Author's Bookshelf: Robert Eggleton

We're bringing something a bit different to Writing in the Modern Age today. Awhile back, I had an idea for a new feature so I reached out to some author colleagues to see if they'd like to participate. I thought it might be nice to show readers a few books that have inspired authors. You might find it enlightening, and at least be able to answer the age old question, "What the heck do authors read?"

 


Writers are readers too! Most authors love to collect books for their vast personal libraries. The written word is fascinating to us, and many newer authors as well as those in the past have helped to shape who we are today. 

 

 

Without further ado, our guest today is Robert Eggleton, an author of social sciences and science fiction. Won't it be interesting to hear about a few books that have inspired Robert on his writing and publishing journey? 



Sounds pretty great to me. So, take it away, Robert!

 

 

  Books That Inspired My Debut Novel


Hi, Marie. Thanks for the opportunity to share with your readers some of the books that have been particularly inspirational to me. 

I have eclectic reading tastes. Consequently, the short list of books that inspired me to create Rarity from the Hollow is eclectic, as well.
 

 

1. Watership Down by Richard Adams


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B002NXOQF2

   

Blurb:

 

A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for over thirty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of friends, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

 

Robert's Thoughts:

 

Watership Down by R. Adams was such a sweet adventure that some of this element just is a necessary ingredient of even the scariest or saddest story.


2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B0064CPN7I

 

Blurb:



Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.


 

Robert's Thoughts:

 

His versatility in cross-genre and the use of humor by Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, was also inspiring to me.

 

 

3. Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B000FBFNWE


Blurb:

 

What if the Second Coming didn’t quite come off as advertised? What if “the Corpse” on display in that funky roadside zoo is really who they say it is—what does that portend for the future of western civilization? And what if a young clairvoyant named Amanda reestablishes the flea circus as popular entertainment and fertility worship as the principal religious form of our high-tech age? Another Roadside Attraction answers those questions and a lot more. It tell us, for example, what the sixties were truly all about, not by reporting on the psychedelic decade but by recreating it, from the inside out. In the process, this stunningly original seriocomic thriller is fully capable of simultaneously eating a literary hot dog and eroding the borders of the mind.


 

Robert's Thoughts:

 


Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins pushed me into the wilder side of writing. His humorous, scathing and insightful perceptions of those who swirl past the main characters has great comedic value. In my opinion, this book is a cultural icon for the "Children of the Sixties,"like me.

 

 

4. Stephen King


https://stephenking.com/


Brief Bio:

 

STEPHEN KING has published over 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers. King is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the American Letters and the 2014 National Medal of Arts.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.


 

Robert's Thoughts:


In general, Stephen King’s use of everyday horror convinced me that alarming scenes can be created by using almost anything as a prop. Publishers Weekly called the child abuse in my novel “graphic.” However, there are no actual serious injuries; except for a bloody nose in one scene, nothing graphic is on-screen.

 

5. Nora Roberts


http://www.noraroberts.com/


Brief Bio:


Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.
Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.
Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”



Robert's Thoughts:


Nora Roberts - just where to stop for me when I’m interested in a romance novel, so she was an inspiration for that element in Rarity from the Hollow.

 

 

6. Xanth by Piers Anthony


http://www.fantasticfiction.com/a/piers-anthony/

 


Blurb for A Spell for Chameleon, Book One of Xanth:



Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled--where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn't find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humpfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn't find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave....

 

Robert's Thoughts:



I love Piers Anthony’s use of puns in his fantasies, especially in Xanth. There’s been a rumor going around for quite a while that some of his work may become a movie. I hope so because I think it would be a hoot to watch.

 


 

7. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B003XRELEI


Blurb:

 

Breakfast of Champions (1973) provides frantic, scattershot satire and a collage of Vonnegut's obsessions. His recurring cast of characters and American landscape was perhaps the most controversial of his canon; it was felt by many at the time to be a disappointing successor to Slaughterhouse-Five, which had made Vonnegut's literary reputation.

