The University of North Georgia's Student Newspaper




Educator Turned Author Returns to the Classroom


Longtime UNG political science professor Douglas Young debuted his second novel, “Due South,” last December. The book, inspired in part by real-life characters he met working as an educator, follows a teaching assistant in a small southern college town who falls in love with a student.

Last Thursday, Young revisited the Gainesville campus, where he taught political science for over 33 years, to impart wisdom acquired throughout his career as a student, professor and author. He offered discounted copies of “Due South” and delivered a personal monologue before answering questions from journalism students at the Gainesville and Dahlonega campuses. Young implored students to be proactive in the pursuit of their dreams and to not let fear dictate their decisions.

In his youth, Young dreamed of being a newspaper columnist, citing inspiration from an American literature class. As a sports writer for his Clarke Central High School newspaper, he recalled feeling anxious and fearful of failure after receiving criticism. He shared that his inaugural efforts as a journalist were so fraught with apprehensiveness that he waited until he was a graduate student at the University of Georgia to write for the college’s Red and Black newspaper. When he finally did, he came to appreciate having his writing recognized, even when the reception was critical. The deaths of two close friends at a young age prompted Young to aspire to seize more opportunities and abandon his mentality that he always had his “whole life ahead of” him.

Having retired from teaching, Young has more time to dedicate to writing fiction novels, which provides him a sense of artistic freedom. Just two years ago, Young published his first novel “Deep in the Forest” about a southern man with PTSD who believes he has seen a UFO. Young says he enjoys southern American literature and likes writing about the “most uniquely different region of the country” which has experienced both “the most tragic history” and “the most triumph.” He draws from personal experience and emotion, as well as traits of people he met working as a professor, to craft his novels’ characters and the southern towns in which they live.

Today, Young says he reflects most fondly on his pieces that produced controversy. He urges young people not to pass up opportunities and wait until they are older to try things they want to do now. He advises that retrospectively, people regret the things they did not do far more than things they did.

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    Douglas YoungFeb 21, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you, Jamie, for such an informative and accurate article. It was so much fun visiting with y’all. Best wishes always!

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Educator Turned Author Returns to the Classroom