Wednesday, February 8, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW with LACY DAWN



ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.


WHAT THEY'RE SAYING . . .

"…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)

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.”
—Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest

“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

“…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)



ABOUT ROBERT EGGLETON'S CHARACTER, LACY DAWN:

Lacy Dawn begins the story as an eleven year old victim of child maltreatment living in an impoverished hollow in West Virginia. Her mother’s teeth are rotting out and her father is war damaged from his service during the Iraq War – PTSD related night terrors and anger outbursts. She is also a very special child. Genetically manipulated for millennia, she is a most unlikely savior of the universe. In the first scene, Lacy Dawn and her best friend, Faith, are studying for a spelling quiz. Readers learn that she already knows how to spell all the words in the textbook and most others in any human language. This scene closes with Lacy Dawn’s disclosure to Faith that she has another best friend, someone who teaches her stuff and lives in the sky.

An android, DotCom (his name is a recurring pun), has been assigned by Universal Management to recruit and train Lacy Dawn to save the universe from an imminent threat. All other prior efforts to get the Capitalists and Socialists to cooperate have been disastrous and Lacy Dawn is the only hope. During visits to the android’s spaceship hidden in a cave behind her house, she is an excellent student of all subjects: economics, psychology, biology…. She also learns how to negotiate the best deals. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe but her family and friends come first.

"…I was hesitant to accept. I usually do not read or review books that discuss child abuse or domestic violence; however, I was intrigued by the excerpt and decided to give it a shot. I am glad that I took a risk; otherwise, I would have missed out on a fantastic story with a bright, resourceful, and strong protagonist that grabbed my heart and did not let go…."  On My Kindle Book Reviews

In colloquial voice, Lacy Dawn is also a little girl who expresses age-appropriate interests, including that of having a boyfriend for when she is old enough. Like many little girls, she dreams of getting married one day, imagines her wedding, school dances . . . She “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 . . . ”  Electric Review

After having vowed to not smoke marijuana until after she has graduated from college and to not have sex for the first time until after she is married, Lacy Dawn ends the story as a fourteen-year-old empowered victim, a successful savior of the universe, a celebrity in the eyes of trillions of beings, and popular in high school.



INTERVIEW WITH LACY DAWN


Lacy Dawn, how did you first meet Robert?
Well, my school sent me to this mental health place because they thought that I was acting weird. I wasn’t. You can ask anybody. I didn’t want to go, but it turned out to be pretty cool. I got a lot of stuff off my chest. There were other kids there who had problems and that’s all they did – talk, talk, talk about their problems. I decided to help them out. Instead of just talking about my problems, I told everybody about my dreams for the future and what I planned to do to make my dreams come true. My writer, Robert Eggleton, was there. He was my therapist.  Now, I’m his therapist. Life’s funny, huh?

Yes it is. Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?
Because I saved the universe, silly. If I hadn’t taken that job, there would be no books, no people, no nothing. The bosses of everything had gotten so mad at each other for so long that they couldn’t even think straight. It took me some time to figure it all out, almost like they didn’t even care anymore if the universe did go down as long as they won the big argument. All I really did was to get them to talk together again, but everybody thought that I was a hero or something. So, what the heck – I got paid good. Now, I’ve got a good mommy and daddy who really love me and I love them right back. 

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
That’s an easy one. I was Roundabend in DotCom’s spaceship studying when I could sense that something was wrong at home. I used my magic to get there in a few seconds. My daddy was about to beat up my mom again. She had found his Playboy collection from high school and had burned them up. I don’t blame her. Anyway, he found out and got his switch down off the wall. I went in through the back door and stood up to him for the first time. My mom was on the floor crying and was just about to get her G.E.D. study guide out from behind the gas can where it was hidden. Daddy would have killed her if he would have seen that. I stood straight and tall, looked him in the eyes, and used logic every time that he tried to tell me that he was doing the right thing – that mommy deserved what she was going to get. He got so flabbergasted that he started mumbling. He always used to do that when he was all mixed up. He ended up dropping the switch and leaving in his truck. I got so many hugs from mommy.   

I'll bet. Tell the truth. What do you think of the other characters in the book?
Everybody in my family is really cool now. They didn’t use to be before DotCom figured out how to cure them. It used to be that daddy couldn’t hold down a job and kept destroying everything, like punching holes in the walls. Mostly, mommy used to cry all the time and she kept apologizing to me because she thought that she had done a bad job raising me up. I’m proud of both of them now. Mommy got her G.E.D. and driver’s license, Daddy is doing great and has a good job, and the house was really fixed up. It’s nice. Even the bathroom has a door now.

Tom, he’s our neighbor, smokes too much pot. But, he’s okay except he would be better off if he got a divorce from his last wife who don’t even come around anymore and found a good woman. He has sex on the brain, but I understand why since I’ve studied all that stuff. He don’t do nothing mean about it. Actually, he’s a really good man on the inside, and all that partying stuff is probably a cover up. He has Bipolar Disorder and thinks that pot helps him out better than the medicines that he’s tried. Maybe he’s right.

