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Messages - robert eggleton

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 08, 2015, 10:12:21 pm »
Thanks again. DarkarNights, OP = opening paragraph, original post ????? It sound like you like my original what I called a "prologue" as a product description. Correct?

I'm still processing all this info. Everybody has been so helpful.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 08, 2015, 04:36:53 pm »
I agree with the need for permission to reuse. I would never do otherwise. Fortunately, I have obtained permission to quote most of the reviews of the novel. I like that bit too, Deb.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 08, 2015, 08:40:54 am »
Thanks, TimothyEllis. I understand your comments and will print them out for studying along with the ones that I printed from DarkarNights.

My hope was to put back story in what I was calling a "Prologue" not in a blurb. I was talking with a Hugo award winning author at length the other day about what would help the second edition. She pointed out that a prologue needed to provide the back story and introduce the conflict in a few words. Like me, she mostly thinks paperbacks instead of eBooks, as well. I sure appreciate everybody's help, even if there is no consensus or "right way" to do everything.

Thanks to comments on this thread, I now realize that I'd gotten the needs for the second edition eBook and for the paperback intertwined in my own head. I'm still unraveling.

In your opinion, for the eBook, are the blurb and the product description on Amazon equivalent?  If so, what would you think about a modification of the following as part of the product description for the eBook. It was written by a magazine editor, and I'm sure that I could get his permission to reuse it. It may be too long to fit on a paperback. Maybe not.

"This novel is an unabashed, unashamed exploration of the life of young Lacy Dawn, as she learns that she is the savior of the universe. The naked, genderless android, Dot-com, who lives in a ship in a cave, told her so. Add her abusive father, her weak-willed mother, a sexually-abused ghost for a best friend that was murdered by her own father, trees that talk to her, a dog that can communicate telepathically with cockroaches and so much more.

There is so much to this story, and its writing is so unblinkingly honest; Eggleton spares us nothing in his descriptions of her father beating her and her mother, the emotions that the mother and daughter go through, the dark creeping insanity that eats away at her Iraq-veteran father, and the life in general of people too poor, too uneducated to escape.In part, it is a grueling exposition of what children endure when being physically and emotionally abused. Eggleton almost seems to suggest that the only way for a child to escape is to learn that she is the savior of the universe. Lacy Dawn is strong, tough, smart;all those attributes that any child should have and she reminds us that children are survivors, adaptive and optimistic."

Here's another angle that I'm asking you to consider, but it was written by Books for a Buck. I like it, but hate the name of the organization because it implies that my novel is a dollar (maybe as a short promotion, but not for very long):

"Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother has lost her teeth, and her best friend is killed by her own father. Life in The Hollow isn't great. But Lacy Dawn has one advantage -- she's been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It's up to Lacy Dawn to save the Universe."

Also comment on the one that Darrell Bain, award winning eBook SF author, wrote:

"Look in on a dysfunctional family, poverty, child abuse, and the thought processes of a young girl turning the corner from childhood to adolescence, then put them all together in a surreal setting that looks at our society from a distinctly different viewpoint. You'll enjoy the ride with Lacy Dawn and friends and family, but don't expect the ride to be without bumps and enough food for thought to last you a long time."

When I think "blurb" (and I'm older), I think of a clause from a sentence with attribution, not even an entire sentence. Part of my confusion has been that some people seem to think of a blurb as a product description, a much longer piece like on Amazon. Right now, the way I see it, I need to:

1. finalize selection of what I call "blurbs" (praise in clauses with attribution);
2. rewrite the product description for Amazon and other outlets (space requirements vary by outlet);
3. decide if I want a prologue to include back story and to introduce the conflict (this is weak in the opening scene) or just forget it;
4. and, to decide what portions of which go on the tiny back cover of a paperback.

Do you agree?

Another question to everybody: the Gold Medal awarded by Awesome Indies -- do you think that it should go on the front or the back cover? I think that I want to use it because I don't see how it would hurt.

Thanks again. You have all been very patient with me as this stuff slowing seeps into my brain. Maybe I've got early Alzheimer's. LOL

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 08, 2015, 12:22:56 am »
Thanks again. Man, you have great ideas.

I need to get on Amazon and check out the Editorial Reviews page for my novel. Do you think that I need permission from the author of a review to post an excerpt of it on the Editorial page if the reviewer has already posted the full review in the regular section? Also, there's a couple of book critics who do not post on Amazon, period. I'm not sure that I fully understand their objections to the practice, but I have permission to reprint one of these reviews already for promotional purposes. This review is not on Amazon. It's my understanding from your instruction that it would be okay for me to post an excerpt of that review on the novel's Editorial page. I might be able to get permission to reprint the other review. He represents a famous outfit, so I don't know. I'm sure that I shouldn't post an excerpt without his permission. (If I have such an Editorial Page and I can find it.)

