Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Writers in the Storm appearance...

Hi folks,

I'm on Jenny Hansen's blogpost today all day at http://writersinthestormblog.com/?p=31532 !

The topic is character description and we've already got a lively discussion going on. Hope you can  join us.

Blue skies,
Les

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Debut novel launched today!


Hi folks,
It is with great pleasure that I’m announcing another one of our classmates in my online novel-writing class has just had the novel he worked on in class launched today! Here’s the synopsis and some early reviews:


An epic of Cuba meets the classic hero's journey in The Vexing Heirloom, an immersive adventure and fallen idealist’s quest for redemption.
It is the Cuban War of Independence, 1896. The medallion around the woman’s throat is there for Hilaríon’s taking, but the soldier-turned-highwayman cannot bring himself to commit murder. He chases the mysterious woman, Ypriána, into the wilds. He’ll seize his plunder, then while away the rest of his life in some far-flung corner of the globe. But when she tempts him with a better choice, something inside of him leaps at the chance.
Ypriána is a savior on a mission—or so she believes. Her people, the M’Brae, have long lived in darkness, but an ancient promise of priceless treasure gives them a glimmer of hope. Only through her can they overcome the Vexing Heirloom, the deadly gauntlet preceding the treasure, yet she needs Hilaríon’s help. The thief hears only one word: treasure.
As armies clash all around them, Hilaríon and Ypriána marshal her people along the perilous quest, which will bring them face-to-face with savage enemies, mind-bending riddles, and treachery even within their own ranks. Seeing himself through Ypriána’s eyes, Hilaríon staggers ever closer unto redemption, yet he finds the mounting questions more trying still. Is finding treasure worth such pain? Could the treasure be more than just a prize?
And in their darkest hour, as the line between friend and foe vanishes, Hilaríon must forsake what he most desires and find the hero within.
Praise for The Vexing Heirloom
"What makes The Vexing Heirloom such a remarkable debut—and T.G. Monahan such a formidable writer—is the combination of a rich Cuban history with elements of magic realism overlain, delivered with page-turning and crackling tension. This is polished prose, a solid story, and a unique voice. This is a writer to watch."
—Les Edgerton, author of Hooked, Bomb! and sixteen other titles
"With the spirit of poets, T.G. Monahan delivers Cuba—myth, legend and history, in an epic journey of ever-unfolding mystery. With lucid descriptions, heartfelt characters and a pace that draws you in like treasure to the jungle, The Vexing Heirloom screams Cuba Libre!"
—Liam Sweeny, author of Welcome Back, Jack!
"Monahan has crafted a gorgeous novel, artfully balancing action and adventure with obsession and intrigue, and delivers it near perfectly, through beautifully crafted prose."
—Maegan Beaumont, award-winning author of Blood of Saints
"The Vexing Heirloom is a lyrical, mystical journey through a Cuba the world has never seen before, but definitely should. Rich with mythology and magic, it’s an experience readers will not soon forget."
—Leah Rhyne, author of Heartless

Join Todd on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 6:00 PM at The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany, New York 12203 for a book signing!

Grab a copy--you'll enjoy the read immensely!

Blue skies,
Les

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I'll be on Susan Wingate's show today!

Hi folks,

My Halfzeimer's must have taken over--I just received a reminder that I'll be interviewed today at 1:00 EST on Susan Wingate's show! Sorry for the late notice--if you get a chance, tune in. Here's the link:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dialogue/2017/04/25/join-host-susan-wingate-while-she-talks-with-author-les-edgerton


Hope to see you there!

Blue skies,
Les


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A sad, sad day

Hi folks,

Today is a very sad day for me. One of my best friends, author Lesley Ann Sharrock (who wrote under the pen name, Lesley Welsh) has unexpectedly passed away. Lesley and I worked closely together on all of her novels, including her latest one which is scheduled to be released on June 14.

(Please click on Lesley's photo for the link to take you to her Author's Page and books on Amazon.)

I had just gotten an email from her a few days ago, telling me she was sending me a copy of The Serial Killer’s Daughter and had included me in the acknowledgements as she always did, when I was blindsided from an email from Paul Brazill, our mutual friend, letting me know that her daughter Estelle had just posted the sad news on Lesley’s Facebook page. Then, before I could even read it, I got another email from another mutual friend, Vince Zandri, who gave me the same news. All of us are in deep shock.

I met Lesley about four years ago when she contacted me to see if I would be willing to work with her on a novel she was writing. As soon as I read the first pages, I was in. Just brilliant story-telling. She eventually joined our online novel-writing class, but eventually dropped out as she wanted to just work one-on-one. Over the years, we not only worked closely as colleagues, but became fast friends. An ex-pat Brit, she was living in Spain. Prior to our meeting, she had her ex-husband had edited several of Europe’s top magazines from London, but had decided to move to Spain and work on her fiction.

