Captain Von Narcisse publishes his first children’s book

September 20, 2021

Yale Police Captain Von Narcisse is now a published author. What started back in 2012 as a story told to his family during Hurricane Sandy is now a children’s book. The Forgotten Prophecy is about an old scroll and a group of friends who go on an adventure. The book is targeted at children ages 8 to 13.

As the hurricane blew overhead, shaking their house and cutting power, Von decided to take everyone’s mind off of the storm with a quickly made-up story. The following day his son suggested he write it down on paper. So he did and was later asked to come to his son’s class and read it aloud. “I was inspired by their reaction to the story. Children at that age are so brutally honest. They liked it. The teacher later told me to do something with it. And so, I did,” said Captain Narcisse.

Von set out to get the story published, sending it out to publishers. One company was interested and gave him some valuable feedback—it needed an illustrator to make the story come alive.

During a Yale holiday party, he bumped into Joseph Relihan, Coordinator YalePictured from left to right: Joseph Relihan, Michael Ferguson and Captain Von Narcisse.

Printing and Publishing Services (YPPS). In talking about the book, Joe recommended a colleague Michael Ferguson, Prepress Design, YPPS as a possible illustrator — and so began a wonderful collaboration between Michael and Von.

They met and hit it off immediately; Michael would take Von’s words and created images bringing the characters to life with both working diligently over the next several years. “I needed some time with the story to do some preliminary sketches. I wanted to ensure my drawings fit the piece and that Von liked my style,” said Michael. They created a draft version, testing it on adults and kids.

Two years ago, using Michael’s illustrations and additional publisher feedback, Von re-envisioned a few of the characters from the original story he wrote in 2012. He wanted to strike a balance between a slightly dark story not being too scary for young readers. “The illustrations took the story to the next level. I couldn’t have done this without Michael’s patient help and amazing illustrating skills. My characters took shape and came to life through Michael’s talent. We are comfortable with the final product,” said Von.

The book was officially published in May 2021. As part of the debut, Michael created a short intro video. “I took a static image of the book cover added particle effects and lightening in the background with haunting dreamy music. It gives you a flavor of the story, and I hope it will foster interest in Von’s wonderful story,” said Michael.

Both author and illustrator, who have become friends, are already discussing the next book with a Western theme. “Sharing aspirations is the spirit of Yale. There is a strong community at Yale, and I feel my collaboration with Michael is a great example of that. It’s not just about going to work, but about the individuals you meet in your career that have a positive effect on your life,” said Von.

The Forgotten Prophecy can be purchased online.