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THROUGH THE NETHERGATE by Roberta Eaton Cheadle | GREAT ESCAPES BOOK TOURS | AUTHOR INTERVIEW | Supernatural Fantasy

Author Interview Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book? This novel is aimed at young adults and adul...


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.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?


I have a website, https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/ which has details for all my books, children’s and young adult and adult. I have a blog https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/, where I blog about poetry, fondant and cake art, a few recipes and prompts and snippets about my children’s books and writing. I also share reviews of poetry, children’s and family drama books. My second blog, https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/ is where I share my adult writing and poems. I also use this blog to share reviews of horror, supernatural and murder mystery books.


I also write two posts monthly for Writing to be Read hosted by https://kayelynnebooth.wordpress.com/. On the second Wednesday of the month I share a post about encouraging children to read and write and on the fourth Saturday of the month I write a post aimed at encouraging poets and poetry lovers to meet and greet each other. I also share reviews of poetry books. 


You can also find me on the following other platforms:




What can we expect from you in the future?


I am currently finalizing my seventh Sir Chocolate book, Sir Chocolate and the Rainbow Ice-cream Fairies story and cookbook which will be published in March/April 2020. 


I am working on another supernatural book with a strong historical element about the South African War which will be for adults and should be published in October/November 2020. 


I also plan to participate in at least one more anthology next year. I have participated in four anthologies to date and find that I meet a lot of lovely new authors and learn a lot thought this process.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?


I love to know what readers think of my books and stories. Some people don’t write reviews as that is not their practice and I love to receive their feedback verbally or even through an email. It is encouraging when people share what they liked and useful if they share what didn’t work for them. Recommendations by people who have read my books to other readers are most helpful too.


Of course, reviews on platforms like Amazon, Lulu.com and Goodreads are extremely helpful to all authors and I love it when I receive a new review.

About Through The Nethergate

Through the Nethergatehttps://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?source=bk&t=dollycsthoug-20&bm-id=default&l=ktl&linkId=db82ca6cbb3c6d25f437b191cfe09c9b&_cb=1573067325406
Supernatural Fantasy
1st in Series
TSL Publications (September 3, 2019)
Paperback: 214 pages
ISBN-10: 1913294021
ISBN-13: 978-1913294021
Digital ASIN: B07ZJTW2DF


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.




About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

'I am an author who has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my young adult and adult writing, these will be published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first young adult supernatural novel, Through the Nethergate, has recently been published.

I have two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award-winning author, Dan Alatorre as well as three short stories published in Death Among Us, a collection of murder mystery short stories by 10 different authors and edited by Stephen Bentley. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.


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6 comments

  1. A great interview. I love learning how writers get their ideas. I love the cover as it perfectly depicts the theme of the book. All the best with this book, Robbie. It is on my TBR pile and I will be getting to it soon.

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  2. I've read Through the Nethergate and it's unique and intriguing. This was an excellent interview with Robbie. I particularly liked learning how the book, as well as the title, came to be. All the best to Robbie!

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  3. Interesting interview. It's great to see Robbie featured here. Hugs!

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  4. It's lovely to see Robbie featured. I'm glad to read that she's working on a new historical fiction book. And Sir Chocolate? Who can get enough chocolate? Hugs.

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  5. Great interview and giveaway! :) Sharing...

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  6. Good to see Robbie here, this is a great interview, I love the questions and Robbie's answers.

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