Born and raised in the Las Vegas Valley, I love Southern Nevada and continue to make my home there. I attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where I earned my bachelor’s degree in English. After graduating, I worked briefly in the teaching field while I also began writing what became several of my now (really bad) unpublished novels. As I continued to write (better) novels, I found my career place in public libraries.
My first position in the library was a part-time page job, and I also worked part-time as a legal courier for the MGM/Mirage corporate office. Two years later, while moving up to a librarian assistant in youth services, I earned my master’s degree in Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In addition to my writing, I currently work as a public services librarian for the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. My wife Alley and I live in Henderson, Nevada with our beloved dog Sophy.
Back in 2006, I started researching and writing what became my debut novel The Ramos Brothers Trust Castro and Kennedy (2011). Its story is based loosely on the hardships of my father and uncle who are Cuban and immigrated to the United States in 1959. The novel charts the extended family of two Cuban-American brothers and how their lives cross paths with Fidel and JFK.
My second novel The Sky Buries All Sorrow (2013) is based loosely on my mother’s side of the family. My grandfather was a veteran of the Second World War, and the novel chronicles three generations of an American family from Pearl Harbor through the events of September 11, 2001.
Empire of the Mind (2014) is my third book. It’s a collection of my selected poems, most of the pieces having been written during my teen years through my early adulthood.
My fourth book, a novel The Destruction of Silence (2016), follows the traumatic life of a young Native American man of Apache heritage. He suffers from abuse and addiction in his youth and goes on a journey to overcome his past and discover secrets to his family’s history.
My fifth book, a novel Prayers from the Far Quarter (2020), honors the sacrifices and contributions of Muslims throughout American history. The story’s main character and narrative voice is Isa Muhammad Rahman, an enslaved African Muslim who eventually serves in the Union army during the Civil War.
My most recent book, my sixth, is a collection of essays, poems, and meditations titled The Peacemaker Overcomes the Hatemaker. It’s an activist book that exposes and confronts hate, but it’s also a peacemaking book that honors ideas and individuals working to improve equality, justice, and opportunities for all people.
Check under the “News” tab here on my website for the most recent updates of what I’m working on. You can also connect with me on any of my social media accounts.
Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, Michael Ondaatje, Albert Camus, Jorge Luis Borges, E.L. Doctorow, Elizabeth Gilbert, Edwidge Danticat, J.M. Coetzee, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Ibram X. Kendi, Qasim Rashid, Khaled Beydoun, Mustafa Akyol, Craig Considine, Colson Whitehead, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Marilynne Robinson, Julie Orringer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Teju Cole, Reza Aslan, Qasim Rashid, David McCullough, Adam Johnson, Jesmyn Ward, Richard Russo, Edward P. Jones, Oscar Hijuelos, Ha Jin, Andrew Sean Greer, Tim O’Brien, Khaled Hosseini, Douglas Stuart, Naguib Mahfouz, Hermann Hesse, Fyodor Dostoevsky, John Steinbeck, Henry David Thoreau, Jonathan Sturak, Seamus Heaney, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Wislawa Szymborska, Octavio Paz, Derek Walcott, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ken Wanamaker
My Writing Mantras
1) Read as much as you can and as often as you can. Make your reading goals more important than your writing goals.
2) Support other writers at every opportunity available to you.
3) Stay committed to your project and dedicated to your craft.
4) Start with your writing each morning and keep it going through the next day.
5) Be passionate about your work and nurture it with patience.
6) Work hard and the muse will find you.
7) Remain true to the vision of your art.
I have reviewed over 700 books on a wide range of literature: novels, short story collections, poetry, biographies, non-fiction of diverse subjects, books for children, and books for young adults. To read any of my reviews, visit my author page on Goodreads.
A Few of My Favorites
Novels/Fiction: Beloved by Toni Morrison, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, The Plague by Albert Camus
Non-fiction: Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, No god but God by Reza Aslan, Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable, The Islamic Jesus by Mustafa Akyol, Jesus: The Human Face of God by Jay Parini
Music: U2, Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd
Movies: Good Will Hunting, Malcolm X, The Bourne Identity, Catch Me If You Can, Legends of the Fall
TV Shows: Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Suits
Actors: Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt
Actresses: Jessica Chastain, Carey Mulligan, Emma Stone, Ana de Armas
Painting: The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai
Athletes: Ted Williams, Tom Brady
Sports Teams: Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots
Collectibles: figurines of elephants and whales
Copyright © 2023 Roger DeBlanck