Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Interview with Wail of the Banshees Author Robert Poulin

What inspired you to become an author?

I've wanted to be an author since I first read The Lord of the Rings. Being a storyteller seemed like such a natural thing for a blind kid. I couldn't be a cop or a secret agent after all, but I could write about them. When I write, I become the character that I'm writing about. In my mind, I'm no longer legally blind and I can kick ass and can do things that people only dream of doing. Writing is about making your dreams come true in a way. Most of all its fun. Storytelling is something that's in the blood, we all have it to one degree or another.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

That's a great question. I didn't have a title when I started writing, but as the book took shape the title became fairly obvious to me. The protagonist, Veronika Kane is one of many victims of a serial killer, all of these victims become banshees in the afterlife. The Wail of the Banshees speaks to both the fact that they all suffered and to their signature power in the ghost realm of Limbo. In the hands of their tormentor, the victims wailed in sorrow, fear, and pain. As ghosts, their wails can level buildings.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Mostly I want people to have fun with the book. There are messages that can be gleaned from the story, but I don't think its too heavy handed. The first thing is that there are many unexpected things that can happen in life, people need to be adaptable and open to the unexpected. Some of the things that happen to people are absolutely horrible, most of us imagine that if we lost the use of our legs or our eyes, that life would some how be over, or not be worth living. I know a lot of people with severe disabilities who would disagree with this assessment, and I know from personal experience that being blind isn't the end of life. I love my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. In the novel, Veronika seemingly loses everything at the beginning, only to discover that loss opens up new opportunities and experiences. Life is what you make of it. There's a second message about standing up against tyranny or bullying whenever confronted by these negative forces. Courage isn't measured by our lack of fear, but by our willingness to take a stand even when we are afraid. Again, these messages can be very big and complex, I didn't set out to have a message, it's there naturally as part of the story.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I have learned the most about writing from Jim Butcher. I absolute love the Dresden Files and I most want to emulate Jim's ability to create amazing and unforgettable scenes. I may forget what the overall story of a particular book was but there are scenes like the zombie T-Rex, the Wal-Mart fight, the giant ape chasing Dresden's Bug down Chicago's streets while hurling flaming poo at it, or the Great Hunt scene on motorcycles with Santa as a companion. These and many others are the epitome of cool and I've tried to emulate this in my writing.

What book are you reading now?

I just started reading Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews. The Kate Daniels series is great. I love the idea of magic and technology being at war, when one is supreme the other doesn't work. This adds a lot of versatility to the stories, the entire environment can go through a significant change at a moments notice and the characters can be suddenly taken out of their element. I disliked Kate as a character through most of the first book but she's really grown on me and I really like the Beauty and the Beast relationship that Andrews has going on in the series. Kate Daniels family history is very intriguing also and I'm eagerly waiting to see what happens with her father. Magic Rises seems like it will be taking the characters out of Atlanta and sending them to the Black Sea region of Georgia near Russia. I'm just on chapter 3, having started it earlier today. Yesterday, I finished reading Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K. Hamilton. Hamilton does some of the best fae and vampires in urban fantasy.

What books are in your to read pile?

I've got the last 3 books of The Sign of the Zodiac series by Vicky Pattersson to finish. Also on the huge list are the latest 2 in the Iron Druid Chronicles, latest 3 books in the Graywalker series, latest 2 in the House of Night series, and of course I'm eagerly awaiting Jim Butcher's upcoming steampunk novel. I've recently caught up in the Mercy Thompson Series and Rachel Morgan series.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I am currently hip deep in the revision of Death Toll, book 2 of the Ghost Wars Saga. I've written about fifteen percent of the first draft of book three, Echoes of Madness. I am also currently putting together a paranormal, steampunk on Mars series that I'm calling Paranormal Frontiers. I'm doing the world building for Paranormal Frontiers with my Friday night RPG group using the Dresden Files RPG Fate system. So there's a lot on the plate and sometime in the future I'd like to try my hand at epic fantasy.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Death Toll takes place nine months after the events in Wail of the Banshees. The majority of this story takes place in living Philadelphia rather than in Limbo where most of the first book took place. Two new characters are added to Veronika's group; including the wizard Nathaniel Carter, and a were-ferret named Brianna Martin. The foul mouthed, crusading detective Frank Cooper returns to assist Veronika as well. The four companions must deal with a sinister plot that could lead to the return of the Old Ones. You'll see a lot more of the standard urban fantasy monsters like vampires and witches in Death Toll. 

