Contributor Q&A with Lee Matalone

Lee Matalone’’s story Loved Things appeared in Issue 16 of Sundog Lit. Lee is the author of the novel Home Making, and her writing has also been featured in The Offing, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, Denver Quarterly, and Hobart, among other places. 

Tell us a little about your writing process (from the first word to the last edit).
Lately my writing process is less tidy than usual. I write when I feel I have the energy for it, at odd times of the day, for widely varying extents of time, on a range of things, from fragments to a potential second book project. Haphazard writing for haphazard times. I was once the, get-up-every-morning-and-force-some-words person, but that isn’t working right now. Maybe it’s because I’m in between my first novel and my second book, or maybe it’s because of the pandemic, but I think I’m in the process of reexamining my process. I think it may be different now than it was in my twenties, when I wrote my first novel. Priorities are shifting, and so too must the writing process (perhaps).

What is something you’re fascinated with at the moment?
Swarm intelligence and impulsive, violent women.

Describe the last thing you read in five words.
Hint: “The fact that..” novel

Is there a place that has inspired your writing? If so, where is it and what about it made for good material?
The most obvious, geographic location to figure into my writing is Louisiana. The state is a very moody place, and by that, I mean the energy of it affects you whether you consent to it or not. I’ve lived in New Orleans and Lake Charles, which are at the opposite ends of the state and offer different qualities of Louisiana-ness. It’s hard to describe what Louisiana is and how it affects you, so I really just encourage anyone who hasn’t been to get into a car and drive down there. Drive from New Orleans over the Bonnet Carré Spillway into Baton Rouge, head through to Lafayette and then to Lake Charles, go north to Shreveport. Drink whiskey with a stranger at the Golden Nugget. Wander through the French Quarter on a Sunday morning, when the street sweepers haven’t flushed away last night’s beads and plastic cups yet (when it’s safe to do all of the above, of course).

Coffee, tea, or neither?

Physical books or e-books?

What are you working on now?
Co-writing a book with a robotics expert about his experiences, personal and professional. Working on a short story about a woman who feels herself becoming a ghost shark, which has the unique characteristic of a thorny, retractable phallus that protrudes from its head. Etc.

Any recommendations for readers, i.e. books, movies, television, art, anything under the sun?
Did you see the Saints game against the Chargers last week? Good stuff.

Keep up with Lee by checking out and following them on Instagram, @livelaughleelee, and Twitter, @lee_matalone. You can also read more great work from the latest issue of Sundog by clicking here. Until next time!