NEWS

I recently joined a group called Kansas City Hometown Reads.  This group promotes local authors in specific towns, i.e. Kansas City.  If you're interested in finding out more, go to:  http://hometownreads.com/city/kansas-city/

I also have two books (ELIZABETH'S WAR: Missouri 1863 & BEGINNINGS: Into the Unknown) in the library system at the Midcontinent Library.  Here's the link if you want to check it out:  http://www.mymcpl.org/ 

The article below was written by Jesus Lopez-Gomez several years ago when I spoke at the Raymore Historical Society.

Civil War historian uncovers real story

Special to the DemocratMay 11, 2016 

Society, always in a rush to address what’s happening in the present, seems to have less time than ever to contemplate the past.

Easy explanations will do, which is where author and historian Diane “D.L” Rogers said people routinely get facts about the Civil War wrong.

“I started getting into it and learning more about the history,” she said after an appearance at the Raymore Historical Society. “It’s being lost.”

Rogers appeared before the club May 10 to reprise research she’s done about women in frontier societies. The Austin, Mo., author is known for her fictional Civil War-centered novels, and the research she’s done has made her an authority on the subject.

Speaking on what she’s learned of the civil conflict, Rogers pushes back against the idea that the dissolution of an entire nation happened entirely over the backward and horrible practice of identifying certain people as property.

An example she offers is the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln’s order to free the slaves. In conventional teaching of the period, the volume is way too high on discussion around the act’s graciousness to see anything else about the context in which it was issued, she says. The order was created in the middle of the Civil War after the Union had won a few key battles. Rogers said findings show the act was less about nobility than projecting Union power.

“It was politics,” she said unceremoniously.

Her fiction expands on the nuance by creating characters that would have been contradictory yet logical products of the historical circumstances around them. She writes about a Union sympathizer who felt he needed to ally himself with the Confederacy after a scorched-earth policy that forced those living in rural areas around Kansas City to prove their loyalty to the northern forces or vacate their property, which is known as “General Order No. 11.”

Rogers’ latest book centers around a main character named Tom Hansen, a member of southern society with deeply held beliefs against slavery. The first few chapters describe a courting dance that grinds to a halt over his opposition to the practice.

The more nuanced view of the conflict and the time period around feels natural to Rogers.

“Here’s the thing: I grew up in New Jersey, so I was a Yankee,” she said. “My dad was from Tennessee, so he was a Confederate in my mind.

“But I found out in my research that that wasn’t true. Where he lived, they would have been Yankees,” Rogers said, laughing.

“All my life, I grew up believing that I was half and half. My cousin and I called ourselves ‘Yebels,’” she said.

Rogers asserted espousing a vision of the conflict different than that taught in school — that of a fight against a Confederacy formed and animated by blind malice — doesn’t make her a Southern apologist.

“My books are historical fiction based on fact,” she said. “Therefore, they are not politically correct.”

She uses racial slurs where necessary to stay within historical accuracy.

She’s checked her telling of black experience with black readers.

“I’m certainly not trying to make (white people) look better,” she said.

Rather than slavery, Rogers said one of the central conflicts driving the Civil War was the authority of the federal government over the states.

“We’re running in to that same thing right now,” she said. “I think if you don’t know your history you’re bound to repeat it.

“The issue with state’s rights, politics — the expanse of politics is so all-consuming right now. There’s so much unrest. To me, it makes me think of (the mood) pre-Civil War.”

 
 
Diane's Visit to the Bushwacker Museum in October, 2012
 
Novelist Diane Rogers signs a copy of one of her books for Jim Erpenbach, Nevada, at the close of a presentation about her novels, at a meeting of the Vernon County Historical Society, Sunday, at the Bushwhacker Museum in Nevada.

Writer says works are historically accurate, politically incorrect

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
(Photo)
Novelist Diane Rogers signs a copy of one of her books for Jim Erpenbach, Nevada, at the close of a presentation about her novels, at a meeting of the Vernon County Historical Society, Sunday, at the Bushwhacker Museum in Nevada.
By Donna Logan

Special to the Daily Mail

It was seeing the movie "Dancing with Wolves" and the lure of the sweeping Great Plains with its cowboys and Indians and battles that got author Diane Rogers started writing historical fiction about the Civil War.

"History is what it is, and not what people would like it to be," the flamboyant author told a crowd Sunday at the Bushwhacker Museum attending the quarterly meeting of the Vernon County Historical Society. "My books are not politically correct."

But they are historically accurate. Before her copy is turned into a published work, Rogers has it reviewed by historians and experts. She learned, for instance, from a Civil War authority that Union soldiers carried carbines and not rifles.

Rogers, whose pen name is D.L. Rogers, started her books as a trilogy before the Civil War on the Oregon Trail, continuing on to the Missouri Border War, the battles of Wilson's Creek and Lexington, touching on Order No. 11 in Missouri, through the Indian wars to the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Of her seven novels, the imaginative writer counts only one as a romance, "The Journey," following the adventures of three young ladies in Europe.

Three others are spinoffs of her original trilogy about the war.

"Caleb" is a slave finding love and freedom; "Amy" is a young girl who lived through the tumultuous period, and "Maggie," the latest work, "is me," Rogers says.

Rogers grew up on the Jersey Shore, "playing cowboys and Indians and Jesse James and the James Gang more than with Barbie dolls. I always loved everything western. With my dad being from Tennessee and my mom from New Jersey I've always felt that north-south thing and had an interest in the Civil War."
"She is a 'forward-thinking' woman who can out-ride, out-shoot, and out-do most of her male counterparts as she travels the west from Boston to Cheyenne to Deadwood, working to make a positive difference in her world."

A small book publisher, Rogers admits she isn't able to make a fortune with her sales, but she loves writing and reading history, "and taking my characters anywhere I want them to go.

"There'll be more novels," she says. "My readers won't let me quit."

The mother of two grown children and grandmother of two, Rogers works as a legal assistant for a Kansas City law firm on the Country Club Plaza and lives with her husband and four horses on a 14-acre spread in Archie.

Her e-mail address is: www.dlrogeresbooks.com.