Monday, February 8, 2016

Guest Post: Robert Eggleton, author of RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW!

Hi Amanda. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about books that I like and some of my favorite books.

Of Great Appeal – Books, Books, Books

Like a roller coaster ride, a beach vacation, or, well, use your own imagination here, the enjoyment of some books ends once the last page has been read. Other stories, like a lasting love, linger on for days, weeks, maybe for years, consciously or subliminally adding to our enjoyment or understanding of life itself in a much deeper way. Depending on my mood, that’s the books that I like the best, the stories that linger and resurface unexpectedly. 

I’m sure that I’m not the only person to have occasional dreams about my first kiss, my first time falling in love. Such dreams are not something to mention to one’s spouse. We all have secret reasons to smile. Books are safer, much safer to talk about years later after having been experienced.  How do you pick your romances books? Are you looking for short-term thrills or true love in literature?

Life can be tough, that’s for sure. Most of us need to escape reality at least every now and then, in one way or another, and to some degree. Some people get totally blitzed on drugs or alcohol…. Of course, all of life’s problems are still there, maybe worse, when these folks sober up. Other people will binge on food, video games…. Of all addictions, reading is the least harmful, and sometimes it’s healthful or beneficial during our pursuits of happiness.

Sometimes, depending on my mood, I will pick a quick escapist novel, stay up all night reading, feel awful the next day, and forget about the experience the next day afterward. I read books in all genres, including romance. I don’t finish them all, however. If it’s a cookie-cutter novel with only the names of the characters changed from other similar stories, I’m sorry but life is too short to relive the same fantasies over and over again. Even if I’m in the mood for a short-term escape from reality, I try to pick something that at least sounds different based on book reviews.

Rarity from the Hollow, my debut novel, was likely the result of my interest in most genres. It is adult literary science fiction, sort of, but, mostly, this novel is genre bending and reflective of my broad reading interests.  

Yes, I read its reviews before I open a book, and not just one review. I don’t pay any attention to reader reviews on Amazon. I figure, and I hope that I’m wrong, that most of those were written by friends or family. If an unknown author has hundreds of reviews of a book, I figure that they are fakes, so I steer clear of those, too.

There are a couple of book review bloggers that I follow and who I pay special attention to their reviews. I won’t mention any names, but if one or both of these reviewers didn’t like a book, I probably will LOVE it, so I check it out some more.

I give no credibility at all to reviews on Goodreads unless the reviews were written by a blogger with no connection to the author. In my opinion, it’s more of a social networking site than a book review site, and I don’t care about who is the most popular kid in school at any particular moment. I guess that I’m a BAD FAN. I couldn’t count the number of books that I thought were just okay and which were written by well-known authors – big names sometimes mean big disappointments. Reading is time consuming, so I’m picky.    

I like books best when they include real-life issues, like racism or poverty, and are character-driven. Like I said before, I’ll read simple escapist novels with fast action plots sometimes, but mostly as filler between my major investments of time in more literary reads. After all, even Harry Potter addressed racism when he gave a sock to Dobby, the House Elf, to free him from slavery.

I’ve read so many books in my lifetime, representing every genre that I know about, it would be impossible to pick the ones of greatest appeal. I’m looking forward to reading more in the relatively new genre, “CliFy” – science fiction with climate change as a predominate theme. But, I don’t have an absolute recommendation to first-time readers within that genre yet. Mr. Bloom, the person who coined the term, wrote a glowing review of Rarity from the Hollow. Sorry, Dan. If I could, I would make a recommendation here and now, but it would have to be honest and heartfelt. I’m not there yet, and dishonesty in book promotions is a curse affecting literary evolution. I don’t play that game.

Okay, I’ve stalled long enough. I’ll give you one title: The Color Purple. Don’t ask me about why I picked that title a minute from now because I would likely give you a different title as the most appealing novel that I’ve ever read, and another title, and another title, and …………………….

Take care and I hope that you appreciate Rarity from the Hollow.   

About "Rarity From The Hollow"
 Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. The content addresses social issues. It’s a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended. 

Lacy Dawn occupies the body of an eleven year old and sounds like one, but she has evolved under the supervision of Universal Management for hundreds of thousand of years. She is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked.

She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s becoming very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend, for when she’s old enough to have one, has come to the hollow with a mission. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop) to recruit Lacy Dawn to save the universe from an imminent threat to its economic structure. In exchange, Earth would be designated as a planet that is eligible for continued existence – granted immunity. Will Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family?

About the Author

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

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