Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A very poetic month of April

April is National Poetry Month! I always try to do something special for National Poetry Month, but it seems like I ended up doing more than one thing.

This particular month was a very “poetic” month for me. I was reading and writing poetry every day! And I also did some MAJOR book work for poetry books.

I am subscribed to a “poem a day” mailing list, so every day I was treated to a variety of poems.

I also read 4 poetry books: A collection called Animal Poetry that was published by National Geographic; Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein (one of my favorite poets); a poetry chapbook called Perfect Mistakes by D.H. Bleything; and another poetry book called The Wizard’s Broom by Sarah Patton. I read each book for each week of this month.

I also featured a few of my poetry books on my blog this month. The poetry book I co-wrote with my daughter, Jennifer, Dogs Forever: Poems for the Dog Person got quite a bit of publicity elsewhere during the first week of April (in addition to a nice review at Night Owl Reviews) so I did not feature it here but spent time promoting it where it was being talked about. Then, for each week, I featured some others: Follow That Dream, Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion, and Songs of the Dead. I was a little late for the last one because that was the week I was sick but still got it up there.

As to my own poetry books, I once again performed a bit of surgery on the poetry book, Wandering Soul. I turned it into a themed collection of poems. The others in that manuscript which did not fall under this theme went into another poetry book that I’ll be publishing this year called Touched by Fire. This one will be my “magnum opus” poetry book. It contains 150 poems! I actually finished putting it together today. Woot!

I also wrote a new poetry book in honor of this being National Poetry Month. My plan was to write at least one poem every day this month for this particular book. Every poem I wrote this month went into that manuscript. Now, the plan would have worked fine if I had not gotten sick. Ugh! There were days I was just too sick to write. But after I got better, I went back to work on this book and I wrote enough poems to make up for the days I missed. I finished this book today and the final count is 35 poems for this book. Woo-hoo! I am scheduling publication for this one next April, mainly because there is a poem in there that I wrote about the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as the Texas explosion, so I want the book to be out in time for the one-year anniversary of those sad days.

So it was a good “poetry month” for me. I am still going to finish putting together the new Wandering Soul manuscript and I’m also writing poems for yet another poetry book (as yet untitled). I hope everyone who loves and enjoys poetry got a chance to celebrate poetry in some way this month – but of course those of us who really love poetry tend to indulge in reading it all year long.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book feature for National Poetry Month: Songs of the Dead

It’s National Poetry Month and what better way to celebrate this month than by reading some poetry?

To honor this occasion, I’d like to share some information about one of my poetry books, Songs of the Dead. This is my poetry book of dark and horror poetry. It was originally self-published under the title Topiary Dreams. Later, I revised and expanded the collection of poems and it was accepted by Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Unfortunately, GSP stopped accepting poetry manuscripts and now I am going to be self-publishing my poetry books once again. I am grateful to GSP for keeping this book available. 

Here is a sample poem from this book:

Shadow Dancer

Let the darkness be your guide.
Darkness. All.
Bring with you your memories.
Visions. Fall.
Dance the dance of forgotten thieves.
The wrongfully accused.
Bare your soul for all to see.
Hated and abused.
Shadows whisper, shadows dance.
But even shadows lie.
Enter the darkness
As your one last chance.
Lay down to receive Him.

The blurb:

Dawn Colclasure’s dark poetry collection, Songs of the Dead (formerly named Topiary Dreams), is not only dark, but passionate. Anger, fear, hurt and betrayal run under the skin of this work and shine through especially bright in poems such as No Turning Back, Deep Within and I am Madness. Colclasure examines the dark side of human nature; murder, drug use, violence, insanity and isolation. But, beyond the tales of death and darkness there’s also a message of empowerment; the voice of someone who has taken too much, for too long and has finally had enough.

Songs of the Dead is a re-release of the chapbook originally published in 2003 and with more than twenty-seven new poems; it has more than earned the title “expanded”. Colclasure has a flair for prose, with lines such as “walk on the moon and hear the stars breathe,” (from Death Shows my Pain) and different poetry forms stop the reader from falling into a sing song rhythm of sameness and help to keep the collection fresh and interesting, page after page.

