Doug Peterson is the author of over 60 books, including four historical novels--The Disappearing Man, The Puzzle People, The Vanishing Woman, and the Lincoln League.
Doug's first novel with Kingstone Cinema Books, "The Disappearing Man," is based on the true story of one of the most amazing escapes in American history. In 1849, Henry Brown, a slave, was sealed inside a wooden box and mailed from Richmond to Philadelphia--a 27-hour ordeal. "The Disappearing Man" was selected by Canton, Ohio, as its featured book for its annual One Book, One Community program in 2011. It has also been optioned for film.
"The Puzzle People" is Doug's page-turning follow-up. It is a murder/suspense novel based on events surrounding the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. "The Puzzle People" follows the lives of two couples who were split apart when the Wall went up.
"The Vanishing Woman" is based on the incredible true escape from slavery by Ellen and William Craft. In 1848, Ellen escaped by posing as a white man, while her husband pretended to be her slave. Ellen and William Craft put the Fugitive Slave Law to the test, changing our country forever.
"The Lincoln League" is inspired by the true story of John Scobell, one of the first African American spies in the U.S. intelligence service. John worked as a spy for the Union during the first year of the Civil War, while his wife remained in Richmond. This Civil War novel follows both of their stories during the tumultuous first year of the war.
Doug also authored 42 books in the popular VeggieTales series. "The Slobfather" won the 2004 Gold Medallion Award for preschool books, and he was co-storywriter for the best-selling video, "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed." In addition, he has written for the University of Illinois for over 30 years, covering everything from engineering and agriculture to chemistry and history. His popular short story, "The Career of Horville Sash," was made into a music video featuring Grammy-winner Jennifer Warnes, and he even co-wrote "Roman Ruins," an episode in the bestselling line of How to Host a Murder party games.
Here is what a few people have said about his historical novels:
"Doug Peterson takes us into the story of Henry 'Box' Brown, a slave in Richmond, Virginia, who makes a daring escape attempt by allowing himself to be shipped north in a wooden box. Henry was an amateur magician, and with the help of a few others, he gave himself a chance to 'disappear.' This daring feat is mentioned in history books and archived diaries, but few Americans are aware of the tale. Peterson rights that wrong. Alternating chapters between the 1849 escape attempt and the earlier years of Henry Brown's enslavement, the book picks up speed. I got hooked on the storyline in the past--the abuses, the romance, the friendships--only to find myself hooked again on the harrowing portions dealing with Henry's imprisonment in the box. Henry's foes are set on finding him before he reaches freedom, and each successive chapter, like a sprinter's pounding feet, propelled the plot toward its climax...Overall, it is more than just fast-paced entertainment; it is an eye-opening and educational reminder of the importance of grace, acceptance, and equality. Even as the lives of many slaves blew away like windswept leaves, those leaves spread seeds and life that continue on into today. (Eric Wilson, New York Times Bestselling Author, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer)
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"'The Vanishing Woman' is a well-researched and wonderfully written account of the amazing journey of Ellen and William Craft from slavery to freedom. Doug Peterson captures the ingenuity and the danger of this bold escape in a novel that will appeal to both adult and young readers." (Andy Ambrose, phD, Executive Director, Tubman African American Museum, Macon, Georgia.
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"The Berlin Wall forms an almost literal backdrop to 'The Puzzle People.' The story follows the lives of a handful of people whose lives have been ripped apart, sometimes brutally, by the totalitarian East German government, and the lure of freedom only yards away on the other side of the wall. And even reaching the West is no guarantee that they can forever escape the ruthless Stasi, or the demons of their own past. The story follows the 'puzzle people' of present day Germany as they work to meticulously piece together shredded East German government documents to unravel evidence of past crimes. As they do, the reconstructed documents reveal the story of the real 'puzzle people' from the Cold War past. The story has many elements of a Cold War thriller. There are spies, soldiers, government agents, and more than one shoot-out. But ultimately this book is about finding peace with an often very painful past. The characters each must cope with their own scars, some successfully, others not so much. And even the collapse almost over night of East Germany does not mean that everything will just go back to 'normal.'
"According to the notes in the book, the author, Doug Peterson, spent a great deal of time researching the story and visiting the actual locations in Germany. The research is well-used in the story, with many of the incidents being inspired by actual events. Peterson vividly captures the oppressive, gray life on the East side of the wall. He makes the reader dread the Stasi and their ruthless methods. Peterson also devotes a lot of attention to the vital but often over-looked role of the Church in the collapse of East Germany, and the role of spirituality in the face of hopeless oppression. Overall, an excellent read. I can't wait for Peterson's next book!" (An Amazon Review)