The current book cover is the third try. The second one was done by Jag Lall, a prominent English comic book artist (pro bono) but it didn't work as well as this one did. A painter, impressionist, is giving it a try now (again, pro bono). One reviewer really liked the current cover as an understatement that went with the flatness of part of the comedy, and several reviewers have used the phrase, "A Children's Story for Adults," that's on the front cover, or something similar, in their reviews. Frankly, that phrase has prevented a lot of miscommunication about the gender bending. I can't use a straight science fiction (or other genre) type cover. It might draw the wrong audience.  I'll share the new artistic impression of the story when its ready and we'll see what you think about it, as well. Frankly, I'm not optimistic about an improvement, and here's why:

"This novel is an unabashed, unashamed exploration of the life of young Lacy Dawn, as she learns that she is the savior of the universe. The naked, genderless android, Dot-com, who lives in a ship in a cave, told her so. Add her abusive father, her weak-willed mother, a sexually-abused ghost for a best friend that was murdered by her own father, trees that talk to her, a dog that can communicate telepathically with cockroaches and so much more.

There is so much to this story, and its writing is so unblinkingly honest; Eggleton spares us nothing in his descriptions of her father beating her and her mother, the emotions that the mother and daughter go through, the dark creeping insanity that eats away at her Iraq-veteran father, and the life in general of people too poor, too uneducated to escape.In part, it is a grueling exposition of what children endure when being physically and emotionally abused. Eggleton almost seems to suggest that the only way for a child to escape is to learn that she is the savior of the universe. Lacy Dawn is strong, tough, smart;all those attributes that any child should have and she reminds us that children are survivors, adaptive and optimistic."

I'm sure that I could get permission to use the above as part of a product description. What do you think about it?


"Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, perches precariously between the psychosis of childhood and the multiple neuroses of adolescence, buffeted by powerful gusts of budding sexuality and infused with a yearning to escape the grim and brutal life of a rural Appalachian existence. In this world, Daddy is a drunk with severe PTSD, and Mommy is an insecure wraith. The boss is a dodgy lecher, not above leering at the flat chest of an eleven-year-old girl.

Rarity From The Hollow is written in a simple declarative style that’s well- suited to the imaginary diary of a desperate but intelligent eleven-year-old – the story bumping joyfully between the extraordinary and the banal."

I love this, but don't you think that it sounds a little too intellectual for most folks?

The satire category is supposed to be a good one, but I'm just basing that on what another author told me, a former editor of Reader's Digest. Several book reviewers have found the novel to be "satiric of most everything that it touches upon" or something similar. How many categories can it have?

I've printed out your last comment to study. I'll work on it. Thanks sooooo much. I tell you what, if I could I would hand a kid who is living in an emergency shelter a brand new pair of tennis shoes with the name Darkar Nights written on each shoe. Her eyes would brighten -- there's no better Christmas present for a kid in that situation than a new pair of sneaks. They always have ratty shoes. I can't do this, however, because of confidentiality. Since I'm retired, I have no direct contact with the kids anymore, and it would be too hard to explain if I go through staff.

Just imagine those bright eyes and a big smile, that's my thanks to you for your help. I'll let you know what I come up with. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 07, 2015, 06:12:31 pm »
Thank you so much TheLemontree. It all makes much more sense to me now. In my own head I was visualizing a paperback and trying to make stuff fit on that little rectangle. I now realize that I should consider two separate projects: the eBook and the paperback as they are different presentation platforms. I'm going to drop back and punt until I catch a breather. I need to reprocess my assignment.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 07, 2015, 11:41:31 am »
Thanks, Deb. Yes, I want you to continue to comment, and your input has been appreciated. It's given me important stuff to think about.

Concerning your most recent reply, I've also been confused (as usual, so what else is new?) about the editorial review section on Amazon. Can I post there myself, or is it a place that only book reviewers post? This is embarrassing, but when I look at the Amazon page for my book, I don't see an Editorial Reviews link. Duh, sorry. I've been too embarrassed to ask about this before, but maybe there are no dumb questions....

I see what you mean about the back cover blurb, but I remain torn as a reader. For example, if a book cover had:

'______________ brilliantly combines social commentary in a fantastical and intricate science fiction setting that readers can understand and relate to. It is one of those books that if it does not make you think, you are not really reading it.' -- Charity Rowell-Stansbury, Book Reviewer, On My Kindle Book Blog

I think that I, as a reader, would be inclined to check out the book some more. Maybe it's just me, but I've never been impressed with praise on a book cover with no attribution, and I have sometimes been let down as a reader when I've bought the books based on the cover. As I said before, however, you are a lot more experienced than me, and I'm only speaking as a consumer.

Do you think that the above comment by Ms. Stansbury would attract prospective readers? The attribution seems long to me. If you like the "blurb," how would you shorten the attribution. She is one of the most prominent book reviewers on the internet, if not THE most prominent, but most people probably wouldn't realize it. With I-Phones so common, I guess that a person in a bookstore could look her up, not like in the old days. I doubt if anybody would bother, however.

Again, I appreciate your contributions to this project. Personally, the main thing is that I don't look back with regret -- wish that I had not been too embarrassed to ask questions or for help. 

