Lighthearted, humorous storytelling from a seasoned traveler firmly grounded now in rural Southern Appalachia. With a love of character and community, Richard Rouse delights readers with subtle details of relationships, adjusting to country life, the wisdom of nature and the landscape of domestic negotiations. Americana with a twist. Regional yet global. Snapshots and slices of life.
Stories include Appalachian tales of family and community, suburban humor of picking out Mother’s Day presents, a Who-Done-It with a lady sheriff solving the crime and porcine humor— from an encounter with a flying pig to getting a stray piglet tipsy! Characters are wise, clueless, young, old, eager and reluctant. Clever and delicious, tender and thoughtful, read these aloud or enjoy the wisdom and humor alone.
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In Praise of The Welcome Home Door
“A rich life and a way with words make this collection of stories by Richard Rouse a thoroughly enjoyable companion for a winter evening. You may need to laugh out loud or hold your breath for a gripping ride, but you will be entertained. A taste of Appalachia but not what you expect!” -Jeff Sebens, musician and luthier
“Richard Rouse is a master storyteller. He uses humor, telling details, and his keen observations of the people and places he loves, to make characters and setting appear in our minds. His instinctive understanding of pacing makes us hang on to every word, and to be satisfied at the endings. But probably the most important tool in Richard’s writing toolbox is his gentle heart, that is the scaffolding upon which everything he builds is steadied and strengthened.” -D. T. Clark, author, teacher, journalist
“Rouse’s writing is comfort food for the soul. He writes nostalgia that would make Norman Rockwell jealous. His word-smithing is memorable. He is a bit of O’Henry and a dash Garrison Keillor. My recommendation is unqualified, earnest, and passionate.” -Kenny Chumbley, MA, MDiv, minister, author, publisher
“Richard Rouse’s stories sparkle with thoughtful descriptions and homespun charm. His writing is clear and lucid, and you will be immensely entertained as each story unfolds with drama and intrigue. A great read!” -Kabir Sehgal, New York Times bestselling author
“A big cheer for Richard Rouse! He is one of those natural storytellers who carries on the tradition of Mark Twain, Eudora Welty and Maya Angelou! Reading his stories takes the lucky readers on a highly entertaining trip through mountains, a harrowing tropical flight and a journey through the landscape of domestic negotiations. Rouse’s storyteller voice is as true as the notes of a mockingbird singing at daybreak!” -Dusty J Miller, author of the Alice Ott Mystery series
“Richard Rouse combines the folksy flavor of ordinary people with universal truths about who we are as human beings and what it takes to get us there. His stories are told with wry wit and good humor while exposing an unabashed reverence for life. This book is a delightful read, sure to lift the spirit.” -Karen Johnson, Poet, Guilford Poets’ Guild, Ridgeline Writers
About the Author
Born in Syracuse, NY, Richard Rouse spent early years with his siblings playing in the cabbage barns and truck farm fields of peas and potatoes near Preble, New York. His father joined the work of rebuilding a nation after the Great Depression finally settling the family in far northern NY.
Always engrossed in a project to build or study, while still in high school young Rouse built a boat, a garden for the family, telescopes, radios, model airplanes, sculpted with iron and wood, and flew light aircraft at the local airport. He later built an astronomy observatory attached to his house.
He became a journeyman carpenter working summers and after school with his father’s growing construction business. Following his father into the field of industrial construction and structural steel fabrication, Rouse successfully rose through the ranks and led the company for a number of years to record achievements.
After adventures exploring the west, rock-hounding, living on the sea, and in New Orleans, he dreamed of settling in a location where he could renew his childhood interests in honey bees, natural food systems, and self-sufficiency.
A child of the Depression, he found entertainment in the natural world, inspiration from overcoming hardship, and humor from the human condition. Tales of home, adventure and delight began to form into creative writing in his seventh decade. As a lifelong avid reader, lover of Gilbert and Sullivan music, and keen observer of people, at the age of 88, these tales coalesced to his first volume in print, The Welcome Home Door and Other Stories.
His travels eventually led him to settle in rural Southern Appalachia where he resides with his wife, writing, gardening, and growing woodland mushrooms and tinkering with renewable energy systems.