Welcome to my last Q & A for 2022. I’m thrilled to be ending the year out with a bang with Colleen Chesebro here today talking about her brand new release – Fairies, Myths & Magic – A Winter Celebration, book II. Colleen wanted this book out just in time for the winter solstice, which makes it extra enjoyable to read during the festive season. Colleen is an author, poet, and recently began her publishing business – Unicorn Cats Publishing.
An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction.
In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft Poetry.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry.
Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch.
In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books.
Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.
In this second book in the Fairies, Myths, & Magic series, step into a world where dark fairies and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by winter and the celebration of the winter solstice.
From autumn’s scary fairies to the forgotten female characters of Yule, prepare to embrace the magical winter solstice myths from around the world. Meet Frau Holle in the Wild Hunt, Befana—the Christmas Witch of Italy, and the Japanese goddess Ameratasu who controls the springtime. Prepare to embrace the Scottish trows, the Irish Goddess of Winter—the Cailleach Béara, and Snegurochka—the Snow Girl.
Learn how to make Yuletide rituals part of your celebration by embracing the symbols of Yule by decorating with evergreens and crystals.
Celebrate the Landvættir
each Yule, we pay homage
to the land spirits,
Landvættir—guardians of the terra firma
earth, air, fire, and water
jointly bound as one
where the ley lines converge
strength and energy
exist in a parallel space, winter-worn
bronzed leaves on barren trees
watchers of the truth
birth, life, death, and rebirth,
earth magic abounds
reflected in the stormy clouds of winter
for keepers of the land
another year dawns
© Colleen M. Chesebro
Let’s get to know a little bit more about Colleen
What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?
I’ve been so busy lately, but when I have spare time, I like to crochet with thread. I make old fashioned doilies. Just like I count syllables in my poetry, I count stitches in my crochet!
This is a photo of a doily I crocheted as a gift for a friend. Working with my hands as always been something I enjoyed.
D.G. – You are multi-talented Colleen. That’s beautiful. .💜
Where do your book ideas grow from?
It seems I always have a book idea rolling around in my mind. Most of the time, something pops into my mind and I’m off to write down the idea, so I don’t forget it. I have a notebook full of ideas! The notes app on my iPhone is full of
ideas too. If I don’t write them down… they’re gone!
Writing poetry and short stories is something I enjoy. Not long ago for one of my #TankaTuesday poetry challenges on Word Craft Poetry, our prompt was to choose a color. The next thing I knew, I’d written a poem about the throat chakra
featuring the color, blue.
the blue throat chakra…
a nexus to the divine
blue hues of heaven
serene, calm, tranquility
found in a blue sky,
slow down, make time to be still
listen to your voice
obey the stillness within
blue the color of pure mind
uncluttered by thoughts
in silence, one can perceive
blue—the purest mind
open wide… the throat chakra
your seat of creativeness
© Colleen M. Chesebro
From that single poem, I birthed the idea to write a book called Chakra Poetry. See how easy it is to be inspired?
D.G. – I think many of us have that same syndrome – forgetting great ideas shortly after they arrive, lol. Yes, writing down is essential. 🙂
Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on?
I find inspiration everywhere but most often I’m motivated by other poets. One day, during one of my poetry challenges, another poet asked me about the difference between the Japanese poetry forms: zappai and haiku. I didn’t know
the answer. Well, that lit a fire under me to find more!
I love to research, so off I went. I had to learn everything I could about these two Japanese forms. In fact, I’ll take this a step further and add senryu poetry to it. My next non-fiction book will be called “Haiku Craft: haiku, senryu, & zappai.” Of course, this is a tentative title and can always change. My main objective will be to take a deep dive into these forms by showing examples and creating some poetry of my own to use as examples.
I’ve also been playing with the idea of a book called Tarot Poetry. I think it would be fun to research each tarot card and write poetry inspired by the different cards. I like the blend of non-fiction and poetry. I will need to find a tarot card artist who is willing to allow me to use their tarot card images (with permission). Much of what is found on the card is what characterizes the meaning.
I won’t share all my secrets because I like to have a few things left to dazzle my readers.
D.G. – Oh! I love that idea about writing about Tarot cards! 🙂
What’s your opinion on self-publishing?
Self-publishing was a dirty word for many years. However, it’s been my experience that self-published books are as good as those published by major publishers. I’m a self-published author, and proud of it!
I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, the Amazon sharing program. I think I pay $9.00 a month to borrow novels from any author who participates in the program on Amazon.com. What I read; I review. The author gets paid a stipend for the number of pages read. In fact, some months, I make more on the stipends than I do in book sale royalties.
So, it came as a shock when I found the likes of Dean Koontz and other well-known authors participating in the KU program. These authors have publishing contracts, and they are competing with self-published authors for the same stipends! Suddenly, self-publishing doesn’t look all that bad, does it? Seriously, if you’re an author you should be listing your books in the KU program. It’s another revenue stream.
To make self-publishing easier, I founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to help poets and authors publish their books. One reason I undertook this mission was because of the font licensing, which is a huge concern for authors and bloggers. If you self-publish your book using Word, you could face issues with font licensing. Read: Font Copyright Laws for Books: Your Print Book Could be in Violation
I use the Atticus publishing program recommended by Kindlepreneur for manuscript preparation. The fonts are owned by the program. They continue to research different licensing options to protect all our authors as well as ensure
everything is safely and legally handled through Atticus.
I also offer affordable book cover options using Canva-Pro. Canva has an extensive selection of fonts. When you subscribe to their Pro plan you are covered under their licensing for fonts.
I believe self-publishing will continue to be the wave of the future. The big publishing houses won’t even read your manuscript unless you are famous. If you can get picked up by a small press, that’s wonderful news. Write ON!
D.G. – Thank you for sharing that all with us Colleen. I would have to guess that many self-published authors aren’t aware about the copyright laws of publishing from Word.
Special thanks to Debby for her friendship and support. I appreciate you! 💜
Find Colleen on all her Social Sites:
Colleen’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Colleen-
Amazon Universal Link: https://mybook.to/FairiesMythsMagicII
Word Craft Poetry: https://wordcraftpoetry.com
Colleen M. Chesebro, Author, Poet & Unicorn Cats Publishing Services: https://colleenmchesebro.com
Facebook Page: Colleen M. Chesebro, Poet & Author: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100085941528913