About the Authors
Erin Lough and Mave Lough Duke
Twins and best friends, Erin Lough and Mave Lough Duke, are both Auburn alumnae from Florence, Alabama also known as “The Shoals” area. The sisters were the first twins were born at Helen Keller Hospital in Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1979 by Ron Lough & Jan (Lough) Sheppard. They are coauthors of “The Spirit Tree at Toomer’s Corner” and “The Spirit Tree at Toomer’s Corner 2: The Rebirth”, and “Where’s Aubie?”.
Erin attended Auburn University until 2001. She transferred to Auburn University in Montgomery (AUM), receiving her Bachelor’s degree (BS) in 2006. Erin is married and resides in Madison, Alabama where she enjoys working for the State of Alabama.
Mave began pursuing her Graphic Design degree at Auburn University in August of 1999. In May of 2003, she received her Bachelor’s Degree (BFA) and moved to Birmingham, AL where she enjoys working as an Senior Designer for a design firm. Mave is married and has a stepdaughter named Emma Grace, along with two dog–children, Murphy and Millie Mae.
The authors decided to begin their adventure in writing together in 2010. The authors had taken art classes together at Biggin Hall (1999-2001), located directly behind Toomer’s Corner. As Auburn alumnae, they felt a deep love for Auburn tradition, memories, and the future landscape of Toomer’s Corner. They began writing about the beloved oak trees that had been poisoned, and whose outlook was uncertain. It was at that point that the twins decided to create their first book, “The Spirit Tree at Toomer’s Corner”. The authors hired a friend, Hope Brackin from Belgrade, Serbia, to do the illustrations. This book would tell the story about the Auburn Oaks (est. 1937–2012) that were so special to both of them, and to the many members of the Auburn Family; a story that would be passed down to future generations. The message would stand strong alongside the Auburn tradition that would never depart: “Spirit lives on forever”.
The Auburn Oaks were sadly removed in 2012, and it was of great importance to the sisters to create a second book that would continue the story, after a loss that grieved the entire Auburn Family. The Auburn Family would get the happy ending they deserved. “The Spirit Tree at Toomer’s Corner 2: The Rebirth” celebrates the planting of the new trees and the legacy there that would live on as the greatest tradition at Auburn University.
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
You’ll fall in love with these beautifully illustrated books as the authors and illustrator have given you keepsakes that will be treasured forever by Auburn fans from around the globe, and also share the story of Toomer’s Corner with future generations to come.
In 2015, the authors began writing about Auburn University’s tiger mascot, Aubie, in a work titled “Where’s Aubie?”. They completed the work in 2016. Freya Hartas, who lives in the United Kingdom, was hired to do the illustrations. The title was released in May of 2017.