Lindsay Hatton, "The Friend"


It's December 19. Lindsay Hatton, author of Monterey Bay, can do kylix small talk with the best of them.

How would you describe your story? 

LINDSAY HATTON: An inquiry into faith, war, unnecessary nudity, and pine needles.

When did you write it, and how did the writing process compare to your other work? 

LH: I'm not sure when I wrote it, but I remember the whole thing coming out of me in one sitting. Then it went into the virtual drawer for a couple months, then out of the drawer for edits, then into the drawer and out of the drawer a few more times, then into your hot little hands. I write all my short stories, and none of my novels, like this.

What kind of research went into this story? 

LH: A little here and there, mostly to check facts I ended up ignoring.

What, to you, makes the short story a special form? What can it do that other kinds of writing can't? 

LH: For me, short stories are a wonderful cathartic exercise. The need to write them comes on fast and furious, and I usually drop everything to get it all down. Whenever I'm despairing about a novel in progress, it's always such a pleasure to catch the short story bug. Vibe-wise, writing a short story is different than writing a novel in almost every way, and that confuses and excites me. I'm definitely still a student of the form who hopes to be mistaken for a master one day.

Where should people go to learn more about you and your work?

LH: is a good place to visit. I'm also quite partial to this review of my first novel. 

What's the best gift you've ever been given? 

LH: The opportunity to be a writer, which was given to me by my husband. Also, does anyone remember Pound Puppies? Those stuffed dogs that supposedly originated in some sort of imaginary animal shelter? I got one of those for Christmas when I was little and it was amazing.

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What did you think of today's story? Use the hashtag #ssac2017 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to check in with your fellow advent calendarians.

Michael Hingston