Friday, April 29, 2011

TWO NOVELS PLACED!


Hi folks,

Good news today!

I just returned from Mail Boxes, ETC from mailing signed copies of my contract for two of my novels to be published by StoneGate/StoneHouse Publishing! Best twenty bucks for the gas for this trip I ever spent! (Reason it cost $20 was that it’s half a mile from my house and my car only gets 40 miles to the gallon…)

Both novels are thrillers and were placed by my (awesome!) agent, Chip MacGregor. (I’m hoisting one to you, Chip…) Since my noir thriller, The Rapist, is coming out from Bare Knuckles Press sometime in the next year, this is fast becoming a red-letter year!

Here’s the synopsis of the first, titled The Perfect Crime:

Criminal genius Charles "Reader" Kincaid makes but one mistake in what would have been the "perfect crime" when he steals a Futaba remote controller from the wrong person—Jack Fogarty, the brother of retired cop Grady. Once Grady's involved in the case, his bulldog tenacity uncovers enough clues to nail his brother Jack's murderer and turn the tables in a surprising twist on Reader. Reader's plan is to wire banker C.J. St. Ives with a bomb that not only can't be removed, but is controlled by remote control. The money Reader is after is the weekly drop of illegal millions from drug czar Fidel Castro (a cousin of the more famous Fidel) which St. Ives launders through his bank. St. Ives has his own plan for stealing the same money, which complicates matters. In the end, it turns out that Reader has been orchestrating the whole affair and his real purpose is achieving vengeance over Titus Fuller, St. Ives' father-in-law and also the man to whom Castro answers. His machinations would have worked perfectly if Grady Fogarty hadn't become involved.

The setting is a bit of Dayton, Ohio and a lot of New Orleans. While on the heels of Reader, Grady falls in love with animal control officer Whitney Farver and gains assistance from new friends Sally and Veronica Graziano, both retired NOPD cops who own a bar in Jefferson Parish. Also involved in the plot are Cuban drug dealers, a slimy ex-con named Eddie who loves expensive shoes, and more electronics than you'll ever see outside of a Radio Shack.

*

One of the things I had fun with in writing this novel, was a sex scene. Normally, I don’t like to write ‘em, mostly because just about all the original ways of showing a sex scene have been done. But, I’m proud to say that I came up with a different way to create this one. Instead of doing what many of us do—ramp up the volume with more and louder screams and deeper slashes with fingernails on backsides—I came up with the opposite tack. The first time Grady makes love to Whitney, they’re on a stakeout in a duplex and are in the apartment directly above the bad guys. The floors creak so much they can’t even walk around in stockinged feet. They do the nasty while having to remain completely silent or else they’ll be discovered and killed. Not only don’t they dare move much, they can’t breathe too heavily since the bad guys below don’t turn the TV on and the slightest sound will expose them. It turned into one of the best scenes I’ve ever written. My litmus test when writing a humorous scene is that I have to laugh out loud. And, more than just during rhe initial writing or reading. Every time. I apply the same test to sex scenes. If I don’t get physically turned on during the writing and upon subsequent readings, it ain’t working. I’m happy to report that reading this scene still turns me on… Although, that can be simply because my libido is so low, which explains the five marriages perhaps...

*

The second novel is a psychological crime thriller, titled The Bitch. Here’s the synopsis:

In the rich vein of psychological thrillers such as Scott Smith’s bestseller, A Simple Plan, Les Edgerton’s The Bitch is the story of Jake, a two-time loser who, since his last release from prison for his second bit, has reformed his life completely. He has begun attending college, has fallen in love with and wed the beautiful Paris Meacham, and they are expecting their first child. Jake has also prospered in the hairstyling business and is just about to open his own salon. Life is good. Think: A Simple Plan meets Beloved, if you will!

It’s at this point, that old cellmate Walker "Spitball" Joy enters his life, requesting a favor—to help Walker pull off a job. A burglary. A favor Jake can’t deny as he owes Walker for saving his life back in the joint, even though if caught, he faces being sent back to prison for life under the Habitual Criminal Statute. (Commonly referred to as "The Bitch" derived from the Ha-bitch-ual Criminal...) The favor? To pull off a burglary (once Jake’s specialty).

The biggest guiding force in Jake’s life has always been his fierce sense of loyalty. Forced by his code of ethics to perform the crime for Walker, Jake's act sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that ends with his beloved Paris dying. A story of criminals and their code of honor and how that trumps even the fierce love of a man for a woman. Jake’s once idyllic life plunges farther and faster into the abyss, to the point where, one by one, his actions are responsible for his brother’s death, he is forced to kill his mother-in-law, his friend Walker Joy, his father-in-law, and finally, in a staggering and blinding moment of self-realization, is forced to allow to die the woman he loves, Paris. He realizes at that moment that loyalty wasn’t what guided his life at all, but a more base tenet—survival. He experiences an epiphany that shows him that he’s never been any more moral than the lowest animal and he realizes his soul has been damaged beyond repair... that he's warped beyond redemption.

(As a note of possible interest, Cathy Johns, the Assistant Warden of Louisiana's Angola Prison ("The Farm" of the award-winning documentary of the same name) has read Edgerton's work and she told Edgerton he had delivered the truest and most accurate portrayal of the criminal mind she'd ever read.)

