Interview with D.L. Rogers + Giveaway

Hello Diane and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to speak with us!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your books?

First, thank you for giving me this opportunity. A transplant from the east coast, Texas and then Connecticut, I now live south of Kansas City on fourteen acres of property with three horses, two indoor cats and a changing number of feral outdoor cats. I’ve raised two of my three horses from colts and trained them to ride. I used to spend a week a year at a place called Cross Country Trail Ride in Eminence, Missouri, where we rode for hours, crossing rivers and just enjoying being in the woods (and on the sides of mountains looking down at the river below!). I don’t ride as much now, though. Recently widowed, I’m not as comfortable hauling them anymore, so I sold the trailer and if I want to ride I do so with my friends on their horses. I’ve loved to read all my life, starting with Nancy Drew. I love to country dance, but in a pinch I’ll dance to dance music from the ’60’s to the ‘90’s. Spending time with my family is very important. As the mother of two and grandmother of five, I enjoy every minute I have with them.

My books are historical fiction, based HEAVILY in fact. I try to convey the feeling of the time period so the reader can immerse themselves in another time and understand what it was like to live back then. What it was to experience war or women’s suffrage or General Order Number 11. I want them to see it, feel it and live it in their minds while learning the history that shaped our nation and enjoying a great read.

Diane doing a presentation at the library in Drexel, MO.
What inspired you to write Crossfire in the Street and Elizabeth’s War?

I belong to the local Civil War Roundtable and I get to hear so much history I never knew about specific to the area I now live in. When I learned Elizabeth McFerrin’s story, and the fact she lived within a two or three mile radius of where I currently live, it was as though she was calling through time, telling me to write her story—a compelling story of destruction and survival during the Civil War. After I finished ELIZABETH’S WAR I decided I was going to write all local stories. My readers love them—and I write for my readers. If it weren’t for my readers I’d have no reason to write.

I’d wanted to do a book about the Battle at Lone Jack for some time, but something else always seemed to come up. When my ten book series was finally finished, it was time. Lone Jack is only fifty miles from my home and I was ready to tell the story of the bloody battle fought across the main street of a small town, under the hot August sun and, literally, between brothers and cousins.

What other research did you undertake when writing the books?

I’ve had to research the majority of all my books. I’m not a history major—I just love history. I grew up on the east coast and when I moved to the Midwest I learned a whole other side to what I’d been taught about the Civil War. I work with people who know the history of the story I’m working on and use their expertise to guide me. I make sure the history I portray is accurate. I search the internet, books, use local experts and anyone or anything I can to get the facts correct.

Did you come across anything in your research that surprised or fascinated you?

I have to chuckle at this question. Yes, I absolutely did. As I said in the question above I grew up on the east coast, New Jersey to be exact. My mom was from New Jersey, but my dad was from Tennessee, which is why my interest in the Civil War developed. My cousin’s parents were reversed and we coined the moniker of “Yebels” as kids, always wondering if we would have been enemies if we’d lived during the Civil War. All my life I believed I was half Yankee half Rebel because of where my parents were from. When researching THE OLD COOTS: Sam (the eighth book of my ten book WHITE OAKS SERIES), I found out that where my dad’s family came from in Tennessee would NOT have been Rebels during the Civil War. They would have been Yankees! My 81 year old aunt didn’t take that information well at all when I told her.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Crossfire in the Street and Elizabeth’s War?

History is history. It’s not politically correct and it’s not pretty. It happened as it happened and it should be written that way. I hate that our history is being changed and whitewashed or just plain not taught any longer. I 100% believe in the adage that history repeats itself. When history is forgotten, how can it not be repeated? I write my novels so people will enjoy learning the history of our country, both ugly and beautiful through great stories so they’ll want to know more. I want them to go out and dig up information on what happened at the Little Bighorn or Lone Jack or because of General Order No. 11 and find out more for themselves. And in so doing, just maybe, we won’t repeat some of the ugly history we’ve already made.

What is the most difficult scene to write?