Thanks soooo much!   

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 07, 2015, 09:21:24 am »
Wow! Thanks DarkarNights and antares. Your help was very much appreciated. I've posted, and you may have noticed that author proceeds from this project have been donated to child abuse prevention. So, you are contributing to a great cause. I'm a retired children's psychotherapist with a lifelong dream to write fiction. I had to make a deal with my conscience to leave the field of child welfare. Raising money to help kids was my half-baked idea, but it's turning out okay. I've joked with my wife that the next time that I decide to raise money for a good cause that I'm going to have a Bake Sale -- literally. I didn't know what I was getting into with writing a novel. I'm very glad that more experienced folks are willing to help out a novice.

I have thousands of books in my small house. Frankly, they have taken over the space. I pulled several paperbacks from the dusty shelves to look at the blurbs. What I found and subsequently realized is that I had bought some of these books because of blurbs on the covers. Almost all of the blurbs that I liked had been written by people who at least sounded credible. Next, I looked up the definition of "blurb."

I'm still thinking about it, but I'm almost sure that I want the newest back cover of my novel to have short praise by other people, not by me or the publisher. I have much more content available, praise by others that sounds good (prominent book reviewers) , than could possibly fit on a cover. Looking back to a time before eBooks existed, my own consumption of literature was the compelling argument for my decision. I wouldn't always know when I bought a paperback whether or not the author of a blurb was in fact a credible source. I'm sure that some must have been complicit fakery. Nevertheless, I bought those books, some that I'd never heard of, because of the blurbs.

I love the Prologues of "Chiefs" and "All My Sins Remembered" (excuse lack of proper formatting here). They were scenes. I'm not sure what my novel needs, but it probably doesn't need another scene. Maybe it needs a longer blurb as a front page, more than would fit on the cover, but not longer than a page. I'm still thinking about your ideas, and thanks again. I suspect that it's not often that a novel approaches a second edition, so I want to make the most of the opportunity.

Take care.

Thank you sooooooooo much.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 06, 2015, 11:12:00 pm »
Thanks folks. Based on your input, I've decided to put together a few blurbs for the cover first, then reassess where it stands. If anybody else has input, please contribute your thoughts. As everybody here is aware, what worked for a successful author may be irrelevant and impotent now.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 06, 2015, 06:34:12 pm »
Thanks, Monique, especially for the citation.

The copy of Rarity from the Hollow that is currently on Amazon includes blurbs with attribution on the back cover, including one by Piers Anthony, best selling SF/F author, and one by a prominent book critic for The Missouri Review (a pro bono review). I'm confident that republication of the novel will include an opportunity for the same style cover with additional blurbs from people who would be highly respected  by consumers.

I noticed that you have quotes that serve as blurbs on your covers, as well. I've not seen many novels that don't, so I'm not sure how to interpret you comment except to say that I want the same style cover that you have used, and that I want to use the back cover instead of the front. Thanks again for the citation and I'll keep it in mind.

Some authors don't face the same dilemma as I am with the republication of Rarity from the Hollow. It is a genre bender. During author interviews, I've called it Adult Literary Science Fiction. In any case, I feel that something is needed before the first scene to both prepare and warn readers that the story is not mainstream fiction.

The Cult, that you mentioned, didn't need the same type of prologue to prep the reader before beginning the story. I'll check it out of the Library. But, cults were a hot topic during the late '70s and early '80s and the story was straight forward, based on what I read about it. It must have included a great prologue or you wouldn't have mentioned it. I want to learn, so thanks again.

If some prospective readers decide not to buy Rarity from the Hollow after reading the "prologue" (or whatever term one applies), then it fulfilled its mission. I wouldn't want anybody to buy the book expecting to read a typical SF story. Maybe you are correct. I could decide not to write a prologue (or whatever). It does have "A Children's Story for Adults" on the front cover, after all.

DebBennett, please don't "shut up now." It appears that we are on the same wavelength. However, the story doesn't really need another upfront scene. It needs something, like you said, to grab attention, but also to let people know that the novel has been considered to be unique or a synonym by a bunch of different book reviewers. If someone reads the first scene on the Look Inside without some type of prep, and the person expects a mainstream narrative, they won't envision the satire and comedy in subsequent scenes.

That's it! That's what the "prologue" is missing. Thanks for being a catalyst, Deb. Nobody who reads what I've written so far would have any indication that this story become an outrageous comedy like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Another Roadside Attraction. I'm getting work to it now. Please continue to comment. Thanks so much, Deb!


Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 06, 2015, 12:49:22 pm »
Thanks, DebBennett! I'll check out the Prologue of The Cult, as you recommended. You were right on target with assessing what I want on the cover and what I'm calling a Prologue -- very astute -- a prologue that reads like a long blurb and cover comments with third-party attribution to add credibility. Thanks again. Within this concept, any additional help that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, Jeff, I want a page that not only gives a little back story, but which also draws in prospective readers before a purchase, and which prepare them for a story that includes harsh elements. I believe that many readers discredit standard blurbs, both the hype used by traditional publishers and the ones without attribution. I hope for a very short, one page max, that would draw in readers before a purchase. That's why I feel that people who read speculative fiction in general but who have not read the story can make a valuable contribution, perhaps more valuable than those who have already met Lacy Dawn, the protagonist.   

