Marjorie Hudson bio
Award-winning author Marjorie Hudson was born in the Midwest, raised in Washington, DC, and now makes her home in rural North Carolina. She is author of Accidental Birds of the Carolinas (stories), Searching for Virginia Dare(history/travelogue), and a new novel, Indigo Field, and all of her works reflect her fascination with Southern places, history, and people. She lives on a century farm with her husband Sam and dog DJ, where she mentors writers and reads poetry to trees.
FB – Marjorie Hudson – Author
You tube: Marj1953
Thanks for joining me for this interview, Marjorie. Thanks also for answering the following questions!
- Who are your literary influences or inspiration?
I lucked into a job at Algonquin Books as a copyeditor – I’d never read much Southern fiction, but now my job was to read the emerging Southern writers of the eighties and nineties. I loved it – Clyde Edgerton, Dorie Sanders, Jill McCorkle, Kaye Gibbons. I began to read and study the Southern fiction canon, Faulkner and O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and reading Louis Rubin’s essays about Southern fiction gave me insights into it without having to go to school. When I decided to try my hand at fiction stories, my inspiration was these writers plus the rural Southern place I was living, and its history.
- Where do your characters come from?
I often start with a face or image. Sometimes with a bit of dialogue. They get sparked that way, but the depth and complexity of a character for me can only be developed by actually writing backstory, scene, and conflict.
- What does your writing space look like?… like do you have a crazy mess of a desk full of notes and post its? Or is it a quaint chair at a coffee shop?
The answer is: Crazy mess. I work in a home office. I pile things up and can’t find them. But, like my father who was also a writer (7 published books) I sort of know where things are most of the time. Now I have several sections of work area that are fairly neat — Art on the walls, a plant for feng shui, a door that opens out to a deck if things get too claustrophobic. My current files are on the sofa. I have to go someplace else in the house for a nap.
- What genres do you work in?
Creative nonfiction, personal essay, natural history writing, short story, novel, whatever I can get my hands on.
5. Do you neglect personal hygiene or housekeeping to write? Or vice versa?
My house gets vacuumed about once a month. I sweep when it gets too crunchy underfoot. This is partly (in my defense) because I’ve developed a tendon/wrist issue that gets inflamed by using the vacuum cleaner and by writing. I have to choose.
- How would you like your books to change the world?
As a community organizer/writer I may have an agenda in my work but it only shows in the subjects I tend to write about- the struggles of my characters and the places I elevate in my stories.. I hope that people read my work and think: Oh, I’ve learned something new. I may be heartbroken, but my world is bigger and I see a way out of heartbreak.
- Write the best review you can imagine for your book.
I’m way too lazy to write such a thing, because I would go on and on. Let’s just say I’d love it if a reviewer noticed the trickster elements in the story and said something about them (as an Occaneechee friend has done), and that they noticed that the names often cover up the “true name” of a person or place, which is a commentary on the lies and truths of how we handle history, and that though I claim the South as my territory, I believe the journey my character Rand makes applies to people of a certain sort in our world who are so “incentric” in their white world view that they don’t see the problem with never looking outside themselves.
- If a movie was made of your book, who would the stars be?
Reba – Macy Gray or Viola Davis
Rand – Chris Cooper or Tom Hanks
Old Lucy – Oprah Winfrey or Debbie Allen
Director – Anna Duvernay
- Where would your dream book signing occur?
It’s already happened! The Fearrington Barn/ venue for McIntyre’s Books. 200 of my closest friends and neighbors and students. Bestie flew in from Cleveland. Standing ovation. It went on and on. I cried!
- What do you wish people would ask you?
I wish people would ask me why I structured the book as I did. I started with a white older man in an upper middle class venue – familiar territory. Then I change channels and walk the reader into the unfamiliar world (for most white readers) of a struggling elderly Black/Tuscarora woman who wants revenge and whose interesting back story takes over. I’m a teacher of repressed black history. I structured it this way to keep the worlds separate as they are in America then merge them, giving the black and Indigenous world dominance in the end. A reversal that may be surprising and is certainly intentional. I wish my book would be reviewed as if I were a person who thought about things like form and social issues deeply.
“A mesmerizing story of loss, injustice, and revenge…” —Oprah author Sue Monk Kidd
“A glorious, big-hearted novel . . . I love this book—Bestselling author Helen Fremont
“Told with such superb skill, and a prose style that left me weeping, Marjorie has crafted a novel that will resonate with the reader long after the last page is turned. —Peter Mock, McIntyre’s Books
Join Marjorie at these upcoming events!
BOOK CLUB CHAT, POINCIENA, FLA – Sunday, May 14
PARK ROAD BOOKS – Saturday, May 20, with JUDY GOLDMAN
POE & COMPANY BOOKSTORE – Monday, May 22 – Signing – Details TBA
FLYLEAF BOOKS – REGAL HOUSE SHOWCASE WITH PAM VAN DYK AND VAL NIEMAN – Thursday, May 25 @ 5:30 pm – Chapel Hill, NC
THE PLANT – BOOKS & DRINKS WITH SOUR MASH AUTHORS MARJORIE HUDSON AND CULLEY HOLDERFIELD, Friday, May 26, 6 pm – Pittsboro, NC (details to come)
BUXTON VILLAGE BOOKS – READING AND SIGNING WITH GEE GEE ROSSEL, Thursday, June 1, Buxton, NC on Hatteras Island
DOWNTOWN BOOKS – Booksigning, First Friday, June 2, Manteo, NC
PAGE 158 BOOKS – with REGAL HOUSE AUTHORS VAL NIEMAN and JANICE DEAL – Thursday July 6, 6:30 pm.
CAROLINA MOUNTAINS LITERARY FESTIVAL – September 7 – 9
Speaker, Workshop Leader – Burnsville, NC