Douglas attended Ottawa Junior High in Grand Rapids for 2 years, then the prestigious Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, MI (often called "the Phillips Academy of the Midwest"). He is reticent about his expulsion from Cranbrook, but it may have had something to do with a black eye sported by the scion of a Major Corporate Family, or with an unseemly incident in a nearby college's womens' dormitory. He graduated in 1962 from the Leelanau School (often called the Cranbrook of the North Woods) a few miles from the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Glen Arbor, MI, winning honors in History, Poetry, English, and Art. At Leelanau he became an inveterate backwoods skier, and his love of woods and wilderness is reflected in his fiction.
He discovered anthropology, the academic love of his life, via an introductory course taught at Kalamazoo College. After a summer working at a local museum and on a "dig" at a nearby burial mound site dating to around 500 B. C., Douglas studied in Aix-en-Provence, France. While in France Douglas may or may not have taken a literature course taught by Joseph Heller of Catch 22 fame, may or not have worked as a stevedore without a work permit (and paid kickbacks to the Union Corse, the Marseilles Mafia.) He may or may not have been involved in drug smuggling and the assassination of local political and crime figures and, he asserts firmly, "No one named L. Warren Douglas ever joined the Legion Etranger." He does admit to having been a sidewalk chalk artist specializing in Cezanne's paintings of Montagne Sainte Victoire, and he was often seen playing his 12-string Gibson guitar on street corners and in sidewalk cafes. He wrote several plays and volumes of poetry, most of which never saw performance or print, but whose imagery reemerges in his more recent works.
Leaving the Universite d'Aix-Marseille, Douglas bought a WWII-era 250cc BMW motorcycle in Marseilles, then visited or volunteered to work on various archaeological sites in southern France and Greece. Douglas returned to Provence in 1995 to research a historic fantasy trilogy,The Sorceress's Tale, set in the little-known world of A.D. 800-1000.
At Grand Valley College near Grand Rapids, Douglas majored in geology and anthropology, and graduated with a degree in the latter. In the summer of 1965 he worked for the University of Michigan on an archaeological survey and several "digs" in the Muskegon River Valley. There he became intrigued with man's cultural adaptations to different ecosystems, a theme central to several of his novels.
In 1966 Douglas again worked on Muskegon River archaeological sites, excavated remains from several caves in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and hung from a cliff high above a rocky beach while tracing aboriginal rock paintings.
In 1967 he supervised an archaeological field school crew for the University of Toledo, excavating a fortified village site, and began basic training as Serial Number NG27110021. During his brief military career he saw service in Detroit and Detroit. Douglas firmly asserts that he did not throw his commanding officer's electric typewriter from a second-story window. His discharge from the military (honorable) came shortly after the murder-suicide of two close friends plunged him into severe depression.
Shortly after his first marriage in 1970, Douglas attended the Graduate School at Michigan State University, where he studied physical anthropology and archaeology. It was there that he formulated his hypotheses about pheromones and human behavior, ideas unprovable with the limited knowledge and technology of the time, but which have subsequently been shown to be substantially correct. The final evidence for the ideas expressed in Douglas's novels A Plague of Change and Cannon's Orb was not made public until after Plague had been written and the manuscript delivered to Del Rey.
In 1972, shortly after the birth of his first child, Sophia, Douglas taught anthropology and prehistory at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, where he developed certain ideas about arctic prehistory and radiocarbon dating that appear in the Arbiter novel, Glaice.
Following his return from Canada he worked as an artist for a regional planning commission and as a woodcarver specializing in bas-relief carvings of historic Michigan scenes, portraits, historic reproductions, and signs. Douglas's second and third children were born during that period, which ended with his divorce in 1981.
In 1989 Douglas married Sue, and in 1991 sold A Plague of Change. He views both events as turning points in his life. The sales of Cannon's Orb, and Bright Islands were followed by a change in style and publisher. Douglas sold the first three of seven related novels, The Arbiter Tales (Stepwater, The Wells of Phyre, and Glaice), to Penguin Books (ROC) in 1995. Subsequently, Simply Human, and the three Sorceress's Tale novels, The Sacred Pool, The Veil of Years, and The Isle Beyond Time were published by Baen Books.
Douglas currently lives in Pompano Beach. Florida, where he writes and does a bit of carpentry from time to time. Though not a pilot, he often works the radios and navigates for Sue in her PA24-250 Piper Comanche.
Copyright 1999-2009, L. Warren Douglas Version 1.3, April 18, 2009
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