The core of the novel is Kilgore Trout, a familiar character very deliberately modeled on the science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985), a fact which Vonnegut conceded frequently in interviews and which was based upon his own occasional relationship with Sturgeon. Here Kilgore Trout is an itinerant wandering from one science fiction convention to another; he intersects with the protagonist, Dwayne Hoover (one of Vonnegut's typically boosterish, lost and stupid mid-American characters) and their intersection is the excuse for the evocation of many others, familiar and unfamiliar, dredged from Vonnegut's gallery.

The central issue is concerned with intersecting and apposite views of reality, and much of the narrative is filtered through Trout who is neither certifiably insane nor a visionary writer but can pass for either depending upon Dwayne Hoover's (and Vonnegut's) view of the situation. America, when this novel was published, was in the throes of Nixon, Watergate and the unraveling of our intervention in Vietnam; the nation was beginning to fragment ideologically and geographically, and Vonnegut sought to cram all of this dysfunction (and a goofy, desperate kind of hope, the irrational comfort given through the genre of science fiction) into a sprawling narrative whose sense, if any, is situational, not conceptual.

Reviews were polarized; the novel was celebrated for its bizarre aspects, became the basis of a Bruce Willis movie adaptation whose reviews were not nearly so polarized. (Most critics hated it.) This novel in its freewheeling and deliberately fragmented sequentiality may be the quintessential Vonnegut novel, not necessarily his best, but the work which most truly embodies the range of his talent, cartooned alienation and despair.

 


Robert's Thoughts:


Last, but certainly not least, Vonnegut’s anger in Breakfast of Champions helped me stay strong as a children’s advocate and as a writer, and how to experiment with my writing style outside reinforced my faith in the potential of adolescent morality and the future of the world. His words have been inspirational in my life.


Thank you, Robert! I definitely agree about Nora Roberts, and I'm a fan of Kurt Vonnegut. Plus, I've used a lot of Bradbury quotes in my career. Awesome group here!

 

So, tell us about your book, Rarity from the Hollow...

 

https://books2read.com/u/4XKgY9

 

Rarity from the Hollows is an award winning adult social science fiction novel filled with tragedy, comedy, and satire that raises funds to help abused children, according to the blurb on Amazon. That’s mostly accurate. I once used the term “adult literary science fiction”, which was even more accurate, but some readers didn’t seem to know what that phrase meant. Written in colloquial Applachian voice, in reality, my debut novel is a genre bender that has been called unique within several highly complimentary reviews, and has elements of political parody, horror, romance, social commentary….

 

“..unique reading experience.. tugged at my heartstrings and I couldn't put the book down.. pity, anger, shock, and humor; and it all twines together to create a rich story that will keep you turning pages.” - review on See Beth Write

 

Book Blurb:



Lacy Dawn's father relives the never-ending 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 is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind, but her family and friends come first. Rarity from the Hollow is adult social science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire.


Here is an excerpt from the book.


Jenny (the mother) walked up the hill to Roundabend. She called Lacy Dawn's name every few yards. Her muddy tennis shoes slipped and slid.
            I hear her voice. Why won't she answer me? 
            “Sounds like she’s talking to someone,” Jenny said to the Woods. 

            Nobody responded. The trees weren't supposed to since Jenny was no longer a child. Her former best friends had made no long-term commitment beyond childhood victimization. They had not agreed to help her deal with domestic violence in adulthood. She hugged the closest tree.

