Douglas W Shouse

About The Author

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Douglas W Shouse

“My love of American history began at a very young age. I can remember being captivated as an eleven and twelve year old by the whole “We were There” book series of historical fiction for young readers-- We Were There at the Alamo, We Were There on the Oregon Trail, and many more. I think I took as many history classes as I possibly could in high school and, as electives in college."

My motivation for writing American Janus—

"I've always been keenly interested in the American Civil War. Even as an elementary student, I remember being fascinated by the battles, the places, the names. Later, when I found out that my direct paternal ancestor fought in the war, I was turned onto the quest of finding out more about his story. The Shouse family had some of his letters he wrote home from the battlefields...we even had his Appomattox parole pass that had been saved ( I include the parole pass and its power to let the recipient return home in peace in the book). Frustratingly, there is nothing from him after the war, except a few local and state tax receipts and various receipts for goods purchased, mostly farming equipment. I wondered what he was like after seeing such horrors over his four year service. Did he move on mentally and emotional after the war? Or, did the memory of it cause him troubles over the remainder of his life? So, that was the genesis of the story and basically, what I wanted to write about. My great-grandfather’s regiment and battalion is the basis for the war history that is in the book. After he returned from Appomattox, he married and settled around Bethania, NC on his small farm for the rest of his days. My book’s protagonist, Harper Clayton, returns home to Bethania but quickly becomes a lawyer and Freedmen’s agent in the Freedmen’s Bureau and eventually moves to the growing town of Winston, NC. …I wanted to keep it interesting for the reader :~)”

The sequel to American Janus is underway and should be available in 2024.The title is American Achilles and, it continues the Clayton family saga. American Achilles begins in 1917, fifteen years after the end of American Janus. Harper Clayton’s grandson, Noah is in Flanders as a US Army observer with the British Expeditionary Forces when the US declares war on Germany and enters the First World War. Like many American families at the time, The Claytons are torn and at odds over the country’s looming involvement. The story unfolds in the now merged bustling towns of Winston and Salem with multiple storylines as well as action on the WWI Western Front in France and Belgium. Stay tuned!

Douglas is also the author of various short stories including The Almond Tree, a fantastical story of devotion in the 1930s American South.