New children’s adventure book promises a Wilder journey

Raymond Arroyo is well-known as a newsman, the host for two decades of The World Over on EWTN and biographer of Mother Angelica, the network’s founder.

But he is also the author of an unfolding children’s adventure book series with Random House about a boy named Will who can see demons. Will Wilder: The Lost Staff of Wonders, the second book in the series, came out this month.

On the anniversary week of Mother Angelica’s death a year ago, Kathryn Jean Lopez spoke to him about his new book and his friendship with Mother Angelica.

Lopez: Why is Will getting “Discernment of Spirits” training and why is this important when dealing with good and evil?

Arroyo: Will has a supernatural gift: he can see demons.  I believe that every gift must be utilized and trained.  If you could visibly see the spiritual realm and interact with it, it only stands to reason that you’d want to discern just who or what is sharing the room with you.  We have the advantage of not knowing what is in the room with us.  But that doesn’t mean no one is there.   

Will’s Aunt Lucille advises one of the characters that “Gossip can be so destructive.” Pope Francis says it kills. Do you feel like Will Wilder is part of a revolution? One that doesn’t have to do with a personality, but the Gospel message?

When you write fiction you have an obligation first to entertain, then to be true to the character and world that you have created. This is my attempt to excite kids about a story and keep us all on tenterhooks.  I actually didn’t remember Pope Francis making that comment about gossip.  Aunt Lucille speaks for herself — often.  Her aim here was to shut up one of Will’s critics and to protect her great nephew.  That’s where my head is as an author.  I only do half the job here — I write the words.  The reader imagines and co-creates the characters in their imaginations.  Their reaction, their final impressions are their own.  Someone once said: We don’t…

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