My Favorite Bit: Kelly Swails talks about THIS MAY GO ON YOUR PERMANENT RECORD

My Favorite Bit iconKelly Swails is joining us today with her novel This May Go On Your Permanent Record. Here’s the publisher’s description:

Sally Clark is curious about how technology works, which would be fine except her experiments tend to be illegal. She’s also a terrible liar, which is why she ends up in court for stealing groceries with nothing but a hacked smart phone. While the judge isn’t impressed that her alcoholic mother had traded the grocery money for booze, she is intrigued by Sally’s hacking skills. The judge offers Sally a deal to keep her out of Juvenile Detention. The only one caveat: if Sally fails, she’s going straight to Juvie. Sally accepts, and before the end of the day she’s enrolled in the School for Extraordinary Youth. She’s barely unpacked her bags when she discovers that SEY is a prep school for world domination.

What’s Kelly’s favorite bit?

Permanent Record-cover-900x1350


At the School for Extraordinary Youth, freshmen have to go through an Induction Ceremony before even school begins. This ceremony determines two things: a student’s suitability for the school and their initial class rank. Success means you live to fight another day. Failure means you’re packing your bags to try your luck at a regular school.

One of my favorite chapters in the whole book is Sally’s Induction Ceremony. Not only was it enormously fun to write, it also serves to introduce the reader to Sally’s world. Unlike most other students at SEY, Sally didn’t know the school existed before she arrived; she only had time to glance at a few brochures and her class schedule before she begins her Induction. We see Sally’s ingenuity when she listens to other student’s answers in the hopes that they will help her. We also watch Sally persevere wrong answers (it turns out she doesn’t know how to get a fake passport or the melting point of plutonium). We learn who founded the school, the radius of the quad, and an easy way to launder money.

Another reason I love this chapter: it introduces three people who will help shape the course of Sally’s life at SEY. We meet Cody, who will become Sally’s best friend; Mallory, the smartest girl in the class; and Justine, the mean girl who will become Sally’s mortal enemy. Sally and Cody have an easy friendship. Sally wants to like Mallory but isn’t sure she can be trusted. Justine is out to get Sally banished from SEY from the moment they meet. It was fun to discover the dynamic between each of the characters as they appeared on the page. It was as though Sally and her peers already existed and they were letting me transcribe their lives. For a writer, it doesn’t get much better than that.






Kelly Swails is an editor, author, recovering microbiologist, and crazy cat lady. Her work has appeared in several anthologies. This May Go on Your Permanent Record is her first published novel. She and her husband live in Chicago and spend their time enjoying everything the city has to offer.

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3 thoughts on “My Favorite Bit: Kelly Swails talks about THIS MAY GO ON YOUR PERMANENT RECORD”

  1. I’d really like to get this but I’m having trouble finding a way to buy it through that link.

  2. I’m with Stephanie. Looks interesting, but can’t find it.
    The kickstarter link goes to, but I can’t find any mention of this book on their website. Not in store or catalog or the site’s search link.
    The link to Kelly’s website works, but her mention of this book on the website also goes to, where see above.
    Can’t check the twitter link from here.

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