DotCom, I love him. He used to be an android and it was annoying that he didn’t understand my feelings. It was really hard to relate to him when he was going through the human development stage, especially when he was a teenager. He sure is smart, but between you and me, he’s still kind of immature. If he ever grows up, we are going to get married, maybe when I’m twenty-five or something.

Mr. Prump was a bad man, if a big cockroach can be called a man. When I first met him, all he thought about was making money. He made his secretary sit on his lap, and that’s nasty. He wouldn’t listen to nobody – thought that he knew it all. Mr. Rump was a good man but no matter how hard he tried, it didn’t help out the universe. He was hard-headed too. I don’t see how first cousins can get so mad at each other. Anyway, now that they are talking to each other again, both are more reasonable and it seems like they are a lot happier too. Mr. Prump still likes to make money, that’s how he makes himself feel like a success. And, Mr. Rump still likes to think about helping poor people. That’s how he makes himself feel good. I don’t want to hang out with either of them, but they’re okay, I guess.

My dog, Brownie, is the best friend a person could have. Dogs have special gifts, you know. They can sense things, empathize – I told you that I know big words, but I don’t like to use them. If it hadn’t been for Brownie and his ability to communicate with the most vile insects on any planet, Earth would be dust right now. Since he has earn replacement parts forever and won’t wear out, I don’t have to worry so much about one of the saddest parts of life, your pet dying. It’s so sad. Some are them are buried in my back yard, and it still makes me cry to think about them being gone.

What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while?
If it’s the first time that I’ve met somebody, of course you can’t really tell but I think that they think I’m a hick. I like it that way. Mainly, I just want to fit in with other kids. After a while, after they get to know me, they think that I’m nice and smart, but I don’t like for my smarts to show too much. All I want to do is enough to make straight A’s in school. That’s it. Sure, I want to get a scholarship to college. Who doesn’t? I always intentionally miss a few questions on any school test. Some girls think that I’m weird because I don’t talk about boys all the time like they do. I just tell them that I’ve got a boyfriend already who goes to a different school.  



What's the worst thing that's happened in your life?
I used to think that being born was the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. After that, I thought that not being able to save Faith from her daddy and her getting murdered was the worst thing. I don’t really think about bad things very much now, except remembering when my pets died every time I go in the backyard. I don’t think it’s healthy to think about the past all the time. Life is too short. Well, I mean that your life is too short. I get free replacement parts too as part of the deal for saving the universe, but I still don’t want to think about stuff that there’s nothing that I can do about. 



Tell us about your best friend.
I’ve got some friends. Some of them I met when I was locked up in that mental hospital when I was eight, before I met Robert. He would never let that happen to me again. I’ll tell you about Faith. She used to live the next house down in the hollow. You could almost see her house from mine. After her daddy murdered her, I thought that she was gone forever. In school, she used to pretend to have mental retardation so that she would be put in special education class where the work is easier and the teacher let you do puzzles. Right before she was murdered, I’d convinced her to stop faking it. Her daddy was the meanest daddy on Earth. He did awful things to all of his daughters. But, Faith wouldn’t tell anybody except me. She had been locked up too and figured that putting up with what her daddy did was better that welfare taking her and putting her who knows where. Anyway, one day when I was on my way to DotCom’s spaceship, Faith shows up from inside a rock. She had turned into a ghost and went inside one rock or tree after another beside the path. We’re still best friends. But she can be totally annoying. She always looks on the negative side of things and seems to get a kick out of bursting other people’s bubble. I do love her, except some of her jokes can be a pain.   

What are you most afraid of?
I ain’t afraid of nothing!

Good for you! What’s your author’s worst habit?

He smokes cigarettes and works too hard. I’m going to miss him when he’s gone and it won’t be long if he doesn’t get it together.

What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre?
I don’t think there are any similar characters, if that’s what you want to call me. I’ve been called worse. A lot of people, you know, book reviewers, have said that I’m unique. The other powerful girls all have swords or lasers, or worse, use sex appeal to get stuff done. I think that a lot of stuff can be fixed without violence if you figure it out right. And, I’m sure not sexy and don’t want to be, not now anyway. I’m not putting them down, but I’m sure not putting out any time soon, if you know what I mean. Since you’re a girl, I’m sure that you do.

Sure I do. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Will you encourage Robert to write a sequel?
I’ve been after him and after him to send Ivy to the editor. He says that he has to change some things because of all the stuff that I’ve taught him. I think that he’s stalling so that I can become more famous and other people will want to read his next story. But, I keep thinking about all the people whose lives are being ruined by drugs. You see, Mr. Prump started an invasion of Earth so long ago that he doesn’t remember. It’s still going on in autopilot. There used to be this town named Ivy a few hollows away from mine. I could probably fix the whole problem in a few weekends without even missing a day of school. However, that’s another story.

Thanks for talking with me. You’re cool. 
Why thank you, Lacy Dawn. I think you're cool too!



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. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. The second edition of Rarity from the Hollow was release on November 3, 2016. 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.

Connect with Robert:
Website  |   Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Goodreads   |  Amazon

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Lulu  |  Dog Horn Publishing

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