In recognition of Veterans Day, meet Rainbow Ridge Books author D. S. Lliteras
Garden City Park, NY: This Veterans Day, we at Square One take this time to thank all our country's fighting men and women—past and present—for the struggles they endured and heroism they have displayed in times of war.
In particular, we also want to recognize the service—and artistry—given by Rainbow Ridge Books' justly celebrated author and Vietnam War veteran, D. S. Lliteras.
As told in his semi-autobiographical book Viet Man: A Novel, Lliteras was ordered in May 1969 to the First Marine Division, FMF stationed in Vietnam. Upon arrival in country that July, he volunteered to join the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, First Marine Division, where he served as both combat corpsman and diver until July 1970. During his tour in Vietnam, Lliteras participated in twenty long-range reconnaisance patrols deep within enemy-held territory. He also participated in eighty combat dives, eighty bridge checks, three river sweeps, five body recoveries, and three weapons recoveries. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal (with combat "V") for his service, and went on to receive both his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts degrees in Theater from Florida State University.
After becoming both an acclaimed actor/director and well-reviewed author of biblical novels (chief among them The Thieves of Golgotha and The Silence of John), Lliteras went on to become a fire fighter in the city of Norfolk, Virginia—the story of which he told in his 2013 memoir Flames and Smoke Visible.
Following the publication of Viet Man (which went on to win the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Gold Medal for Best Literary Fiction), Lliteras returned to his early-career embrace of poetic forms with his more impressionistic war novel Syllables of Rain (which was recognized by Library Journal as "a compact, emotionally charged snapshot of two soldiers trying to make sense of the world around them").
In a return to his more religious-themed novels from years ago, Lliteras's newest book Descent: The Forty Days after the Crucifixion of Jesus was recognized by The San Francisco Review of Books as "a brilliant little novel—especially for those who struggle with the concepts of sainthood and how it happens" and is now available in audiobook format from Audible.com.
Married to fellow novelist Kathleen Touchstone, Lliteras is now hard at work on yet another novel—this one, titled Death Takes a Byline, is a seriocomic noirish tale as much about the thrill of mysteries as it is about the frustrations of being a writer. All in all, the life and works of D. S. Lliteras remain—on this Veterans Day—a shared story to both cherish and behold.