I’m happy to welcome Robert Eggleton, author of Rarity from the Hollow, to NK today!
ALL ABOUT YOU
You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired Rarity from the Hollow?
I’ve worked in the field of children’s welfare for over forty years. During this period I’ve me so many victims of childhood maltreatment who survived horrific circumstances, who went on to make great lives for themselves despite all the odds against it. In 2002, I accepted a position as a children’s therapist for our local mental health center. It was a day program which served children at high risk for hospitalization or even institutionalization because of behavioral problems. Many of the kids had been abused, some sexually. Part of my job was to facilitate group therapy exercises. One day in 2006, a skinny little girl with stringy brown hair sat a few feet away from me around the table used for written therapeutic exercises. Instead of concentrating on her victimizations, she spoke of her hopes and dreams for the future – finding a permanent loving family that would protect her. She inspired me to consider my own hopes and dreams – to write fiction, one that I’d held secret since winning the eighth grade short story contest. My protagonist was born that day – Lacy Dawn.
Introduce us to your main character!
Lacy Dawn begins Rarity from the Hollow as an eleven year old victim of poverty, harsh discipline, domestic violence, and a witness to the effects of mental illness and substance abuse suffered by her parents that she loves despite it all. She is intelligent, loving, determined, and doesn’t realize that her genetics have been manipulated for millennium to produce a being capable of resolving an imminent threat to the universe. By the time she is fourteen, she has evolved to become a most powerful savior, one who doesn’t need to carry a sword, beat up anybody, and who doesn’t have an ounce of sex appeal – her strength and beauty is beyond superficial measures.
Walk us through a day in the life of Robert Eggleton.
A little over a year ago, I retired from my job at the mental health center so that I could concentrate on writing and promoting my fiction. I’m kind of boring – a lot of time on the internet interspersed with housework and home repairs, trying to keep my old truck road worthy…. I love old psychedelic rock music and listen to it daily, as well as listening to a local eclectic radio station that mixes obscure songs with classics, including country. My neighbor couldn’t pay his electric bill so it’s been off for several months. I walk him over something to eat daily. My true love is writing and I write something every day – a poem, a short story, work on my next novel, or just a great scene that I will plug into something or another at some point in the future. Now that I’ve retired, my day is much less structured. Sometimes, I’ll stay up for a couple of days writing and then on others I sleep late. Occasionally, I’ll go to a movie or, more frequently, to a concert – we have free concerts every weekend in the summer and I’ll attend a concert in the Park this next weekend where old friends will interact. I told you that I was kind of boring.
Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?
Well, I’m certainly no expert in the fiction marketplace. Yes, I have discovered lots of books written by lots of authors, never to be heard from again. I’ve also discovered a lot of book blogs that have gone defunct. So, my best advice would be to stay determined. Also, I recommend not rushing. I’ve spent a lot of time “looking inside” and checking out free books on Amazon over the last year. A lot of great sounding books appeared to have been published prematurely without competent editing. I’ve been advised to publish more, to create a backlist, and maybe that’s sound advice. On the other hand, nobody who has given me that advice has gone on to be “discovered” like Elvis singing on a porch stoop. Rarity from the Hollow just went through an exhaustive re-editing process for the upcoming release of the second edition on September 30, 2016.
I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?
Hit and Run by Dr. Bob Rich, a prominent Australian Psychologist. This is the type of book that requires some processing after the last page has been read. It’s his first fiction but he has a psychology self-help type book under his belt. I read in all genres, including romance, and I do not recommend this book for someone who only enjoys action-packed escapism. Maybe I liked Hit and Run so much because it has a most unlikely protagonist, like Rarity – an elderly woman assisted by paranormal phenomena.
Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?
Rarity from the Hollow is not for everybody, no book is for everybody. The first edition received several glowing reviews by prominent book reviewers, but a few people found it outside of their comfort zones. The second edition is better and has been toned down a little, with the political allegory strengthened.
NOW FOR THE FUN…
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Hard-working, determined, sensitive
What is your most embarrassing memory?
From 1982 through 1997, I worked for our state Supreme Court as a youth specialist. Part of my job was Legislative Education – making speeches to legislative bodies about children’s issues. One Sunday I parked and rushed into the large chamber filled with important people. Our Capitol building is the home for dozes on pigeons, one of whom had great aim and had, unbeknownst to me, pooped on the shoulder of my suit jacket. After an initial, “ugh” by an attendee, I washed up before the speech, but still stood in front of dozens of legislators with a big wet spot on my shoulder. It was not one of my better presentations.
What is your (character’s) Hogwarts or Ilvermorny house?
Pukwudgie because more than anything else in the world Lacy Dawn wanted to heal her parents of their mental health disorders, more important to her than saving the universe.
Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?
The android that aspired to achieve humanity and would not be discoverable as a robot. His love for Lacy Dawn could not have been defeated by any foe.
A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters. Which actors/actresses make the cut?
Although she is not an actress, Simone Biles, Gold Medal Olympian, would make a great Lacy Dawn in a movie. Ms. Biles’ determination, especially given her mother’s substance abuse issues, is an inspiration to us all, a prerequisite for any savior of the universe.
You just won America’s Got Talent. What’s your talent?
Although I sang (screamed) in a couple of rock bands when I was a teen, as anybody in my household would attest, I have no musical talent. I’m a good story teller, so could give comedian a try, but my jokes tend to be more sarcastic or satiric than seems to be popular now. I loved George Carlin – miss him.
Radioactive space rock fell from the sky and turned you into a superhero/villain. Tell us your new name, describe your powers, and what does your costume look like?
Of all superpowers, I respect the power to heal the most. Of course, so as not be discriminatory, I would need the power to transport myself to different geographical areas of the planet. Plus, I would need the power to assess true natures of humans so that healing is a positive application. Some people cause so much harm that healing them of disorders could be a negative. And, I would want the power to modify my appearance so as to fit into any location – to look like others. I wouldn’t want to present a God-like ability from an unusual form.
This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where (or more accurately “when”) would you go?
As long as I could return to my own time period, I would love to return to public school and to take advantage of the education that I missed. I kind of zoned out in school due to familial problems and other issues. Education just didn’t feel important at the time and I missed a lot of it – a big regret.
Coffee or tea?
Best ice cream flavor ever?
Your theme song/personal anthem?
“Crown of Creation” is an old Jefferson Airplane song that still impacts my thinking, motivates me to think outside of the box, to explore concepts rather than to become a fossil of my time.
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” — Kurt Vonnegut
What is one piece of advice you would tell everyone?
Don’t let the buttholes get you down.
Rarity from the Hollowby Robert Eggleton
Published on March 16, 2012 by Dog Horn Publishing
Genres: Science Fiction
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn't great. But Lacy has one advantage -- she's been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It's up to her to save the Universe.
Will Lacy Dawn's predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?
Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children's story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.