"Rohan combines all the elements of basic fantasy -- a young hero, mentors, villains, something to be saved, special powers and, of course, magical creatures -- with great storytelling that appeals to a wide audience." KIRKUS REVIEWS

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A teacher's review of my visit to Butler Elementary

“On Tuesday, April 30th the grade 6 and Sec. 1 classes were very pleased to welcome author Julia K. Rohan into our classrooms. Julia, who is originally from Ontario but now resides in Knowlton, has written a fantasy novel for youths and is currently working on publishing the 2nd of 3 in the series. Both classes have been reading from her novel "Weaverworld - Grimsnipe's Revenge".

Julia shared with us the process of creating her characters and story; her inspirations as a writer; and all about the world of publishing.  The students showed a lot of interest and asked pertinent questions that lead to a fascinating discussion.

During story planning for narrative writing in our MELS end-of-year exam, one of the grade 6 students brought up Julia’s discussion on character development. Julia told us that she spent a really long time developing her characters’ personalities before she even knew what the story would be about. It’s the characters that control the story.  Many of the students really thought that was a good idea and began to really think about their characters’ personalities in the stories they would create. We also used passages in her book to demonstrate how a writer can describe a situation with so much detail and in such an interesting way.  I, the grade 6 teacher, was really pleased to see how Julia’s visit affected the class and how my students were inspired to become better writers. What more could a teacher want?”

Christine Blinn, Butler Elementary

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My visit to Butler Elementary School in Bedford, QC

On April 30, 2013 I visited Butler Elementary School in Bedford where I met with two Secondary 1 classes (equivalent to Grade 7).

Ms. Blinn's class had read up to the part where Jack enters the attic, so I continued reading from there. Before that, though, I talked to them about the writing process and specifically about how I came to write "Weaverworld: Grimsnipe's Revenge". The students asked some great questions and, as always, were a little shocked to hear that it took me 10 years to go from having no book at all to having three books in draft manuscript form. I explained to them that the hard work really begins when the first draft is done. Editing and rewriting is the hardest part of the job but can also be the most rewarding, especially when you see something you thought was okay getting better and better!

Then I moved on to Ms. Soule's Secondary 1 class. They had only had a chance to read the first chapter, so it was fun to catch them up on the action in Granny's attic. With both classes I emphasized that when writing a story the most important thing to concentrate on is character development. I explained how I began writing my book by writing biographies of my characters so that I knew them very well even before I started. By taking the time to go through this process the writer develops an emotional connection to his or her characters which comes through in the book.

Thank you once again to the teachers and students at Butler Elementary for inviting me to come and speak about "Weaverworld". As I told the students, Book Two is in the second rewrite stage now. If all goes well it should be ready for the book shelves by August this year. The title for the moment (and this may change!) is "Weaverworld: Quest for the Eagle-eye Amulet".

May 11, 2013