Book Excerpt: Rarity from the Hollow – Robert Eggleton

B-Lines and Felines: Excerpt
About Rarity from the Hollow
Rarity from the HollowLacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. 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, DotCom, has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. DotCom has been sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp: 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.

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Robert Eggleton
In 1950, Robert Eggleton was born into an impoverished family in West Virginia. His alcoholic and occasionally abusive father suffered from PTSD — captured by the Nazis during WWII. His mother did the best she could, but Robert began working as a child to feed his family. He started paying into Social Security at age 12, dreamed of a brighter future, but has continued work for the last 52 years.

In the 8th grade, Robert won the school’s short story contest. The award made his dreams concrete — a writer. As it often does, Life got in the way — the Vietnam war motivated him to go to college to avoid the draft. As covered by the press, he organized students to end mandatory ROTC. Except for a poem published in the state’s competition for publication in an student anthology and another poem published in a local alternative newspaper, his creative juices were spent writing handouts for antiwar activities and on class assignments. He graduated in 1973 with a degree in social work with no student loan debt.

Robert worked in the field of substance abuse treatment as he attended graduate school at WVU. Creative writing had been put on hold. After earning an MSW in 1977, he focused on children’s advocacy. He helped establish a shelter for runaways, a community-based residential program for high risk youth, and a state-wide network of emergency children’s shelters. His heartfelt need to write was dissipated somewhat by the publication of nationally distributed social service models, grants, and in 1983 he was invited to present his research on foster care drift to a national audience.

Robert’s dream of becoming a creative writer continued to take a back seat to nonfiction when he accepted a job as a juvenile investigator for the West Virginia Supreme Court. He worked in this role from 1984 until mid 1997. During this period he was the primary author of dozens or investigative reports on children’s institutions, and statistical reports on child abuse and delinquency published by the Court, and now archived by the state’s Division of Culture and History.

After running a small nonprofit agency that served folks with development disabilities, Robert went back home to direct services. He accepted a position as a Therapist in an intensive outpatient children’s mental health program. Most of the kids, like Robert, had been traumatized, some having experienced extreme sexual abuse. One day at work in 2006 it all clicked together and the Lacy Dawn Adventures project was born — an empowered female protagonist beating up the evil forces that victimize and exploit others to get anything and everything that they want.

But, Robert soon found out that it takes much more than good creative writing to become an author. It wasn’t like in the 8th grade when his hand-printed story had won the school’s contest. He was naive about the protocols within the marketplace. Technology was in a period of rapid advancement with Publisher presenting a mixture of electronic and traditional submission guidelines and publication formats. Robert was lost. A day after he registered for his first ever science fiction forum experience, he was banned for life due to what the moderator said was self-promotion.

The day after that happened, Robert assessed his creative writing situation during a group therapy session at work. He looked into the kids’ faces as they disclosed the horrors that they had experienced. It fueled his determination to make the Lacy Dawn Adventures project work, and he dedicated half of any author proceeds to a child abuse prevention program. He had boxed himself in.

Subsequently, three short Lacy Dawn Adventures were published. All three magazines went defunct. Print magazines were dying faster than seals in an oil spill. Robert found a publisher for his first novel, a small traditional press located in Leeds. Since the publisher was willing to bear all upfront costs, Robert signed the contract and Rarity from the Hollow was released in 2012 as a paperback and eBook by Dog Horn Publishing.

Robert then learned that release of his novel was the beginning of a long journey called marketing. His novel received glowing reviews, most notably by long-time book critic Barry Hunter and by the Missouri Review, award winning authors Darrell Bain, and Piers Anthony, and other authors and editors. A few months ago, Robert’s writing was compared to Vonnegut by the editor of the Electric Review, A Universe on the Edge. At this time, a new review is being written by the editor of Talisman and should be out shortly.

Today, Robert is holding off on the sequel to Rarity from the Hollow until he achieves greater name recognition. He is contemplating early retirement despite still being poor so that he can have more time to make his dream come true — a creative writer. And that’s why he’s on this site right now, at midnight, writing this biography for you to read.

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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