            I will always love you guys. 
Jenny quickened her pace, stopped, and listened for human voices. A few yards later, she stopped again.   
            Now it sounds like she’s behind me instead of in front. 
            Jenny looked to the left of the path.
            There ain't no cave in Roundabend, but there it is. 
            She walked toward the entrance. The voices grew louder and she looked inside. Lacy Dawn sat on a bright orange recliner. Tears streamed down her face.  Jenny ran to her daughter through a cave that didn't exist and into a blue light that did.
            “All right, you mother f**ker!”
            “Mom!” Lacy Dawn yelled. “You didn’t say, ‘It’s me’ like you're supposed to (a traditional announcement mentioned earlier in the story)."
            DotCom (the android) sat naked in a lotus position on the floor in front of the recliner.  Jenny covered Lacy Dawn with her body and glared at him.   
            "Grrrrr," emanated from Jenny.  It was a sound similar to the one that Brownie (Lacy Dawn's dog) made the entire time the food stamp woman was at their house.  It was a sound that filled the atmosphere with hate.  No one moved.  The spaceship’s door slid shut.
            “Mommmmmy, I can’t breathe. Get up.”
            “You make one move, you sonofabitch, and I’ll tear your heart out.” Jenny repositioned to take her weight off Lacy Dawn.
            Stay between them.
            “Mommy, he’s my friend. More than my friend, we’re going to get married when I'm old enough -- like when I turn fourteen. He’s my boyfriend -- what you call it -- my fiancé.” 
            “You been messin’ with my little girl, you pervert!” Jenny readied to pounce. 
            “MOM!  Take a chill pill! He ain’t been messing with me. He’s a good person, or whatever. Anyway, he’s not a pervert. You need to just calm down and get off me.”
            Jenny stood up. DotCom stood up. Jenny’s jaw dropped.
            He ain't got no private parts, not even a little bump.   
            “DotCom, I’d like to introduce you to my mommy, Mrs. Jenny Hickman. Mommy, I’d like to introduce you to my fiancé, DotCom.”
            Jenny sat down on the recliner. Her face was less than a foot from DotCom’s crotch and she stared straight at it. It was smooth, hairless, and odor free.  
            “Mrs. Hickman, I apologize for any inconvenience that this misunderstanding has caused. It is very nice to meet you after having heard so much. You arrived earlier than expected. I did not have time to properly prepare and receive. Again, I apologize.” 
            I will need much more training if I'm ever assigned to a more formal setting than a cave, such as to the United Nations.
            “Come on, Mommy. Give him a hug or something.”      
            Jenny's left eye twitched. 
            DotCom put on clothing that Lacy Dawn had bought him at Goodwill. It hung a little loose until he modified his body. Lacy Dawn hugged her mother…    
            …(scene of Dwayne, the father, overheard by those in the spaceship while talking to himself)… “Besides, the transmitter was part of Daddy’s treatment. There're a lot of other things that he did to help fix Daddy. DotCom is like a doctor. You can see that Daddy has gotten better every day. And no, there ain’t no transmitter in you. DotCom figured you out like a good doctor and the only things wrong are a lack of opportunity and rotten teeth that poison your body. You don’t need no transmitter. He just gave you a few shots of ego boost. I don’t know what medicine that is, but I trust him. You ain't complained since the shots started -- not even with an upset stomach.”
            "He's a doctor?" Jenny asked.
            “What's your problem anyway?” Lacy Dawn asked. “I know.  You’re prejudiced. You told me that people have much more in common than they do that's different -- even if someone is a different color or religion, or from a different state than us. You told me to try to become friends because sometimes that person may need a good friend. Now, here you are acting like a butt hole about my boyfriend. You’re prejudiced because he’s different than us.”
            “Honey, he’s not even a person – that’s about as different as a boyfriend can get,” Jenny said.
            “So?”
            Mommy's right. Maybe I need a different argument.
            A fast clicking sound, a blur of motion, and a familiar smell assaulted them.
            "What's that?" Jenny asked. 
            She moved to protect her daughter from whatever threat loomed. Brownie, who had been granted 27 / 7 access to the ship, bounded over the orange recliner, knocked DotCom to the floor, licked DotCom’s face, and rubbed his head on Jenny’s leg. He then jumped onto the recliner and lay down. His tail wagged throughout. Jenny sat down on the recliner beside Brownie and looked at Lacy Dawn.
            “But, you were crying when I first came in. That thing was hurting you.” Jenny shook her finger at DotCom to emphasize a different argument against him.
            “Mommy, I'm so happy that I couldn’t help but cry. My man just came home from an out-of-state job. I didn't talk to him for a whole year. Before he left, he told me that he wasn’t even sure if he'd be able to come home. I still don’t know what happened while he was gone. We ain't had no chance to talk. All I know is that he's home and I'm sooooo happy.”
            “Your man came home from an out-of-state job?” Jenny patted Brownie on his head, some more and some more…. 
            It's unusual for a man to promise to come back home and ever be seen again. Brownie likes him and that's a good sign. Maybe she's right about him helping Dwayne. Something sure did and it wasn’t me. It is a nice living room. They've been together for a while and I ain't seen a mark on her. That's unusual too. He ain't got no private parts and that's another good thing. Hell, if I get in the middle, she’d just run off with him anyway. I'd better play it smart. I don't want to lose my baby. 
            “What about his stupid name?” Jenny asked.
            “I’ve got a stupid name, too. All the kids at school call me hick because my last name is Hickman.”
            “My name was given to me by my manager a very long time ago. It represents a respected tradition -- the persistent marketing of that which is not necessarily the most needed. I spam…,” DotCom said. 
            They both glared at him. 
            "Dwayne is sure to be home. I don’t want him to worry. Let’s go,” Jenny said. 
            “Okay, Mommy.”
            “I love you, DotCom,” Lacy Dawn stepped out the ship’s door, which had slid open. Brownie and Jenny were right behind her. 
            “I love you too,” DotCom said.
            Lacy Dawn and Jenny held hands and walked down the path toward home. The trees didn’t smile -- at least not so Jenny would notice. On the other hand, no living thing obstructed, intruded, or interfered with the rite.   
            Jenny sang to the Woods, “My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up.  My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up…”