The world of letters has lost a magnificent writer. Those who knew her have lost a wonderful friend. She will be sorely missed.

Here is information about Lesley from her Amazon Author’s page:

Lesley Welsh was born in Strawberry Field children’s home and raised on a notorious Liverpool council estate. Later she moved to London, where she studied English and drama and worked as a freelance writer specialising in alternative lifestyles. Her articles appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Clare, Red, Bite, Forum, Time Out and many others before she established Moondance Media, a magazine publishing company. Her dark and compelling short story Mrs Webster’s Obsession was turned into a film. She now lives and works in Spain. 

Her first crime novel 'Truth Lies Buried' was published by Thomas & Mercer in June 2016 and has been nominated for the CWA Golden Dagger Award as the best crime novel of 2016. Her second 'The Serial Killer's Daughter' will be out in June 2017, published by Bookouture,

Give her books a read—you’ll be greatly pleased.

Blue skies,
Les



Another great review from Germany for The Rapist

Hi folks,

My German publisher, Frank Nowatzke of Pulp Master, just sent me the Google translation of another rave review in a Stuttgart newspaper. You can read the original German version at:

Translation:

“Stuttgart - Frank Nowatzkis Pulp Master is well known as a publishing house for disturbing ones. Seamus Smyth's "Revenge of Revenge" and Gerald Kersh's "The Dead Look" are books that are hard to bear in their artistic and historical truth. Les Edgerton, whose novel "Der Vergewaltiger" ("Der Verwaltiger"), has also looked quite a bit since its appearance - but there is no historical event in the background but only the guilt of an individual (the one with the atonement is in this case such a thing ). The author has not thought of a hero, but an enemy of man who, intelligently and formally educated, faces his surroundings only with hatred and contempt. This Truman Ferris Pinter goes his way, he is financially independent and does not have to work as a teacher, anyway he finds students disgusting.

One night, Pinter watches three men and a woman while sex on the way home in the forest. During the day, the girl dives with him while he is fishing and starts to mock him. There is a quarrel, Pinter rests and rapes his victim. Afterwards, he says in court, he says in the prison, he tells the reader that the girl has stumbled, headed against a stone, and drowned in the river.


Pinter is sentenced to death for murder, in prison, he examines the past, analyzes his presence, paints his future, and mentions, as by chance, authors such as Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. As an "unreliable narrator", he leaves the reader unclear as to what is to be said of all this. True to Truman Ferris Pinter is just his cold - and the fate that is heading for it. Or in the end not? How good that the illuminating epilogue of Ekkehard Knörer classifies this extraordinary piece of literature.”

There have been a dozen great reviews so far!






Blue skies,
Les

Friday, April 14, 2017

TWO OPENINGS IN OUR ONLINE NOVEL-WRITING CLASS AVAILABLE

Hi folks,

*Update: Folks, the openings have been filled so alas I can't take any more for this session. If interested, however, we can add as many auditors as there are applicants. If interested in auditing, please contact me. You see everything we do in class and although you don't participate, what you'll observe are usually the same mistakes almost all writers make and I've gotten nothing but positive feedback from those who've audited in the past. Typical is one auditor who told me that he'd learned more about writing in one ten-week session of watching us at work than he'd learned in the whole of his MFA experience. We teach with the sole goal of publication.*



Well, we’re just finishing up our final week on the current session of my online novel-writing class, “Les Edgerton’s Bootcamp for Writers,” and find ourselves with the rarity of a couple of openings. Our next session will begin on April 30 and consists of a ten-week session, with the probability of taking a week off sometime during the term to recharge batteries.

This is a call for new class members. Not sure how many openings we’ll have as we offer vacancies first to our auditors.

The basics are the course costs $400 and it’s limited to ten people. The $400 is nonrefundable, as if a person quits during the session it would be impossible to fill that vacancy. As this is my primary source of income, it would be detrimental for myself and my family. It’s very rare that anyone opts out once begun, however. In over five years, there have only been two.

We’ve had a remarkable history of success. Nearly everyone over the past six years who has become a part of our class has gone on to being legitimately published and/or secured a good literary agent. In fact, that is our only goal—to become legitimately published.



A couple of our current and former class members meet up in Scottsdale, AZ.

