Happy Friday! Today’s author has written, read, and reviewed so many books I honestly believe she’s triplets – or maybe she just never sleeps. And she works another job. And also whips up stunning baking creations. Almost forgot – and because of the pandemic, she’s overseeing her sons’ virtual schooling. And now you’re thinking my theories aren’t so far-fetched, right? See which Stephen King books kept her up at night. Welcome Roberta Eaton Cheadle (Robbie)!
Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?
I could not bear to be closed up inside a coffin even for one minute, so I’ll have to risk the haunted house. Ghosts and spirits seem to avoid me as I’ve never seen or heard one, even though I have visited many castles and mansions which are reputed to be haunted. I live in a house that is supposed to be haunted by the spirits of some bandits who were shot and killed in the kitchen during a shoot-out with the authorities in 1939. None of my family have ever seen any sight or sound of these men.
Has a movie or book scared you so much you couldn’t sleep? Which one?
I read Salem’s Lot by Stephen King when I was ten years old. It scared me so much I had to stop reading it by 6 P.M. every evening otherwise I couldn’t sleep at night. I still think that this book, and The Shining by Stephen King, are the scariest books I’ve ever read. I distinctly remember the description of the first murder of the small boy, Ralphie Glick. It was one of the creepiest and most upsetting scenes I can remember out of all the hundreds of books I’ve read.
Would you rather use a Ouija board or participate in a séance?
Ouija boards and séances are not common here in South Africa. I have only read about both methods of communicating with spirits through books I’ve read by American authors. I would choose to use an Ouija board as I researched how to use them and how they work for my forthcoming novel, A Ghost and His Gold. I feel I would be more informed and knowledgeable about using an Ouija board as a result.
Do you write to music?
No, I find music to be a distraction when I write or work. I don’t need complete silence as I am used to a lot of background noise, but I can’t help listening to music and I loose my focus.
Describe your writing space.
Haha, I don’t have a designated writing space. For years now I’ve worked on the run, carrying my laptop and cell phone around with me wherever I go and connecting to the internet via a SIM card or free Wifi. I have worked on planes, trains and in cars as well as in hotels, airports and on the tube. I have also worked while my children attend tennis, karate and music lessons and while having tea or drinks with friends. My job never ends and so I make use of modern technology to stay on top of it. When I started writing in 2016, I applied these same methods to my writing. I wrote several sections of Through the Nethergate on return aeroplane journeys to the UK and Finland in 2018. I also wrote some sections while I was on holiday at a game farm near the Pilanesberg Game Reserve in South Africa. When I write at home, I often write at the dining room table, but I also write at the table in the kitchen and sitting in my lounge. The boys and Terence have their own lounge with their own TV and gaming paraphernalia. I don’t have a TV, preferring to be surrounded by my doll and African art collections.
What are you working on now?
I have recently finished A Ghost and His Gold, a 118 000 word book about a haunting involving three ghosts all of whom died during and just after the Second Anglo Boer War in South Africa between 1899 to 1902. The ghosts are an Afrikaner farmer, a British soldier, and the teenage daughter of the Afrikaner farmer. The book tells their backstories and how their souls came to be trapped on earth rather than ascending to heaven. This book is told in sections alternating between the haunted couple, Michelle and Tom Cleveland, and the three ghosts. I have experimented with some different writing techniques and styles in this book including a section that is the war-time diary of Robert, the British soldier. I have also moved between present tense and pass tense writing.
I also have short stories included in two anthologies which are being released this month. I have two short horror stories in Spellbound, a horror anthology with a twisted fairy tales theme compiled by Dan Alatorre. I also have two short stories in Spirits of the West, a paranormal anthology with a frontier tales theme, compiled and edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.
In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.
With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
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Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with seven published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.
I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.
I have participated in a number of anthologies:
Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley;
Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.; and
Two short stories in Spellbound, an anthology of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre.
I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.
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