Buy link

Happy poetry reading!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book feature for National Poetry Month: Love is Like a Rainbow

It’s National Poetry Month and what better way to celebrate this month than by reading some poetry?

To honor this occasion, I’d like to share some information about one of my poetry books, Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion. This is my love poems book. It is the very first book I had accepted by Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When I was having a hard time finding a publisher for my poetry book, I started to seriously consider self-publishing it. I was talking with a friend who is a self-published author about how to get in on that, and she said to me something along the lines of, "You know, you should check out this new publishing company called Gypsy Shadow Publishing." I contacted GSP, they loved the book and offered a contract. (Thank you, Denise and Charlotte!) I have been a happy GSP author ever since. (Unfortunately, GSP stopped accepting poetry manuscripts and now I AM going to be self-publishing my poetry books!)

Love is Like a Rainbow is a collection of love poems meant to be shared between two people -- not just a man and woman. The poems talk about love, marriage, love that lasts through the years, still loving someone who has passed on and loving someone who is far away. I tried to capture the many faces of love in this book and kept them all gender-neutral for the poems read by either a male or female to his or her beloved.

Here is a sample poem from this book:

Forever and Always

Nothing will ever change
The love I feel for you.
It's there in everything I say,
Everything I do.

You and me together,
What more could make things right?
You make the whole wide world worth fighting for.
You are always in my sight.

You know I give my heart to you
For the rest of all my days.
My love for you is strong enough
To last forever and always.

Nothing anyone will say
Can take away this love I feel.
When you stand right next to me,
It makes everything so real.

I could never let you go.
I could never say goodbye.
I love you with everything I am,
Even more as each day goes by.

You know I give my heart to you
For the rest of all my days.
My love for you is strong enough
To last forever and always.

The blurb:

     Love is...
...a reminder there is still hope in this world.
...a gentle whisper to guide you and give you strength in hard times.
...a neverending bond that transcends death.
...a promise of forever when two people become one.
...a brand new day after life's most turbulent storm.
Love, romance and eternal devotion come to life and restrengthen a bond through the power of verse. With words written from the heart and speaking to the soul, Love is Like a Rainbow contains love poems to remind readers to "  let love come in."

Buy link

Happy poetry reading!

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book feature for National Poetry Month: Follow That Dream

It’s National Poetry Month and what better way to celebrate this month than by reading some poetry?

To honor this occasion, I’d like to share some information about one of my poetry books, titled Follow That Dream. This book was originally published as the chapbook Take My Hand, but that title went out of print. The poems in this book are basically the same ones in the original, aside from some revising and mild editing.

Most of these poems were written while I was undergoing reconstructive surgery in various hospitals. I had to have these surgeries as a result of the car accident I was in at the age of 20 months, which left me with third degree burns on my entire left arm and left side of the face. These poems are a reflection of that experience, as well as my experiences in those hospitals and some of the people I met while in them. There’s also the usual “teen angst” stuff, fantasy poems, miscellany, as well as Christian-themed poems.

Here is a sample poem from this book:

The Sea

The sea is something beautiful,
All wide and blue.

The sea is someplace you can find
Your heart inside of you.

The sea never means any harm,
It’s always kind and true.

The sea will help you seek some
Special things to do.

The sea will always help you discover
Things bright and new.

The blurb:

“Follow that dream.” Take a few moments to read poems meant to seek refuge from the harsh realities of life, from pain, confusion and loneliness. Allow these poems to take you on a journey of wherever your imagination may lead you. The poems in this book share coming-of-age struggles and the fantasies created in order to offer a temporary escape from the real world.

Buy link

Happy poetry reading!

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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Why Write Horror?: Guest post by Stephen C. Ormsby

Author Stephen C. Ormsby's latest novel, Pendant, was recently published by Grimoire Press, an imprint of GMTA Publishing. He is a guest on my blog today to talk about why he writes horror.

