Wail of the Banshees
Ghost Wars Saga Book One
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Ghost Watch Publishing
Date of Publication: June 19, 2013
mobi: ISBN: 0989446905
Print: ISBN13: 9780989446907
Number of pages: 350 print
Word Count: 100, 471
Cover Artist: Hannah Carr
A murdered college student must help the Philadelphia Police Department track down the serial killer responsible for her death and then lead an improbable rebellion against the powers that be in the ghost realm of Limbo.
My name is Veronika Kane and dying, dying was just the beginning.
How was I supposed to know that getting smashed on my 21st birthday would lead me to becoming the 9th victim of a serial killer that’s been stalking Philadelphia’s streets for months? Now I’m a ghost and unlife is pretty scary. Reapers, wraiths, ghouls, gargoyles: all of the monsters that I thought were storybook characters are real! On top of it all, the powers that be in the ghost world want to enslave me and use me in their own diabolical plot to manipulate the people of the living world. Too bad I didn’t turn out to be the kind of ghost they wanted me to be, and I’m not about to let them turn me into one of their puppets. These ghosts are responsible for my murder and the murders of eight other women.
A rebellion is coming, and the ghosts that run this place are about to find out just how big a mistake they made when they had me killed.
My name is Veronika Kane and being murdered isn’t the end of my story.
Wail of the Banshees is an Urban Fantasy Novel and the first book in the exciting Ghost Wars saga which features paranormal horror and action set in living Philadelphia and the ghostly world of Limbo.
What an interesting way to look at an alternative world. When I think of Limbo, I’m thinking of being stuck in between, which is kind of similar, but takes on a whole new role. The ghosts that live here are not quite what you would expect from the average “limbo”. And way to make sure the murder victim gets some justice. LOL I will definitely say this one was interesting!
Veronika is murdered, and must find her own killer. Hmmm, makes for something intriguing to start, right. She was murdered by a serial killer. He is also making a nuisance with the ghosts of Limbo. Veronika not only has to save herself, as she is now a ghost there, but help save all the others too. I liked this little twist. Usually a ghost has to find someone who can see them to get help. Here, the ghost must use their own creativity to do it. Plus, Veronika is a likable character as you only want to see her succeed.
The world building is probably the best part. It’s set in a city full of life and culture, not just for the living but for the dead. There’s lots of different “ghosts” because a “ghost” is so broad termed. Gargoyles are always AWESOME! 🙂 LOL There’s plenty of action going around trying to solve your own murder case as a ghost. The writing is easy, which I like because it means I don’t have to figure out what’s going on. I’m definitely a fan, and look forward to more! 4.5 GHOSTLY PAWS!!
About the Author:
welcome! First, tell me a little about your book :)….
Wail of the Banshees begins with the line “Getting your throat slit in a dark alley really sucks.” And so we begin with the protagonist, Veronika Kane going through this really traumatic experience of being murdered by a serial killer. Veronika lives on as a ghost and she must quickly learn the ways of the ghost realm of Limbo in which she has essentially been reborn. There’s a lot of mystery in the beginning with Veronika being obsessed with helping the living police capture her killer. At the same time, the ghosts who run Limbo are pretty evil and they want to corrupt her and use her to further their own nefarious goals. By the last half of the book, it’s clear to Veronika that she must put together a rebelion and lead it against overwhelming odds. In the process of this personal journey, Veronika suffers terribly, but her courage and determination to stand up for what’s right gives her the strength to fight on. Over all, this is a summer action movie novel. It’s meant to be enjoyed, there’s lots of cool action and enough suspenseful mystery to keep everyone intrigued. If you like interesting new places with new monsters and new rules, then the world of Limbo will keep you interested.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
My second grade teacher read The Hobbit to our class, that’s where my love of reading began. I read epic fantasy and sword and sorcery fantasy primarily. It didn’t take me long to start imagining my own tales and by the time that I reached the age of thirteen, I was trying to write them down. As a legally blind teenager, it seemed quite natural for me to go in the writer direction, after all, I couldn’t ever be a cop or Navy Seal, but I could write stories about them. I dabbled with writing throughout my teenage years but by the time I finished college, I’d put the dream aside to pursue a teaching career. It wasn’t until I started reading urban fantasy that the dream of authorship was rekindled. Urban fantasy fired up my imagination, its blending of the familiar world with the fantastical inspired me in ways that no other genre had done up till this point.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
My first book is Wail of the Banshees and it is inspired by my love for urban fantasy and my desire to write about a protagonist that wasn’t a vampire, werecreature, fae, or detective. I played around with a lot of ideas for a few weeks and when I considered a ghost, I asked myself how the character became a ghost. It was then that I came up with the opening line for the book and I was hooked from that moment. Choosing the city of Philadelphia as my setting inspired the whole second half of the book and the idea for the Ghost Wars. Philadelphia has a rich history, amazing locations, and cool urban legends.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Wail of the Banshees isn’t based on any life events or people that I know. As I’ve been doing interviews on this tour however, I’ve become aware of the messages that the story portrays, at least for me, and these do involve life experiences. Veronika is murdered at the beginning of the book, her story should end there but it doesn’t. Veronika discovers that there’s a whole new life in the afterlife, some of it is horrible, much of it is good. Many people believe that if they were to lose the use of their legs, or become blind, their life would somehow become not worth living. I know many people with disabilities who would disagree with this, and as a blind person myself I am very happy with my life. People find a way to overcome the odds, they learn to live with their challenges, and they overcome by adapting. This is what I get out of the story based on my experiences, I didn’t set out to shape this message and I’d guess that readers will take many different messages away from the story based on their own experiences.
