You may have viewed my earlier post announcing the release of Robert Poulin’s new book, DEATH TOLL. Today I’d like to introduce you to the inspiring man behind the novel. Robert is legally blind but continues to write intriguing tales that are consistently well received by fans. Enjoy the interview and be sure to scroll all the way to the end to enter the drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
I’ve heard you are a Hobbit fan. Who is your favorite character from Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels and why?
Gandalf of course. He was the first wizard I’d encountered in any form. He was mysterious, confident, knowledgeable, and in command. He fired up the imagination from the start with his fireworks and magical smoke rings. He was also the revealer of lost lore and frightening secrets.
What made you decide to write paranormal/horror stories based in a Philadelphia setting instead of a fantasy world? How do you manage to maintain realism in an other-worldly themed tale?
Paranormal fantasy has become my favorite genre in the past decade or so. I am really drawn to the idea of merging fantasy with our modern world….its like mixing chocolate and peanut butter, you can’t go wrong. I maintain reality when I’m writing the parts that occur in Limbo by keeping the characters real. You can go pretty crazy with the fantasy elements as long as the characters still feel like real people.
I’ve read you are a gamer and love role playing games. What is your favorite role/game? Does this activity help you develop characters? If so, how?
Currently the RPGs that I play include Shadowrun, Star Wars, and Pathfinder. .I am typically a gamemaster which I do believe feeds my love of telling stories. I always tell big stories, I’m not a one-shot GM. Some of the names in my books do come from both tabletop RPGs, and MMO video games. Mhors Morta was a character I played in City of Heroes. RPGs are definitely a big influence on my writing
You have been legally blind since birth. I applaud your mother for raising such an independent, forward thinking child who has not let his disability impact his growth. My father had one arm and was amazingly adept at what he could accomplish. That being said, what obstacles have you encountered as a novelist and what would you say to others who may have similar issues to overcome?
Patience and a hard working ethic help me in all that I do. You have to know your limitations and accept them. Don’t let other people limit you however, where there’s a will, there’s usually a way. Be creative and flexible. My eye sight makes me a slow reader, as a writer this means that everything I do is going to take me a considerable amount of time, especially the revision phase. I need to be disciplined, patient, and persevering in all I do. I also rely on amazing people that help me all along the way.
Tell us about what inspired the plot for Wail of the Banshees & Death Toll, the first two novels in your Ghost Wars Saga. What can we look forward to in the future?
When I wrote Wail of the Banshees, I was thinking of The Matrix meets a ghost version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For Death Toll, I wanted to introduce the Cthulhu Mythos into my world. The third book, Echoes of Madness will have Veronika sharing point of view time with the troll Alrik, who was introduced in Death Toll. I’m also planning to co-write an urban fantasy YA with my editor Jaimee Finnegan. Eventually, I’d like to do some epic fantasy too.
Every author has penned a character who remains in their head and refuses to leave. An invisible entity that still maintains a voice long after the final word is written. Who is your favorite character from The Ghost Wars Saga series, and why?
Veronika Kane is my favorite character. Right from the start she is dealt a difficult hand to deal with. She doesn’t whine about her circumstances or bad luck, she deals with it. She doesn’t give up no matter the odds and she doesn’t accept the status quo, doesn’t look the other way when presented with evil. She is a fighter, an agent of change and a person who empowers others. Veronika is selfless and idealistic.
You are Executive Director of North Country Center for Independence, a disability rights and advocacy organization. What do you like most about your “day” job, and what do you like least?
I like the people that I work with. They are a dedicated group of selfless people who are trying to remove barriers so that people with all kinds of disabilities can live independently in the community. The staff makes my job easier and they make me look good, I appreciate them all. I like hiring and firing the least. Hiring because I have to pick between a lot of qualified people who really want and need the work. Donald Trump may like to fire people but I hate it…I always think of the humiliation, the loss, the potential hardship that the person goes through, its not something I do lightly.
If you found a stone that could magically transport you to any location at any point in time, where would you visit and why?
I think it would be interesting to visit America prior to the arrival of the Europeans. The land was pristine and the native population lived in harmony with nature. They didn’t own land, they used it to fulfill their needs but moved on before they used up a whole areas resources. They didn’t despoil the land, they didn’t waste what they had. It must have been so peaceful, the closest thing to true paradise that I’ve ever heard described.
Thank you for this interview and your time.
Ghost Wars Saga
Publisher: Ghost Watch Publishing
Date of Publication: June 2014
Number of pages: 324
Word Count: 96,000
Cover Artist: Hannah Carr
What started out as a routine call led to so much more…
My name is Veronika Kane, and I’m the Captain of the Ghost Watch in the reborn city of Shadow Philadelphia. After we disposed of the city’s previous master and his minions, things were looking up, but in war things are never that easy. A routine call with Detective Frank Cooper blew the cover off of an elaborate scheme to plunge the city of brotherly love into chaos. When Necromancers, Were creatures, and the horrors of Chaos come together it can’t mean anything good.
With new and old enemies joining forces against us, I’m going to need all the help I can get. Lucky for me, my old friend Frank Cooper will be there to lend a hand, along with Brianna, a strong willed were-ferret, and the stormy eyed wizard Nathaniel Carter. I just hope it will be enough to save everyone.
This time, our enemies aren’t just attacking us in Limbo; this time, they are taking the battle to the streets of the living world and its unknowing citizens. If the Old Ones rise, I don’t think there will be anything anyone can do to stop them.
My name is Veronika Kane, and this war is far from over.
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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.