Genre:  Science Fiction

 

 

Purchase Link:



Universal reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/4XKgY9


Print link:  https://bit.ly/2K2j3cd

 

 

What People Are Saying About Rarity from the Hollow






"The abuse in the book is graphic, but the story arc is hopeful: a family recovering and becoming better together." - Publishers Weekly
 

"A fun, sometimes cleverly-gonzo, and even inspiring tale about an undaunted girl's close encounter of the weird kind."
- David Brin, Award Winning SciFi Author
 

"Amusing at times, shocking at others, a touching and somehow wonderful SFF read."
- Amazing Stories Magazine
 

"...In the space of a few lines we go from gritty realism to pure sci-fi / fantasy. It's quite a trip."
- The Missouri Review
 

"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 Fox, Retired NASA Engineer and SciFi Author
 

"...utterly compelling...a chilling, engaging verisimilitude that deftly feeds on both the utter absurdity of the characters' motivations and on the progression of the plot.... In the spirit of Vonnegut, Eggleton takes the genre and gives it another quarter turn."
- Electric Review / Midwest Book Review
 
 
"...a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse...tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them...profound...a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy."
- Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)
 

"...sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won't be is unmoved...a brilliant writer."
- Readers' Favorite (Gold Medal)
 

"The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in several years...."
- Temple Emmet Williams, Author, Retired Reader's Digest Editor
 

"...There is much here worthy of high praise...Eggleton reminds me very much of Robert Heinlein at his peak...."
- SF Crowsnest
 
 

"...psychologically disturbing at a different level to what I have seen before...."
    
- The Reading Rose
   


“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
 



Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” - Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author 




“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” - The Baryon Review


 

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf!

 

This looks like a fascinating adult social science fiction tale! And thank you for stopping by to give us a glimpse of your bookshelf, Robert!  :)


Readers, don't forget to pick up your copy of Rarity from the Hollow!

 


https://books2read.com/u/4XKgY9


 


About the Author:


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 here.



Author Links:

Website: 
http://www.lacydawnadventures.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/roberteggleton1
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
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-eggleton-909b154b?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/roberteggleton/  
Publisher:  http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/?s=Robert+Eggleton  
 
 
Robert's Book:


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B017REIA44

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