Caitlyn: Tell us about your book.
David: Old Man is a story about a man who, as he moves into his later years, wants to reconnect with the son he abandoned a decade earlier when he ran off with a much younger woman. But the ‘old man’ wants to do more than merely see his (now teenage) son again…he wants Nate to know and be aware of the things in his father’s life that made him who he is. Most notably he wants Nate to understand the his war experience and decides the only way for that to happen is to take his son to Vietnam—to the places where he fought, was nearly killed and killed others. Nate at first has no desire to be a part of the old man’s search for his life’s meaning but has no real choice and ends up facing demons of his own along the way and finally coming to understand, at least a little, the man who is his father.
Caitlyn: Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote your book?
Daivd: The readership I had in mind is that crossover group of readers between young adult and adult. While the central character (narrator) is a teen and that is the target audience I hope this book will resonate with adult readers too.
Caitlyn: In your own work, which character are you most attached to and why?
David: The character I am most connected to in the book is the old man, I suppose because he has had some of the same experiences I had had. If one was growing up in the sixties one’s life was impacted and even shaped to some extent by the major events of the time—most notably the assassination of President Kennedy and the Vietnam War. Larry Blevins and I are more or less contemporaries and having grown up roughly in the same era, share some of the moments and experiences that made us the people we became.
Caitlyn: What are you reading right now?
David: I generally have a few books on the go at the same time. I am reading Moby Dick because I feel I should read the classics because they’re…well…the classics; Ian Rankin’s Black Book a Rebus novel—I love mystery/thriller novels and Rankin is one of my favourite mystery writers and Rebus one of my favourite cop/detectives; and I am re-reading Louis Sachar’s Holes, which is a wonderful and brilliantly inventive YA novel.
Caitlyn: What is your new project?
David: I have recently completed (and am still tweaking) my own first mystery novel (See #4 above). This is a book I have always wanted to write but took a very long time to get around to. It is called Serpents Rising and I hope it will be the first in a series featuring an ex-cop and a journalist who team up to investigate crimes that no one else seems to care an awful lot about. To be honest I think the book is pretty good. I certainly hope so.
David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, and actor. The author of more than 20 books, David spends 80 to 100 days each year as a visiting author in schools across Canada. His young adult novel Numbers was awarded the Sakura Medal in Japan. He lives in Claresholm, Alberta.
The Markerting Coordinator at Dundurn, lover of books, tea and dancing in the rain.