Pitlor, 44, has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories collection since 2007. She holds a master's degree in creative writing from Emerson College in Massachusetts and is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Her most recent novel is the mystery The Daylight Marriage. She and her family live outside Boston.
What's on your nightstand?
The first one is The Miracle Girl, a novel by Andrew Roe. I haven't started it yet. It just came out. The next one is Contenders by Erika Krouse. I love it so far. It's really badass. It's this really cool book about a woman street fighter who robs men. Her niece is sent to live with her. She has a really fresh, wonderful voice. I'm also reading Elena Ferrante, The Days of Abandonment. It's intense.
How do you think she creates the intensity?
It's about a woman whose husband left her. She's incredibly angry. A lot of writers shy away from anger, and this one does not. It's really an emotional read. And I've got The Unspeakable by Meghan Daum. I think she is very honest, with no bells and whistles.
Can you describe how The Daylight Marriage came about?
I had this idea for it, but it changed over time. The basic idea was there, but the plot changed dramatically. In the beginning, which was a long time ago, my husband and I lived in a small town and, right around the time I started it, a woman and baby were shot by her husband. It was all over the news. I found myself riveted. I started thinking about stories of the women who captivate us and captivate the media. Why should we care so much? It ended up being a different story, but that was the entry point.
Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163. Follow @Florida_PBJC.