Tag Archives: David Poulson
This is the fourth part of a series in which Authors who I’ve promoted in the Authors-Readers International series tell Readers what they’ve been doing during these past few months of self-isolating … See the introduction to Part 1 for a further explanation. Here are links to Part 2 and Part 3. (All links on the authors’ names will take you to their A-RI promotion.)
David Poulsen created a YouTube video for his reading of his book, I Wish I Could Be Like Tommy Blake. As David says on his website: Because it’s written for the little guys, we always have a lot of fun with the character (who like me) wants to be like the cool kid in the school, and, of course, Ron Desnoyers’ amazing illustrations are hugely popular as well. I thought that with kids forced to miss school, sports and a whole lot of other activities, this might be a good time to have some fun with me reading the book exactly like I do in schools.
Hazel Hutchins has also created a video in which she reads from her new book, The Truth About Wind. Publisher Annick Press says of the book: Co-author Hazel Hutchins reads her new picture book The Truth About Wind. A story filled with imagination and the importance of telling the truth even if that means letting go of something you love. And Hazel says: I love the way the new book turned out! But it’s a difficult time everywhere and please know that the globe in the background is placed there purposefully, just as a small note of acknowledgment and support.
I have handed in my new manuscript. It’s fiction, entitled DECEPTIONS but that may change as we go along the editing process. It’s scheduled to be published next March but, as you know, there are very few certainties in today’s Covid-ridden world. I have been reading a great deal, doing some reviewing, and serving on the jury for the National Business Book Awards (more reading). Yes, some ZOOM meetings and FaceTime – not sure which app I hate the most. I am also doing some interviews still with Hungarian media for the Forbes edition of Buying a Better World, my book about George Soros and his foundations. I find that speaking relatively intelligent Hungarian is a huge challenge. I also give some editorial and publishing advice online but do not charge for it because I don’t want it to become a professional service (been there, done that). Love your posts about Bequia! (Thanks, Anna!)
Thanks so much for all you do. You really are a dynamo.
I spent the first few weeks of the pandemic adrift. My thoughts scattered to the wind. The only thing I could grasp onto was the endless loop of bad news, which only compounded the feeling of helplessness. People dying and sickened, people losing their livelihoods, companies failing. Writing felt inconsequential in comparison. My creativity flagged along with my energy. It wasn’t until I saw pictures of the skies clearing over the Great Wall of China and dolphins returning to Italy’s waterways that I was finally able to break free of the negative hold the pandemic had on me. That silver lining, fragile as it might be, helped me find shore again and anchored me.
But I didn’t get back to writing immediately. First I got busy in the garden. There’s something primal about digging in the soil and nurturing plants that soothes me. I also got busy cleaning. The house and yard have never looked so good, and that too, soothes me. And then I tackled a few projects that had been on my to-do list for a couple of years. It took all of that to make me feel like I was in control again. Best of all, my energy came back online and my imaginator kicked in.
I’m still not writing anything more substantial than blog posts, but I’m back to working on the outline for my next book. In addition, I’m scribbling out ideas for a short Christmas story. I’ve taken our local writers’ group of twenty + members online with ZOOM, and my volunteer work on the board of our local Activity Centre, Gym, and Museum has also gone online.
I’m loving ZOOM. Even after this pandemic is over, I won’t be giving it up. In fact, I’ve joined two other authors in a weekly share and brainstorming session. My critique group, also three authors, are local and we’re planning a proper socially-distant meeting on my deck with a glass of wine in the very near future.
I’m reading more and tuning into webinars and live training sessions and learning new skills. Our small island community has pulled together. We’re buying as much as we can locally, but when one of us has to go off island, we shop for as many other people as we can manage. I shopped for six of us at Costco a few weeks ago – could barely push the cart up to the till. In that sense, COVID19 has brought us closer.
This pandemic has been difficult, and it’s not over yet. The future is unsteady for all of us. It takes effort every day to stay positive. Keeping the news loop at bay helps, as does this super supportive writing community. So thank you all, and especially Susan, who’s a ray of sunshine on the darkest days. XO (Thanks, Jo-Anne!)
Please join me for two programmes:
In the third week of July for a one-week online Meditation and Writing Retreat at the Summer Writing School, University of Toronto.