I try to warn people who are thinking of joining us, how tough the class is, but I know from past experience that even so forewarned, at least some are going to be in for a shock when they see that we really don’t hold hands, pat people on the back for minimum efforts, or overlook writing that doesn’t work. I’m not cruel (at least I don’t think so) nor are any of the oldtimers in class, but most new folks haven’t been exposed to a class like ours. The truth is, most writers who haven’t had a class like ours has been praised in other classes or most likely, has been in classes that use the “sandwich” method of teaching. You know—that deal where the teach applies a bit of praise, then a bit of criticism, and then a bit of praise. Well, that ain’t our shtick. Not even close. The comments we all provide on everyone’s work fit one definition only. They’re honest.
This isn’t to be mean or to act like we’re the only folks around who know what good writing is. Except… we do. I’m not aware of any other class out there with the kind of track record ours enjoys. Virtually every writer who stays the course with us ends up with a top agent and/or a book deal. That doesn’t happen in a single ten-week session. About the earliest anyone has earned an agent or book deal in our class has been about a year. And, that’s reasonable.
The thing is, our writers don’t expect things to be easy.

From a student several years ago:
Hi ________. Since Les opened the floor for comments from the "class veterans" I'm chipping in with my two cents. I have a file cabinet filled with stuff I sent Les and then needed asbestos gloves to take the paper off the printer. When I started this journey, I'd never taken an English class past high school. (I was pre-med in college) I figured I love to read, so how hard can it be? Okay, quit laughing at me. Clearly, when I wrote my first version of my first novel, I had no idea about story structure, POV, any of that. I figured I'm pretty articulate and therefore I can write?
Les quickly set me straight. All of this is to point out that we've all been on the receiving end of Les' brutal honesty. I will find some of the comments he made on my work and post them but phrases like "throwing up in my mouth now" and "bury this so deep in the yard no one ever finds it" are seared into my brain and I don't have to look to find those!!! The point is, I took other classes before I met Les and the teachers were kind and gentle and never told me I sucked. If it weren't for Les, I'd still be churning out awful drivel that makes people want to throw up instead of trying not to throw up while I wait to see if my agent is able to sell my book. I would never have gotten an agent without Les. So hang in there. Listen to everything he says and if it doesn't make sense, ask away.

The novel that I am currently trying to sell has been a work in progress since 2009. The first time Les saw it he sent it back and told me to re-write the WHOLE thing!!! My character was a wimp. She sat back and let things happen to her. I argued a little, rewrote a little and then moved on to another book. After a year, I went back and reread it and saw the truth. It was awful. So I took a deep breath and started over. Page one. First sentence. Re-wrote the entire thing. It took a full year and then I revised it again. It's definitely a process. But once you get the Inciting incident and the outline steps down pat, it's a whole lot easier. Trust me!!! And you'll never graduate completely. A few months ago, Les and I went head-to-head on one single passage. I was trying to be lazy and take the easy way out. He called me on it and I resubmitted three or four weeks in a row, revisions on the same passage. I was sure my classmates were so sick of it they were going to stick needles in their eyes rather than read it again! But in the end, the passage rocked!! So hang in there!!!! It'll get better. (Note: This novel sold and the writer is currently working on her fifth novel.)

From Les:
I figured I’d let some of the class members give you their take on our class. They don’t hold back and they all have tough skins. They will all tell you the same thing. It isn’t a class for sissies or for those who need their hands held or lots of pats on the back. Becoming published is hard, hard work and isn’t an undertaking for sissies. To get there, our students know they have to put on their Big Boy and Big Girl pants and expect to work harder than they ever have in their lives—and to never, ever “settle” their standards of excellence.

Class members come from all over the globe. We’ve had students from the UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Spain, all parts of the U.S., Canada, Australia, Luxembourg and many other places. We work with writers in virtually every genre on the bookshelves.

The way class works is that the class is divided into two equal groups. We used to have just one group, but it got to be too much for many students. In the past, everybody in the class was required to read everybody else’s work each week and provide in-depth comments on everyone’s work. That meant they had to read nine other class members’ work and deliver intelligent commentary on each one. We’ve since evolved to a more manageable number where now each class member reads and delivers comments on just four other classmates’ work. I provide comments on everybody’s work and that’s why the class is limited to only ten. With ten writers, I can give each person the quality of time and analysis each deserves.

Each week begins on Sunday evening, when people can begin submitting their weekly pages from Sunday until Thursday. If it’s a new writer to the class, they are allowed to submit their first five pages of their novel, plus an outline which consists of five statements and a total of 15-20 words. Oldtimers in class call this “inciting incident hell.” If the outline isn’t working and their beginning doesn’t represent the inciting incident as provided in their outline, they are required to keep submitting each week until it does. Our feeling is if they haven’t thought through their novels sufficiently and provided a publishable novel structure (evidenced by the outline), then they most likely don’t have a novel ready to be written and to simply plunge ahead will almost invariably lead to an unfinished novel. We don’t want that.