The first scene/chapter of any new book is the hardest for me to write. In that scene you have to convey a lot of information, without “telling” it. You have to “show” the reader and draw them in with just enough that they want more. It’s the introduction of characters—characters your reader needs to identify with quickly, to understand what drives them—and keep them reading.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been a book reader my whole life. When I was a little girl I read every Nancy Drew and horse book I could get my hands on. In the fifth grade I sat on my front porch and tried to (hand) write a Nancy Drew-like story, but I made it about two chapters before I realized I didn’t really know how. In my thirties, I tried again, but with two small children, that didn’t go far, either. It was in my forties I got serious about writing and I’ve been doing it ever since. I learned the mechanics of writing, not just throwing words on a page and expecting it to sell. In a nutshell, I LOVE TO WRITE, to create characters and insert them into the history I love. In doing so, I hope to entertain, as well as educate, any and all who read my books. I get very excited when young people want my books in the hope they may learn something they’re not being taught anymore. Young and old alike, I want them to learn our history while enjoying a great story.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

“Getting out there” has been my greatest challenge. Although I’ve sold more than 10,000 books over a twelve or thirteen year period, it’s a pittance in the big picture. However, the readers in my little pond love my books and can’t wait for my new one each year. If my readers love them so much, WHY can’t I break through to the bigger audience? I’ve stood under a tent in the wind, rain, cold, heat and combination of the above to sell my books. I LOVE to speak and will do so for any group that asks me. I come face-to-face with my readers. I know many of them by name and, if not by name, I recognize them when they come to see me. I’ve become friends with many. In my quest to become a well-known author, I’ve gotten to know my readers, which is a wonderful gift, one I wouldn’t ever change. Have I overcome it? I try constantly to rise to the challenge of becoming more than I am right now as a writer, which is why I’m doing this virtual tour. In the HOPE others will see in my books what my current readers have seen and love. And with every new book I try to hone my writing skills more than they were before. A writer can never stop learning and developing his/her craft. If they do, they may as well stop writing, too.

Who are your writing inspirations?

John Jakes was one of the first historical authors I read who made a lasting impression on me. His books drew me in and kept me wanting more, while I learned history I’d never learned before. Terry C. Johnston was another historical/western writer who sucked me in and made me want to write what he wrote—and that’s what I’ve striven to do. Pull the reader in and take them for a great ride before I put THE END.

What was the first historical novel you read?

It would probably have to be John Jakes’ THE BASTARD.

What is the last historical novel you read?

THE RELUCTANT SUITOR by Kathleen Woodiwiss and prior to that, THE ALICE NETWORK by Kate Quinn (a great read).

What are three things people may not know about you?

✸ I work full-time for a law firm in Kansas City and drive just over 100 miles a day round trip, so I only write part-time;
✸ I love to dance; and
✸ I hate to cook. I let my brother do that. He’s my roomy since my husband passed.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

The idea that I can weave my characters through history to create a great fictional story is what appeals most to me. I like to describe my novels like a quilt (I’m not a quilter, so forgive me if I get the terms wrong). The history that has already occurred is the foundation (batting?) and I get to create my characters, put them into squares and weave them into the already-written history to create a great story, based in fact.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I’ll read most anything historical, but love the Civil War most. However, when I haven’t got anything else to read, I’ll read just about anything to keep reading.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

As I mentioned above, I love to dance and still try to at least once a week – when I’m not marketing my books. I used to love to horseback ride, but my writing seems to have gotten in the way of that, too, so I don’t go as much as I used to. I love to spend time with my family and, on weekends after I’ve spent five or six hours writing, I relax in front of the television watching DVR’d shows I didn’t have time to watch during the week, but what I love most are old westerns. John Wayne is my favorite old-time “hero.” A couple of my favorite John Wayne movies are THE SHOOTIST and THE COWBOYS, to name only two. He’s got so many, who can choose?

You spoke about marketing, what do you do to market your books?

Anything I can. As I said, I spend many hours and many weekends under a tent in the sun, rain, wind and combination of all of the above to meet my readers and sell books. But I love the interaction and getting to know my readers. I speak at libraries and book stores, as well as for groups and book clubs. This week I’m having lunch with my #1 Fan (yes, she truly is and has named herself that) and her book club. I’m trying Facebook ads and need to try Google and Amazon ads, as well. My books are all in ebook and print form and available at Amazon and Kindle. ELIZABETH is also available in audio. To find all of them you can go to my website at and there are links to everything you want to find. I’m still working on getting “out there,” but I’m not a quitter and, sooner or later, I will.

What are you working on next?

