Lindsay Hunter is the author of the story collections Don’t Kiss Me and Daddy’s. Originally from Florida, she now lives in Chicago with her husband, son, and two pit bulls.
Hunter's first novel is Ugly Girls.
From her Q & A with Luke Goebel for Electric Lit:
Luke Goebel: Alright! Hi, Lindsay Hunter. You wrote the book Ugly Girls (great title, by the way) and it’s a jaw rattler. I keep saying it used my heart as a rag. To clean what is the next question…the heart of the world? The heart of all of us? The holy secular heart? I mean there’s a lot to say on this one, and it’s BIG. FSG release. Kind of book everyone will want to read. Mass appeal, all that, killer speed book, craft out of the top of the head, with all the best prose anyone could want, plus the big story, mindblower, like at times I’m reading something written so good I think it’s As I Lay Dying only it’s 2014 or ’15 or ’16 and it’s Ugly Girls and it’s set in this trailer park – other times I’m clearly reading Lindsay Hunter and it’s still set in that trailer park— but it’s like one of those great books you read in school as a kid (though this one isn’t going to be taught in any kids’ schools anytime soon I doubt, not with some of these scenes!) and thought, HOW THE HELL DID THIS WRITER DO THIS? They must just be one of them [sic] magic writer people, one of them [sic] AUTHORS, who sit away in some lonely place of beauty to write this GOLD that just comes out of them, like, erupts, because they live the Earth into its being, and are geniuses, and all that… I’m trying to give you a compliment… say your book is killer… and with a difference from those old greats, because you do things they would have been shot if they wrote. Really. Killed.The Page 69 Test: Ugly Girls.
SO… here’s the question, and it’s the ONE I think everyone wants to know when they read a book that rattles their jaws and makes the world seem at once familiar and strange, so the reader thinks “Maybe I don’t know myself, or life at all, maybe I can try again and do better this life.” Question being: HOW DID YOU DO IT?
Where did this novel come from? Who are these characters you found? Did you have help? Was there an editor? How did you write this? At what times of day? From what hilltop or plantation or moor or whatever wetlands? On what machine or by hand? Where did you figure out to have that quarry that is in the book? How did you find this novel inside you? Well… Hunter, will you tell us?
Lindsay Hunter: Luke, thank you so much for saying all of that. It is an enormous compliment coming from you!
I think I trusted that I had a novel-sized story to tell inside me, and then I just kept trusting that every single day. It was very hard at times and it haunts me to this day! Eventually, after years of doubts and self-hatred and all of it, a writer must come to a place where she can trust herself. Or give herself permission, at the very least, to write. So this novel is kind of the culmination of years and years of self-flagellating and wheels-spinning. Eventually I just decided to forge on into the abyss, or whatever that saying is. Is there a saying? I decided to trust the abyss.
You know, this is something I’m learning as a mother, now, too. I resist...[read on]