William Strawn Douglas' Bio
William Strawn Douglas writes under the name W. Strawn Douglas, because there are too many more famous William Douglas's he'd otherwise have to compete with for name space!
This Douglas, born in 1961, grew up immersed in the medical system. His father was a physician at the world famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His mother was a nurse and nursing instructor. A grandfather was a physician as well.
Douglas currently resides in the U.S. at Minnesota's State Security Hospital, in Saint Peter, where with the exception of a brief period at a Minneapolis halfway house in 2016, he has spent more than two decades as a resident. He had been committed there by the courts in 1993, diagnosed as Mentally Ill and Dangerous. That was after he assaulted a young woman during a schizophrenic episode, his disordered thinking wanting to create an "incident" to draw "the law's" attention to local drug distribution he found objectionable.
Douglas has attended the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. He is a U.S. Marine veteran, and has worked in the oilfields of Wyoming and as a cook at the famed Seward Café on the West Bank of Minneapolis. He has worked as a graphic artist, and in life before Saint Peter, he was also an avid bicyclist.
Douglas admits to having been active for years as a user of what he calls short order soft drugs. He says he has even participated in di
These days, Douglas' schizophrenia is stable and controlled by medication. He spent much of his time at Saint Peter reading science fiction and works on philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, conspiracy theories, and drugs and addiction. Within his studies, Douglas has maintained a focus on ideas about how the shapes of future governments could impact personal liberty, and he has tried to combine all of his interests within some of his published science and speculative fiction
One of Douglas' more recent works, Quarantine of the Mind, is subtitled "Obedience Training for Adult Humans: Preventative Imprisonment for Crimes Not Yet Committed." This work of non-fiction is grounded in his personal battle with mental illness, and his experiences with his illness at the mental institution where he lived for more than two decades under an "indeterminate" sentence.
About his writing, Douglas says science fiction will continue to be one, but not his only emphasis. Science Fiction, he says, oftentimes makes it difficult to make a serious point, because trying to do so "while writing about bug-eyed aliens and flying saucers" and similar things can be pretentious.
Despite a recent setback that forced his return to St. Peter, Douglas remains optimistic about how the treatment of his mental illness has progressed, and hopes to again be released from Saint Peter and allowed to return to Minneapolis. While he waits he continues to write, and to consider his future options. He is considering a return to school for a nursing degree, to provide a professional credential to help his advocacy for change in forensic model of mental health with which he has had a wealth of direct experience. He is also looking into the possibility of a career in media writing and video production.