Meet Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author Graham Diamond

by Debbie Tuma

As a child, Graham Diamond loved to write stories, illustrate them, and turn them into comic books. He especially liked dinosaurs and anything to do with outer space. But he never dreamed that one day he would become a highly acclaimed author of 20 Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Satire, and Historical Fiction books.

Diamond, who now lives on Long Island’s North Fork, is a writer of numerous genres, with more than one million books in print. They have sold in the USA, the UK, Australia, South Africa, Canada, the Czech Republic, and Italy. His first book, “The Haven,” is a cult classic, timeless fantasy novel bestseller, which is revised and still in print. It is a tale about savage killer dog packs of the endless forests.

His latest books, “Diner of Lost Souls,” which he wrote with his late partner, Hedy Campeas, and Diner of Lost Souls Book 2, are also bestsellers. When the owner of the famed Athena Diner searches for a would-be killer of a homeless man, she is drawn deeper into the world of intrigue and deception. During her investigation, the secrets of her own buried past explode amid an atmosphere of murder, terrorism and her need to deal with her own dark demons.

Diamond also wrote two other highly acclaimed books, “Black Midnight,” a police terrorist novel, and “Chocolate Lenin,” a satire based in near-future Russia. In this book, a clone of Vladimir Lenin is brought to life. After starting with fantasy, Diamond veered into historical subjects, with “Tears of Passion, Tears of Shame,” a romantic novel set in South Africa during the Zulu War of 1879. It was published by Berkeley/Jove.

“So many people asked me if I had been to South Africa, and other places I wrote about, like Russia…and although I have not been to these places, I am a good researcher,” said Diamond. His late colleague, New York Times correspondent Eric Pace, credited Diamond for being able to describe places so well that his readers would think he’d actually been there.

Diamond’s best-selling book, “Maybe You Will Survive,” is the true story of a Holocaust survivor, listed #1 in is category at Amazon. He had a desire to write about more serious subjects, in non-fiction.

Born in Manchester, England, as an only child, Diamond moved with his parents to Connecticut when he was four years old. Eventually he was inspired by reading J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Jules Verne. Moving again to Manhattan with his parents, he developed a passion for English literature, history, and especially the fine arts. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art, then went to The City College of New York to study fine arts, and has also attended the Art Students League for many years.

His first job out of college was working at MacMillan Books in Manhattan, where he helped design yearbooks for Collier’s Encyclopedias. He was there for two years, when he was hired by the New York Times to work in the Editorial Arts Department, where the maps, graphics and illustrations were done, and where the paper was put together.

“We worked with reporters and editors in the newsroom. There were 5,000 people working all over the world for the New York Times,” said Diamond, who was also a member of the Newspaper’s Guild of New York. He worked at the New York Times from the early 1970’s to the mid-1990’s, becoming Production Manager, Weekend Manager, and eventually Assistant Director of Operations.

“We worked 365 days a year, because a daily paper publishes every day,” Diamond explained. “When an important story breaks, all editorial people remain, unable to leave until the full story is known and reported. For example, I remember when Ronald Regan was President, we bombed Libya, and one of Gaddafi’s children was killed. We were not allowed to leave during that or any other big news,” he said.

Yet somehow, during this grueling schedule, plus having a wife and two young daughters, Diamond managed to start writing fantasy stories at home, in his late twenties. The first novel he wrote, “The Haven,” was bought by Playboy Press when he was 28. The first edition sold 100,000 copies, the second sold 50,000 copies. “I was surprised and delighted,” said Diamond. “I was home with the flu when my agent, Nat Sobel, called and said, “How are you feeling?” I told him I was feeling lousy, and he said, “I’m going to make you feel a lot better.” I was lying in bed and I felt like I could jump to the ceiling!”

During the rest of his 24 year career at the New York Times, Diamond continued to write in his off-time and weekends, sometimes writing until 2 AM. He wrote a sequel to “The Haven,” called, “Lady of the Haven,” and “The Thief of Kalimar,” which he sold to Fawcett Books. When he left the New York Times, he turned to writing books full-time. He moved to California, and lived there from 1996 to 2009, on the Central Coast, in San Luis Obispo, and also for a time in Fresno. He also taught creative writing and lectured at various libraries.

After moving back to New York, Diamond came to the North Fork in 2018, collaborating on the “Diner of Lost Souls” books with his partner, Hedy Campeas, who passed away last year. Diamond is still working on his writing projects, and is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

“I like living on the North Fork, being close to the water, enjoying nature, walking my dog, and being back in the New York area,” he said. “The area is an inspiration for me to continue writing.”