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

Suburban Mosaic eventtop comments

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 …

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Teen angst!top comments

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, …

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Releasetop comments

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

 

Bookplate info

A few people have asked me about this. If you have one of my books and want me to send you a signed bookplate, it is FREE to you. Send me a message through my contact form with your address (US addresses only), and I’ll mail one out. Alternatively, you can stalk me in the grocery store parking lot and ask me to sign a book there. Not really. Please don’t stalk me in the grocery store parking lot.

 

Suburban Mosaic Program

Oh wow! I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am that Permanent Record was chosen as the teen title for the Suburban Mosaic Book of the Year program 2014-15! Similar to Chicago’s One Book program, Suburban Mosaic serves a consortium of suburban school districts and libraries in northern Illinois. This reading list selects books that highlight issues of racial and social justice and that strive to break down the barriers between people. I will be doing events and programs over …

 

Under the radar

Recently, I read this review of Permanent Record (the audiobook, narrated masterfully by the wondrous Nick Podehl). The reviewer had thanked another blogger for turning her on to my novel, and that blogger commented that she loved it too, adding, “I feel like this book is so under the radar.” That is a gentler way of saying, “No one has ever heard of it.” Damn. That is sad. But it’s a fitting place for me, under the radar. It’s where I’ve …

 

Learner’s Permit

The raccoon hit us; that much I know. It ambled across the street in that idle, diffident way of raccoons and stopped directly in our path. Shrewd, glinting eyes reflected our headlights’ glare, and then it turned, gunning for us. By God, it knew what it was doing. I turned the steering wheel to the left slightly, hoping to circumvent carnage, but my father grabbed it and jerked me back to center. “Never veer from your course!” he screamed. I …

 
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