Robert Egby has always wanted to be a novelist, but the job always eluded him -- until now. He's been a teacher of self-empowerment, spiritual development and mysticism for over thirty years and has written four non-fiction books to date. His style is informative, personal, sometimes dramatic, sometimes humorous, but always ready to help anyone on the Quest for the True Self and the Universal Mind. He's also written an autobiography which one reviewer called "extremely lucid, easy to read book"
Since he started his life in Maidenhead, Berkshire, Robert has passed through many doors and many countries in his own quest. Accredited war correspondent, award winning news photographer and broadcaster, public relations director, hypnoanalyst, dowser, sound healer, medium, and ordained minister. He has written and produced dozens of audio meditation and self-hypnosis programs.
But always there was a lurking desire to write fiction. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s while working as a journalist in British Columbia, he wrote three lengthy novels, two of them historical fiction. The manuscripts sat in a cardboard box until this year, when Robert, having set up his own publishing company and putting out non-fiction books, two of them award winners, declared: "Now is the time to be a novelist."
THE FIRST NOVEL
The book now published is entitled "Pentadaktylos: Love, Promises and Patriotism in the Last Days of Colonial Cyprus." Set in October 1958 it tells the story of a British soldier Army officer Gregory Sommerville who returns to the now violence-torn Mediterranean island to find that a 1940 love affair with a young Greek Cypriot has produced a seventeen year old son. Stunned, he starts searching and uncovers the worst imaginable scenario. Through his work with the Security Forces he discovers his son has joined an elite EOKA killer group and is involved in a plot to assassinate a British diplomat.
Sommerville finds himself in a desperate tug of war between loyalty to the British Army and hunting down the son he's never met. It's a race against time. Top brass, angered by an increasing number of EOKA attacks and bombings, gives a "shoot to kill" order on the group hidden in the mountains. Sommerville's only way of reaching his son is through the boy's mother, but she has long disappeared. Sommerville sets out to find her, combing the dangerous streets in and around Nicosia's Murder Mile.
The title of this historical fiction novel, Pentadaktylos comes from a mountain in the Kyrenia Range in north Cyprus. It means "five fingers." British born author Robert Egby was a journalist and award winning news photographer who lived in Cyprus from 1953 through to 1962 and witnessed the Cyprus Emergency and the last days of colonial Cyprus. He was also married to a Greek Cypriot lady, a fact described in his autobiography "Kings, Killers and Kinks in the Cosmos: Treading Softly With Angels Among Minefields," published earlier this year. His life and work in Cyprus forms several chapters in the book.
Robert lives with his partner, Betty Lou and two chihuahuas, Satchmo and Bubba, on Chaumont Bay, Lake Ontario in northern New York where they conduct various workshops. Another book manuscript, originally written in the late 1970s and now being processed into the digital age is also an historical thriller set in Czarist Russia and Western Canada and like Pentadaktylos uses a real life background. It is planned for publication later this year.