A two-week intensive on Mindfulness and Writing for Discipline & Productivity this July. Time=Life. Learn to master time and live life in accordance with your values and aspirations.
I hate to admit how much work I’ve done these past weeks. But the time has been good, and writing is a distraction from any anxiety… it makes the time feel to have some worth.
So here is my update:
I have been WRITING!
Of course, my teaching moved to being online, but I have taught online before…so it really was about switching modes, and being there to support the students…many of whom have not worked online before. And then grades went in.
Here’s an article I wrote for The Writing Cooperative: Optimal Writing Time: Making time — micro and macro — work for you
In addition to working on a novel for adults, I have been writing short pieces, articles—for Medium—something I’ve not done before—and also for a small number of calls for submissions. I was so pleased to have a story win Sub-Terrain’s Lush Triumphant fiction prize this year, and have been enjoying “writing short” while working on the novel. While I can’t imagine working on more than one long (deep!) project at a time, I feel a need to work long and short simultaneously. It’s an old habit, to deal with writer’s block, and to make use of time (an urge borne of the busy time of raising three children). In the midst of this pandemic time, I have also had another book for young children accepted—a book of sacred texts, a “lectio divina” for children. The research for this project was an amazing journey into so many faiths. As I age, I am finding even more pleasure in setting myself down self-chosen research paths
After having a number of readings and presentations cancelled—as have we all—I have been busy with ZOOM promotion, most recently for All Lit Up, and a woman from the ALS Society in Texas, who has put together an amazing book club every Thursday evening for ALS Awareness Month. I am also taking part in a written Q&A for the Vancouver Writers’ Fest Newsletter. I am so grateful for these opportunities to share my work. And most grateful for this opportunity too, Susan!
It’s wonderful to have you doing this work on our behalf. I am truly grateful.
Here’s what I’ve been doing during the last eight weeks of self-isolation:
First, I’ve been sorting my papers and tossing them by the ton, or else piling them for shredding, whenever I can make that happen, or putting them in neat piles with labels for the millions of hungry scholars who will descend on them – hah hah – for what, I don’t actually know except that throwing them out is just not in me. I’m leaving that up to my son and heir.
Second, I discovered that the difficult and unusual (for me) novel I’d been researching and had begun writing when COVID-19 hit does not respond to my efforts to woo it into compliance. I have had to put it on hold for now. The reason, or the additional reason for this, is that almost at once a great idea for a COVID-19 novel hit me, and like a wood tick, burrowed in, would not let go, until I finally wrote a hundred pages of it. Then I had to stop to gather my thoughts, such as they are, and try to find a way to put the next hundred or so pages into my computer. I hope to start writing Part Two tomorrow. In the meantime, I have written a short magazine piece about the pandemic (500 words) and an essay to go at the end of my as yet unpublished essay collection: This Strange Visible Air.
Third, I have had four literary engagements cancelled or postponed, three of which will (eventually one hopes) still take place in the fall and that will earn me in total a couple of thousand, maybe. I haven’t really been worrying about my writing income because I get OAS and CPP and have a bit of money otherwise – a sadly diminishing pile, though. My heart bleeds for anybody whose entire income is from writing. It’s criminal what’s been done to Canadian writers in terms of income. And just today I got myself a judging gig for summer – one literary competition – with some financial compensation.
Fourth, my agent, Marilyn Biderman at TLA, Freehand Books and I have signed an agreement and I am now a Freehand author. This had to be done because my previous publisher, Coteau Books of Regina went bankrupt in late February. Season of Fury and Wonder will be back in print shortly. In the meantime, copies of it must be floating around in bookstores and libraries. I’m very happy about this, and have always been a big admirer of Freehand and I count myself lucky. That collection, by the way, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Prize and the Georges Bugnet Fiction prize. With the bankruptcy I was afraid it was simply dead in the water, but nope, Butala rises again, like the phoenix! (Definitely a joke.)
And, finally for this 4th post of updates, this is the way I like to see things work with all the authors I promote …
Mike Robbins, on his blog, had reviewed the latest novel, Eternity Began Tomorrow, by Kevin Brennan. Then Kevin returned the favour on his blog with a shout-out and a review of Mike’s collection of novellas, Three Seasons.
