tara hudsontara hudsontara hudson


Is HEREAFTER part of a series?

A: Yes! Amelia and Joshua's story can't be told in one book alone! Hereafter and Arise are the first two books in the trilogy. The final book, Elegy, will come out in June 4th.

What inspired you to write HEREAFTER?

A: The idea for Hereafter came from a short story I wrote in college, told from the perspective of a young woman who does not yet realize she is dead. I set the original story in a place I only vaguely remembered—a Choctaw Indian cemetery, to which my grandparents had taken me as a child. I could only recall how strangely quiet and overgrown the place was, and how I wondered whether anyone had visited those graves in this century. Only later did I learn this cemetery was where several of my paternal family members were buried, with graves dating back to the late 19th century.

The image of that place stuck with me for many years. So, I wrote a spooky story about it for a college-level fiction workshop, and then promptly forgot about the whole thing. A decade passed, and after one too many legal emails and memorandums, I remembered how much I loved writing fiction. I started a number of different stories, but my ghost girl in the rural cemetery kept returning to me. One rainy afternoon, I wrote the opening chapter of a ghost story for my two best friends, to distract them on their lunch break. Within twenty minutes, they both demanded more, and Hereafter was born.

To research, my friends and I decided to take a girls' trip to Wilburton, Oklahoma, where my grandparents had owned a ranch. We stayed in a cabin at Robber's Cave State Park, where we hiked, grilled hotdogs using way too much lighter fluid, and searched diligently for my family cemetery. After several wrong turns and one unnerving visit to what appeared to be a gun shop run out of someone's garage, we found the cemetery—buried deep in an unused field and surrounded by a rusted iron fence. We spent hours there, taking pictures (you can see some on the Hereafter page) and making up stories about the names we found. When I returned home from the trip, I began my novel in earnest.

Why Oklahoma?

A: I know I'll encounter some skepticism when I say this, but Oklahoma is a beautiful, interesting place. We've got prairie, lakes, rivers, pine forests, mountains... oh, and Bigfoot. Seriously—BIGFOOT.

Who is your agent?

A: The undeniably amazing Catherine Drayton, with Inkwell Management. (Imagine trumpets sounding... she's that good.)

Will your books be published in any other countries?

A: They already are! And just FYI, SE FOSSE PER SEMPRE (Hereafter) is a BESTSELLER in Italy!! I'll try to keep an updated list of all international publishers on my blog, but as of today, we've sold rights in Germany, Italy, France, Poland, the UK, Australia/New Zealand, Thailand, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Brazil. Lyndsey Blessing, my International Rights Agent at Inkwell, is a true dynamo!

Are any of your characters based on real people?

A: Although some of my friends have lent their names to a few characters, no one's personality has shown up in my writing yet. It's my best attempt to protect the world from my crazy family and friends.

Will HEREAFTER be a movie?

A: How cool would that be? Hollywood's a complicated place—so direct all questions to my Film Agent, Matthew Snyder at CAA.

Can you visit my school/library?

A: I'd love to! (Depending on where you're located, of course. I'm drawing the line at Antarctica.) If you're in Oklahoma or one of the surrounding states, just shoot me an email at the address provided under the Contact tab. I have no honorarium for local schools, but I do have a small one for libraries and non-local visits. Just email me to find out!