Oliver grew up on military bases throughout the country. Like all boys, he played good guys and bad, although he usually favored the good. Coaxing him into an afternoon of baseball or hiking the Southern California hills didn’t take much unless a book got in the way.
When the time came for his rites of passage, Herb, his best buddy and Oliver joined a Marine college program.Herb left school early, even though those were the days of limited options. Not long after, Oliver stepped into sweltering heat on the tarmac not far from where Herb had died.
Thirty one men flew the helicopters in his small unit. They spent days and nights over the mountains and towns trying to keep the world safe for … well, that’s not really true, is it? The real reason any of them ever went into those mountains at night for an emergency medevac was for injured buddies. Some of them, Oliver never knew existed before those long, sleepless nights.
After his war, Oliver traveled on to grad school and spent a while wandering. Lots of vets seem to do that. Some found their way back, others did not. A nice, electric model typewriter replaced the old Smith Corona portable. If you read the short story “Synonymy” in A Stellar Collection published in 2013, you caught him during that period of his life. He taught on the reservation in New Mexico and spent some years with the cops, the feds, and even a few flying commercially. The writing never stopped. The Smith was traded for a Zenith and a Mac, and then a PC that still travels at the bottom of his duffel. He wonders sometimes if the old manual is in the bottom of someone’s closet or on the shelf of a thrift store in Bangkok.
Marsh Island and Blind Marsh were published in 2013 and 2014 by the late and great folks of AEC Stellar, New Orleans. Pearl River Publishing replaced AEC for Levant Mirage and later will host Joshua Tree in the winter of 2016. There’s a yet another sequel to Marsh Island planned for the summer of 2016 as well. (Will Phil Pfeiffer ever catch that creep?), Novels Bequeathed and Tin Soldiers continue to zip around inside Oliver’s laptop looking for a way out. No fear though. He’s got their number memorized, and it’s 2017.