Meet Olivia Diamond and Rod Rogers
Who Is Olivia Diamond?
Olivia Diamond is a cerebral writer, an author of twenty-odd books where her style is prominently evident in a trilogy set in the sixteenth-century Andes of the Inca empire. One might believe Olivia lived there during that time. She actually walked among the stacked stone creations of artisans who built the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the homes and walls of Machu Picchu, and the Temple of the Clouds. She traveled the roads and visited the storehouses that stretch across a continent. She strolled the shoreline of Lake Titicaca at fourteen thousand feet above sea level, and her canoe coasted along the silent streams of the upper Amazon basin. She basked in the heated volcanic baths of Cajamarca and Atahualpa.
In addition to on-site research, her depicted world is more than places, events, and things. Who were the people of that time? What might they see? How would they live their daily lives? Why would they behave as they might? What were their customs and the guiding principles of their society? What was possible and what was not? Olivia’s writing is a passport into another time, or another place, or another person’s crucible. Readers are displaced from their common experiences and transported elsewhere. Immersed in history, or magical realism, or walking the deck of a commercial fishing boat on Lake Superior, or perhaps finding a bloody ax in one hand and a dead body at one’s feet. Through immersive internal monolog, or the grand scope of the omniscient narrator, the details are abundant and engage all aspects of the physical senses to place readers in that particular space at that specific time.
Olivia possesses and employs a master’s degree in literature to portray the kaleidoscope of time and place of focus. One sees and feels the emotions of her characters, and those match the time and place of their setting. Dialog is purported to slow the story, but one will not face this issue here. Verbal interchange between characters is sufficient, but limited. The plot moves forward through action, reaction, and consequence rather than by who said what when.
What would life be like a hundred years ago in a rural setting in the Midwest where a radio was all that connected a rural family to the rest of the world? Or what would happen to the life of a modern woman sought by a serial killer from a century past who now possessed the means to travel at will, forward through time? How would a tortured Vietnam veteran cope with trauma that erupts in his life fifty years later?
Not all is imaginary fiction. Some work takes the reader into personal experience in the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia. What was life like for a Western woman in this place? Another into a soul-searing experience of loss. Why did this have to happen? What possible events might have made a difference? How does one find tranquility in the midst of tragedy? Are there any answers?
The worlds of Olivia Diamond issue from the rich and varied wellsprings of her mind, some with personal content, others with historical fact, and some as imaginary tales, but all with unique and colorful content.
Who Is Rod Rogers?
Rod Rogers grew up in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. The oldest of five children, he entertained his younger siblings with bedtime stories, the products of his imagination. His inventiveness extended to building rockets, at one time almost blowing up the family’s kitchen and reflecting his early interest in space exploration and the galaxies. He liked nothing better than roaming the countryside with his pal, so he hurried over to his friend’s farm to help him milk the cows, freeing the boys to explore the woods around their rural community. At eighteen he responded to the siren call of “Go West, young man,” and found himself in engineering school in southern California, building the knowledge that he would draw upon in writing his novels.
But he anticipated another call and enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam era. In the service he gained more knowledge about avionics that would be invaluable in his science fiction writing. After military service, an inveterate outdoorsman, Rod engaged in high-risk sports and feats of daring-do that form an integral part of his plots – downhill skiing, scuba diving, motorcycle racing, horseback riding, bow hunting, and sailing. Along the way, he managed to pursue a career in computer sales for a large corporation. But his true love lay latent until he was about forty-five, when he began to write seriously. Winning first prize in a short-story contest encouraged him in his efforts, and since then he has stuck to it with a passion. Because he came to the craft in middle age, his life experiences and background in aviation and computer technology have enriched his writing.
Along the way he also gained a partner in the writing life. He conducted a trial run of marriage compatibility with Olivia Diamond on a ten-day sailing trip through the Great Lakes from Gibraltar, Michigan, to Kenosha, Wisconsin. She passed, surviving aboard the 33-foot sailboat alone with Rod captaining the 1700-mile passage. Rod and Olivia form a team, cross-critiquing, developing ideas, and lending support. Eight jumbo books later, that partnership has endured for twenty-five years. Another novel is always in his hopper.
Rod’s fiction envisions intergalactic life and apocalyptic scenarios. More than imagining future scientific innovations, his novels rely on character development with women assuming a major role in his plots. He is interested in philosophical issues surrounding the universal questions of existence and the origins of human consciousness. How did man become the thinking organism? What other humanoid types or intelligent creatures could possibly exist in the cosmos? He also has delved into historical fiction in his novel centered on eleventh-century Egypt.
Since moving in 1998 to Mountain of Dreams, his writing retreat in northwest Montana, he has found time to build custom rifles and to operate a charter fishing business. At the ripe old age of seventy-three, he now dedicates his time to writing fiction and shooing his cat off his keyboard. When he needs a break from the computer, he tinkers with his Carolina Classic fishing boat, sinks his downrigger into Flathead Lake for king-sized trout, or fabricates gadgets in his machine shop.