Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
Hi, Marie. Thanks for the opportunity to tell your readers a little about myself and my debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow.
Half of author proceeds are donated to prevent child abuse.
Is there anything else which prompted Rarity from the Hollow? Something that inspired you?
I’ve worked in the field of children’s advocacy for over forty years. During this time, my feelings that something more needed to be done to help maltreated children grew and grew. Do you realize that the United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations in protecting kids – losing on an average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect?
Another embarrassment for the greatest country to have ever existed, twenty-six years ago, 190 members of United Nations passed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but the U.S., along with Somalia, still hasn’t joined by signing it. Weird, huh?
Personally, I think that these realities are too embarrassing to tolerate. In 2015, I retired from my job as a psychotherapist for our local mental health center. It was an intensive mental health, day treatment program. Many of the kids in the program had been abused, some sexually. Part of my job was to facilitate group therapy sessions.
One day at work in 2006 during a group therapy session, I was sitting around a table used for written therapeutic exercises, and a little girl with stringy, brown hair sat a few feet away. Instead of just disclosing the horrors of her abuse at the hands of the meanest daddy on Earth, she also spoke of her hopes and dreams for the future: finding a loving family who would protect her forever.
This girl was inspiring. She got me thinking again about my own hopes and dreams of writing fiction, an aspiration that I’d held in since I was a child. My protagonist was born that day – an empowered victim who takes on the evils of the universe: Lacy Dawn. I began to write fiction in the evenings and sometimes went to work the next day without enough sleep. Every time that I would feel discouraged, when I felt like giving up, I would imagine Lacy Dawn speaking honestly about the barriers that she faced in pursuit of her dream of finding a permanent and loving home.
I still experience moments of discouragement as a writer in this world of books, especially as related to self-promotion on a nonexistent budget to do so. But, so far, envisioning Lacy Dawn standing up and facing the evils of the universe has helped me bounce back.
I started writing short stories as a child. I’m the oldest child from an impoverished family. My father was an alcoholic Vet suffering from WWII related PTSD with night terrors and anger outbursts. My mother was downtrodden but very protective of her children. Since there was no money for toys or recreation, not even a television, perhaps to help us all escape this harsh reality, I started writing and sharing short stories to entertain my family, peers, and others in the neighborhood. In the eighth grade, one of my stories won the school’s short story competition. I continued to write until college when I just couldn’t find the time or energy. Then, after I finished graduate school all of my jobs including writing nonfiction related to child welfare: service manuals; policy; investigative reports about systems, institutions, and programs; research and statistical reports…
When I accepted the job as a psychotherapist for our local mental health center in 2002, that was my first professional job that didn’t include the production of written materials. My need to write was unmet and began to gnaw at me. I returned to writing fiction in 2006 to satisfy this need.
The last book that I read was Nightly Visits by Stephen Helms, an unknown author. It was a collection of scary short stories. I liked it enough to write a positive review. My favorite authors will show my age: Vonnegut, Piers Anthony, Tom Robbins, Orwell…actually, I have too many favorites to list.
"Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell's Animal Farm. I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list." - Marcha’s Two Cent’s Worth
It was truly a pleasure! Great trailer there!
Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children's Story. For Adults. This novel was written in colloquial Appalachian voice.
Universal Amazon: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B017REIA44
“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.” - Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review
I recently retired after 52 years of
contributions into the U.S. Social Security fund so that I could write and
promote my fiction. I’m a former mental health psychotherapist in West
Virginia. After coming home drained from working with child abuse victims, I
didn't have the energy left to begin self-promotion of this project. Most of
the successes listed above have been achieved in the last fifteen months
following my retirement. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse
prevention program in my home state. A listing of services that are supported can be found
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Eggleton/e/B007K012ZK/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5818055.Robert_Eggleton Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/108662084126982201049/108662084126982201049/posts