A speculative cat’s a marvel, it’s true with odd professions, strange hobbies pursued, lavishly depicted, with coats colored blue ― or pink, red, or purple. We’ll leave it to you!
Plain poems (not spec) will leave us disengaged. Let your pen paint those creatures ne’er seen on a stage. You’re speculative poets. You know how to gauge unreality. Make it all up ― then send us that page!
― Tagline ― Womanhood in all its urgencies, perils, and anxieties
― Summary ―
• • Sometimes compact, sometimes expansive, the 29 poems in Women Who Were Warned emanate from adolescence and other liminal spaces, considering girlhood and contemporary womanhood — and the ways both are fraught with the pleasures and limits of embodiment. • • Cover art by illustrator Gunnar Ludvigsen.
― Literary Journals That Featured These Poems ―
The BeZine; Cabinet of Heed; Cerasus Poetry Magazine (England); Drifting Sands Haibun; The-504; Gravitas (Canada); The Healing Muse; Indolent Books; Italian Americana; Measure; Panoplyzine; Pennsylvania Literary Journal; Peregrine Journal; PIF Magazine; The Poet Magazine; Pure Slush Books (Australia); Red Wolf Journal (Singapore); Swim Press (England); Wax Poetry and Arts (Canada); WildSound Poetry Festival.
― Reviewers are raving! ―
LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s Women Who Were Warned writes to the female experience known painfully well and brings the trials of girlhood and womanhood into light with flair and emotion. Her rich language and intimate understanding pull the complexity of female identity beyond the confines which we often impose it within. These 29 poems explore not only femininity but its forced operation in a cruel, patriarchal world. You hold your breath at every line as LoSchiavo’s language and girls slowly draw you into their worlds. However, you identify and experience life, this collection serves as an important message and opens a dialogue that is too often shunned away and silenced. ― Yasmine Dashti, Senior Editor, Fahmidan Journal
― Reviewers are raving! ―
LindaAnn’s new chapbook Women Who Were Warned (U.K.: Cerasus, June 2022) is an intimate waltz with life. The shards of joy, pain, and perseverance required to survive unquiet love, shine through each poem with the kind of abandon only a truth-speaker could pen. “Hold on, my love. Hold on!” but one of many cries echoed herein amidst the smothering acceptance that “Compliance has its price.” Women Who Were Warned is a song of strength, a reminder that the reader is not alone. LindaAnn LoSchiavo is certainly a poet to keep your eye on. ― Andrew Lafleche, author, editor, novelist, poet
― Reviewers are raving! ―
Poetry, more than most writing, is truly an eye-of-the-beholder kind of subjective read. LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s Women Who Were Warned is strong stuff and surely not for everyone’s tastes…but man, I so dug it! The 29 poems here run the gambit, from long to short, deep imagery laden verses to more classically rendered (like the perfect “My Dungeon Ghost” hinting at one of my favorites “Gawain and the Green Knight,”) to disturbing trolls through real life events. Tending towards the erotic with almost always a hint of danger-and sometimes more than a hint-the ladies you come across in LoSchiavo’s collection might indeed have been warned but lucky for us they stepped forward into the unknown. These are not poems you are soon to forget. ― Ralph Greco, author, editor, musician, poet
― Reviewers are raving! ―
The tides of power shifting around womanhood provide the formidable currents that run through this collection of poems. LindaAnn’s eye is as equally skilled at picking out musical rhythms in language as it is choosing exactly the right scenes to lead us through this book of autobiography, biography and fable. Underneath it all is the shadow of dark magic, how often the occult is invoked in relation to women’s power, and how we’re taught to be scared of both. But not in this book of “goddesses who’ll never be defiled”! This is a dramatic, energizing read ― highly recommended! ― David P. Davies, speculative poet
― Reviewers are raving! ―
“LindaAnn LoSchiavo writes personally, intimately, yet never without profound consideration of contemporary violence, which we must love in spite of and rage against.”
