Valhalla Books presents: The Midnight Collection by Ryan Dunn

Author Ryan Dunn working on Nuclear Winter illustration (Photo credit Kim Dunn)

           

We are excited to announce upcoming Author Ryan Dunn is publishing his new poetry book The Midnight Collection with Valhalla Books in 2021. You can download a free copy of the preview book here.

Ryan Dunn is the author of the Savannah’s Afterlife books, which focus on the historical and paranormal research he conducts along with his wife Kim. The two of them founded the Savannah Ghost Research Society in 2010, and opened Afterlife Tours in 2013. They operate fact-based ghost tours in Savannah, G.A. and St. Augustine, F.L. Over the past decade they have conducted hundreds of investigations throughout the United States.

Please talk about the background for the poetry.
Dunn:  I began writing song lyrics back in my late teens. At the time, I was the guitarist for a hard rock band, and at the time we didn’t have a lyricist. Throughout the years I was the lyricist for the majority of the bands I played in. It wasn’t until I was playing in the metal band Destructive Cycle that my singer wrote all of his own lyrics. Although it began as songwriting, I focused on composing what came off more like poetry than song lyrics. A lot of my inspiration came from songwriters like Bruce Dickinson, Billy Corgan, and Jim Morrison, whose words were much more than just song lyrics. These writers’ words were poetry in song form. All of the poems in this collection began as songs. Some were put to music, and even recorded on albums throughout my time in various bands, yet others have yet to become songs. The entire collection has a dark feel, and they are all raw with emotion.

Please talk about your sketches.
Dunn:  I have loved to draw ever since I can remember. Throughout high school I focused on my art, and it was even my major when I first went to college before changing it to music. It has been great fun to dive back into drawing to provide some art to accompany the poetry.

What goes through your mind when you are writing? When you are creating illustrations?
Dunn:  When writing poetry/ song lyrics I like to put my mind in the place of who I am trying to tell the story through. Most of the poems in this collection come from personal experience. There is one about the many years of physical abuse my younger brother and I suffered at the hands of our stepfather, and it was written during the time that was all going on. It was tough to put those emotions on paper. However, other times I live vicariously through who or what I am writing about. One poem is about a man about to be executed. Of course with something like that I couldn’t speak from personal experience, so I had to channel those thoughts/emotions to write it.

What do you want readers to take away from the new book?
Dunn:  This is going to be a collection for all of those interested in dark poetry with some fun drawings to go along with it. A lot of these poems touch on subjects dear to my heart, and others I drew upon from personal experiences. I think a lot of people can relate to many of these, and others come from my love of horror and the macabre.

Please talk about the poem and illustration for this article.
Dunn:  The poem Nuclear Winter I wrote about what it would be like if there was a nuclear holocaust. I remember first hearing the term nuclear winter used to describe the aftermath of a nuclear war, and that was where it started.

Dreamscape Pt. 3- The Land of Nod is the third of a set of songs I wrote dealing with a dream trip. I have always been fascinated by dreams and have often wondered “Where does our mind really go when we dream?” I thought of a story of children falling asleep and going to this fantastical dream world that turns out to be a place of no escape. It begins with this beautiful dream world, but then they realize they will never wake up and are forced to roam the Land of Nod forever. With a trio of songs I drew upon heavy imagery. It’s almost like a cross between a bad dream and a bad acid trip.

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Nuclear Winter

Nuclear Winter ©2021 Ryan Dunn. All Rights Reserved.


There’s death in the fields as the ashes fall like rain,
And fire in the sky as the people die in vain.
The children in the streets await their early death,
As they look upon the earth and see there’s nothing left.
A graveyard world shall await the bitter end,
The final battle lost, just an echo in the wind.

A nuclear winter spreads across the black sky,
Growing in the darkness as people prepare to die.
They set the world on fire as atonement for their sins,
Brother killing brother in a battle fought within.

And so the end is near, the world is an endless night,
In the age of the apocalypse, the revolutionaries fight.
Trapped in a time when the living envy the dead,
With the smell of burning flesh, and the sight of bloodshed.
A shallow burial, a carcass in a mass grave,
Trying to claw their way out, nothing can be saved.

A nuclear winter spreads across the black sky,
Growing in the darkness as people prepare to die.
They set the world on fire as atonement for their sins,
Brother killing brother in a battle fought within.

The aftermath arrives to end the world’s pain,
As the destroyer of worlds enters his domain.
And so it was written, within the book of sin,
That this final day would come from the pages burning within.
Hoping against hope, in a world of hate and rage,
As the writer of this world writes his last page.

A nuclear winter spreads across the black sky,
Growing in the darkness as people prepare to die.
They set the world on fire as atonement for their sins,
Brother killing brother in a battle fought within.


Dreamscape Pt. 3- The Land of Nod

Dreamscape Pt. 3- The Land of Nod ©2021 Ryan Dunn. All Rights Reserved.


Far across the world we know,
Lies a place few choose to go.
To escape a world of endless sorrow,
And cast away their last tomorrows.
In search of freedom and eternal youth,
The children run to escape the truth.
A distant land in a world of dreams,
They float away into the stream.
And once they arrive on the other side,
They fall into the winter tide.

They lose themselves in dreams unknown,
The Land of Nod becomes their home.
Trapped within eternal sleep,
They forever suffer to forever weep.

No one’s there to hear their screams,
As they board the Ship of Dreams.
They cast their nets into the sea,
To reap the waters of their pleas.
Forever lost, there’s no return,
To run away with their concern.
Late at night the death bells ring,
As they scream unto their suffering.
Eternal pain for one mistake,
They try to repent but it’s too late.
They lose themselves in dreams unknown,
The Land of Nod becomes their home.
Trapped within eternal sleep,
They forever suffer to forever weep.

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