Andover author Robert (Rob) Colichio was always drawn to fantasy and science fiction while growing up, with a particular interest in Medieval fantasy. “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” are two examples. His enthusiasm, when talking about his books, is palpable even over the phone. He is fully engaged in his writing, and finishing the six-book series called “The Eternal Restitution Saga.” Two books from the series have already been published, with a third in the works.
The first two books, “An Eye for An Eye, A Life For A Life” (published in 2020), and “An Unknown Destiny” (published in 2021), fall under the genre of fantasy/dark fantasy, but with an occasional element of horror. The third book, currently being written, will fall more under the genre of dark fantasy/psychological horror. The title of that book is “The Reckless Truth.”
In addition to the six books of the series, Mr. Colichio recently finished an “expansion” book, which is meant to be read before the upcoming third book, and which provides more depth and explanations about a province in the world, Estorize. This one, called “Alara’s Journal,” takes place 300 years before the events of the first book. It will be out later this summer.
“Alara’s Journal” lays out the groundwork for the series. For example, the home of the plot is The Bycorian Empire. Balistor, a city Rob said was influenced by ancient Constantinople, is the capital, and the largest city. Second largest is “Istoria,” influenced, unsurprisingly, by New York City. “The body of water east of Istoria and North of Balistor is known as The Sigil Sea. This body of water is rumored by local folklore to “mirror the emotions or state of the empire and its King/Queen”.” “The main character’s name is Prince Rozyn, with a strong supporting role by Princess Elia (From the nation of Rylasforn, which lies across the Sigil Sea).”
Asked about his motivation to write the “Eternal Restitution Saga” series of books, Rob said he wasn’t sure, but that he “just had to do it.” The outline of the series was conceived of and written out over a decade ago. It took him twelve years to get the first book, “An Eye For An Eye…” out. He started writing in 2008, but it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that he found time to finally publish it in 2020. After finishing his first book last year, he “dived into writing the second book, “An Unknown Destiny,” which was released this year in April. He then took a brief hiatus, until this May when he started writing the third book, “The Reckless Truth.” He is already fifty pages into that story (and no doubt more by the time this article is published).
An intriguing aspect of Robert’s world is that he is a numbers person by day (Undergraduate degree in Accounting; Masters Degree in Business Leadership from Franklin Pierce University), working with financial systems at his job in Concord, and a creative writer by night. His day work lacks creativity, but when he is writing he can “dive into alternate reality.” While he couldn’t pinpoint the motivation for his stories, he knows what influences them. His books are based, primarily, on life experiences and people he knows or knew, including himself.
A secondary, but major, influence is his love of music; all types. He especially loves to listen to “rock, metal, pop, video game and movie soundtracks.” Sometimes, a particular piece of music will play and Rob finds himself drawn into a dimension of thought that is hard to describe unless someone has experienced it themselves. The ideas flow, and he can picture a concrete thought. One such musical source of this type of inspiration is a soundtrack from “Batman Begins.”
The third influence comes from his lifelong love of video games. “Video Games is/was my first hobby. We have gaming consoles from Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Over 2,500 games in the collection.” This of course ties into how music influences his books, as video games are a major source of soundtracks.
Many writers feel their first drafts are garbage. Robert doesn’t feel that way. He said that what he writes is what he envisioned, based on his original outline. “My thought process sometimes is so fast, that I have to just get the ideas down on paper before they fade away. It is like a train track switching between the different tracks at a terminal. For eight seconds, that track may be linked to another track, and if I don’t get the idea out fast enough, that track might move. Thus I risk losing the idea or my train of thought.”
A couple of other notable facts mentioned during the interview include one, the disclosure that the author’s inspiration to become a writer and realize his dream happened while going through his Masters in Business program, which required a lot of writing, albeit it about facts. He realized at that point that he liked writing, especially fiction. It helped him to form his direction in life, outside of a nine-to-five job. The second notable fact, as Robert explained, is that the book covers were his own creation. He can’t draw, so he takes pictures and uses photo editing.
Mr. Colichio was asked if he had any fears about writing. His answer had to do with the anxiety of keeping tabs on how many books are selling at the different stores. He follows the numbers on Amazon and at Gibson’s Bookstore. If a book isn’t selling fast enough, or enough copies, it is easy to doubt yourself, he said. You have to decide if “you are writing to make money, or for yourself.” Asked if it was worth it in light of the costs of editing, publishing, etc., Rob said a resounding “yes!” “Down the road, who knows if someone will pick it up and want to make a movie out of it.” The challenge is finding a good marketing strategy. It’s important to get the word out there; engage in meet and greet book-signings. With so many other authors and books out there, an author has to reach out and find a way to relate, and find a connection, to prospective readers.
A Brooklyn, New York native, Robert’s family moved up to Concord, New Hampshire in 1995. Rob then moved to Andover in 2018 where he lives with his wife of eight years, Krystina, six-year old Adelynn, and one-month old Quinten. They love it there. The town has a “quiet demeanor” but is close to amenities. When asked if his spouse supports his writing, he answered “yes.” “Behind every man is a strong woman.” His books are available at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, or through Amazon.com. His Facebook page link is: facebook.com/TheEternalRestitutionSagaRJC.