Now Kevin has just announced that the paperback edition of Eternity Began Tomorrow is available to purchase!
I asked Kevin if he would send me a calming and peaceful photo from one of his walks that I could post here and he said: You could show the nice people this pic of a hiking destination Sue and I made it to recently. Didn’t see another soul, and it was utterly gratifying. Now that they’ve reopened the parks, places like this are packed. (Below is the Middle Fork of the American River, just a stone’s throw from our house.)
David A. Poulsen has been a rodeo competitor and rodeo clown, rock singer, high school football coach, stage and film actor, documentary television writer and host, and college English instructor. Since retiring from rodeo competition – he admits to being a not-very-good bareback rider and later an accident-prone rodeo clown, David Poulsen has taken up residence in announcers’ stands across North America. The results have been tremendously positive both for David and audiences who have listened to his knowledgeable and enthusiastic commentary for the more than twenty-six years.
With 1500 performances to his credit, the likable Alberta native has appeared at many of the major rodeos and bull riding events in Canada, among them the Canadian Finals Rodeo, the Calgary Stampede, and the PCB Bull Riding Finals. Equally at home in front of a TV camera, he has been seen on CTV Wide World of Sports, TSN Television Sports and each year co-hosts the popular Stampede Roundup program on Calgary’s CFCN-TV with Glen Campbell. He also acted as co-host of the documentary series The Complete Rider for The Outdoor Life Network. David’s announcing talents have also taken him to the big screen. He twice played the role of a rodeo announcer in the successful family series The Black Stallion and was behind the microphone for the rodeo scenes in the movie Convict Cowboy that starred Jon Voigt
David is also a successful writer. His writing career began in earnest in 1984 when his short story The Welcomin’ won the Alberta Culture Short Story Writing Competition. Because a number of his books target young readers, David spends between 60 and 80 days a year in classrooms across Canada, talking to kids about his books and his life as a writer and sharing his stories with students.
David and his wife Barb raise running quarter horses on a small but picturesque ranch (El Rancho Pequino) in the Alberta foothills west of Claresholm.
You’ve got to love it when you contact an author about the scheduled date for his promotion here on the the blog and he replies immediately with the explanation: “I’m in Las Vegas until the 16th at the National Finals Rodeo (I’m pretty busy at the NFR, especially as the 15th is the final day) …” !!
I was Southern Alberta sales rep when I first got to know about David Poulsen and his (at-that-time) only adult novel, Don’t Fence Me In, published in 1993 by the inimitable Dennis Johnson who headed up Red Deer College Press. David and I didn’t actually meet in person though until years later when he was keynote speaker at a Lethbridge library conference I attended. He was known then for his books for teens that were especially good for encouraging reluctant boy readers to pick up and read an entire book. He was also writing and publishing what I would call “crossover” books – a series of Young Adult novels on topics that also draw in and interest adult readers … readers like me! Since then, he has seen great success with his ongoing Cullen and Cobb mystery series for adults, set in Calgary (published by Dundurn Press of Toronto, another publisher I used to represent).
I was quite chuffed when David provided me with a blurb for the back cover of my own second mystery novel!
The Man Called Teacher
One man. One town. One almost forgotten crime. When the stranger who has answered the ad for the teaching position at Kecking Horse School climbs down from the stage on a sleepy Montana afternoon, things are about to change. With Virgil Watt, cowboy, horse-breaker and the first black man in the history of the town by his side, the stranger quickly upsets the tranquility of the town’s leading citizens, administers a vicious beating to a couple of the town’s toughs and sets out to avenge a long neglected wrong. A reader of books, a lover of laughter, a lawman/lawbreaker with a .44 strapped to his leg–he is the man called Teacher.
From David: I have to say I’m kind of pumped. For years people have said to me…so you’re a writer and you live the western lifestyle, how is it you’ve never written a western? Well, the truth is I’ve had one gathering dust in a drawer of my desk for maybe ten years. Recently I pulled it out, took a look at it and decided, to re-work it and see what might happen. Well, what happened is the Calgary-based publisher BWL (Books We Love Ltd.) has accepted it and fast-tracked it to have it appear in December (yes, THIS December). More on actual release date for The Man Called Teacher in the coming days. (Now available online in eBook format. And also available on Overdrive for libraries. I’ve just recommended it to my library!)
