PLATTSBURGH — Anyone who has worked with Robert Poulin on issues involving independent living knows how dedicated and determined he can be.
As the executive director for the North Country Center for Independence, Poulin has enthusiastically been an advocate for those who need a little guidance in their daily lives.
But Poulin has recently embarked on another interest that he approaches with just as much enthusiasm, a hobby of sorts that he finds time on the weekends to pursue: writing fantasy novels.
“When I was little, I read a lot of fantasy, science fiction,” Poulin said recently as he discussed the process he followed to publish his first book, “Wail of the Banshees.”
“From a young age, I wanted to be a writer, but then I moved on (with career decisions that brought him eventually to advocacy for people with disabilities). I’ve been with NCCI for 13 or 14 years, and that has taken a lot of my time and energy.”
Although the writer’s bug may go dormant at times, it never truly goes away, and Poulin began thinking about his interest in fantasy writing a few years ago.
He began down the path of creating his fantasy world about a young college girl who is murdered in Philadelphia, and then, as a ghost, helps the Philly police department find her killer.
“I started writing this three years ago,” he recalled. “It took about seven months to write it and revise it in my own inexpert way.”
The book turned into much more than a ghost story/mystery, however. Veronika Kane, the central character, quickly learns in afterlife that the ghost world is a wild, crazy fantasy land filled with both good and evil creatures.
It’s her initiation into this world that carries Veronika, and the reader, through a whirlwind of adventure, mystery and suspense.