So there you have ‘em.

Stonehouse Publishing is a relatively new press that has been tearing up the publishing world as of late. Their sales are off the charts and I’m hopeful that my books will soon be contributing to the bottom line. The novels should be available in a couple of months and you can bet I’ll be announcing it here. A link to their site is included in my favorite web sites here.

I’m also looking for potential blurbers. I’ve got several great ones for The Bitch but haven’t sent The Perfect Crime to anyone yet. If anyone here is interested in providing a blurb, please let me know.

And, it looks as if there’s possibly more good news on the way with several others of my books. The possibility of a mass market paperback sale with Pocket, a possible sale of my next writer’s how-to craft book, a YA, and my memoir, among others. I’ll keep you posted!

Now, I’m off to down a bottle of Corona Dark…

Blue skies,
Les




34 comments:

M. Raven Brown said...

Fantastic news, congratulations!

One small thing. I noted a redundancy in the synopsis of The Bitch (great title, by the way):

"requesting a favor—to help Walker pull off a job. A burglary...."
"The favor? To pull off a burglary (once Jake’s specialty)."

Hope you enjoyed your Corona. You deserve it.

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, M. Raven! And for pointing out the glitch! Good thing is I won't be using this any longer--was just part of the pitch. :)

Paul D. Brazill said...

Congratulations!

Anne Gallagher said...

You are rolling in the roses aren't you? Congatulations man, this is fantastic. Almost sounds like the horoscope I recently read. Blue skies for you!!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Paul. The Bitch is the one I sent you (hoping you'll like it enough to give me a blurb perhaps...) did you get the books I sent? Curious if the mail is slower in Poland than it is here...

Thanks, Anne! Us VC grads have to keep puttin' 'em out, don't we!

Karen @ Scobberlotch said...

Congratulations to you. Love hearing great news like this.

Elle Strauss said...

Congratulations, Les! That's awesome news!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Karen and Elle! Makes up for being homeless...(!)

Bri Clark said...

Welcome to the family Les...glad to have you!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Bri! Nice to be here! Vince says nice things about the house...

RCS1738 said...

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy who has worked very hard to achieve this level of success. I've read The Bitch and it is outstanding as is The Rapist. Les takes noir and thriller to the next level.

Congratulations my friend.

Sally Clements said...

Woo-hoo! Good going, Les!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks Bob and Sally!

Donna Hole said...

Looking forward to reading them. They sound interesting. I was hooked with reading your POV excerpt.

......dhole

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Donna!

patriciahollett said...

Congratulations! Both sound like great stories, good plotting, well developed characters and since you're the master of it, I'm sure they'll hook the reader and keep them turning the pages...
Enjoy your Corona...it's well earned! :)

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Patricia. Now the pressure's on... :)

Sarah said...

Wow- so awesome, Les. I can't tell you how proud I am that you are kicking ass. You are a wonderful writer and teacher. I am thankful that I can call you friend. We need to celebrate. I am piss poor until next Friday. Does this work for you. I will call you next week. Way to go, Les. It is time for you to show off your talent - you are a writer. Go Go Go!

Paul D. Brazill said...

Hey Les, I got the books yesterday. Thanks very much!

I've just started The Bitch and it's looking good!

Les Edgerton said...

Sarah, I'm equally as proud to call you my friend. And, Friday works fine for me. If I'm late, order me a Jack and water...

Paul, glad they got there. And... I'm just excited beyond belief that you may find it worthwhile! Your opinion would be priceless to me!

Aaron Patterson said...

Les,

Glad to have you and so excited to see what we can do together. This is the time of the author and I see a huge wave coming and we will be up and ready for the big one. Cheers.

Aaron

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Aaron! Folks, Aaron Patterson is my publisher for these novels--he's doing truly wonderful things in publishing and I'm really proud to be one of his authors.

Paul Greci said...

Awesome news, Les!! Congrats!!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Paul How about you--any new books forthcoming?

JB Toner (euclid) said...

Well done, Les. About time you entered the world of genre fiction. Gives the rest of us something to aim at.

Congrats! Will you be publishing any of these books on Kindle?

JB

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, JB (Euclid). And, yes, they'll be available as ebooks and print. I believe their formula is to release first as an ebook and then when sales warrant, as a print version. It's an ever-increasing strategy and is working well. I'm excited!

Janet Fox said...

Many congrats, Les - well deserved! (As someone who swears by your "how-to" can attest...)

erika said...

Congrats, Les!! That's wonderful news. I'm so happy for you :)

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks so much, Janet and Erika! I really appreciate your support.

Susan Fields said...

Congratulations - lots of exciting stuff going on over here!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Susan. Just got an exciting email yesterday that I'm going to share probably on Monday. Stay tuned!

I love it when one of us writers has a good day... especially when that writer is moi! And, lest you think I'm a totally selfish dude, I take great pleasure when another writer has good news also.

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Congratulations on the sales! I'll be looking for them once they're out.

~Debbie

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Debbie. You'll hear me shouting...

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Hope I'm shouting one of these days!

~Debbie