Here’s the video of an interview with David Poulsen about being a Rodeo Announcer:
For more information about David A. Poulsen, his writing, books, and his “other” career, please check out his website.
David Poulsen has been a frequent guest since Feb. 2014 on my blog Reading Recommendations.
This is a continuation of an earlier blogpost from the summer, Dedicated Reading … My New TBR List: Part 1
Back again with the second half of my to-be-read stack …
Paul Quarrington is next on my list. An actual mentor to me, Quarrington was the author I worked with when I was enrolled (online) in the Humber School of Creative Writing. He was an award-winning novelist, playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, musician and writing instructor. At the time he died, I discovered he was one month younger than me – he was so accomplished, and here I was, really just starting out, flexing my own creative muscles. I wrote a tribute to Quarrington on my blog. I have paperback copies of seven of his novels, and was going to begin by reading Whale Music (which had also been made into a movie), but then I noticed the hardcover copy of Cigar Box Banjo: Notes on Music and Life that was published posthumously in 2010 by Greystone Books – who I had repped for many years. And, when I opened the book to have a better look, I discovered there is a CD/DVD attached to the back cover containing three songs and two videos by Quarrington … Bonus! So I’ll add that CD to my stack for background music while reading the novel. (I do have a copy of Quarrington‘s final CD, The Songs, but that’s in my CD library on Bequia.)
David Poulsen is an author I first met in 1993 when I was repping for Red Deer College Press and they published his novel Don’t Fence Me In, A Romance of the New West. (I have reminded Dave that we were among the few who remained relatively unscathed after working with publisher Dennis Johnson … Aritha (below) is another of those fortunate “few.”) Poulsen has not only written many books for teens and adults over the decades, but has also been an actor, TV presenter, rock singer, college instructor, high school football coach, bareback rider, rodeo clown – and an award-winning Professional Rodeo Announcer! He has served a number of times as writer-in-residence for various libraries, and is quite capable of encouraging readers, especially that difficult group of reluctant readers – teenage boys! – to get all fired up about reading books. It’s David’s enthusiasm for writing and telling a great story that attracts readers. For this reader, however, it’s also his great sense of humour and humility that comes through. I only have three print books in my library by David Poulsen (one of which is The Cowboy Country Cookbook, co-written with Barb Poulsen and Lauren Hitchner and also published by Red Deer Collge Press), but I have read many of his other titles borrowed from libraries either online as eBooks or in print editions. Here’s a video I found on YouTube about David’s career as a rodeo announcer, so I’ll let him tell you all about himself!
And when I was publishing my second novel, One Woman’s Island, David Poulsen did me the honour of providing a blurb for the back cover!
Next up is an author who may not be known outside Canada as well as I think he should be. Guy Vanderhaeghe is from Saskatchewan and began publishing after I had moved west, so I certainly knew of him and his writing early on. And his writing is superb! Any new book by Vanderhaeghe is an event, as far as I’m concerned, and worthy of being bought in a hardcover edition to add to my library. Possibly his best-known novel is The Englishman’s Boy, published in 1996. The edition I have was packed up to go with us to Bequia, so was on my shelf there, when a friend came looking for a book to lend to his American friend to read while he sat in Her Majesty’s Prison in Kingstown awaiting a murder trial. (This was a celebrated case at the time, which you may read about here.) My friend took the book and returned it a few weeks later, complete with a hand-written review on an inside page – and a “Censored” stamp from the prison! When I had the opportunity to meet Vanderhaeghe in Banff a number of years later, I took all my books for him to sign, and gave him a copy of this page … His reaction was cautiously amused.
I will be rereading Vanderhaeghe’s second book, My Present Age, published in 1984 and nominated for the Booker Prize that year.
