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Arts & Culture

Former Orlandoan Lindsay Hunter bites through fiction’s conventions

Hunter’s short story collection, ‘Don’t Kiss Me,’ comes from her heart — a very dark place

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I try to write for what I’m hearing or what I’m seeing. Every time I say something like that I feel so cheesy, but it’s true. I consult my crystals. I spent a lot of time all through grad school trying to write in the traditional format, and tried really hard to write stories that I actually cared about and what I thought people wanted to read. I eventually stopped thinking too much and just started writing. When I have all my comma splices, or absence of punctuation, I’m doing that very purposefully. I’m doing that because I want the sentence to read a certain way, or I want you to hear a voice in a certain way. Lately I’ve been doing less of that. I’ve been trusting that punctuation isn’t going to stop anyone from reading what I want them to read.

You’re working on a novel for fall 2014. How does that compare with writing “flash fiction”?

Someone in one of the bad reviews I got for this book called it “flash-in-the-pan fiction”! So writing a novel is obviously very different from that, because you’re telling a story that lasts for-fucking-ever. But the way that I’m writing it is in sort of flash-fictiony bursts, and from the point of view of five different characters.

You’re big-time Chicago now, but does Orlando inform any of these characters?

Absolutely. That is in my DNA. Orlando and Central Florida are poorly represented, or underrepresented, in fiction, I feel. I remember when I went to grad school, I was like, “Man, everything I write, I’m gonna set in Florida. I’m gonna show the world.” It’s not so egotistical anymore, but that’s just where they come from. Those are the people that I grew up with. They’re the people I feel most at home with. They’re the people that I recognize the most.

I seem to recall that we once worked together at a book emporium. I remember that defeatism we would feel when we would rip the covers off of books for returns while throwing the text into the garbage. Do you ever think about that when you’re publishing a book?

Absolutely. I know a lot of writers, and a lot of people have books coming out, like really amazing books on really amazing presses – so many fucking writers, so many fucking books. So I’m at a point right now, where, hey, if one person reads my book, that is a success in this day and age.

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