I have always wanted to write. More often than not, life opened other doors for me, though the door to a writing career always seemed closed.  I found myself in an assortment of fields to support my family, including industrial supervision, construction, and teaching. It was teaching that took up most of my adult life, and I still find myself immersed in it during my “retirement.”

My mother was my biggest writing motivator. She encouraged me to write poetry when I was in elementary school and I actually won contests. It was great to discover that other people were interested in my writing. I worked for a weekly newspaper for a while and was able to sponsor a couple of school newspapers at high schools where I taught. It was rewarding to help young people learn how to write. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write, like it was addictive and I fell in love with words.

My desire to create a book started very early. I was constantly thinking of ideas that would make good stories.  When I was in elementary school, I went night fishing with my father and my five brothers on a pontoon boat that my father had built. As the night grew darker and quieter, I found myself wondering about what would happen if I hooked into a skull, and brought it up into the light of the lanterns hanging down near the water. I imagined all sorts of weird stories to go along with that thought. As I got older and became a dedicated fan of mysteries, and the image of that skull and the night fishing never left me.

I began putting together a novel based on the skull image from my past and a possible "cold" murder committed decades earlier. I worked on it over a period of two or three years, while I taught full-time. When my wife and I retired, we moved to Costa Rica, and for the first time in my life, I was able to write unimpeded. I finished the book in two months. At long last, I had created a great American mystery novel! Then the reality of moving from a writer to a published author reared its skeletal head. I sent the manuscript to numerous publishers and was swamped with rejections (nearly every first-time author's experience I suspect).

I was finally found a publisher willing to take a chance on an eager, unpublished author, and so began my experience with Savant Books. The authoring process was surprisingly slow and painful, and the idea that my first book was going to appear the next day throughout the world died an agonizing death. In fact, the experience was an education in itself. Writing, I discovered, was the easy part; that's the creative essence that comes out easily and almost writes itself on paper.  But in reality, no matter how polished the manuscript, it's never perfect in regard to grammar, structure, character development, dialog, and storyline, and I learned how to move a manuscript through the laborious editing phase. What resulted is PURPLE HAZE, what I consider the crowning achievement of my new author's life, and what I hope readers will find, as my editor puts it, a "clean, easy read." Rereading the finished work, I am amazed at how it recaptures my own imagination over and over and carries me like a branch on a flooded river effortlessly from beginning to end.

Tennessee has been my home for most of my life. I find an awesome wonder in its rolling hills and pristine lakes. I wanted and I think succeeded in capturing the feeling a native son has for his home state. Tennessee is a place that constantly draws people back; for me, moving away would never be an option. I've attempted to capture that feeling in this story.
PURPLE HAZE is a story that combines narratives from two different decades. By examining the lives of the characters in the context of each time period, one gets a perspective on the state's all-encompassing mystery and draw. A mystery within a mystery. Not only do the character's lives change, but the setting changes over the years that the work spans.
So, here it is: the culmination of fifty years of work, from conception to finished novel, through all the nooks and turns of my own adult life. It's finally here to read and enjoy. I hope readers will be entertained but also see the people and times of Chattanooga, Tennessee in an entirely new, awe-inspiring way.

George Hudson
Author of PURPLE HAZE (Savant 2013)