There's time to play with this "prologue" more, if the editor agrees to use one, because the second edition will include textual modifications that have been recommended by book critics. Thanks, again, for your input.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 05, 2015, 07:27:14 pm »
Thanks, Monique. Yes, it is a draft of a potential prologue with input from the authors listed at the top of my original post. One of the contributors, Temple Williams, is a retired editor of Reader's Digest. He wrote a review of the novel -- "The most enjoyable science fiction that I have read in several years...." That's how I met Mr. Williams -- a follow-up after his review to thank him. The other two contributors to the Prologue have not read the novel. One reads / writes in a different genre, and the other is only fourteen years old with her debut novel, much too young to read this novel.

If you can think of an example of a prologue that you admire, I would appreciate it if you post the reference.  The novel itself is "show don't tell" and perhaps too much so, according to one reviewer who believed that it should have had less dialogue and more telling of the story.

Thanks again.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 05, 2015, 05:06:31 pm »
Thanks everybody. You've given me some things to think about and I'll work more on the Prologue. It is a draft prologue, not a blurb. I can use review extracts for short, one line blurbs for the cover (see sample review excerpts below).

I wanted to avoid the type of prologue that aimeeeasterling mentioned, but I think that the 1st chapter needs some set-up, and some readers simply should never read beyond the prologue. If the book is a good fit to the reader and the reader sticks with it for a little bit, everything seems great -- awarded a Gold Medal, etc. But, a few readers seem unprepared for the read when they start the first chapter. I thought that a Prologue could help with backstory and in defining conflicts. At least that's what I had in mind, but I've never written a prologue before,

Here's a couple of positive book reviews (redacted to avoid self promotion), followed by a couple of negative reviews. All of the reviews were written by book critics or bloggers, not readers.

Positive Book Review Excerpts:

“…__________________ is detailed, dark and beautifully written by a competent writer who injects plenty of satire, sci-fi and fantasy elements into a work of thought-provoking and meaningful adult/fantasy fiction at its very best….”

"...There is much here worthy of high praise. The relationship between Lacy Dawn and DotCom is brilliant. The sense of each learning from the other and them growing up and together is a delight to read. The descriptions of DotCom’s technology and the process of elevating the humans around him again is nicely done. We have many examples of alien tech teaching us lowly humans but it is exceptionally well presented here. All the main humans undergo growth and improvement. Eggleton reminds me very much of Robert Heinlein at his peak."

"...______________ is different from anything I have ever read, and in today’s world of cookie-cutter cloned books, that’s pretty refreshing. While there are a few small grammatical and pacing issues, the “rarity” of this book overshadows all of that as it pulls you into Lacy Dawn’s whimsical and endearing world of Appalachian Science Fiction, taking you on a wild ride you won’t soon forget."

"I also greatly admire Eggleton's whimsical, witty, and understanding approach to sensitive and serious subject matters: child abuse, child poverty, domestic violence, PTSD, drug use, and alcoholism. Eggleton's matter-of-fact and irreverent tone about these subject matters conveys the gravity of the family's situation without sending readers into a spiral of suicidal depression, or being insulting.

______________ brilliantly combines social commentary in a fantastical and intricate science fiction setting that readers can understand and relate to. It is one of those books that if it does not make you think, you are not really reading it."

"...a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ....The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them. In fact, the rustic humor and often graphic language employed by Lacy Dawn and her compatriots only serve to highlight their desperate lives, and their essential toughness and resilience. From the simplistic, almost primitive, art of the cover, to the rough education of the protagonists, Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate...."

Critical review excerpts:

"...This book has a little bit of everything in it and I really didn’t know what I was getting into.  The beginning threw me for a few loops, with child abuse, mental health issues and sexual abuse, this story that is labeled as an adult fairy tale is most definitely for adults...."

"...Would I recommend this book? For some, it may prove to be a great read. Piers Anthony has made a crazy amount of money from the books he has written, but I do not enjoy his writing at all. So, even though I didn’t completely enjoy this book, I’m sure there are plenty who will...."

"...This book isn’t an easy read, the subject matter is at times shocking and made me uncomfortable as a reader. Lacy Dawn’s choice of words and subjects of discussion are at times very disturbing. It reflects a part of society which many of us are sheltered from. The book is dialogue led and this for my reading experience was like wading through deep water, it slowed the pace of the book. I was unable to connect to any of the characters and felt I was watching one of DotCom’s educational videos.,,,"

"...The characters in the novel do develop and grow from their shallow, often violent and/or mentally ill beginnings. Unfortunately, because this occurs as a result of magic alien technology, it’s not clear what their changes mean in the long run. On the one hand, the writing itself takes risks that support the overall storyline, such as the decision to have a variety of characters’ internal thoughts presented as simple text following their verbal statements. But I found the pace of the story uneven, the character-development driven by alien’s magic “cure” somewhat unsatisfying, and the plot deeply divided between a description of Lacy’s abusive and dangerous world and the whimsical, vaguely Ayn Rand-meets-Willie Wonka world of her alien mentor...." 

