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About me, my writing, and Puzzlebox Press
  I was born and raised in Spooner, Wisconsin, and have written six books, of which Avenge the Maine: John Kinne's War is the most recent. 
  After earning my bachelor's and master's degrees in English from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and the University of Tennessee respectively, I served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, was active in Wisconsin politics for several years, and served in various administrative capacities in Wisconsin's human services system in both the private and the public sector.
  My first published work, The Taos Massacres, is a well-regarded historical novel dealing with the rebellion of Mexicans and Indians against American authority in 1847 in the aftermath of the Mexico-American War. It was published through Puzzlebox Press, which I established to get my work before the reading public. During that process, I discovered how much I enjoy creating a ready-to-print book and cover. 
  My second book is The Odyssey of Mary B, another well-received historical novel that follows a young convict woman sent to Australia in the First Fleet. She later escaped and was returned to England, where James Boswell of biography fame took up her cause.
  My third book is a memoir titled Behind Enemy Lines, which tells of my childhood polio and its effect on my early life. Readers admire the memoir’s honesty and its rich detail about small town life in northern Wisconsin.
  The Boys: 1st North Dakota Volunteers in the Philippines grew out of my interest in making my grandfather’s unpublished narrative of his service with the 1st North Dakota Volunteers more accessible and understandable to younger readers. It is my first, purely historical work. It is a comprehensive history of the early days of the war in the Philippines, and I am happy to see that it has garnered good reviews.
  I recently edited and published a memoir written by a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer, A Wedding in Samar, by John Halloran. I think it is an honest, rich, and unique work that deserved publication, even posthumously.
  After much deliberation, I reworked by grandfather's memoir of his war service to produce Tom Stafne: A Volunteer Soldier in the Philippines. His narrative reflects the experience of so many young men who, because they were caught up in war fever, left life in small town America and experienced things in the so-called Spanish-American War they could never have imagined. That experience became "the grandest experience" of their lives.
  For many of the same reasons, I produced Avenge the Maine: John Kinne's War. This narrative, also arising from Kinne's experience in the Spanish-American War, is one of the most informative personal narratives yet discovered of a combat unit called "Young's Scouts." Kinne's service with this unit earned him and several others the Medal of Honor.
  Under Food for Thought you will find some of my other writing, offered there for your reading enjoyment.
  I am unmarried, live in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and have one surviving son, and three grandchildren.
  I appreciate your interest in my writing, and welcome your feedback.

                                                                             John Durand


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Last modified: 10/04/15