Skip to main content


April 26, 2010

Meet Joy Hudler, Ad Hudler's Mom

Posted by Anonymous

It took Joy Hudler a little while to get her son, Ad, reading but once he started, he couldn't stop. After devouring a salacious series about stewardesses, Ad turned toward more traditional fare, eventually authoring four novels, countless magazine features and maintaining a highly-trafficked blog.

Ad Hudler and mother.jpgDid you read to your son as a child?

When he was a baby, I’d hold him on my lap (his favorite place) and read to him. Just read. He didn’t care what; he just wanted to snuggle. So I read my newspaper, my Redbook, Ladies’ Home Journal, whatever book I was interested in. We didn’t graduate to actual “accepted” children’s fare until he was able to give me feedback. Of course, back then we didn’t realize we could be marking our children and destroying their little psyches with such behavior. Oh, and A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VOICE. But that was more for my comfort than his.

How old was your son when he started reading?

We were afraid for awhile there that Ad was never going to read. For pleasure, anyway. We did not allow television on weeknights so reading was what we did. Our house was across the street from the public library and we all read. We went to the bathroom with books and to bed with books. We had to ban them from the kitchen table but that was the only place. We read outside and inside. At nighttime we would read THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS and stories from Wee Wisdom and all the Dr. Seuss books.

I believed, by example, Ad would become a voracious reader. He did not.

Finally, at wit’s end, I took him into his brother’s bedroom and his sacred cache of reading material. (The rule was if you could read it there was no censoring of material; so long as we discussed it afterward. Big Brother John read THE GODFATHER in the fourth grade, but he had worked up to it.)

ad.JPG“Okay, Ad, pick a book. Any book you want. We just want you to read something!”

To my horror he selected a silly paperback called THE FLY FIRLS…about (obviously) stewardesses and the tawdry lives they led. He took it out to the little green velvet love seat, lay down, crossed his legs at the ankles and began.

Every afternoon after school, Ad would fly in the door, get his work done and head for the couch to read. I wasn’t overly thrilled with his choice…but the kid was reading!

Once in awhile, he would come into the kitchen to share, “You’ll never guess who’s pregnant, Mom. Judy! And he’s married!” I lived in fear of his third-grade teacher discovering how I was twisting my son. And what would come next.

Surprisingly, Ad crossed the street for his next book and immediately became hooked on The Little House on the Prairie series. God bless Laura Ingalls Wilder.

And the Fly Girls!

When did you know your son was going to be a writer?

When he told me Also, following his meteoric rise as a feature writer gave me an inkling.

Can you remember your son writing as a child?

Only when he had to.

Do you read advance copies of your son’s work?

When he lets me. I love to be among the first!

Do you have a favorite of your son’s books?

Of course I loved HOUSEHUSBAND; it was so validating for him.

However, SOUTHERN LIVING’s characters were so real to me I didn’t want them to go away; I just wanted to keep reading about their crazy, twisted lives…ad infinitum.

What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

You wouldn’t believe what I read. From serial killers to Sartre; Pynchon to Parker. I just finished GAME CHANGE by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin and before that Pat Conroy’s SOUTH OF BROAD. I do not like self help books. (Unless you include cookbooks in this genre.) I adore cookbooks. Just to read.

I also drive with a book CD in my car at all times. So I “read” on the way to buy my groceries, to get the car washed, shopping trips to Denver, etc.

Ad Hudler is the author of MAN OF THE HOUSE, HOUSEHUSBAND, SOUTHERN LIVING, and ALL THIS BELONGS TO ME. Visit his web site,