Guest Writer Spot – @RobertaEaton17

I am over at Esther Chilton’s blog with a post about the Doughnut Girls from World War 1 who feature in my latest WIP, The Soldier and the Radium Girl. Thank you to Esther for hosting me. Esther has a fabulous book for writers called Publication Guaranteed. You will find a link for it on her blog.


My guest this week is Robbie Eaton Cheadle. Many of you will be familiar with Robbie’s blog and also her books. Here she gives us an insight into her latest WIP.

Doughnut Girls


Robbie Eaton Cheadle

It always surprises me, when I write a novel, how many unexpected bits of historical trivia turn up during my research process.

I am not a ‘pantster’ writer, I must have some direction. I am also not a detailed planner, although I do have a spreadsheet for my planned and partially written Cli-fi trilogy. It is necessary for those books because there are a large number of characters I need to keep a handle on. My standard modus operandus, however, is to write backwards. I plan the ending of my books or stories and then I decide where I’m going to start on the timeline of my story. The timeline is…

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22 thoughts on “Guest Writer Spot – @RobertaEaton17

    1. Hi Dave, donuts, thanks for that spelling, I must update my novel for it. The US spelling is a little mystifying for me. Your comment, while heart breaking, also made me smile, as I am sure there were an awful lot of donuts made, probably more than military weapons.

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      1. The “doughnuts” spelling certainly makes more sense, Robbie, and is more pleasing to the eye. And true that there are probably more donuts than military weapons number-wise but probably not weight-wise. 🙂 😦

        Oh, and speaking of working backwards in literature, I believe John Steinbeck came up with the memorable ending of “The Grapes of Wrath” before then writing the novel.

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      2. Hi Dave, that bit of information about The Grapes of Wrath is interesting. I think books often fall down on their endings. That is why I like to have my endings planned. I am always reading up on the psychology of war because I am always trying to understand ‘why?’ The why of most things plagues me and I end up dwelling on them against my will really, because I think a lot of leadership decisions are made without the parties really delving into the why of it. Leaders especially don’t seem to worry about the repercussions of their decisions on regular people who are just trying to live their lives.

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      3. True, Robbie, that quite a few endings to novels disappoint. And you’re right that leaders who start wars and/or are in power during wars often don’t have the welfare of the “average” person in mind. It’s more about personal political gain, pleasing the “donor class” (which might include weapons manufacturers), etc. 😦 The leaders and their children and their grandchildren, of course, rarely fight. 😦

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        1. This is sadly very true, Dave. The good thing is that there are so many more people with a social conscience now who stand up and speak out. There is also a lot of knowledge available to those who seek it so people can make informed decisions if they want to. My son has just read a book on the history of African leadership. He was terribly upset by the Rwandan genocide but he has gained from reading about it. I know people who were involved in the DRC genocide. I donate to a cause that offers mental health services to survivors. One man told me his story of how his parents were murdered when he was 9 years old, a truly terrible story that I have never forgotten.

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      4. Many good points, Robbie, and great to hear about what your son read and your donation to that important cause. (My wife was in the Peace Corps a few years before the Rwandan genocide but definitely sensed the tensions that would later explode.) So many societal and personal tragedies. 😦

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  1. I found disturbing the story of these women who unknowingly were working with toxic radium. I cannot fathom how they and their families dealt with the aftermath brought on by what seemed to be an artistic and respectable job. I am now intrigued with the significance of donuts during the war!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is very disturbing and there were other women who suffered illness and health problems due to their war efforts. The ‘canary girls’ who worked with TNT in the UK during WW1 fit this bill. I try to include some lighter and fun bits in my books, hence the doughnut girls who brought a lot of pleasure to the fighting men.

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  2. I left another comment on the guest post site, but I have something else to add here. I had no idea you write backwards–that’s so interesting. I have had to lop off some of my beginnings, though, so I can see how being able to look back could help you pick the best place to begin. : )

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