If you have more input, especially any specific language, it would be greatly appreciated. BTW, author proceeds from this project have been donated to child abuse prevention. So, your help would be for a great cause.

Thanks again.



Writers' Cafe / Comments on Draft Prologue Needed
« on: December 05, 2015, 10:00:57 am »

I posted day before yesterday to ask for a little help. The site crashed and the post was lost. I thought that I had reposted the same request, but I couldn't find it. I hope that this is not a duplicate, and if it is I would be very interested in your comments because I don't want to stall the editor. I still have new blurbs to finish.

Following is a draft prologue to be included in the republication of Rarity from the Hollow. I don't want this post to look self-promotional because I really need some input, so I've not included any links. There is a posted on kboards with a few reviews but it is not comprehensive, but would give you a taste; and, the Look Inside, of course, is avaiable on Amazon.

It could be better if you've not checked out this novel because the Prologue should be competent in sucking potential purchasers into deciding to read the story. Author proceeds from this project have been donated to child abuse prevention. If you want more detail about the nonprofit agency, feel free to PM me. So, you are no only helping me if you contribute, but also it's a great cause.

Here's what I've got so far. Again, please comment.  Thanks

Fourth Draft Prologue, Rarity from the Hollow
(Input by Authors: Temple Williams, Marsell Morris, and Elizabeth Jordan)

You Input Is Hereby Requested


Despite humankind's ignorance, the Universe bristles with intelligent life that has coexisted in harmony for millennia. But, alas, that harmony is in danger. A search for a supreme being with powers capable of stopping the ultimate threat was begun and has included the genetic manipulation of many species on many planets.

The search culminated with a most unlikely candidate to save the Universe. An eleven year old human is the best hope. This version of Lacy Dawn had better be ready. The evil is much more prolific than ever before faced, and restoration of order will involve much more than simply blowing up a few inconsequential planets. The evil is the spawn of civilization itself and has crept into every crevice of Universal Governance.

To prepare Lacy for her coming task, a training android was surreptitiously inserted into her life. His equipment included infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans. She is being schooled daily on every known subject via direct downloads into her brain. Some of these courses tell her how to apply magic to resolve everyday problems, including those of others at home and at school.

However, even though she is now highly evolved and merely occupies the body of an eleven year old girl, life is still tough. Lacy lives in an impoverished hollow with her worn-out mom and her abusive dad. Mental illness, substance abuse, and ignorance have invaded her environments. Her best friend’s daddy is the meanest man on Earth. Sure, Lacy doesn’t mind saving the universe, but fixing her own family and friends just has to come first.

Will Lacy Dawn’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family?


Writers' Cafe / Re: authors who purchase reviews
« on: November 14, 2015, 11:01:08 am »
And, of course, there is that other population of reviewers -- the Vine wannbes. With only one novel under my belt I'm a novice, but I'm experienced enough to spot these folks. I try to avoid them because Rarity from the Hollow is not a mainstream, formula fiction, quick read. It takes time to digest in order to properly review my novel (literary element), and that slows down, possibly annoys, a wannabe Vine. Other authors may want to submit to them if identified. I'm not sure about their motivations. Free stuff? But, it feels stronger, like a competition among them to be placed by Amazon in the top 100, 500, 1000.... They all seem to be honest, and some are very kind based on my limited experience with them. But, I recommend, for what's it's worth, to make sure that one's novel is a good fit in not only genre, but also in how much time would be required by such a reviewer to perform a review of your work. One of the best reviews that I got from a Vine reviewer was unsolicited:

"Rarity from the Hollow written by Robert Eggleton, to be fully honest, was much more than expected and a great read – semi-autobiographical literary work full of beautiful and ugly things, adventure, romance, pain and humor…."

As a consumer, a reader, I won't buy a book that has more than a couple of one line reviews, like "I loved it." Such reviews cause me not to trust any of the reviews of that book. I realize that this seems silly because it might be a great book that I might love too. Nevertheless, that's how I personally feel about it. I move on and pick, quickly, my next or next after that book to read.

I trust reviews by bloggers the most because I know that almost none of them are paid for reviews, but I will read a Kirkus review because I don't think anybody has enough money to pay that organization for a positive book review -- a practice that would be the demise of the company. Still, a well written review by a book blogger carries more weight with me than Kirkus.

I read all genres, including romance, even though I only write adult literary science fiction. I least read YA because I, personally, have a very difficult time respecting it as a genre despite its popularity, and the romance has to be something that resonates before I buy it -- not formula. I don't read erotic, but that's probably because I'm so old that I've lost interest in it. I buy a lot of books, a lot, and I write some reviews, only positive (5 star is very rare) ones because I don't want to waste any more time on a bad book.