Keep an eye on the tour, August 27th will see the release of Death Toll's 6,000 word prologue. You can also read a chapter from Death Toll at the back of all versions of Wail of the Banshees. In the free chapter, Veronika, the wizard Nathaniel Carter, Brianna Martin the were-ferret, and Frank Cooper the detective, face off against giant chaos frogs.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Hannah Carr is the wonderful cover artist of Wail of the Banshees. Hannah and I met while perusing our mutual hobby of tabletop roleplaying games. Hannah introduced me to the most important person to my writing career, my editor Jaimee Finnegan. Jaimee is amazingly talented and I've got complete trust in her advice. I'm extremely lucky to know and be able to work with such talented people as Hannah and Jaimee.

I want to thank Roxanne for taking the time to do this interview and for hosting me on this site. I also want to thank you, the reader for taking the time to read through this interview. I hope you'll take time to visit my website, like me on facebook, and most importantly read y book, Wail of the Banshees. Thank you All.

Wail of the Banshees
Ghost Wars Saga Book One
Robert Poulin

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Publisher: Ghost Watch Publishing
Date of Publication: June 19, 2013

mobi: ISBN: 0989446905
Print: ISBN13:  9780989446907
epub: 9780989446921
mobi: B00DH7JQNK

Number of pages: 350 print
Word Count: 100, 471

Cover Artist: Hannah Carr

Amazon    Smashwords    BN   Kobo

Short description

A murdered college student must help the Philadelphia Police Department track down the serial killer responsible for her death and then lead an improbable rebellion against the powers that be in the ghost realm of Limbo.

My name is Veronika Kane and dying, dying was just the beginning.

How was I supposed to know that getting smashed on my 21st birthday would lead me to becoming the 9th victim of a serial killer that’s been stalking Philadelphia’s streets for months? Now I’m a ghost and unlife is pretty scary. Reapers, wraiths, ghouls, gargoyles: all of the monsters that I thought were storybook characters are real! On top of it all, the powers that be in the ghost world want to enslave me and use me in their own diabolical plot to manipulate the people of the living world. Too bad I didn’t turn out to be the kind of ghost they wanted me to be, and I’m not about to let them turn me into one of their puppets. These ghosts are responsible for my murder and the murders of eight other women.

A rebellion is coming, and the ghosts that run this place are about to find out just how big a mistake they made when they had me killed.

My name is Veronika Kane and being murdered isn't the end of my story.

Wail of the Banshees is an Urban Fantasy Novel and the first book in the exciting Ghost Wars saga which features paranormal horror and action set in living Philadelphia and the ghostly world of Limbo.

About the Author:

Robert Poulin was born and raised in the New England state of Connecticut. After spending his late teenage years in Boca Raton Florida, Robert moved to upstate New York where he lived with his uncle Wilbrod Poulin and attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

After earning a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Master's in Teaching, Robert went back to Florida where he taught Social Studies for a few years. After returning to Northern New York, Robert took a job with the North Country Center for Independence: a disability rights and advocacy organizations.

Robert has worked for NCCI for thirteen years and is now the Executive Director.

Wail of the Banshees is Robert's first novel; he has been a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction since second grade when he discovered The Hobbit. Urban fantasy in particular has become Robert's favored genre in the past decade.

Robert has been legally blind since infancy, but thanks to a mom that encouraged independence, hard work, and a healthy dose of dreaming, the disability has mostly just been an inconvenience. Robert is currently in the editorial process with his second novel, Death Toll, and is writing Echoes of Madness the third novel in the Veronika Kane saga.

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