― Robin Barratt, E.I.C., The Poet Magazine
― About the Poet ―
Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, a Pushcart Prize, Rhysling Award, Best of the Net, and Dwarf Stars nominee, is a member of SFPA, The British Fantasy Society, and The Dramatists Guild. Elgin Award winner “A Route Obscure and Lonely,” “Concupiscent Consumption,” “Women Who Were Warned,” and “Messengers of the Macabre” by Audience Askew [October 2022] are her latest poetry titles. Up next: a tombstone-heavy collection in hardcover by Beacon Books.
Messengers of the Macabre: Hallowe’en Poems By LindaAnn LoSchiavo and David Davies [USA: Nat1, LLC, Oct. 2022] is your portal to the dark side. Reviewers have gone batty over this chapbook.
― Summary ―
All Hallows’ Eve, Samhain, Day of the Dead… during this interval, the barriers between the two realms are thinnest. Normal turns paranormal; what’s natural becomes the supernatural. That’s when the messengers of the macabre are in their rightful element. Step inside this collaborative chapbook. Embrace a haunted harvest of verses embracing bewitchment, boneyards, and all things that go… Boo!
― 6 Sections ― Samhain, Bewitchment, Graveyard, Day of the Dead, Haunting, A Lighter Shade
― Reviewers are bewitched! ― David and LindaAnn possess a distinctive lyrical gift that allows them to open up new worlds to the reader with their poetry ― each page in Messengers of the Macabre glows with spiritual energy, presents haunting landscapes for souls (both lost and found), and magically draws the reader in, delivering nothing short of a bewitching tour de force! ― Fiona Chew-Mcleod, Poetry Editor at Granfalloon: Speculative Fiction Zine
― Reviewers are bewitched! ― David’s poem Hallowe’en Treats is a delight! Great rhyme scheme, which weaves in and out. I love how playful yet dark it is. I also enjoyed what the different “treats” do, from pain-inducing horrors to little “pranks” and minor annoyances. Very nicely done! ― Andrew L. Hodges, horror writer
― Reviewers are bewitched! ― Necromancer LindaAnn LoSchiavo is a mystical maverick of paranormal poetry, a voice that knows how to enter the dark and find music in it. ― Robin Barratt, E.I.C., The Poet Magazine
― Reviewers are bewitched! ― Their “Day of the Dead” collaboration is another great segment! I love how this quartet kept building on the personification of Our Lady of Holy Death (Santa Muerte) bit by bit. ― Andrew L. Hodges, horror writer
― Who are the messengers? ― New York City necromancer LindaAnn LoSchiavo, a wily clairvoyant, honed her psychic abilities during childhood and has the power to haunt any benighted soul who disparages this chapbook. ― and ― Formidable dragon slayer David Davies left Wales under baleful circumstances for The Lone Star State. “Have sonnets, will travel,” announces his business card.
― Sold on Amazon ― Pre-orders on Kindle ― only $2.99! Book specifications: Messengers of the Macabre: Halloween Poems by SFPA poets LindaAnn LoSchiavo & David Davies [USA: Nat 1 LLC, October 2022; 40 pages; illustrated] ASIN: B0B3NK7QG6
― Hallowe’en will be here before you can say Trick or Treat! ―
Emily Post’s Etiquette Book for Ghosts Is a must since spirits are unruly, Annoying, crass, and insistent, truly. Tactless phantoms offended? Just quote Post!
Are spooks invasive, when they might have phoned? This rule book helps avoid unpleasantries. Emily Post’s Etiquette Book for Ghosts; It’s a must when spirits get unruly.
It’s your nature to be a gracious host. But poltergeists will taunt guests unduly. Spectres will scare domestic pets mutely. Next time wraiths visit, be prepared to quote Emily Post’s Etiquette Book for Ghosts. My copy’s autographed. Excuse my boast.
• • • • His beard and reputation are world famous. Miracles ascribed to him are legendary. Youngsters ponder his whereabouts and travel agenda, especially in December, knowing he’s not afraid to fly and he’s never run out of money.