Aritha van Herk should need no introduction! I’ve written about this author before on this blog (a post in which I explain how I know Aritha) and she also recommended the author George Melnyk on my Reading Recommendations blog. She continues to be an inspiration to me, and I’m especially grateful for the confidence she has always had in my ability to do … well, almost anything! Aritha van Herk has also had a longtime connection to two of the other authors I’m listing on these two blog posts: Robert Kroetsch and Rudy Wiebe. This time around, I will be rereading a novel that was published by our mutual friend, Dennis Johnson, when he was the publisher of Red Deer College Press, a book she describes as geografictione, Places Far From Ellesmere.
Another author I met through being his sales rep is Tom Wayman, who published Woodstock Rising, a novel with Dundurn Press in 2009. A long-time teacher at the University of Calgary, Wayman is primarily known as a poet.
And the final author in this list is Rudy Wiebe (previously mentioned above in connection with Aritha van Herk). Weibe taught for many years at the University of Alberta, but I only learned of the author and his work when I began selling books in Calgary in 1978 and realized what an important literary figure he was in the west. I know him best for his books The Temptation of Big Bear (winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 1973) and The Mad Trapper, a novel about Albert Johnson who in 1932 became the most notorious criminal in North America, the object of the largest manhunt in RCMP history. (I have a copy of the original M&S edition from 1980 and the re-issue by Red Deer Press in 2003.)
Our own Griz when he was a kitten (he’s now 13 and no longer fits on these shelves …) checking out my Bequia library of books. One of those books by Cormac McCarthy on which Griz is perched is a rare signed edition (rare because McCarthy is known for seldom signing books or doing any promotion) that was very generously given to me by a fellow Canadian sales rep.
Last week I wrote an impassioned blog post pleading with all writers to get over themselves. In Dear Writer … it’s not all about you, ya know!, I suggested that promoting yourself is not what is going to get you and your books ahead, but finding others to spread the word-of-mouth message will.
So today’s post fulfills my promise for the “what goes around” part of the Karma circle, and I am listing here Five Authors whose work I will be promoting for the next while. Readers, please do consider reading books written by these authors I suggest. They’re all great writers and I’m sure you’ll enjoy any – and, I hope, many! – of their books. If you’ve never heard of these writers before (only one is a brand-spanking-newly published author) then you are in for a treat!
Ann won the Seal First Novel Award for A Certain Mr. Takahashi in 1985 and she has since published three novels, the most recent being The Blue Guitar this year. She also teaches creative writing courses online through Ryerson University, Toronto. I first knew of Ann from when I was a bookseller and she won the Award, but then I studied with her over past years in a few of her writing courses. She’s currently promoting The Blue Guitar, and her publisher, Dundurn Press, is reissuing an earlier novel, The Instructor, so all four of Ann’s novels are available in print editions and also as eBooks. You may learn more about Ann and her books here on her website.
David A. Poulsen
I first met Dave in the early 90s when I was a sales rep for Red Deer Press and they published Dave’s novel, Don’t Fence Me In. Great book! Very funny! But I’m afraid it may be unavailable now as I know Dave had fewer than 10 copies left last fall. Fortunately, he has continued to write and publish since that time. Most of his books are intended for a younger audience and are primarily of interest to teens and children. Some of the teen books, however, will also be of interest to adult readers. In particular, his latest, Old Man, works great as a crossover book. This novel was recently published by Dundurn Press and is available in both print and eBook editions. You may find out more about David A. Poulsen here at his website. (Dave also holds the distinction of being the only professional rodeo announcer among all the writers I’ve ever met!)
I discovered W.K. Blais’s novel, School of the Assassins, a couple of weeks ago when it was offered as a free download on Amazon. The story sounded interesting and, while I don’t read a lot of thrillers myself, Dennis and our neighbour both do, so I thought they might enjoy reading this particular eBook. I picked it up first, though, and I could not put it down! Not only is the story intriguing and the characters well-drawn, but also the writing is perfect. I was hard-pressed to find any typos let alone any editing issues with this book. This is a top-notch thriller that stands right alongside anything by all of the big-name (mostly male) thriller writers. I even had a bit of a tiff with Dennis over this book, because I was on the third-last page, he had called me to dinner twice, and I could not stop reading until I was completely finished – it was that good! (He came close to apologizing for being angry with me after he finished reading the book and admitted it really was that good.) While Blais is new to me as a writer (she’s American and now lives in California), she has previously published two other novels that are still available in print. And she’s working on a sequel to School of the Assassins. You may read more about W.K. Blais and her books here on her website. School of the Assassins is self-published and only available as an eBook.
