Wednesday, 21 January 2015 13:47

Claresholm long-time author releases first work geared toward adult mystery lovers

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Claresholm author David Poulsen has released his first mystery novel geared toward adults. Claresholm author David Poulsen has released his first mystery novel geared toward adults.

Even though Claresholm author David Poulsen has more than 20 books to his credit, he reached a feat with his latest work — his first foray into the adult mystery genre.


Poulsen, known for his work in the rodeo arena announcing at numerous events across western Canada including the Calgary Stampede, is also a well-loved children and teen author.
This fall he released Serpents Rising, a Cullen and Cobb mystery.
“It was intimidating,” he says, about writing his first book geared for adults.
“From the time I was a kid, I read with my parents and my dad was a big mystery reader,” says Poulsen. “Being a kid and wanting to be like my dad, I wanted to try (them) out for myself.”
He began reading mysteries.
“I got caught up in the magic of who done it and really liking that.”
He continued to read the classics, especially Sherlock Holmes.
“I marvelled at the way mystery writers’ minds work to have those twists. They always have you guessing and I didn’t think my mind could work that way,” explains Poulsen, about his first attempts to write his own adult mystery novel. He tried it a couple of times, but after about 100 or so pages, would think to himself, “This is crap,” and set it aside.
While working as a writer in residence at the Saskatoon library, Poulsen came up with a “kernel of an idea” and started to play with it. He worked on a storyline involving Mike Cobb as a detective, but didn’t feel like it was enough.
“It was missing something, and I had an idea about another character who works with him.”
That was when he introduced Adam Cullen’s character.
“Now it feels like it’s working. That’s when things got interesting,” adds Poulsen.
From there, he completed Serpents Rising where readers will find two storylines woven together and a path that is filled with mystery.
“Good mysteries get you hooked on characters, not just the mystery,” says Poulsen. “I want my readers to have that opportunity and to get involved in the lives of these guys.”
Poulsen describes himself as a slow, methodical writer. After a year in Saskatoon, he had the novel written. He sent snippets to his agent who showed it to publishers at Dundurn, and they liked what they read committing to publishing the book.
It hit store shelves in November and Poulsen got busy touring the country from Toronto to Calgary.
He is pleased with the first book in what he is planning as a Cullen and Cobb mystery series and is already about a third of the way through a second book. After he had completed Serpents Rising, Poulsen took the time to read through it, trying to see it through a reader’s eyes. He feels much like the first book of other mystery series, there will be room for improvement and subsequent books will show the growth he experiences as an adult mystery writer.
Some of his youth books already have a mystery feel, such as the Salt and Pepper Chronicles which are mysteries geared for children. Overcoming the difference between writing for youth and adults though can be challenging, such as offering a different level of humour.
“There are things that are the same,” Poulsen adds. “You need an engaging story — a page turner — that causes you to care about these characters and the story.”
While working on the next Cullen and Cobb mystery, Poulsen is also writing another children’s book. He usually has more than one project on the go at the same time.
“There are moments when you get stuck, but you don’t want to stop writing completely,” he says.
While still active on the rodeo circuit attending many events to announce, Poulsen can see himself pulling back a little bit in the coming years.
Last year marked his 28th at the Calgary Stampede and he was honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame called Pioneers of Rodeo. He is also active with the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton every November, doing live webscreening on the Internet.
Anyone interested in picking up Poulsen’s newest work, Serpents Rising, which as of the beginning of December was No. 1 on the Calgary Herald fiction paperback bestseller list, can do so at major bookstores or online.
Poulsen’s website is: http://www. davidpoulsen.com.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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