Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
"His dreams were not sweet but fevered ones that featured a parade of mangled bodies, gaping holes where throats had been and blood painting the rails a never-ending red."
This is a line from a favorite historical fiction novel, "When Death Rode The Rails", written by Oklahoma story teller and author Marilyn A. Hudson.
Hudson is slated to perform for the next Woodward Public Library story telling luncheon event scheduled for Monday, July 15 at noon at the Woodward Conference Center.
The catered lunch is free and the event is open to the public, said event coordinator Cindy Colclasure.
Colclasure has been trying to pin down the popular story teller for nearly two years and is excited she was finally able to book her.
"The timing I had wanted her before was during our halloween event, but unfortunately she is in such demand in Oklahoma City, that we were just not able to book her," Colclasure said.
Attendees will have a rare chance to go on a ghostly journey with Hudson as their guide, Colclasure said.
"Let everyone know there is limited seating available at this time so they should really hurry and get their seat reserved," Colclasure said.
Hudson's love of writing and especially her affinity for those stories that illustrate the "underbelly" of history, were formed during her childhood in a small midwestern community.
"You know, I grew up in a town in Kansas," Hudson said." And there were a lot of whispered stories that I was too short to hear as a child - you know, those stories you whisper to each other above your children's heads - and that always made me really interested in those other stories and what they were about."
Hudson refers to her writing and story telling style as "bringing history to life".
She uses true, historical events in Oklahoma as an anchor for a fictional story, she said.
She traces her fascination with the untold, more gritty stories of history to her life as a young student.
"That was my problem in school," she said. "The teacher would say a., b. and c. are the important part of this historical story. And then I'd say, 'but look at this tiny story here on the back page, this is what I am interested in.'"
Hudson's first work of fiction was an alternate screenplay for StarTrek.
"Obviously, that never went anywhere," she said and laughs.
That did not dissuade the budding author and storyteller and so she just kept on writing. She published stories in magazines, and eventually became a stringer for the Enid News and Eagle.
But before all that, while performing some support work for the local library where story tellers often visited and plied their trade, Hudson connected with the craft and began practicing the art of story telling.
As she practiced, she also went about the task of educating herself.
"By the time I finished my masters degree, I had gained quite a bit of experience," she said.
That experience is evident in the way she totally immerses herself into the characters. To accomplish this, Hudson dons the garb of the period from which the story hails, and off you go on a ghostly trip.
For her audience, it's as good as a trip to the Haunted House at Disneyland, Colclasure said.
To reserve seating, call 580-254-8544 and ask for Cindy Colclasure.