The Hudson Area Public Library's location in the "literary hub" of the Midwest gives residents access to some of the nation's most talented writers.

Nickolas Butler is indisputably one of those writers, and he's visiting the library Friday, May 3 from 6-8 p.m. in the library's first-ever "Happy Hour With Authors."

The library closes at 6 p.m. and will immediately re-open for the event, which includes free appetizers and beverages, such as soda and "mocktails." Attendees need tickets to get into the event. Tickets are free, and they can be picked up at the library.

"We're trying new program ideas so we can engage patrons who share a variety of interests, including adults who are looking for something fun and unique to do on a Friday evening," said Library Director Tina Norris.

Downtown Hudson is a destination, and the library's event is a great way to launch a Friday evening in our community.

"We plan the timing so people can still go out for dinner in one of downtown's fantastic independent restaurants," Norris said.

Butler, who was raised in Eau Claire, attended the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop. He's among that unique breed of writer who's hit the sweet spot between literary acclaim and commercial success.

His debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, is set in a fictional town outside of Eau Claire. The New York Times called it "impressively original," and it quickly climbed to Amazon's top ten list.

"It's interesting to me to see how people across the U.S. receive the book," Butler told Wisconsin People and Ideas, the magazine published by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters.

"I guess I'd like to think that the book resonates with people in Wisconsin and beyond. Though, it means a lot to me that the book is received well here in Wisconsin, in particular," Butler said.

Norris said the library is working to expand the number of author visits and the types of books they write. In the past year, the library has hosted authors Chad Lewis, Jacqueline West, and Jim Guhl and two editors, Dave Evenson and Andrew Karre. Upcoming visits include bestselling mystery novelist David Housewright, historian Phil Peterson and Hudson author Gary Porter as well as a writing workshop for teens and tweens by author S. A. Bodeen.

"Clearly the heart of a library is the book collection, but we're also a community center," Norris said. "We're getting great feedback about our growing slate of programs and the variety, but author visits will always be the cornerstone of our programs."