Synopsis: Lacy 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 has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop 'till You Drop): 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.
Rarity from the Hollow dives into the trenches of the human condition and explores dark societal issues such as sexual abuse and psychological problems.
While not for the faint of heart, Rarity from the Hollow is peppered with satire to lighten the tone of the story. This story is intended for adult reading as it has frequent reference to sexual situations. However, the author of this book has written with a tone of sarcasm and wit that will appeal to those who have dealt with the “trenches” in society...those who can relate to the hardships of the human condition and accept them for their true nature.
Rarity from the Hollow is well written. The author has truly come to understand and reference many problems found in society. If one reads this book with a semi serious nature, one will come to understand the mindset of those who have suffered greatly from the addressed societal traumas in the storyline. Abuse in the life of those who have suffered almost becomes an accepted, every day way of living. Rarity from the Hollow expounds on this fact.
Rarity from the Hollow was written to help children who have been abused. I commend the author and wish him all the best in his endeavors. His book is interesting with its mix of science fiction, fantasy and satire.
Interview with Robert:
1. What prompted you to write your book?
In the 8th grade, I won the school’s short story contest. “God Sent” was about a semi truck driver so consumed with theological debate that he caused a terrible accident. I began to dream of becoming a rich and famous author. As it often does, life got in the way. I worked and went to school, never finishing any more stories that I’d started, until recently when I incorporated some of those unfinished stories into Rarity from the Hollow.
I recently retired as a children’s psychotherapist for our local mental health center. It was an intensive day program Most of the kids in the program, like myself as a child, 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 the evil forces that victimize and exploit others to get anything and everything that they want. Rarity from the Hollow is the first full-length adventure in a prospective series.
While my protagonist is a composite character based on real-life kids that I’ve met over the years while working in children’s services, one little girl was especially inspiring. Her name is Lacy Dawn. Rather than focusing on her victimization, she spoke of dreams – finding a loving family that respected her physically and spiritually. She inspired me to make my own dream come true -- to write fiction -- and I haven’t stopped writing since I first met her that day during a group therapy session. That little girl, unknowingly, prompted me to write Rarity from the Hollow.
2. What message do you hope to get across to the reader?
There are many messages in Rarity from the Hollow, everything that I have ever written and will write. That’s why I think of my writing as social science fiction – that’s what it’s all about. But that doesn’t mean the messages will be interpreted by one reader the same as interpreted by another. I don’t write or want to read anything that is “preachy.” Heck, I don’t even think that religious literature, like the pamphlets that one finds on the floors of public toilet stalls, should be so preachy. I wouldn’t want to touch such content, even if it would have been delivered under more sanitary conditions. I want to write about important issues that one person may think support a particular position but the next reader finds the opposite. I don’t have the answers to the most important questions and challenges that humans face.
The narrative of Rarity from the Hollow addressed social issues: poverty, domestic violence, child maltreatment, local and intergalactic economics, mental health concerns – including PTSD experienced by Veterans and the medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of Bipolar Disorder, Capitalism, and touched on the role of Jesus: “Jesus is everybody’s friend, not just humans.” These messages do not advocate for anything specific. In my opinion, it is critical that such messages be in every piece of literature, even comics and erotica, but each of us have to find truths within our own hearts and minds.
One of my personal truths is that enough is not being done to prevent child abuse / exploitation in the world. Author proceeds from the Lacy Dawn Adventures project, from sales of Rarity from the Hollow, have been donated to Children’s Home Society of West Virginia: http://www.childhswv.org/
3. What are your favorite things to do in your spare time?
Since I don’t have very much money in the personal budget for recreation, I’m so fortunate that my favorite things to do in my spare time are very cheap. I enjoy writing. I enjoy reading. I read and write in all genres, except extremely technical nonfiction. Every scene that I closed when writing Rarity from the Hollow was a thrill, and, all in all, that adds up to one heck of a lot of fun times that were shared with friends and family.
I enjoy video games, but I try to stay away from them because I’m easily addicted, and I hate that feeling – addiction. I enjoy vegetable gardening, but I never could get into flower gardening, probably because flowers don’t taste good – after all that work, they just wilt. I enjoy a good movie, but it has gotten so expensive that I get bummed out if the movie sucks. “Lacy Dawn Goes to the Movies” was the name of one of the chapters in Rarity from the Hollow. It was a documentary about her role during human evolution toward development of savior attributes, but she really wanted to go to the movies to see her first Harry Potter film, like the other kids at her school were talking about.
In a nutshell, and I could go on, I enjoy life and will be disappointed when mine runs out, unless there is something better on the other side.
4. Do you have any other works in progress?
I always have several works in progress at the same time. Since I’ve recently retired, the difference is that I’ve become productive. Instead of ideas, partially developed and then abandoned because life has always seemed so complicated, I’m reaching closure on a ton of older half-baked stories. A new short story just got rejected by a major science fiction magazine, so I’ve got some work to do on it, especially since I agree that it was prematurely submitted.
Ivy, my next novel, is almost ready for professional editing. I’m holding off, trying to build name recognition before I submit it to the publisher for consideration. My dream with respect to writing fiction is to get to the place where I no longer need to request book reviews, but instead book reviewers ask the publisher for a copy of my work to review. I’m hopeful that I’ll get to that place with Rarity from the Hollow and then have the release of Ivy perfectly timed so that I can concentrate on writing instead of promotions.
5. What would you like your readers to know about you?
The main thing that I want readers to know about me is that I’m giving this writing gig my best shot. I’ve worked very long hours, sometimes with little sleep, to tell people about the existence of Rarity from the Hollow. The actual writing part about being a Writer is a piece of cake. It’s the self-promotion that is a killer.
6. If you could give one piece of advice about life in general, what would it be?
My one piece of advice about life is general is to always do the right thing because in the end, one way or another, I believe that it will always turn out alright. Of course, each of us has to determine in our own hearts what the “right thing” means.
Where you can find Robert:
Where you can purchase Rarity from the Hollow: