Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Author Interview: Robert Eggleton

Today on Trickster Eric Novels is an interview with Robert Eggleton, who is the author of "Rarity in the Hollow". It is a science fiction novel in addition to a tragic comedy. As the author describes it, "A Children’s Story. For Adults." At greater length, he describes the main plot:

"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 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 saving the universe, but her family and friends come first."

Now on to the interview itself!


On your book

1. What is a one-line synopsis for your book? And is this a stand-alone or part of a series?

An empowered victim saves the universe. Rarity from the Hollow is a stand-alone novel. Future Lacy Dawn Adventures will also be stand-alone.

2. How did you decide when and where to set the story? What inspired the story itself?

The Earth setting of Rarity from the Hollow is a place well-known to me, an impoverished hollow between the hills of West Virginia filled with cranky characters. The off-planet setting, the center of Universal Governance, is a giant shopping mall. It is a projection based on the rise of Donald Trump into political power from an evening watching and projecting the future of the television show, The Apprentice. The story was inspired from my work as a children’s advocate for over forty years. In 2002, I accepted a job as a children’s psychotherapist for our local mental health center. Part of my job was to facilitate group therapy sessions for maltreated children. One day, a skinny little girl sat around the corner of the table from me. She spoke not of her abuse, but about her hopes and dreams for the future – a loving family that would protect her. She became my protagonist: Lacy Dawn.  

3. What are your current projects? What are you planning for future projects? What are you working on next?
The new edition of Rarity from the Hollow was released on November 3, 2016: http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-eggleton/rarity-from-the-hollow/paperback/product-22910478.html. The eBook version was released on December 5, 2016: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017REIA44/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk I’ve got some short and longer Lacy Dawn Adventures that I’m trying to find a home for. The next full-length is Ivy. It’s almost ready to submit to the publisher, Dog Horn Publishing, a traditional small press, for editing.

5. Did you outline it ahead of time, or wing it?

I used a loose outline, modified as the novel progressed. My personal editing cut scenes that didn’t fit the outline, but I modified the outline to accommodate scenes which advanced the story line.

6. How is writing a book now different from writing your first book?

Rarity from the Hollow is my debut novel. The original edition of received twenty-five fives star reviews and forty-three four star reviews by independent book bloggers on Amazon. There was a formatting problem in the original: the italics for the internal dialogue were missing. It's likely that some of the four star reviews will be raised to five stars if reviewers are willing to check out the new edition. The novel was also awarded Gold Medals by two major book review organizations and was named one of the five best books of 2015 along with The Martian by Andy Weir and Revival by Stephen King on Codices, a Bulgarian book review site. The book reviewer is an Astrophysicist.
One thing that will be forever different when receiving the “final product” of anything that I write from the publisher is that I will check it out in its entirety. I’d worked so hard with the editor that when the book was released I didn’t even open it. The missing italics were found by book reviewers, one of which that was particularly embarrassing: Tales of the Talisman, Volume 10, Issue 4. I’ve studied critical reviews of Rarity from the Hollow and have learned a lot about mainstream expectations. My findings have affected the editing of the next adventure, Ivy. Yes, my writing is different than when I was striving for an avant garde audience.   

7. What do you know now about being a writer that you wish you had known before you published your first book?

I didn’t know anything about being a writer before Rarity from the Hollow was published. I was totally na├»ve – talent = success. It was almost like I expected to be discovered like Elvis singing on a porch stoop of a dilapidated apartment building. In hindsight, I’m glad that I didn’t realize the barriers to getting one’s work recognized when I decided to write a novel. The harsh realities may have been so discouraging that I would have never produced.

8. What is the most common rookie mistake you see new authors make?

I’m certainly no expert, but I have checked out quite a few self-published debut novels, mostly when offered free on Amazon. I’ve found several that were prematurely published without proper editing. I don’t personally know any of these authors and have never posted a negative review of anybody’s hard work, but I’ve imagined new authors getting so excited about having written a novel that they skip the most important final stage – independent editing by someone who comes at least close to qualifications as a professional.

9. What sort of author marketing have you found to be most effective?

I’ve never spent a penny on anything to do with having Rarity from the Hollow published or promoted. Sadly, the publisher, a struggling small press, hasn’t spent anything on advertising either. I’m hopeful that kind book bloggers, like you, will be effective in telling the world about my novel.

On Writing

10. Do you use beta readers, and, if so, what qualities do you look for in a beta?

No. I didn’t even know what that term meant until recently. Rarity from the Hollow was edited by three independent professionals affiliated with the publisher.


11. Where can we find your work?

Purchase links:

Public Author Contacts:

12. What book or books are you reading now?

I just finished reading two books and haven’t picked the next. Hit and Run is a very interesting psychological memoir written by Dr. Bob Rich, a prominent Australian psychologist. I don’t want to tell you the title of the other novel that I finished, written by a great book blogger who sucks as an author. If you have a recommendation, I read in all genres and prefer a literary element. I’m no longer into pure escapist novels. After all, there is literary content in Star Wars, although some readers seem to ignore it. 


Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

1 comment:

  1. The 2018 Edition of Rarity from the Hollow Paperback is now on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LfzP84. It is also available for Any eReader: https://bit.ly/2KNJkI2 Proceeds help abused children. If you want to raise money to help abused children (50% donated), more revenue is generated from the paperback if you buy it from Lulu: https://bit.ly/2K2j3cd Thanks