Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Meet Robert Eggleton - Author who donates proceeds to Child Abuse Prevention Program

#AuthorInterview

As a blogger/writer I get in touch with a lot of people but its rare to find an author who donates half of the proceeds to a charity.
I am honoured to introduce Robert Eggleton - Author of Rarity from the Hollow book.


1.      Please tell us something about yourself.

I’m sixty-four years old and just now entering the fiction marketplace. I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author for decades. Rarity from the Hollow is my debut novel. After earning a master’s degree in social work in 1977, children’s rights became my personal calling. I’ve been a children’s advocate for over forty years. In 2002, I started a job as a children’s psychotherapist at the local mental health center. Six months ago, I retired from my job so that I could write and promote my fiction. It wasn’t a clean escape though. I had to make a deal with my conscience to justify leaving that job: author proceeds from Rarity from the Hollow have been donated to a child abuse prevention program.


2.      Please tell us something about your book, what makes it unique from other books?

Rarity from the Hollow has been called unique. It’s received mostly glowing book reviews, most of which have used the term unique or a synonym. Frankly, I didn’t think that I was writing anything that unusual as I worked on it. After it was published, one book critic, Bryan Zepp Jamieson, called it “…another quarter turn beyond Vonnegut….”
The novel is a children’s story for adults written in the colloquial voice of an eleven year old girl.  But, Lacy Dawn is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked. It is adult literary science fiction: an android was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’Till You Drop) to recruit Lacy to save the Universe from a surprising and lethal threat. The story's content addresses social issues, satiric of most everything that it touches upon and is not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended. Will Lacy Dawn's magic enable her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family?
  
3.      The book is classified into “social science fiction” – it is not a common genre, what motivated you to write about it?

In the 1970s, Ursula K. Le Guinn coined the term, "social science fiction." Rarity from the Hollow integrates serious social issues into its narrative – child abuse, domestic violence, PTSD experienced by Vets after returning from war…. Historically, speculative fiction has fuelled social activism, debate, and the adoption of evolving or devolving social policy. In 380 B.C., Plato envisioned a utopian society in The Republic and that story represented the beginning of a long string of speculations: ecology, economics, politics, religion, technology, feminism…. Maybe “social science fiction” is not a common genre today, but it has historical roots. 

I hope that readers will think about what I’ve written long after they have turned the last page of Rarity from the Hollow. The story is not preachy or anything similar, but I do hope that it prompts readers to reflect on the lives that some folks experience, especially those lives affected by child abuse and neglect.

4.      What was your inspiration for writing the story?

In 2002, I started working as a children’s psychotherapist in an intensive day program. Most of the kids, like me as a child, had been traumatized, some having experienced extreme sexual abuse. Part of my job was facilitating group therapy sessions.

One day at work in 2006, a few seats away from me around a table used for written therapeutic exercises, sat a skinny eleven year old with stringy brown hair. This girl was inspiring to other kids, staff, and, especially to me and my dream of writing fiction. Her name became Lacy Dawn. Rather than focusing on her victimization, she spoke of dreams – finding a loving family that respected her physically and spiritually. She inspired me to make my own dream come true, to write fiction – a powerful female protagonist who takes on the evils of the universe.

5.      What were the key challenges that you faced while writing the story?

I enjoy writing. Writing itself doesn’t present challenges. There was one scene, the third chapter that was very hard for me to write. This scene involves domestic violence and is harsh, the only graphic violence in the story. The novel becomes satiric and comedic. When writing about the domestic violence, tears would blur my vision of the monitor every time that I reworked it, a challenge to get it right. 

6.      Which part of publishing process is the most taxing for you? Is it writing, editing, proposing to publishers or something else?

I enjoy writing. Writing itself doesn’t present challenges. The challenges began after Rarity from the Hollow was published – self-promotion. The marketplace if flooded with books. Small presses don’t have budgets to promote books. Letting people know that my novel exists has been was up to me. Every step of the path after the last period of the story has been a challenge because self-promotion is not a good fit to my personality.  

7.      Any other projects you are working on? Yes, what are they?

I’ve started to take a second look at Ivy, the next full-length Lacy Dawn Adventure, in light of what I’ve learned while self promoting Rarity from the Hollow. I have three short stories that I’m working on finding a home for, and a literary poem.

8.      Lastly, if you have to describe your book in few lines, how will you do it?

I’ll use the words of a book reviewer to answer your question: “…Rarity From the Hollow by Robert Eggleton is a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them… it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy….”


Quick Summary of the book:

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction with content that addresses social issues. Written in the colloquial voice of an eleven year old going of two million, this novel is not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended. It is a Children’s Story for Adults. Lacy Dawn is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked. 



She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family.


Please do leave your comments and if the book intrigued you, do grab a copy from following links:




Till Then
Take Care

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