Wolf Guardian. You can also expect A Million Doughnuts to be back out soon!

What is your advice to a writer trying to get a book published?

If the publisher doesn't want to publish the book for age reasons or something like that, don't give up! Keep trying and ask different publishing companies! If you can't publish it for editing reasons and word choices or because its inappropriate, then you should try to fix them if you don't want to keep going to different publishing companies. If you can't find one then you either change it, publish it yourself, or don't publish it at all. Also keep open to different genres, don't keep writing fantasy unless the publishing company will let you and if the people like it. But I think you should try out different genres so more people who like those genres will buy them and enjoy them, which is the whole point of books, to enjoy them! :)

Here are some recommended authors for children and/or adults: Dawn Colclasure, Erin Hunter, Shel Silverstein, Jeff Kinney, Rachel Renee  Russell and, lastly, Brian Selznick.

Goblins, vampires, Cyclops and a zombie bodyguard! If you enjoy mythology or reading about Mythological creatures, Satyrs Are Cool will show these creatures and others in a new light through verse.

Check out Satyrs Are Cool here.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Remembering the firefighters

One good thing about social media: It’s a great way to learn about news. There’s been many times I’ve seen a tweet on Twitter or a post on Facebook that caught my attention and had me Googling to see what happened. Or, I’ll check a newsfeed I have on my phone or scan the news on TV for updates on stories. Sometimes, though, if it’s major news, I’ll wait for the next day’s newspaper so that I can read a more thorough story about it.

That’s what happened last week, when I heard about the 19 firefighters who perished while battling a forest fire. I saw something about it on Facebook then read more about what happened on CNN and in my local paper. I was saddened and devastated to learn that 19 firefighters died while fighting a blaze. My heart really went out to their families. It’s such a sad thing that happened.

And I was thinking about it a lot last week. I have heaps respect for firefighters, mainly because firefighters saved my life when I was in that accident so many years ago. As a burn survivor, I am very grateful for all that firefighters do. They risk their lives to save people. They are true heroes.

I was especially thinking about that last week while I was busy working on getting my poetry book, Follow That Dream, uploaded at Createspace. As I reviewed the electronic proof of the book, I had to pause and reread the poem “Deserved Praise,” in which I thank firefighters for all they do for us. This is my only poem in the book that I wrote for firefighters, but in my next poetry book, Touched by Fire, there are more poems about being a burn survivor as well as poems that honor firefighters.

In fact, I was so moved by the newspaper article I read about the Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished, that I wrote a poem honoring those lost. I am thinking of including it in the next poetry book.

Poetry is just one way in which I remember and thank firefighters for what they do. I also wave to the firefighters who pass me by in their engines. That wave is me telling them, “Thank you.”

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