• • • • Born to wealthy parents in Patara, Turkey, when the population of Anatolia was mostly pagan, it’s said he took a special interest in three sisters. Too poor to have dowries, they were being forced into prostitution when, suddenly, three bags of gold were thrown down their chimneys, enough bait to attract husbands.
• • • • The trio did not leave thank you notes behind, for the record, but anyone with a bulging sack of benevolence is bound to be popular. Faith and hope, St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, are outweighed: “The greatest of these is charity.”
• • • • Love for others is what always drove him, this Turk named Nicholas, which means “people’s victory.”
• • • • Devoted to good works, Saint Nicholas [270-310] was once Bishop of Myra (“Myrrh”), a town now called Demre. Anatolia, the territory of modern Turkey, has been the heartland of human civilization since 7,000 BC.
• • • • Patara, to the west of Demre, had been visited by St. Paul and St. Luke in 55 AD on their way from Miletus to Jerusalem; perhaps from this early date, a Christian community was established at this major Roman Lycian port. Demre, a vital port on a dangerous part of the Turkish coastline, became part of the pilgrimage route from Venice and Constantinople to the Holy Land [Palestine].
• • • • This helped spread the cult of the saint, especially for seafarers who once worshiped the pagan god Poseidon.
• • • • In 392, the Edict of Theodosius ruled that Christianity would be the state religion of the Empire. Large scale destruction of classical statues and temples began, and locals constructed houses of worship like the much restored church of St. Nicholas at Myra (Demre), whose foundations date back to the late 4th-5th centuries. Rocked by a religious seesaw, this church was enlarged by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, then destroyed in an Arab-Muslim raid in 1034, but rebuilt by Constantine IX in 1043.
• • • • During the Crusades, Catholic merchants sailed to Muslim countries to acquire relics for their own parishes. In May of 1087, several well-financed Italian groups were bidding on the bones of Saint Nicholas — — when a boatload of aggressive Barese businessmen stole the remains and rowed them back to Apulia. The Pugliese, about to lose to the wealthier Venetians, knew they would have a major tourist attraction if they grabbed San Nicola.
• • • • The Cathedral built to honor the former bishop in Bari, Italy [in 1087] depicts the Turkish-born saint as a very dark-skinned, Middle Eastern male.
• • • • One of the most famous figures of Christendom, Nicholas is the patron saint of several countries including Russia, Greece, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sicily, Loraine, etc. When the feast of Saint Nicholas (December 6th) was prohibited after the Protestant reformation of the 16th century, this miracle-worker retained his popularity.
• • • • In 1664, when the Netherlanders relocated to New York [New Amsterdam], they carried their customs with them. Dutch youngsters awaited a visit from Sinter Klaas (Saint Nicholas) and presents he’d leave in their wooden shoes on the eve of December 5. As the appealing Dutch custom of celebrating the feast of Saint Nicholas by giving gifts to children spread throughout this nation, “Sinter Klaas” became “Santa Claus” in the United States.
• • • • This ancient Turkish philanthropist, depicted as a white-bearded old man with a long caped coat [or sometimes in red Episcopal robes], remained a moralistic figure: rewarding good children or punishing unruly ones.
• • • • Washington Irving’s book — A History of New York, From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker — depicted Saint Nicholas as a European, Caucasian-featured figure in a broad-brimmed hat who smoked a long pipe, associating his character with the then-familiar Dutch patron saint of New Amsterdam. An illustrated poem by John Pintart, which portrayed a slimmed down Saint Nicholas, further distanced him from his Middle Eastern origins; no longer pictured on a donkey, he guided a sleigh drawn by one reindeer until 1821.
• • • • Drawing on sources and his imagination, another New Yorker, Reverend Clement Clark Moore created the Santa that Americans know. In 1833, “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” introduced Santa Claus for the first time as a kind, plump, jolly Caucasian elf greeting readers with his twinkling eyes, rosy cheeks, and dimples. Moore’s Saint Nicholas smoked a pipe, navigated an airborne sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, and made his entrance via the chimney.