I first met Tim Baker on Facebook when he began posting information about the new novel, Unfinished Business, he was releasing as an eBook and in a print edition. It was the cover that attracted me! Tim used a FlipBook to create a sampler of his new book and I thought that was such a great promotion idea I began creating samplers, too, for my own novel and the new IslandShorts stories I was publishing. So I purchased a copy of his eBook online and read it. (After Dennis read it first then tried to tell me the entire story before I could get to it myself, he was that impressed by it. Nothing worse than a spoiler, eh?) The storyline is very original, I believe, and it’s set in Flagler Beach, FL, where Tim lives now, so I could identify with that similar tropical beach setting. Since I first discovered Tim, I’ve been an avid correspondent with him on Facebook (I’m not stalking you, Tim … Honest!) and have been following his blog. He believes in supporting other artists and authors and he writes about writing, publishing, books etc., on a regular basis. Tim has also recently begun co-hosting a radio program, The Castaways, broadcast online on Friday evenings on Flagler Beach Radio. The hosts discuss writing, authors, books, artists and provide a great source of information and material for discussion for anyone in the artistic community. Plus they seem to have a lot of fun and they play great music, too! You may read more about Tim Baker here at his website. And the good news is … Tim has six other novels I haven’t yet read! (Tim Baker is self-published.)
Last, but definitely not least, is our not-quite-yet-published author, my friend Kim McCullough, who lives in Calgary, Alberta. I’ve known Kim since we met in a writing workshop at the Fernie Writers’ Conference in 2009. I have read various pieces from her new novel over the years, but have not yet had the chance to read the final edited ready-for-print version. Am really looking forward to the release of this book! I do know enough about Kim and her writing to be able to say, unequivocally, that this will be a very good book! Clearwater is being published in Sept. by Coteau Books of Regina. You may read more about Kim McCullough here on her website. This is an author to watch!
I’ll be sharing and Tweeting about all five of these Authors on social media whenever I can over the coming weeks. Watch for my updates about them and their work on Facebook and Twitter.
Okay, Writers, now it’s your turn! I challenge every one of you to do the same – to write a blog post similar to this and promote five different authors who you believe deserve attention from your friends and other readers. Let’s start this promotion-ball rolling, shall we? Let’s see how long we can keep this type of promotion going. (If you do write a blog post, please feel free to post a link to it in the comments section below.)
Thanks for playing!
Since this Friday just happens to be the opening of the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Stampede Parade has just finished winding its way through downtown Calgary, I thought I would recommend not only some good Alberta reading for your weekend, but also some great Alberta music to enjoy, whether you’re stampeding in Calgary or wishing you were!
For the reading portion, I recommend Don’t Fence Me In, A Romance of the New West by David Poulson. I sold this book many years ago when I was a rep and it was published by Red Deer College Press. It’s no longer in print, but I happen to know where you can buy a copy, so send me an email, if you’re interested or can’t find it at your local library. David has been a bareback rider, a rodeo clown and also a professional rodeo announcer, and this book draws on his experience. It’s about Doc Allen who is at the end of his rodeo career, and it’s very funny! Poulson has lived his entire life in Alberta and currently makes his home in the foothills southwest of Calgary.
Tom Phillips, too, has lived most of his life in Alberta and now resides in Calgary. I’ve known Tom for a bit longer than I’ve known David – I sold David’s book to Tom when he managed Canterbury Bookstore in Penny Lane (neither place is there any longer). Tom is better known around the province now as a singer/songwriter, and he and his band, The Men of Constant Sorrow, play many gigs – especially during this annual week of Stampede! Tom has produced a number of CDs, but the one in the photo above includes my favourite song he wrote with the appropriate title, Like a Rodeo. Click here to hear Tom perform this. Beautiful! I’ll be catching Tom’s performance at the annual Schooners’ Stampede Party this weekend. (Oh, and I forgot to mention that Tom is also writing a novel…)
So there you have it… a little taste of the Calgary Stampede for all of you to sample over this weekend of July, 2012! YAHOO!!