Doug Peterson is the award-winning author of 78 books, including seven historical novels, eight comic books (and counting), and over 40 children’s books for the best-selling VeggieTales series.

Doug’s passion for writing can be traced to grade school, when he ran his own media empire, publishing the monthly Peterson Popper magazine and The Weekly Waste newspaper (with a circulation of 3). He wrote and bound dozens of his own books, including such classics as 20,000 Leagues Under a Swimming Pool and In Cold Ketchup (real titles).

Doug graduated in journalism from the University of Illinois in 1977 and did a short stint as the editor of a small Wisconsin weekly newspaper. (Their motto: “This is Wisconsin, so we pay you in cheese.”) Fearing that he might be forced to root for the Packers, Doug and his wife returned to the University of Illinois in 1979, where he began work as a science writer and half-time freelance writer.

Doug’s VeggieTales book 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. His popular short story, “The Career of Horville Sash,” was made into a music video featuring Grammy-winner Jennifer Warnes, and he co-wrote “Roman Ruins,” an episode in the bestselling line of How to Host a Murder party games.

Doug has a love for history, so he made the transition to historical novels with The Disappearing Man, published by Bay Forest Books in 2011 and chosen by Canton, Ohio, for its One Book, One Community program.

Doug’s historical novels center on the theme of freedom. Three novels feature true stories of the Underground Railroad: Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom; Ellen Craft, a slave who escaped by pretending to be a white man; and Harriet Tubman, the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. He also has two Civil War novels and a novel based on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. His most recent novel, Thrones in the Desert, follows the Book of Luke through the eyes of five fictional characters.

A versatile writer, Doug co-authored two stage plays—one based on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the church’s voice of resistance in Germany during World War II, and the other about the improbable friendship between Benjamin Franklin and evangelist George Whitefield.

Most recently, he was hired to write an extensive series of comic books on American history, illustrated by Marvel artists. In addition, he wrote the first of five picture books teaching kids how to make friendships, featuring the stunning artwork of a Colombian animator. His non-fiction work includes the popular book Of Moose and Men, co-written with Tennessee comedian Torry Martin, and Back to the Futures, co-written with economist Scott Irwin.

Doug has also been a science writer for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for over forty years. He has been married for 47 years and has two sons and four grandchildren. He and his wife live in Champaign, Illinois.

History by the Slice