The happiest news, really: I’m thrilled to report that my next novel, SILVER GIRL, is going to be published by Unnamed Press, a fabulous small press based in L.A. It seems entirely possible that the novel will be out in the winter of 2018!!
In a fortuitous turn of events that indicates that this pairing absolutely has to be destiny, I actually conducted an interview with Unnamed Press in 2014, so you can read how fabulous they are right here: http://www.workinprogressinprogress.com/2014/04/favorite-small-presses-unnamed-press.html
I’m working on my “elevator speech” about the book, but here’s an attempt: Set in the 80s, SILVER GIRL is about a destructive friendship between two girls from very different backgrounds who end up at a fancy college in the Chicago area…set against a backdrop of the Tylenol murders, when someone stuffed cyanide into Tylenol capsules and returned them to the drugstore shelves (which one could do because this was before product packaging was sealed; actually, this is WHY intense product packaging came about).
Here’s the opening:
My roommate arrived first, staking her claim. Probably someone told her do it that way, her cum laude mother or Ivy League dad or an older sibling or cousin in college. I had no one telling me anything. So I didn’t know to take the overnight bus to Chicago from Iowa instead of the one arriving late in the afternoon, meaning when I unlocked the dorm room door I saw a fluffy comforter with bright poppies already arranged on the bed along the wall with the window, cracked open to grab the only breeze. Several dozen white plastic hangers holding blazers and skirts and blouses filled the closet with the door where F.U. wasn’t gouged into the wood.
I rubbed my fingers along the grooves of those letters, imagining a deeply angry freshman girl digging a nail file from the clutter of her purse, carving those letters into the wood while at the library her roommate wrote a smart paper about Jane Austen or blew her boyfriend in a car parked by the lake or spray-painted acorns lustrous gold for table centerpieces at a sorority mother-daughter tea. I hoped my roommate wouldn’t be that angry girl.
Also, I hoped I wouldn’t be.
Here are two chapters that appeared online, in slightly different form:
~~~“Headache,” in WIPS/Works (of Fiction) in Progress Journal: http://www.wipsjournal.com/leslie-pietrzyk-headache-a-chapter-excerpt-from-the-novel-silver-girl/
~~~“Shadow Daughter,” in The Hudson Review: http://hudsonreview.com/2017/01/shadow-daughter/#.WUmdTWjytPY
So much to do to bring a book into the world…and please, please do let me know if there’s a reading series or bookstore or party at your house that you think I should know about! I’d love to do a reading and see YOU there!