My latest work-in-progress is called LOU’S STORY: She Adder or Patriot? It’s the story of Lou McCoy, a Missouri woman arrested for not telling Federal soldiers where her husband, a Confederate recruiter, was hiding. The sad thing is that she truly didn’t know where he was. After her arrest she was held in a fine home and treated well, but her husband, incensed by her arrest, wanted revenge. That quest for revenge led to a raid that cost the lives of three Federal soldiers and was Frank James’s first undertaking as one of Quantrill’s bushwhackers. I’m working with local historians on the novel to ensure its accuracy, and enjoying finding out more and more about Lou with each chapter—the “real” Lou, as well as “my” Lou.

Book display at one of my outdoor events (before Crossfire).
Thank you, Diane! This was fascinating! Thank you for spending time with us today. Have a great blog tour!

Elizabeth's War by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Paperback, AudioBook, & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the complete first chapter here.

In a time when raiders, bushwhackers, and Redlegs rode the Cass County, Missouri, countryside bringing fear and destruction with them, Elizabeth Miers and her family barely survived into the next day. When the enemy, in the form of Elizabeth’s neighbors, comes a-calling more than once with mischief on their minds, Elizabeth fights back to keep her children safe against men she once called friends.

On August 25, 1863, following the issuance of General Order No. 11 by Union General Thomas Ewing, thousands of women, children, and the elderly were forced to vacate their homes in the brutal summer heat within fifteen days. With determination and a plan, Elizabeth sets out on a sixty-mile trek toward St. Clair County. Carrying enough prepared food and water on a rickety built sled to reach her aunt and uncle’s farm, she prays her kin are there to welcome them, not knowing whether they lived through the burning of Osceola two years prior—or not.

Facing more than just the lack of food and shelter and the unbearable heat, they’re set upon by raiders and foraging soldiers who try to take more than just their meager provisions. Much more. Left with little after their supplies are stolen and their property destroyed, Elizabeth and her fellow travelers continue south, facing more indignities before their journey is done.

Through Elizabeth and the thousands of other refugees that traveled ahead of and behind her, feel what they felt in the wake of General Order No. 11, an order that took everything and left them destitute and afraid they wouldn’t live to see one more day.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Crossfire in the Street by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 7, 2018
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the first two chapters here.

The Civil War yielded many bloody battles and the Battle at Lone Jack was among the worst. Fought across a sixty-foot strip of dusty road, brothers fought brothers, neighbors fought neighbors, cousins fought cousins, and the blood of horses and men ran together in the street under the blistering August sun.

The Green family tried to keep from being caught up in the war headed for their doorstep, but their efforts were lost—even before the Yankees came to town.

In their youthful exuberance and ignorance, sixteen and fifteen year old Hank and Jesse sneak into town to watch the battle—and find more trouble than they bargained for. Pete, the oldest brother, joins the Rebels and fights to save his life—and that of his brothers. Cora, the oldest daughter on the cusp of becoming a woman, loves a boy who runs off to fight with the Federals—and breaks her heart.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Although born in New Jersey of parents from New Jersey and Tennessee, it was just a matter of time before Diane's "southern" blood revealed itself. And reveal itself it did, in a passion for all things western and related to the Civil War. Having learned a great deal in her research since her historical journey began, especially in the midwest, Diane has attempted to portray both the west and the war from numerous points-of-view, which is not always the same history as what has been previously portrayed--or taught.

As a kid, Diane played Cowboys and Indians more than she did Barbie, and as she got older, she and her cousin (whose parents were reversed) gave themselves the moniker of "Yebels." The question of what it would have been like during the Civil War years, when friends and family fought on opposite sides of the war, festered inside Diane until she answered her own question in the form of the novels she writes of the west and Civil War, where everyday people, regardless of what "side" they were on, when faced with difficult situations, rose to the challenge, and survived.

Now living south of Kansas City, Missouri, on fourteen acres of property, when Diane's not writing or marketing, she enjoys sitting on her front porch, reading when she can or just watching her horses in the pasture and multitude of cats in the yard. When she does venture into town, it's to work at a lawfirm on the Plaza, or visit her two children and five grandchildren.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 6
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 7
Excerpt at T's Stuff
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads (Crossfire in the Street)

Thursday, November 8
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 9
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Elizabeth's War)

Monday, November 12
Review at The Reading Woman (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Book Nerd

Wednesday, November 14
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 15
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at The Book Junkie Reads (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Crossfire in the Street)

Monday, November 19
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Crossfire in the Street)

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Crossfire in the Street)


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

D.L. Rogers

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