Permanent Record

Available now: my new YA novel, Permanent Record (Skyscape, 2013). In post-9/11 America, a bullied Muslim teenager retaliates against his tormentors—with dangerous results. Praise for Permanent Record Selected as the 2014-15 teen title for the Suburban Mosaic Book of the Year  Selected by...

Leslie Stella

Library Lifetop comments

This fall I did a presentation at Mount Prospect Public Library for the Suburban Mosaic Book Award, for which my novel Permanent Record was chosen as their 2014 Teen Book of the Year. I sweated my way through the event, and the cable show “Library Life” was kind enough to document it. My segment starts around 17:34. Whew. Even thinking about public speaking right now, from the safety of my dark, lonely desk, gives me the fears. Luckily, the library …

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I’ve moved on. Like many losers, I’ve decided to open a franchise restaurant. But this is my own creation—MY OWN, MY PRECIOUS—the first in a long line of franchises operated by the disenfranchised. Please contact me by the Dumpster behind the restaurant after 11 p.m. if you’d like information on opening one in your neighborhood. We will meet under cover of night. We will eat the dinner rolls I am about to throw out. I know it’s turning cold. December. Chicago. …

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We Had Wordstop comments

Sorry, whoever is following this thing I do. This thing I do less and less. Blog, write, live appropriately. It’s been a while since I shared a lengthy treatise on pumpkin spice, on red velvet, on D&D, on failure and publishing and the times I became a guttural, howling mess in the solace of my laundry room. A list of things that currently make me anxious: Nougat (the substance and the word, double win) Too many emails No email Sleep The first 50+ …

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Horror Storytop comments

I know that summer is over. I won’t say I’ve made peace with it, because that would require some sort of adult maturity on my part. I never want it to end. The sweating, the humidity, the skin-frying sunlight, the cancerous death rays from our enemy, the sun. I like the clothes, the beautiful summer dresses that I ruin with Lord-Board footwear, I like the Lord-Boards themselves, I adore the exposure of my hideous scarred knees. August dies, and with it goes …

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Suburban Mosaic event

I survived last night’s event for the Suburban Mosaic Program at Mt. Prospect Public Library. I say “survived” because some of you are acquainted with my three crippling fears: 1.) Public speaking 2.) Traveling 3.) the dentist Luckily my dental checkup was last week, so I got that psychological trauma out of the way. Even though I babbled incoherently for the recorded interview I did with a local cable access program, “Library Life,” the rest of the program went well. I noticed …

 

Teen angst!

I love the headline for this event I’m doing on Monday, Sept 15: “Teen Angst Author to Talk Issues at Mt. Prospect Library.” I’m no longer a teen, but I still have plenty of angst. Perhaps more now than ever. It makes me sound so serious, all the angst and issues and talking. I promise, it will be a good time! I’m only angsty in private. I’ll read from Permanent Record and answer questions about the book, writing, publishing, and my day-to-day freak-outs, …

 

Release

I broke down in the laundry room the other day. (Laundry room … makes me sound fancy, a room devoted to laundry, a whole room! Instead of a damp corner in our hellhole of a basement.) Trying to find a job and scrounge money from lost sources and be an involved parent and coping with the death of summer and the slow demise of my career, I lost it while ironing a pair of shorts from Old Navy that I look terrible …

 

Love Songs for the Unemployed

Have you had your Lumbergh Moment yet? The Lumbergh Moment is that instant when a job becomes so oppressive that you realize you must quit, get fired, or lay waste to the workplace, spreading fire in your wake. I will soon be underemployed again. No Lumbergh Moment this time around, though. The company is just going to dissolve next year, and POOF—it’ll be like it was never there at all. The money was beyond hideous for the amount of hours …

 

Cars and cops and Cleveland

Playing music so loud in my car that people on the sidewalk stop and stare. Also, am driving a 2005 station wagon and listening to Weird Al. Remember in 1988 when you saw me driving my mom’s Celica down Cedar Road and I was blasting “Dopeman”? You were laughing, but I thought I was cool. I loved her car. I loved when we ambushed Jim on his birthday and blindfolded him and dragged him off Coventry Road and threw him in the …

 

Weezer, wherefore art thou?

I have not blogged much recently. I’ve been busy coaching softball to 7-year-old girls and stewing about past injustices. I’ll try to bring you up to speed on things. Behold: the new cover for the paperback and Kindle editions of Permanent Record, on sale early August.  It took awhile for my publisher, agent, and me to agree on an image. Apparently there is a dearth of nonthreatening brown-skinned boys in the stock photo archives. But I like what the designer came up …

 
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