#Booktour – Author Interview

Thank you to https://readeropolis.blogspot.com/ for hosting me today for my Through the Nethergate book tour. This post includes an author interview about my intended audience for this book and why that audience should read it. There is also a Giveaway you can enter from Brooke Blogs. Thank you to Great Escapes Book Tours for organising this tour.

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Author Interview

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

This novel is aimed at young adults and adults who enjoy supernatural fantasy. It is essentially a story of good versus evil and includes a modern take on hell and Lucifer. Technology is used by the villains in the book as a vehicle for evil and I thought this would resonate with younger readers. One reviewer stated that “Cheadle ties in current events including the war in Syria, mass shootings, xenophobia, economic disenfranchisement and “fake news” – all the work of the devil.” I feel this quote aptly recognizes what I was aiming to achieve with this book. A manipulation of current events to demonstrate how they can lead to conflict and evil. The main theme of this book is that good always overcomes evil in the end.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

The idea for this book came to me while I was writing my book, While the Bombs Fell, which is a fictionalized autobiography about my mother’s life growing up as a young girl during World War II in the town of Bungay, Suffolk in England. 

While I was doing research for this book, I discovered legend of the black dog of Bungay and this led to my undertaking further research. I learned that black dog was thought to be the spirit of Hugh Bigod, the second son of Roger Bigod who built Bungay Castle in 1100, and who was a most evil man during his lifetime. 

Hugh is traditionally believed to haunt the town in his canine guise. This interesting legend was linked to a number of other stories about famous and less famous ghosts that are believed to haunt various places in the town, and this gave me the idea of writing a book of short stories about these ghosts and how they died. 

Nethergate is the street in Bungay where my mother lived as a young girl. Nethergate also means the gate to the netherworld or hell. A discussion with my mother about the meaning of Nethergate gave rise to the name of this book, Through the Nethergate. It seemed very appropriate given the subject matter of the book and its links to Bungay and my mother’s childhood.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?

The talented Tim Barber from Dissect Designs designed the cover for me. We came up with this idea together. I wanted a cover that depicted a young girl going down into a cellar. My original idea was for the flames of hell to be rising from the cellar. Tim plucked this idea almost out of my head and created the current cover which I loved straight away. 

The reason I wanted the girl going into a cellar is because the cellar of the inn in Bungay is where this story starts. It shares a wall with Bungay Castle and, in the book, it is haunted by Hugh Bigod and a number of his ghostly slaves. Quite a bit of the action in the book is set in the cellar.

The main character, Margaret, is a sixteen year old girl and I though the silhouette of a girl was the perfect image to portray her and to send the message that this is predominantly a YA novel, although adults can read and enjoy it too.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

I am a big fan of Stephen King’s earlier works and dystopian novels. I have also read and loved classic fiction like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I think that these authors and genre’s have had an influence on my choice of genre and style of writing.

Through the Nethergate is a story about good versus evil in much the same manner as The Stand and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and Dracula by Bram Stoker although my villains are ghosts and the devil rather than vampires. My description of my villains is different to these books, however, as I have created an incredibly attractive and desirable villain rather than an elderly and/or frightening looking one.

The idea of ghosts coming to life and doing harm to humans is not knew but I think the idea of the ghosts reincarnating and regaining human attributes is unique. The modern setting and concept of hell as a stock broker dealing in human souls is also unique, as far as I am aware. There is a strong focus on faith in this book which is probably a result of my Catholic upbringing and years spent attending a convent. I have no negative thoughts about this period of my life and find the mysticism and superstitious nature of the Catholic Church fascinating.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

I collect antique and vintage dolls which my family finds very creepy. They do not like my doll collection, which is in the region of about sixty dolls. My family finds the eyes particularly unsettling.

I do a lot of baking and create figurines, flowers and animals out of sugar dough or fondant. I have seven children’s book about a little man called Sir Chocolate who lives in a world where you can eat everything, including the houses, flowers and trees. Sir Chocolate goes around helping his friends put wrong things right. I wrote the Sir Chocolate series of books with my son, Michael, who was aged six to ten years old at the time.

Continue reading here: https://readeropolis.blogspot.com/2020/01/through-nethergate-by-robertaeaton17.html

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39 thoughts on “#Booktour – Author Interview

  1. I really enjoyed this post, Robbie, and learning about what inspired you to write the book. While it is not in a genre I enjoy, I find the theme intriguing. The temptation to read is niggling.

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  2. Great interview, Robbie. I left you a comment over there, but forgot to mention the vintage dolls. Yeah, I’m in the same camp as your family…they can be a bit creepy, especially the eyes!

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  3. Excellent post, Robbie! 🙂 I love dolls and have collected them for decades… Not creepy at all to me. Have given several away to daughters, grands and one great grand. Still have plenty left to gift away! 🙂

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  4. I enjoyed reading your interview, Robbie. I don’t usually read supernatural fantasy, but I know it is a popular genre of many people. I think it was brilliant to use technology as a vehicle for evil, and I believe that this theme will resonate with others.

    One of the things I find most interesting about you as a writer is the wide variety of subject matter and ages you write for. It’s far more common to find a niche and stay there. My compliments to you on having the courage to expand your horizons.

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    1. Hi Pete, thank you for your kind comment. I think my range of writing with regards to ages is a function of my family growing older and my own development as a writer. My new book is definitely for adults which is another new step for me. I enjoy children so will continue to do picture books, but many not do any more middle school books. Thanks for reading, Pete. Agreed that supernatural fantasy is not for everyone. I personally don’t really like thrillers and rarely read them.

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  5. I enjoyed so much reading this post,Robbie! Isn’t it great that when you do the research, it’s just one thing leads to another, before you know it, your book is full of rich details. I love how you and the designer work together to create the cover. You feel that it represents your idea but you also liked his input. It’s a great book tour.

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  6. Another engaging interview, with particularly good questions! I had to smile at the mention of your doll collection that your family finds creepy. The first time my son-in-law slept in our guestroom, he was so creeped out by the antique doll who resides there that left the room and slept on the futon in the sunroom. He has refused to sleep in the guestroom ever since.

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