Why Write Horror?
By Stephen C. Ormsby

So, after writing the urban fantasy novel Long Lost Song, why did I decide to write a horror novel?  For me, I found Long Lost Song hard to categorise into just one genre, as it has supernatural and apocalyptic themes as well, but was not either of those by nature. In the end, I decided to call it urban fantasy.  From there, it was a challenge to me really, as I wanted to learn how to write more strictly in specific genres, and the first two I picked were horror and fantasy. 

Both genres I have read and enjoyed for lots of years, and I wanted to see if I could turn out something that would excite me.  Names like Graham Masterton, James Herbert and Chet Williamson thrilled me as a younger man, and I wanted to know if I was capable of the same level of thrill.

I asked a good friend and fellow author Sharon Lee Johnson whether she would give me some tips on what makes a good horror novel.  After a couple of great discussions, an idea started to form and then it really took over from there.

Pendant was such a consuming story line that the first draft took only 22 days to write.  It literally burnt through me, wanting to be out.  I didn’t mind that much, as Conrad/Varnok is a very heavy character to carry around.

As I wrote it though, the ideas kept coming with the protagonist plotting more than one novel in my head.  So far, I have stories for three or four trilogies, which will see the characters go to Hell and come back.  It’s exciting stuff to consider as I get to imagine Hell in my own way.

Varnok has a lot more planned for Maggie and Logan, as this is only the start.  Book 2 of the series is tentatively titled The Aching Gate and begins a story arc that will go for three novels.  There will be frights and scares for all!

I hope you enjoy the first book of The Undead Hunters series and look forward to more, as I am looking forward to writing them.


His second novel Pendant: The Undead Hunters book 1 will be published on April 5, 2013 by GMTA Publishing. Road to Hell is a novelette is a prequel for The Undead Hunters series. Stephen is busy writing sequels for both Long Lost Song and Pendant, as well as working on a fantasy series. He is also currently editing two anthologies of Australian authors with the first to be published August 30, 2013. He lives in South Gippsland with his wife, two children and a mad cat. He has travelled extensively, is an avid reader and enjoys listening to a wide range of music.


Long Lost Song

A virus is decimating America today and Michael Decker is the culprit. Or is he? Is it the work of a curse recorded into a song by 1930's blues musician Ricky Jensen? Long Lost Song tells the story of Ricky and Michael as they battle their personal and real demons while the world reaches end times of biblical proportions. One question remains. How do you stop a devil of a song made to break a crossroads deal? People who love 'Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'Carnivale' should love this too.

Road to Hell

(This book is a novella and prequel to "The Undead Hunters" Series. "Pendant" the first full length novel of this series is due out April 5th, 2013.) Road to Hell is a graphic depiction of love, hatred and the power of the heart, as we join Conrad in the sixteen hundreds, and follow him on his journey of self-destruction. Once in love with his life, Conrad's world is rocked when he discovers his beloved is cheating on him. Using blood magic and power, Conrad seeks his revenge and pays the ultimate price in this brutal and violent tale of vengeance.


Varnok the Great Wizard wants revenge against the people who burnt him at the stake for murder three hundred years before. He has waited patiently in Hell for his opportunity. Now, the Pendant has come together, and the time to make the pay for their actions against him is here. He will release his power upon Earth. Maggie finds half a pendant in a sea-side market and Logan is given his by family, forcing the two into a horrific world they had never imagined, and running for their lives. Will they learn the secret of the Pendant before it is too late? Will there new-found love be strong enough to stop Varnok, a three hundred year old Wizard from the pits of Hell? Pendant is the first book in The Undead Hunters series.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Being a Writer: Guest post by debut author PS Bartlett

Debut author PS Bartlett has just had her novel, Fireflies, published by Mythos Press, an imprint of GMTA Publishing. She is a guest on my blog today to talk about being a writer and share information about herself and her book.

Being a Writer
By PS Bartlett

I started out with the idea that I would give insight into my writing process and eloquently explain my “point A to point Z” but that isn’t what came to mind tonight when I opened my laptop. What did come to mind was writing in my little pink diary with the tiny silver key that I wore on a string around my neck to keep out prying eyes. Then it moved onward to journals, spiral notebooks and personally illustrated stories.

From there it wandered to greeting cards and hand-made books, bound together with colored construction paper tied together with yarn, woven through holes on the folded edge to hold the pages in tight. It really was a great idea in theory, until you actually read the book a few times and the pages began to tear out. No matter, those were the first books and those were the stories that placed that “A” on the map which laid down the path to where I am today.

Many years passed between that locked pink diary of make believe and June of 2012 when I sat down one warm summer night to begin my research for “Fireflies” but all through those years, I met, befriended, loved, separated from and lost some of the greatest characters anyone could ever have the privilege of knowing. Each situation and relationship left their indelible mark on my spirit, be they good or bad and taught me repeatedly that experience and all of the joy and pain we navigate our way through, is where true knowledge of all beings and most importantly ourselves is found. That journey my friends, has been my writing process.

Being engaged and completely embedded in life’s journey doesn’t necessary make you a writer but it gives you more material, bolder characters and the strongest images to draw from to enrich whatever talent you possess. If you are a writer, then you already know you need to commit yourself to hours behind a keyboard or with a pen in your hand. You know that making excuses for why you don’t have time will only prolong your agony and your ultimate goal of sharing your passion with the world but by all means when you’re not writing, just live. Jump into the world with both feet and feel it, no matter how much it hurts. I promise you that when you are ready to commit that time and stop finding reasons not to write, those words and concepts will wash over you like warm maple syrup and taste twice as sweet.


Dr. Owen Whelan and his wife Sarah have seven bright and expressive children. However, one of them is very unique; he’s been followed since birth by lost souls. However peculiar Ennis Whelan has been for the first six years of his life, not until the day he found the bird did the degree of his strangeness become so tangible. When Ennis also reveals the gift of sight, he questions his father about visions of his past, including his voyage to America in 1844. Owen prayed he’d never have to share those tragic memories but he will share them, when he realizes he has no choice. Ennis’ life depends on it.

“Fireflies” will be available on April 3rd at the following stores:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, Diesel, Baker & Taylor Blio, Baker –Taylor Axis360, Page Foundry, Library Direct and in print on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Createspace.


I was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family.

I write, I draw and I work full-time as a sales and marketing office manager herding cats – I mean taking care of a loveable group of sales people all day long. I also paint beautiful watercolors with my two and a half year old granddaughter.

I’ve been married for nearly 19 years and together we have two sons and a daughter.

I’d call myself a football fan but I mostly only watch my home team, the Baltimore Ravens.

I love super heroes and Superman has been my favorite since I was a little girl. June 2013 cannot get here soon enough for me.

I’m fascinated with anything paranormal and have been since I was a little girl and would sneak into my parent’s room almost every night to sit on the end of their bed and watch the “kids playing” as I explained it to them.

I finished my debut novel “Fireflies” in about six weeks, over the summer of 2012. Needless to say I don’t sleep much. After several rounds of edits, feedback and more edits, I began submitting “Fireflies” to literary agents and publishers in groups of five at a time. Through my diligent efforts, persistence and fabulous luck, I am blessed to now be a part GMTA Publishing’s fold and look forward to releasing my first novel soon!

I’ve been reading everything I can get my eyes on as to how this whole process works and I confess that I still don’t understand it and the social media aspect is just as perplexing. However, now I have the guidance and support of GMTA to help me succeed at doing what I love and I’ve told myself to above all, just keep writing. I’m so excited because I’m about 30,000 words into my second novel which I have already begun to map out a sequel to. I don’t even know where these thoughts came from but I’ve never looked a gift horse in the mouth that hasn’t kicked the crap out of me, so I place my hands on the keyboard and just let go.


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