by Gabino Iglesias
You want to talk about talented duos? It doesn’t get better than these two. Seriously. Andersen Prunty is one of my favorite authors, an editor/publisher whose taste I agree with and whose work ethic I admire, and a man I got to “study” for an author spotlight I wrote for The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. CV Hunt is ridiculously talented, keeps surprising me with each new book (seriously Other People’s Shit was crazy and funny in ways I didn’t know she could pull off), and has delivered three outstanding books in less than a year. Almost as important as all that is the fact that they’re both Book People, my kind of people. Who wouldn’t want a peek at their shelves?
Who are you and what role do books play in your life?
CV: My name is C.V. Hunt and sometimes I write stories. I’ve always been an avid reader and never imagined I would be writing someday. I like to think all those books I read were research for finding my voice when I finally sat down to write. I still read every day, but I find myself engrossed in more than just the writing now. Certain things like the layout, the publisher, and the cover design now have my attention. Before I starting writing I read books solely based on the back cover description.
AP: My name is Andersen Prunty. Books take up at least 38-41 percent of my life. That fluctuates periodically. Sometimes it’s as much as 62-71 percent. I write books sometimes. I edit other writers’ and my own books. I publish other writers’ and my own books. I’ve worked in bookstores for about five of my twenty working years. At my current day job, I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I don’t watch a lot of TV, don’t even have cable, and books fill the void this cultural anomaly inevitably creates.
What are some of your favorites? Are there any books you both love? Are there any books you guys ended up with two copies of after moving in together?
CV: My favorite books are always changing. Right now I’d say my favorites are Tampa, American Psycho, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Invisible Monsters. I think Andersen and I both agree that American Psycho is a great book. A lot of times we try to read the same book within days of each other so we can discuss it. We did end up with a few doubles, but some of the doubles were books Andersen had bought and didn’t think he already owned. I’ve started a shelf on Goodreads of everything we own so we can consult it when we raid a book store.
(The shelf is amazing. You can check it out here.)
AP: We both had copies of American Psycho and Fight Club. Carrie had the ridiculous movie tie-in version of American Psycho so we donated it. But her copy of Fight Club was a first edition so it was way better than mine. Recently, I think we’ve both really liked Mike Kleine’s Mastodon Farm (full disclosure: I published this through Atlatl) and Alissa Nutting’s Tampa. Also, when we first met I remember talking about how much we both liked Bentley Little’s The Association. I have many many favorite books. Too many to name, probably. And I hardly ever re-read things. Some of the books that I have gone back to or could see myself going back to in the future are:
When folks have a few dozen books, space/cleaning/moving are not problems. When you have shelves upon shelves upon shelves, things change. How was your recent move and how much of a pain was it to move all those books?
CV: I think we ended up with sixty boxes of books that had to be moved. Andersen was in charge of alphabetizing them once we were in the new place.
AP: We moved from a one-bedroom, 500 square-foot apartment to a house that is much larger so space isn’t really a problem. One room is just completely empty so we’ll probably eventually put books in there. Or maybe a meth lab, depending on the economy.
The move was challenging. My brother and I tried transporting the boxes of books to the lobby of the building via handtruck and somehow broke the elevator in the process. It subsequently involved a frantic call to the building manager where I informed her that if I had to carry 50 boxes of books down six flights of stairs I would probably die and she would have that on her hands. Miraculously, the elevator started working and we felt victorious.
Sharing a space with a writer for a prolonged period of time can lead to insanity and, in many cases, bloodshed. How do you two manage to deal with the pressures than come from writing, publishing, editing, plugging, etc.?
CV: I actually find it to be less stressful. He’s the most supportive person in my life and he understands the time constraints when you work a day job. We usually set aside an hour or two in the evenings to work on our own projects. We’re both considerate and try to not be a distraction to other if one of us is obsessed with finishing something or getting to a good stopping point.
AP: Weekly shaming.
What can you tell us about your latest book? Why should we go get it yesterday?
CV: I recently self-published a novelette titled Baby Hater. If you’re really into reading a story about a woman who punches babies in the face then you should check it out.
AP: Sociopaths in Love. People seem to love it or hate it. One guy on Goodreads recommended it to sadists and filed it on one of his shelves labeled “absolute trash.” I feel really good about that!
You’re both prolific, so I’ll throw in one more question: What’s next?
CV: I’m bouncing back and forth between two projects at the moment. I’m compiling a short story collection and writing a book. I’m an organic writer so I’m usually secretive about writing projects because I’m afraid I’ll jinx the story somehow. I don’t even let Andersen read anything until I’m 100% done and it’s ready for the final edit. The working title of the book is Hell’s Waiting Room and I still haven’t come up with a title for the short story collection.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias