PW: “Hunting” begins: “Here’s what I have to say.” I immediately thought: okay, I’m in for a campfire or bar chair type of chat. Was the intent of the first line to suggest that this was the type of storytelling the reader was in for?
AH: Yeah. The story isn’t urgent. It’s pretty passive, really. The “Here’s what I have to say:” stories that exist in my life, with kids like me in bars or around bonfires or whatever, usually aren’t pressing. Pressing in the same way it is when, say, your dad or girlfriend says, “Here’s what I have to say.”
Reading it, there are several ways to emphasize the phrase. The dude who hasn’t had a chance to speak: “Here’s what I have to say.” The dude who has something seriously important to say “Here’s what I have to say.” The dude who had a couple too many Ruthless Ryes and lost track of himself for a second: “Here’s what I have to say.”
All the stories I wrote around this time had an intro like that, “Here’s my side of the story:” or “This was the same summer as yadda yadda yadda:”–conversational intros, I guess. The same way my friends tell stories on porches. None of my Muncie friends read stories like I do, so it’s like, yeah, I guess I’ll aim for them re: language and theme and whatever else. I think the intro seems to build it up, making it personal right away.