• • • • An enthusiastic house guest sent Clement Clark Moore’s poem to a local newspaper editor. Overnight, verses about a jolly old elf who piloted a reindeer-drawn sleigh began to be recited by families. After awhile, the Church urged Christians to merge this “children’s festival” with the Nativity. An Americanized Saint Nicholas, consequently, began making his house-calls during the night of December 24.
• • • • December 6th, if you’re motivated to be generous, especially to children who have lost a parent, give in to it. — — — — — — — — — — — —
Pale outcasts perch nearby, bones tinkling, Earth shaking with its greener mirth. Stones creak, Horned owls shriek as spirits gather loose clouds, Push these exotic feather-weighted shapes Aside — — transparent curtains of their realm.
What’s on the other side? Cold hands caress My arms invisibly. My candle glow Reveals no beings with a shadow. Yet I’m not alone, detect sweet fragrances, Lush nectar of forbidden grapes above.
A cricket orchestra replays nocturnes.
I flutter like a trapped bird, then something Or someone draws me in with secret steps. A brittle leaf is plucked from my red hair.
Glass-blown interiors invite me there, Strange iridescent skies pontilled with stars.
― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― — — Sample from the Elgin Award nominee A Route Obscure and Lonely speculative poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Wapshott Press; 62 pgs].
• • Reviews won’t automatically land you on The New York Times bestseller list ― ― but positive comments by critics will make any book more visible to potential buyers. Every review will boost your rankings on Amazon, for example, emphasize your credibility, and entice readers. Additionally, good reviews drive sales. • • Here are some methods that have worked for authors. • • • • Use a “Call to Action” at the back of your book, advises Joanna Penn, whose site is The Creative Penn. According to Ms. Penn, this method is the easiest and most direct path to “reviewer heaven.” And “once you’ve set it up, you can just forget about it,” she adds. • • Joanna Penn explains how she does it: “Add a simple, short call to action (CTA) on the last page of your book once it is published.” • • You might say, “Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this book, please consider leaving an honest review on GoodReads, Amazon, or another favorite site.” • • Put a professional press kit together: author bio and photo, press release, your pitch letter ― ― and ARCs (advance reader copies). • • For the reviewers who request a digital copy, prepare a PDF of the book and a high-res JPG of the covers. • • For the reviewers who prefer a paper copy, you’ll need mailing supplies as well a few dozen books on hand. • • Research successful titles similar to yours and see who covered those. When you’re about to launch, contact those reviewers, mentioning you enjoyed the review s/he did of such-and-such book and pitch your up-and-coming. • • Book publicist Hannah Cooper advises, “Be very mindful of a publication’s particular audience and target market when pitching for review. If their readership is science-fiction, do not pitch a commercial crime novel.” • • Find relevant book blogs. Only approach the bloggers whose sweet spot is a new book in your genre, whose site shows recent (and consistent) activity, and where there are “engaged followers,” i.e., book-lovers who post comments and ask questions. • • Many bloggers will post their review policy and ask that you not send a book unless requested. However, you can post a free sample on your own web site and link to it in your pitch letter. • • Make your ebook available for free. Many book bloggers are already using Kindle. If you’ve published your ebook with KDP Select, then you will receive five days every period where you can make the ebook free. • • Ideally this will motivate you to finish the book so you can begin the next important phase: marketing. ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ―
Sandra J. Lindow reviewed the Elgin nominee “A Route Obscure and Lonely” speculative poetry by LindaAnn LoSchiavo [Wapshott Press; 62 pgs].
Critic Sandra J. Lindow wrote: Poet, journalist, dramatist LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s A Route Obscure and Lonely is inspired by Speaker for the Dead Emeritus, Edgar Allan Poe, and the women he pedestalled, then put in the ground. “Haunted by ill angels only,” (Poe, “Dreamland,” 1844.) and graced by Conrad Bradford’s eye-catching cover of a weeping woman in a white dress, this elegant collection of 33 gothic poems explores a dreamland of old anchorites, anxious ghosts, and cuckolding gods, offering intimate views of dangerous and/or ecstatic sexual relationships that we would not wish for our daughters. . . .