Once they’ve been okayed for the beginning, from thereafter they can submit up to eight pages per week, along with the others in class.

Time zones don’t matter. Everybody’s work, including everyone’s comments and my own comments on each person’s work each week is posted on the class site and folks can go to it any time of the day or night. Class members can begin sending back their comments on each others’ in their group from Sunday through the following Sunday, when it begins again. Although, in practicality, most members send in their work each week on Wednesdays and Thursdays. It’s like being in an “on-ground” class in that everything said or done in class is seen by everybody.

We do have a chat function and people use it all the time, even though they’re in different time zones. One of the best things about this class is that we have lots of oldtimers who know from their own experience what works in a novel and what doesn’t and more importantly… why it works or doesn’t work. It’s like having a group of seven or eight other professionals helping you with your own novel. Probably at any given time in class, there will be four or five who already have had a novel or several published as a result of being in class, so it’s a really rarefied group. And, if you think that you couldn’t operate in a situation like this because you’re a beginner, that simply isn’t the case here at all. Nearly every single person in each class began just the way you did, as a rank beginner. And, they remember and they have complete empathy for your situation, if you’re a beginning writer.

It’s not a situation of simply saying, “This doesn’t work.” Myself and others in class will surely say that, but we then let you know why it didn’t work and give you solid suggestions on how to make it work. We collectively have a nurturing nature and all of us want the newcomer to succeed just about as badly as that writer wants to.

If you are still interested but still feel intimidated, I think if you simply look at how the class works, you’ll quickly see how you’ll fit in comfortably. Since we’ve got one week left in class, for anyone who would like to see up close and personal how we work as a class, I’d be delighted to give you auditor status for our last week. Besides class members, we also have an auditor function which works the same as it does in a “regular” college class. You’re admitted to class and can view every single thing we’re doing and the entire class session is archived and easy to access. Normally, the cost of auditing the class is $50, but for our last week, for those interested in simply getting a look at how we work, just email me at butchedgerton@comcast.net and let me know and I’ll have our class administrator, Holly, get you on board asap.

I know there are no doubt a lot of questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me at any time and ask me anything you’d like.

From past experience, when we’ve had openings like this, they go quickly, so if you are interested, please get in touch, okay?

For those interested in such things, here are a few of my own qualifications to teach writing.

MFA in Writing from Vermont College
Taught writing for the UCLA Writer’s Program
Taught writing via Skype for the New York Writer’s Workshop
Writer-in-Residence for three years for the University of Toledo
Writer-in-Residence for one year for Trine University
Taught writing classes for St. Francis University
Taught writing classes for Phoenix College
Taught writing for Writer’s Digest Online Classes
Taught writing classes for Vermont College
Published 19 books, including craft books on writing, novels, sports books, YA novel, historical nonfiction book, humor nonfiction, black comedy novel, noir, thrillers, literary and existential fiction.
Dozens of short stories published in such publications as The South Carolina Review, High Plains Literary Review, Aethlon, Flatmancrooked, Murdaland and many others.
A lot of living… much of it as an outlaw…

Blue skies,
Les



Monday, April 3, 2017

FAZ REVIEW!

HI folks,

Just got word from my German publisher, Frank Nowatzke of Pulp Master, that the review he'd been waiting for on THE RAPIST, just came out from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DAZ).




Founded in 1949, this major conservative-liberal daily is a reference tool in business circles and among intellectuals, who appreciate its literary supplement, FeuilletonFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, or FAZ for short, is the German daily with the widest circulation abroad and one of the world’s largest networks of correspondents, which makes it by and large independent from the press agencies. 

Frank refers to FAZ as "the NY Times of Europe."

For those of you who read German, here's the link to the review:

 https://scontent-frt3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t35.0-12/17522070_10212206928272114_1281064546_o.jpg?oh=76ee287a6abef65895d72986c614e69b&oe=58E439CC


My agent, Svetlana Pironko, has a translator at work on it, translating it into English rather than use the rather poor version Google furnishes and once they have it, I'll post it here.

But, this is really big news for the book. It's the eleventh German newspaper review and they've all been great reviews. I've always felt this book would do well in Germany and this is just evidence that they "get it." I'm very pleased... actually, ecstatic is a better word!

Pulp Master has purchased the German-language rights for two more of my books, THE BITCH and THE GENUINE, IMITATION, PLASTIC KIDNAPPING, and the success THE RAPIST is enjoying is going to provide a great reception in Germany and Europe for these two books as well.

It's a good day!

Blue skies,
Les