Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Feature: Dawn Colclasure: Making the Old New Again!

Today I'm welcoming back the lovely Dawn Colclasure, a fellow Gypsy Shadow author! She's got an interesting take on renewing manuscripts!

Make sure you scroll down and check out her fantastic new release!

Making the Old New Again

It’s not very often an author gets a second chance with a first book. After my failure to become a novelist in 1995 after the publisher went bankrupt, I came across several stories from novelists who could only cringe when they looked back at their first novel. Thankfully, my novel got a second chance.

This didn’t happen right away. It took nearly 20 years before the new version of my novel would see print. During that time, I researched my options, and meanwhile, worked on making this story better.

In its past life, my novel went by the title November’s Child. The thing I didn’t like about this book was the ending. Actually, it wasn’t much of an ending at all, but more of a “to be continued” sort of thing. And since this book is not destined to have a sequel, I knew the ending had to go. The new version has a more satisfying ending.

Something else I didn’t like about the original version of my novel was that my “bad guy” wasn’t really much of a bad guy. Actually, he was more of a good guy, so it didn’t really feel like the story had an antagonist. It felt like there were two protagonists. In the new version, I changed this, making my antagonist an actual bad guy.

What else did I want to change? Certain scenes didn’t jive with me. They got tossed.

Another thing that changed were character names. This, however, was not my choice, but a suggestion made by my publisher. I’m happy with the new names; they fit those characters better.

Finally, I also changed the title. Everybody I talked to made this suggestion: If your book is going to have a new version, it’s going to have to have a new title. There was no way around this. I loved the original title and wanted to keep it since, after all, it was inspired by a dream (as this whole novel was). Also, some people told me they liked the title “November’s Child” because it sounded interesting. It caught their eye – as well as the attention of people born in November. The title, alas, had to go.

After a while, I figured out a new title for the novel: Shadow of Samhain. Since the story was about a curse placed on Druid descendants born of Samhain, and since my character Jonathan was haunted by things from his past (as though he had a shadow constantly hovering over him), I felt this title was a perfect fit. People who have seen that title have asked me to let them know when the book is out without even asking what the story is about!

These changes to what had once been my “first” novel are changes I am very satisfied with in what is now my real first novel. My second attempt to become a novelist finally happened and I hope that this time, this particular novel is here to stay.


She called him the “dark man.”

Who is Jonathan, a man haunting Malissa Ratham’s dreams? What sort of secrets from his past does he try to keep buried? Everybody says the dreams are only dreams and nothing more. But soon Malissa starts acting strangely, knowing about ancient Druidic rituals and a history too mysterious to unearth. With the help of Jovin, an ancient Druidic spirit on a mission to stop Jonathan from his path of death and destruction, and Tessie Malkin, a psychic with an advantage over Jonathan’s power, Malissa must own up to her past and walk between worlds to destroy an ancient curse . . .

. . . before it is too late

Buy it:

***Look for Print soon!***

More Dawn



  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today! I just realized this morning that this book has been published exactly 20 years after I first started writing it! That is pretty neat. :)

  2. 20 years! How cool is that! My first novel is about to embark on its second life too (though its passing was short--I don't think there'll be many changes). It was fascinating to read this post and imagine the changes I'll make in the (not yet published) sequel though...

  3. Thanks for reading, Sheila. :) Yep, 20 years! I'm a girl who is too stubborn to give up on anything. LOL Good luck with your book!