David A Poulsen
David A Poulsen - Award Winning Author / Presenter
And Then The Sky Exploded - D PoulsenI know. National book launches are supposed to happen in major Canadian literary centres—Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon. Yes, that’s the way it normally happens. But not this time. My newest YA/teen novel, And Then the Sky Exploded was launched in the school gymnasium in Ponteix, Saskatchewan, population maybe five or six hundred. It happened because school Principal, Chad Striker, after setting up a week long school tour for me through southwestern Saskatchewan, discovered that the new book would be released the week prior to my tour (which was to start on October 24th in Ponteix). That’s when he suggested that we have the launch that evening at the school and we make it a community event with a beef on a bun supper followed by the signing and that the whole community (and neighbouring communities) be invited. And so the game was afoot. I didn’t know whether to expect six people or 60 because let’s face it—this was a first for me and I was pretty sure it was a first for Ponteix too.

Ponteix, Sask Poulsen Book LaunchWell, I underestimated what one small—but very cool--Saskatchewan town could do. The launch was not just a hugely successful literary event--it was one of the best "writer-days" of my life. Yes, we sold a whack of books but more importantly, I was overwhelmed by the friendship, the kindness and the generosity of the people of Ponteix and neighbouring communities. Chad’s tireless effort along with the hard work of the School Council and so many others in putting on the supper and launch/book signing made Monday, October 24th, 2016 something I won't ever forget. Ponteix, you will always have a special place in my heart.

My tour of schools through this wonderful part of Saskatchewan continued with stops in Val Marie, Cabri, Shaunavon and Frontier. So many terrific school administrators, teachers and kids. What a special start to the life of a book I’m really excited about.

Poulsen book launchA bit about the book… While attending the funeral of his great-grandfather, ninth-grader Christian Larkin learns that the man he loved and respected was a member of the Manhattan Project, the team that designed and created the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during the Second World War.

On a school trip to Japan, Chris meets eighty-one-year-old Yuko, who was eleven when the first bomb exploded over Hiroshima, horribly injuring her. Christian is determined to do something to make up for what his great-grandfather did. But after all this time, what can one teenager really do? His friends tell him it’s a stupid idea, that there’s nothing he can do. And maybe they’re right.

But maybe, just maybe … they’re wrong.

Author: David A. Poulsen
Publisher: Dundurn Toronto
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-45973-637-5 (pbk.) - ISBN 978-1-45973-638-2 (pdf) - ISBN 978-1-45973-639-9(epub)

David A Poulsen - Author appearance at Owls Nest Books, Calgary2015 was memorable on several levels. First there was the months spent as a juror for the Governor General’s Children’s Book Award. Reading and assessing 148 books in 155 days was, quite frankly, one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever undertaken. At the same time, however, it was tremendously rewarding. Having the opportunity to encounter so many amazing books by an equally amazing group of Canadian Writers of Children’s books made me realize how fortunate we are in Canada to be surrounded by such gifted and dedicated literary artists. My fellow jurors, Jan Coates and Rachna Gilmore and I met in Ottawa and worked long and hard before finally coming to a decision. And congratulations to Caroline Pignat who was the recipient of the GG for her wonderful, The Gospel Truth.

As the year wore on, I was delighted to see my teen novel Numbers return to print. After the novel won the Sakura Medal (Reader’s Choice Award) in Japan, it disappeared when Key Porter Books closed its doors. So, needless to say, I’m so glad that Numbers has not only returned but did so with a vengeance, as a large order from Barnes and Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the US, meant that a second printing had to be ordered before the first one was even in the warehouse.

Dave Poulsen - 2015 CPRA Cowboy of the YearThe latter months of 2015 and the first few in 2016 have been busy ones, to say the least. I finished my Middle Reader novel, And Then the Sky Exploded and delivered the completed manuscript to Dundurn at the end of December, and the book will appear in September of this year. The book goes back and forth between modern day North America as seen through the eyes of the central character, Christian Deaver, and the hours and days immediately after the detonation of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in August of 1945.

I then turned my attention to completing the second book in the Cullen and Cobb crime novel series. After the success of Serpents Rising, I signed with Dundurn for Books 2, 3 and 4. The second title in the series, Dead Air, will be in bookstores in January of 2017. As a longtime lover of mysteries, this is something I have always wanted to do and I’m delighted that it’s finally happening and that readers appear to be taking to the series.

