A former Weber State University student has collaborated with eight other Utah authors to tell 13 haunted legends of the Ogden Valley.
Tanner Clark, who graduated from WSU in Dec. 2008 with an Integrated Studies degree in English, Communications and Sociology was one of the authors for the book “Tales from Huntsville, Eden, Liberty and Beyond…” The stories tell of haunted legends and folklore associated with the Ogden Valley.
The guild of writers that wrote the stories joined a writer’s guild in 2004. Clark used the feedback from the guild along with his education at WSU to put together his stories.
“It definitely pushed me. From my very first semester at Weber State I had an English professor that helped push me in the direction I ended up, as far as writing. He sat down with me one semester and gave me motivation to do better. I remember that conversation with him and finally feeling like ‘finally I can do something’ and found the direction I wanted to go.
One story Clark wrote, “The Man in the Mirror,” was inspired by a dream Clark had. His other story in the collection “The Saloon” revolves around a legend associated with the Shooting Star Saloon, a local bar in Huntsville. While writing it, Clark learned that one of his professors at WSU had more investment in the story than he knew.
“One of my stories revolves around the Shooting Star Saloon in Hunstville,” Clark said. “While doing the story I was taking a creative non-fiction writing class here from Dr. Prothero. I didn’t know this at the time, but he was a co-owner of the saloon. It was funny to get his perspective because he has stock in that saloon.”
Clark hopes to use the success of “Tales from H.E.L” and the knowledge gained from his writing guild and WSU to further his writing career.
“Writing is possible, it’s fun, and when it actually gets done it’s such an accomplishment,” said Clark. “I want to continue writing. There are future projects that the writing group is working on that I definitely want to be part of.” Driennie Hattingh was the leader of the writer’s guild that compiled the stories for the book.
Around 1,000 copies of the book have been sold throughout the Ogden Valley in local bookshops and coffee shops. The guild hopes to branch out to other Utah cities. If the book continues to be a success, the guild hopes to make this into a series of books with research of actual legends throughout the Ogden Valley.
“Now we’re going further out,” said Hattingh. “It’s on Amazon, Kindle and paperback. The little local bookstores like selling the books. We’re doing like a series. The next one will be based around 21st street in Ogden. We’re going to keep it to 13 stories. We imagine it will be sold as a set of horror stories. The authors now have to go and do research, which they didn’t really have to do before. They have to follow certain guidelines to make sure the legends are accurate. I think it’s really going to be better than the first.”