R.G. Vliet was born in Chicago in 1929. His father was a US Navy doctor so he travelled around a lot as a child. He studied speech, drama and education in Texas and later studied playwriting at Yale, after a brief career as a teacher. He wrote numerous plays as well as poetry. His playwriting professor had told him early on that he was really a novelist but he resisted, continuing to write plays. However, he had comparatively little luck with his three novels, with his various editors dying or retiring on him at crucial moments. Only Rockspring and Soledad (aka Solitudes) (barely) remain in print. He died of cancer in 1984.