And switching hats for a moment, 2015 was a time of wonderful and unexpected surprises through my work as a rodeo and bull riding announcer and commentator. In September, I received the Glen Keeley Memorial Ring at the Stavely PBR Bull Riding. Such an honour to receive an award bearing the name of a longtime, special friend and amazing bull riding talent who we lost far too soon.

Then, in November, at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, I was genuinely dumbfounded to receive the Douglas Lake Ranch Cowboy of the Year Award. The surprise, the pride and the absolute joy I felt at being the first announcer to receive the award was indescribable and it was a moment I will truly never forget.
With spring in the air, there are rodeos to get, more books to write, miles to run and horses to ride…and, most importantly, a wonderful family to spend time with. I guess it’s not surprising that I’m really excited at what the rest of 2016 has in store.

We’ll talk again, soon.

... David


Judging a Writing ContestAs a juror for the Governor General's Award for Children's Literature, I (and my fellow jurors) read 148 books in just over 150 days. So many great books but the deadline was probably the most difficult I've ever faced and the stress of wanting to 'get it right' made the summer's task a difficult one.

That said, having to read virtually all of the time led to some memorable moments: I wouldn't recommend, for example, reading while working up a field on a tractor--all was fine until I hit a bump, dropped the book I was holding and drove over it with the BIG tractor tire. A few days later I left a book and my coffee on the deck and ran inside for a minute. When I returned, the coffee was still there but the book was gone. I found what was left of it a few minutes later after my Border Collie, Jen, had made a snack of it--the literary equivalent of "the dog ate my homework". Jen seemed to enjoy her first foray into the world of Kidlit and I noted what was her apparent favourite for the award.

Mishaps aside, it was an honour and a joy to discover so many wonderful books and writers and to work with the dedicated people at the Canada Council and my amazing fellow jurors--Jan L. Coates and Rachna Gilmore. An unforgettable five months.

Serpents Rising - coming soonI am so excited! My first foray into the world of mystery/thriller writing has resulted in Serpents Rising, a two pronged mystery set in Calgary, Alberta and introducing the two central characters, Mike Cobb, ex-cop, now detective and Adam Cullen, crime writing journalist and the narrator of the book… who knows, perhaps a Cullen and Cobb Series will become a reality in the coming years.

I mention in the author’s note in the book that this is a novel I have always wanted to write because of my life-long love affair with mystery/thrillers and my boundless admiration for the wonderful mystery writers I have so enjoyed—from the classics like Sherlock Holmes, The Thirty-Nine Steps and the books of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler to today’s giants of the genre including Jonathan Kellerman, Gail Bowen, Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly and others… I have loved their books but until now have never really thought I could write one.

But finally, the book has been completed and Dundurn Books has not only published it but are talking about a potential series. Serpents Rising is available via most book sellers.

... David
Below is my book trailer for Old Man. The trailer was a lot of work and wouldn’t have happened without the dedication and talent of my good friend, Brian Elliott.
You can check out the trailer right now - see embedded video below. Hope you enjoy it!!

And, as well, two amazing ladies from Beechy, Saskatchewan; School Principal, Leia Hey and retired English teacher, Karen Richardson; have put together the official Study Guide for Old Man. Teachers take a look—I’m blown away by the very comprehensive guide to teaching and reading the novel and I hope it will result in Old Man finding its way into even more of your classrooms in the coming months and years.


Celebrate Sask Writers Old Man book launch Poulsen Sakura Medal winner
Celebrate Saskatchewan Writers 2013
David (left) on stage with Dave Carpenter, Alice Kuipers, Yann Martel, Robert Calder and Bev Brenna during David's Writer in Residency at the Saskatoon Public Library
Old Man Book Launch
McNally Robinson - Saskatoon
Sakura Medal Book Tour
American School in Japan

David A Poulsen© 2003-2005

David A Poulsen
Box 2276 Claresholm, Alberta Canada TOL OT0
T 403 625-2797 * F 403 625-5227 * poulsend@telusplanet.net

Site design: Red Hawk Communications
Photos courtesy of Mike Copeman, Don Opp and The Claresholm Local Press