The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 23, 2014

Hudson, authors will be at seminar

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Tara Hudson’s Oklahoma roots ripple through the books that made her a bestselling author.

Hudson, a teen author for Harper who lives in Choctaw, is author of the Hereafter trilogy, including “Hereafter,” “Arise” and “Elegy.” The books follow the story of Amelia, a teen who dies and finds herself drifting in a river. After rescuing the living boy, Joshua, from the river, Amelia falls in love with him.

Amelia’s story is set primarily in Wilburton, with a detour through the French Quarter of New Orleans, Hudson said.

Hudson describes her books as “ghost stories” with a romantic twist.

“My family has become trustees of the Boiling Springs Cemetery,” Hudson said.

The markers in the Boiling Springs Cemetery even influenced the characters in the Hereafter trilogy.

“The oldest marker we’ve found is from 1885,” Hudson said.

That marker is for a member of the Rowland family.

“Because I thought it was such a cool name, I named my villain in the second book after them,” Hudson said.

Hudson will be one of six speakers at a seminar hosted by the Enid Writers Club.

“My presentation is about trying to make your fantasy setting as real as possible,” Hudson said.

The seminar, “The Story,” will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Gantz Center at Northern Oklahoma College Enid.

It will feature three keynote speakers: Enid resident Jamie McGuire, the New York Times best-selling author of “Beautiful Disaster,” “Walking Disaster” and “Red Hill”; Pinnacle western author Dusty Richards, winner of the Spur Award and National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum award-winning author and president of the American Western Writers Association; and Hudson.

Richards, who lives in Arkansas, has published more than 100 books, including “Texas Blood Feud” and “Comanche Moon.”

There also will be workshops focused on poetry, literary, Christian and fiction. Cost is $30 plus lunch.

Other speakers include:

• Shawn Holliday, associate dean of graduate studies and interim chair of the English, Foreign Language, and Humanities Department at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. His books include “Thomas Wolfe and the Politics of Modernism” and a short critical biography of Japanese-American poet Lawson Fusao Inada. Holliday’s articles have appeared in “The Chronicles of Oklahoma,” “The South Carolina Review” and “Appalachian Heritage.”

• Darlene Shortridge, author of four contemporary Christian novels, “Until Forever,” “Forever Loved,” “Forever Blessed” and “The Letter.” Shortridge is co-author of “40 Day Publishing.” She also is an accomplished vocalist and compassionate speaker who lives in Oklahoma City.

• Marsha Kay Oldham, a longstanding member of Enid Writers Club, is an award-winning poet whose latest book, “My Loves,” is available online and at Hastings in Enid.

The conference schedule is:

• 9 a.m.: Registration opens.

• 10 a.m.: Opening seminar, The Art of Story.

• First session — Room A: “We all sat in the front row without a book to our name” by Dusty Richards; Room C: “Poetic Rhythms” by Marsha Kay Oldham.

• Noon: Catered lunch.

• Second session — Room A: “Making Your Fantastical Setting Feel Real,” by Tara Hudson; Room C: “Writing Life: An Approach to Authoring (Auto) Biographies,” by Shawn Holliday.

• Third session — Room A:  “Characters to Love and Love to Hate” by Jamie McGuire; Room C: “Kiss and Tell: Writing Romance for Today’s Christian Market,” by Darlene Shortridge.

• Group seminar: The Relevance of Craft, a panel discussion with visiting authors.

Registration: $30 for the seminar and $10 for lunch. Students, active-duty military and NOC faculty are half price.

For more information, contact Lucie Smoker at (580) 237-6064 or go to Registration forms are available online and at the library.