About 20 All Saints middle school knew they would be enjoying a pizza lunch with librarians Mrs. Coyle and Mrs. Geary to celebrate earning 40+ AR points already this year. What they didn’t know is that they would be joined by a special guest, writer Mr. Ric Colegrove. Author of the pre-teen/teen fantasy book series, The Journey of Rol, Ric Colegrove met with the students to share his first-hand experience as both the writer and illustrator of this fantasy story of adventure and hope.
In the first book of the series, Be: The Journey of Rol, the main character, Rol, is a fourteen-year-old boy who faces a life-determining decision to take an easy path or travel an uncertain route to return to his family. As detailed on The Journey of Rol website, “Rol is forced to confront internal and external obstacles, learning to rely on his positive attitude, as well as hope, for a successful outcome. Inspiration, values, faith, and thanking God for His blessings are components of this story, as are adventure, humor, and unique characters and challenges.”
The Warrenton-based writer and Holy Trinity parishioner developed the original premise of the book 20 years ago but put it “on the shelf” as he pursued other interests and raised his family with Betty, his wife of 28 years. Colegrove spent a year of intensive writing, proofing, editing, and illustrating to complete the book. Students caught a glimpse of the author’s character development process through his stories of Rol’s sidekicks Kearth and Fhfyrd, who both entertain and antagonize Rol. The character of Rol’s mentor, A. Loysius DeTerrin, owes his first name to Colegrove’s studies of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
As an added bonus, Colegrove showed the students the original detailed illustrations he drew for the book. An accomplished artist, Colegrove shared that he is hoping to include more illustrations in the second book in the series, Not Afraid, due to be published in 2017.
Listening to him speak about the writing process, it’s clear that Ric Colegrow experiences great joy as a writer. “I probably have a smile on my face the whole time that I’m writing,” Colegrove noted. He hopes that other would be writers and artists who attended this special author talk will keep putting pen to paper in sharing their stories and creative ideas. As a special gift from Colegrove, each student received a journal as an inspiration to “continue writing, drawing and keeping track of their ideas.”
To find out more about The Journey of Rol and to purchase the first book in the series, please visit Ric Colegrove’s website at www.thejourneyofrol.com. Our thanks to Mr. Colegrove for visiting All Saints and sharing his writer’s insights with our students. We are already looking forward to book two!