I don't think most readers bother to write reviews, which makes all reader reviews feel suspicious to me. What motivates a person to type a review in that little box on Amazon? As a reader and a consumer, I want to contribute, but I'm not a pro bono gatekeeper of quality literature by any stretch. I get ripped off, everybody does, and I feel that I need to just suck it up when that happens. It's not the money, but the time that I regret losing when I buy a bad book. I keep reading a bad book, hoping that it will click, and then look back with regret about the lost time if it doesn't. The regret is never of such intensity that I feel like seeking revenge on the author by writing a negative review. "F" it. Life's too short.

Thanks for the opportunity to rant. I'm off, back to self-promotion of Rarity from the Hollow, but I'd rather be reading. I should go to the woods for fun because it's such a pretty day here, probably one of the last for the season. Take care everybody and good luck.



Writers' Cafe / Input About Short Summary of Novel Requested
« on: November 13, 2015, 09:12:50 am »
Hi. With all of the book titles being released, it's been really difficult to get attention for Rarity from the Hollow with no money to promote it. This morning, I got an email from a company that wanted $29.99 to post it as a Book of the Day, or something like that. I've never spent a penny to have this book published or marketed, and I have no means to start now, but I did look at what the company was doing for the money. I concluded that my summary of the novel was too long. I've always erred on the side of caution in my past summaries to ensure that people knew that Rarity was a children's story for adults who were not prudish, faint hearted or easily offended. That's important to me. Here's the shortest summary that I've come up with so far. Please take a minute and tell me what you think. Your suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Proposed short summary:

-- Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction with content that addresses social issues, satiric of most everything that it touches upon. The story is not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended. It is a Children’s Story for Adults. Lacy Dawn is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked. An android was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop) to recruit Lacy to save the Universe from a surprising but lethal threat. Her magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family. --

Is this still too long?

Writers' Cafe / Re: authors who purchase reviews
« on: November 13, 2015, 09:02:10 am »
I've never bought a review either. I traded reviews once and it made me feel awkward, so I've declined subsequent offers. My review and the one of Rarity from the Hollow were both honest, and that helped me feel a little better. Neither were five star, about which I'm now grateful.

I was expressing my objection to paid for reviews to Temple Williams. He's a retired Reader's Digest Editor that I've gotten to know after he posted a review of my novel. His take on the issue of paying for book reviews was a little surprising to me. He said that every major publisher uses paid for book reviews as part of their promotions and that Indie titles and small presses face unfair scrutiny when they do it. I hope that I'm not misstating his view on the matter, and he is a 100% advocate of honest reviews. I'd never looked at it from this perspective -- fairness in advertising.

I'm still not going to pay for book reviews, regardless. I don't have the money to do so even if there were no ethical issues and current scandal. I thought that Mr. Williams historical perspective would be interesting.

Thanks and good luck everybody. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Facebook taking down authors (esp Romance authors)
« on: November 13, 2015, 08:48:35 am »
Somehow, apparently, I inadvertently became a board manager on Pinterest (a related topic). I've gotten email that this or that person has posted to "my" board. Does anybody know if there is associated responsibilities? If so, I'm not interested because I'm too busy. I've never pinned anything there, or tried to. Does anybody know how to undo this mistake? Thanks

Writers' Cafe / Re: Facebook taking down authors (esp Romance authors)
« on: November 12, 2015, 03:38:18 pm »
I got blocked from posting in Facebook book promotions groups (all groups because I belong to a couple that are not book related) for twenty-four hours. The notice came with a warning that I had been posting too "fast" and a recommendation to slow down. The block occurred immediately after I had clicked the box on some book groups (lower left corner) that asked if I wanted to post the same message in other groups. This feature does always work, but when it does another box with a list of groups where one wants the same message to be posted pops up.

Not all book promotions groups subscribe to this feature, and I don't think that it's possible to post too fast without it. I could be wrong, but I'm not very fast (it was kind of a compliment -- a block based on me being speedy, LOL). I think that the programming can't handle the load, and that the block is automatic, an overload if you will, and not a "policy" or based on content. That's my inexperienced opinion. I think that I got blocked for clicking too many boxes, to automatically post in each book promotions group listed in the rectangular pop up box at the same time.

Today, after the block expired, I was more deliberate about using the auto post feature. I only clicked on a few other book promotions groups to post the same message automatically (there are probably more than a hundred book groups on Facebook, I don't know). I've had no problem today, so far.

Facebook is probably a waste of time for selling books anyway. There are so many books, of all different genres, advertised in each group that its hard to imagine a reader going to one of the groups to select a book to purchase.  It's highly competitive. I usually follow this woman who seems to know what she is doing, but who knows. She posts so fast that I can't keep up. If she's missing in action one day, then I'll know what happened -- blocked for going too fast. She may have immunity, though, because I think she's the mod for one or more of the groups. I think that another possible perk for being a mod of a book promotions group, setting up and managing the group, is that your own work is advertised at the top. At least that's what it looks like because whenever one posts, there's always one or more adverts on top of yours if you immediately go back to the same page.

