Monday, June 4, 2018
Published Author Writes Novel of Crime and Mystery In a Virtual World
By Bixyl Shuftan
Rodgers contacted me, and corresponding with him I found he had been going by the name Adolphe Menjou inworld years earlier. He also had a couple alts, "my book's hero, Rick Collins," and "Joan d'Arc, the book's villain." But unfortunately, a problem came up, "when I returned to SL last year after a hiatus, Adolphe had become a white cloud and I couldn't revive him." So he got another account, Isaacasimov1 Resident, whom still has "off-the-shelf" looks, "I ... did nothing with it since all my inworld time was with Rick or Joan."
I asked if the fictional virtual world was almost like Second Life. He answered, "Yes, but technologically much more advanced. For example, I had to invent a way to make AVS perfect reproductions so the blackmail would work. So Rick's AV would look exactly likehim and the videos of his romancing Joan would seem real. ... the basic AV there is like AVs here. You can make them look like whatever you want. In my fictional world, you have to spend a lot of money to make a perfect AV. I think I saw once where someone took photos you sent in and made a realistic AV from them." Of nonhuman avatars, Rodgers/Isaac told me he didn't come up how those came about or their use in his story.
Of the plot in the story in which Joan blackmails Rick and he has to try and figure out who she is to stop her, I asked how does he come up with a list of suspects. Rodgers/Isaac answered, "Various ways, careful observation and deduction. He realizes she must live in the Pittsburgh area and works for Molcom. He actively seeks some clues, interviewing a person in the virtual world, PP, who's a friend of Joan, eavesdropping on her meeting with friends on a beach." How Rick finds out, he wouldn't say, "You don't know until the last few pages that he succeeds. I tried to write a page turner. I also inject suspense by having a real-life sexy woman try to seduce him. You don't know until near the end whether she succeeds (either). Sex sells!"
Rodgers has published some books before, "'Beyond the Barrier: The Story of Byrd's First Expedition to Antarctica,' which is still in print after 27 years, and 'Flying High: The Story of Boeing and the Jetliner Industry.'" He told me the books sold well, "especially the Byrd book. ... On the basis of the Byrd book, I became a technical advisor to a woman who did a book that came out in January called 'The Stowaway' about a member of the Byrd expedition. I understand it's doing well." Transitioning from nonfiction to fiction, "I find fiction to be much different from nonfiction, a big surprise to me."
Besides having published three books, Rodgers is a retired public relations writer for several large corporations and managed public relations for the Westinghouse R&D Center. He was named Virginia author of the year in 1991 by the Virginia College Store’s Association for the first printing of "Beyond the Barrier." He is married with a grown son and daughter.
For more information on "Femme Fatale Online," check out it's Facebook page at : facebook.com/rodgersmystery .