Hayter was born in Pouce Coupe, British Columbia, Canada and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1982, she graduated in film and television production from New York University. Among other things, she worked for CNN in Atlanta, New York, and Washington, for WABC in New York and Global Television in Toronto. At the time of the Afghan civil war, she moved to Pakistan and then went along with the Mujahedin to Afghanistan, reporting for the Toronto Star. After this, she decided to give up journalism as a career. After her return to the U.S. she married and began her career as a comic and a writer. She moved briefly to Tokyo, then on her return to New York divorced and went to live in the famous Chelsea Hotel.
In 1993, she published her first novel, What's a Girl Gotta Do, the first in the Robin Hudson series, which proved her breakthrough. In a starred review, Publisher's Weekly called it "flat-out funny, audacious, and a little bit weird, Hayter stakes out territory all her own." She wrote for the New York Times Op-Ed Page, the Nation and Toronto Globe and Mail, was a regular participant on CNN's talk show "CNN & Company" and was also seen on Good Day New York, NPR, CBC, BBC and Paris Premiere. In late 2001 she moved to Paris, where she joined the Kilometer Zero arts cooperative and lived in the famous In fact art squat. In 2007-2008, she fulfilled a long dream of working in Bollywood, where she bought Indian films for a Canadian movie network and produced video promos and interviews to support the programming for "Bollywood Saturday Night."
In 1995 she received the Arthur Ellis Award (Best First Crime Novel) of the Crime Writers of Canada for her novel What's A Girl Gotta Do?. In 1998, she became the first winner of the UK's Sherlock award for "Best Comic Detective."
Hayter has also performed as a stand-up. She went on publish two more novels and numerous stories and essays. In 1999-2000, she spearheaded the Tart Noir website, with author Katy Munger. Hayter currently lives in Canada with her Nepali rescue dog Alice and is working on another book.
Robin Hudson series
- 1994: What's A Girl Gotta Do?
- 1996: Nice Girls Finish Last
- 1997: Revenge of the Cootie Girls
- 1998: The Last Manly Man
- 2000: The Chelsea Girl Murders
- 2005: Last Girl Standing
- 2002: Naked Brunch
- 2004: Bandit Queen Boogie
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