Last Friday, Rarity from the Hollow was awarded a Gold Medal by Awesome Indies. Then, yesterday, the book cover and a blurb was on the front page of a magazine, not a book magazine or even a science fiction magazine, but one that covers various topics, including about Veteran's Day, etc. It included a link to the Awesome Indies review. Maybe, given the attention that Rarity had received, I got too hyper and was moving faster than usual, and that's what got be blocked. I wanted everybody to know about the award, etc. Looking back, however, and I hope that yesterday will be the only time that I'll be blocked (it's nice to dream that Facebook posts generate sales), I blame the automatic posting feature of some book groups. I recommend to never pick all groups to post the same message in at the same time but using the auto post feature.

Good luck, everybody. Thanks

The Book Bazaar / Re: 2015 Reviews of Rarity from the Hollow
« on: November 12, 2015, 02:56:57 pm »
Rarity from the Hollow made the front page of a magazine yesterday, not a magazine about books or even science fiction, but a magazine that has an Arts & Entertainment section along with sections on technology, leisure, science and which had Veteran’s Day coverage. The book cover and a blurb was followed by a link to the book review that prompted Rarity from the Hollow to have been awarded a Gold Medal by Awesome Indies last Friday. Check out the very cool magazine:

The Book Bazaar / Re: 2015 Reviews of Rarity from the Hollow
« on: September 03, 2015, 06:09:17 am »
Rarity from the Hollo now has 30 book reviews on Amazon, the vast majority posted by book reviewers or book critics, and has a 4.2 rating at this time.

Entered cult of me short fiction contest.

Robert Eggleton

Rarity from the Hollow

The Book Bazaar / Re: 2015 Reviews of Rarity from the Hollow
« on: July 22, 2015, 10:10:33 am »
Since I posted the last couple of reviews a while back, following are excerpts of additional recent reviews of Rarity from the Hollow by book reviewers. For the complete review, you will need to go to the blogs, except for the latest review that will be in Tales of the Talisman when it is released any day, and which will only be available if you buy the print magazine. I did not include reader reviews because, for one thing, I don't have very many (hint, hint).

After checking out these excerpts, if anybody thinks that she or he would enjoy reading Rarity from the Hollow and contacts me via , within 24 hours of the time of this post, I will send you a free .mobi in exchange for an honest reader review.  However, this is not a YA novel. It includes serious social commentary and satire not necessarily intended to be consumed for the purposes of escapism.  It is not for the prudish or easily offended and contains enough marijuana smoke to cause Cheech and Chong to contemplate moving to a hollow between the hills of West Virginia. The story is not erotic but does includes some sexual references that could offend very conservative readers. If you've enjoyed the South Park TV show if you are not an adult and your parent doesn't object to you watching it, my story should be mild in comparison as to mature content. (I assume that this is an okay offer on this thread. If not, Betsy, please delete this portion of my post only so that I don't have to repost the review excerpts. Thanks.)

Also, although my project has been advertised (for free) on child maltreatment survivor forums, probably because author proceeds have been donated to child abuse prevention in my home state, the early chapters could trigger PTSD if you are a victim of child abuse. So, use your own judgement. The story line is victimization to empowerment, and as both a survivor myself and a retired children's mental health psychotherapist, based on input from another couple of survivors who read the story, it could also be regarded as a self-help instruction for victims. One victim called the story a biography of a mentally ill child suffering from Dissociative Disorder (delusions / hallucinations) due to severe trauma, and not a science fiction adventure at all. Again, if you are a victim, use your own judgement, but if in doubt I recommend that you pass on this story.   

Here's some excerpts of reviews:

"...I will say that the book drew me in well enough that I really wanted to know how they would pull it off, and I enjoyed the payoff."
     -- Errant Dreams, May 28, 2015

"...And I f***ng loved it. Because the author’s writing style was absolutely brilliant. He weaved in first person and third person narratives like every other paragraph. And the imagination on this guy… Damn."
     -- Glenn Hates Books, 6-13-15

"...I really enjoyed "Rarity from the Hollow". Robert Eggleton has woven a story packed full of adventure, desperation, pain, heartache,  romance, and humor. While this may be a book that might not be everyone's cup of tea I definitely think that everyone should give this book a try. Although, I do feel that this is a book not recommended for children because of the issues and certain events that are described within the book."  -- Mountain Rhinestones, 6-20-15 

"...I found it a little too disturbing for my tastes. I am a 19 year old who still enjoys Disney and can't watch a horror film because they are terrifying after all. But for fans of horror movies and Stephen King this book is perfect. It is psychologically disturbing at a different level to what I have seen before and this made it hard for me to read, especially the scene describing her friend's death...."
     -- The Reading Rose, 6-23-15

"...I didn't realize until half way through that the idiosyncratic spelling of the planets' name was Shop Til You Drop - and how deadly serious the powers-that-be were in making mindless but competitive shoppers of everyone in the universe - which ultimately consumes every resource and destroys every planet but the "winner". That will stay with me a long while."
     -- Wendy Tuck, Goodreads Reviewer, 6-23-15

The Midwest Review, reprint of the review that appeared in The Electric Review on 8-12-14 ("one quarter turn beyond Vonnegut")
     -- 7-2-15

"...This story is filled with great laughs and has a unique twist of science fiction. Usually when I read about stories with aliens is like about war, aliens taking over the world or the alien is the main character. The idea of the shopping mall is also genius.... If the book becomes a movie I see more of a Little Miss Sunshine type of movie (hint hint)."
     -- Where Stephanie Reads, 7-3-15

The Baryon Review, reprint of reviews in Warrior Patient by former editor of Reader's Digest on 5-18-15 ("most enjoyable science fiction I've read in several years..." and in The Baron Review on 12-31-12 ("...good science fiction satire is even harder to find..."
     -- The Baron Review, 7-8-15

"...I am sure that some will love this book, think it is brilliant. I am sadly not one of those people...."
     -- Pixies Can Read, 7-16-15 

"...This book has been described as a laugh-out-loud book, but I disagree with that. I found it to be very dark. Sure, it has humorous moments, but it’s not a comedy...Yes, the book is dark, but it’s also good. It’s well-written and it makes you think...."
     -- Book Obsessed Human, 7-16-15

"...There’s a lot to like in this novel. Lacy Dawn is a clever and engaging character, who overcomes her difficult family situation, and her blossoming sexuality with homespun, common sense wisdom. She’s equally at ease talking to alien androids, her classmates, the trees, and ghosts. Eggleton makes an admirably smooth progression from the grim realities of Appalachian life to the broadly satirical look at the “alien” economics of consumerism and how a smart kid can find solutions to problems entrenched management have made for themselves...Unfortunately, I felt Eggleton undercut these strengths with an over reliance on potty and drug humor...."
     -- Tales of the Talisman Magazine, Vol. 10, Issue 4, 7-17-15 

The Book Bazaar / Re: My Writing was Compared to Vonnegut!!
« on: May 16, 2015, 04:58:50 pm »
Thanks cinisajoy. I just retired from my job as a children's psychotherapist, so maybe I will have more time to write, as well as to interact with others. My job was so emotionally draining -- one damaged kid after another, the horror of their victimizations -- I was simply too exhausted to write when I got home. I expect to improve productivity.

Maybe I have been wrong all along. I assumed that one must first achieve name recognition before self-promotion had a realistic chance of working. Small presses like the one I hooked-up with have very limited budgets to advertise. So, it has mostly been up to me. I hate marketing and wish that there was some magic way of telling readers about one's works.  Maybe I should concentrate on writing and make marketing a secondary concern. What do you think?

If you are interested in my novel, please read the following Synopsis and Caution first. Thanks.


This novel is SF/F cross-genre. It combines elements of fantasy, soft science fiction, everyday horrors, paranormal, a little romance, mystery, and adventure. The content addresses poverty, domestic violence, child maltreatment, local and intergalactic economics, mental health issues – including PTSD experienced by Veterans and medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of bipolar disorder – capitalism, and touches upon Christianity: “Jesus is everybody’s friend, not just humans.” It has a HEA ending. 

Piers Anthony found that Rarity from the Hollow was “…not for the prudish.” Kevin Patrick Mahoney, editor of the once noteworthy site, Authortrek, found that it was, “…not for the faint hearted or easily offended….”    An early voice in the 1st chapter speaks about things that no child should know. It is that of a traumatized child – a voice most of us never listen to, or want to hear, but in real life is screaming. This passage is mild in comparison to some of the stuff that kids have said during actual group psychotherapy sessions that I facilitated over the years. By child developmental stage, it is similar to the infamous early adolescent insult in E.T: “penis breath.” It is tame in comparison to the content of the popular T.V. series, South Park, which was devoured by millions of teens.   

Except for a scene involving domestic violence in the 3rd chapter, the early dialogue is the only graphic content. There are no graphic sex scenes in the novel. The renewed romance between the protagonist’s parents does include sexual reference. The android coming of age during his pursuit of humanity is reality-based. However, Lacy Dawn never lets the android get farther than to kiss her on the cheek. The android expresses no interest in sex – he falls in love, all consuming love by the middle of the story. The “F word” is used once, but there is no other profanity.

Rarity from the Hollow is A Children’s Story for Adults.


The Book Bazaar / Re: My Writing was Compared to Vonnegut!!
« on: May 16, 2015, 12:55:12 pm »
Maybe "sequel" was the incorrect term. Ivy is another Lacy Dawn SF/F Adventure, but very different. It pokes fun at U.S. military recruitment practices, big city drug dealers, and subliminal attempts by the government to manage the behaviors of individuals.


The Book Bazaar / Re: My Writing was Compared to Vonnegut!!
« on: May 14, 2015, 12:30:54 pm »
Thanks. I'm holding off on having the equel edited until I've achieve greater name recognition.

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