A New Book A Year Later: Serpents Rising

A New Book A Year Later: Serpents Rising

Posted on November 25 by David A. Poulsen in Mystery
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What made you want to stray from young adult fiction?

While I have written extensively in the past, mostly for children and young adult readers, Serpents Rising (published October, 2014) is my first adult mystery/suspense novel. I had always wanted to write in this genre because I’ve loved reading mystery/suspense/thrillers all my life, from the time I first started reading my dad’s pocket books which were most often Perry Mason novels. I believe, as many mystery writers do, that skilled writers in this genre not only weave spell-binding tales but often, through the eyes of their characters, examine topics and issues that really matter in our world.


How did you come up with the idea for?

Serpents Rising really began as a question to myself.  I wondered how I would react to having a family member with a serious drug addiction problem. More specifically, if I were to come face to face with the people supplying those drugs , as a character in the book, in fact does—in a crack house—could my anger and my desire to protect that family member lead me to commit a violent act—one that I would, under normal circumstances, find absolutely abhorrent. It was while I was exploring that question on a personal level that I thought, “wait a minute, maybe there’s something here that could become at least a starting point in a book”. Which it eventually did.


Is there something different you wanted to try with this new genre?

Even though Serpents Rising, like a lot of mystery/suspense novels has a fair amount of plot and action taking place in the story, I wanted the book to focus on the two central characters, Cullen, the journalist,  and Cobb, the ex-cop and how they live their lives. I wanted the story to be as much about who they are, as it is about what they do. Part of that has to do with what makes books that I’m reading work for me. The answer to that and to a great extent, how much I like a book, depends on how invested in and engaged by the characters I become. And not just when they’re solving or trying to solve crimes but in their everyday lives, as they do the things all of us do.


What was the toughest part to writing Serpents Rising?

The toughest part of writing the novel, quite honestly, was believing I could do it at all. Wanting to write a mystery and actually writing one are very different things and I talked myself out of trying several times—thinking my mind didn’t work in the wonderful ways that the minds of those writers I so admire do. But finally the time seemed right—I had an idea that I thought might work and finally, after several months of writing and re-writing…and twenty-four books into my writing career, the novel came into being.


On a lighter note, where do you find your ideal writing spots to be?

My study, the kitchen table, the back deck, a hotel room, Starbucks—all of these work well as places for me to write. The key seems to be the presence of coffee—a great deal of coffee.

David A. Poulsen

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014
David A. Poulsen photo

David A. Poulsen

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, and — most of all — a writer. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the first three books in the Cullen and Cobb Mystery series. He lives on a ranch in the Alberta foothills near Calgary.