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
In the case of Wail of the Banshees, we have two kinds of death to talk about. Getting killed in the mortal living world can lead to a second life as a ghost as is the case with protagonist Veronika Kane. Getting killed as a ghost leads to oblivion or final death though. Sending characters to their final death isn’t fun but it is the cost of war. Choosing who lives and who dies can be tricky. For me, I consider the emotional impact of the death and also what removing the character from future stories will mean to the meta-plot. I don’t have a formula, I just go with what feels right for the story.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Actually I’m very intrigued by Mythos, book 1 of the Descendants series by VrindaPendred. I love all thing Cthulhu related and this just sounds cool. You can find her here;
Who do you look up to as a writer?
Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson. I’ve talked a lot about my admiration for Jim Butcher, his Dresden Files and Alera Codex are fantastic series. I love Jim’s ability to create cool and memorable scenes. I also admire Brandon Sanderson’s ability to create completely unique magic systems as he did in the Mistborn series.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
No. That’s the great thing about the beta reading process and then the editorial revision. I really depend on my editor to help me fulfill the books full potential. My editor, Jaimee Finnegan is amazing and I feel that she helped me avoid any shortfalls in Wail of the Banshees.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The revision phase is a lot of work and is very time consuming compared to writing the first draft. My bad vision makes this an even slower process. Being thorough and deliberate is very important though, this is where you make or break your book. You asked me about if there were any changes that I’d make looking back, if you do this phase right, the answer should be no. You really need to have a great editor to help you through this phase, luckily I do.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre?
I am currently reading Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews. It’s the sixth book in the Kate Daniels series of post apocalyptic urban fantasy. I just finished reading Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K. Hamilton.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
My cover designer is the talented Hannah Carr. She is a fellow tabletop RPG player and I occasionally play disc golf with her and her boyfriend. She and I do discuss what my vision for the cover is and then she makes it happen with her magic and hard work. I don’t pick an actual scene from the book but rather various images from the entire book.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
One of the great things about being an author is that you are constantly learning new things. For Wail of the Banshees, I had to immerse myself in the city of Philadelphia. I learned about architecture and urban legends. One cool thing that I studied for a bit for the book was the history of American breweries, the architecture of the massive brewing factories, and the neighborhoods like Brewerytown that supported the brewery industry. I also learned about the devastating impact of Prohibition on the industry. Before Prohibition, there were over one hundred breweries in Philadelphia, many of them huge industrial complexes that employed hundreds of people. At the end of Probition, only a dozen or so returned to profitability in Philly. In book two, I studied the history of mental health treatment and in particular the ByberryStateHospital in Philadelphia. Of course I’ve also learned a lot about writing, social networking, marketing, and publishing.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
In Wail of the Banshees, I’d have to say Veronika. She’s determined and powerful, a lot of what she does is by the seat of her pants. In book two, I introduce two new characters that give Veronika a run for her money, including the wizard Nathaniel Carter. Which would I want to be between Veronika and Nathaniel? I’d have to go with Nathaniel since I’d prefer to be alive and not go through some of Veronika’s experiences.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
I read Gods of Gotham earlier this year and I’d recommend it to everyone. It is an amazing experience, 1840’s New York City will come alive for you in ways you can’t imagine.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Wail of the Banshees is supposed to be a fun read. If you are a fan of action on the level of The Matrix and the Harry Dresden books, then you will enjoy this novel. There’s a great story here, you’ll find mystery and suspense. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this interview and for reading my book. Please visit my website at http://www.ghostwatchpublishing.com and interact on my social media sites.
Thanks for having me on this great site, I really appreciate the opportunity to speak to your readers.
You are very welcome! I hope we can do it again!!!
About the Author!
Robert Poulin was born and raised in the New England state of Connecticut. After spending his late teenage years in Boca Raton Florida, Robert moved to upstate New York where he lived with his uncle Wilbrod Poulin and attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
After earning a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Teaching, Robert went back to Florida where he taught Social Studies for a few years. After returning to Northern New York, Robert took a job with the North Country Center for Independence: a disability rights and advocacy organizations.
Robert has worked for NCCI for thirteen years and is now the Executive Director.
Wail of the Banshees is Robert’s first novel; he has been a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction since second grade when he discovered The Hobbit. Urban fantasy in particular has become Robert’s favored genre in the past decade.
Robert has been legally blind since infancy, but thanks to a mom that encouraged independence, hard work, and a healthy dose of dreaming, the disability has mostly just been an inconvenience. Robert is currently in the editorial process with his second novel, Death Toll, and is writing Echoes of Madness the third novel in the Veronika Kane saga.