Monday, August 29, 2011


Hi folks,

Just want to announce the inaugural issue of the groundbreaking emagazine, NOIR NATION, is now available! This has been a long-awaited event.

Eddie Vega
Managing Editor, Western Hemisphere
Cortright McMeel
Managing Editor, Eastern Hemisphere
Alan WardThomas
Design Director
Michaela Thomas

I am pleased and honored to have a story in the inaugural issue, along with many of the "stars" of noir from all over the world. Check out this lineup of contributors! You'll see quite a few of the folks who've graced this humble blog.

No. 1

Art & Illustrations
Danda (Czech Republic) and Hamlet Zurita (Ecuador)

Birth of a Nation ~ Eddie Vega (U.S., Cuba)

FTW ~ Scott Wolven (U.S.)
Surgeons ~ Tristan Davies (U.S.)
Who Killed Skippy ~  Paul D. Brazill (Poland)
The End of the Trail (Classic Reprint) ~ Bonnie Parker (U.S.)
Gone is Gone ~ Leah Chamberlain  (U.S.)
Pit Stop ~ Les Edgerton (U.S.)
Dog of a Different Breed ~ R.F. Farrell (Canada)
Work ~  Kevin Hardcastle (Canada)
A Love Supreme ~  Jean Charbonneau (Canada)
Trompe L’Oeil ~ Stephen Gibson (U.S.)
Cross ~ Tim Gibson (U.S.)
Lethal Injection ~ Kevin Levites (U.S.)
The Struggle ~ Yewande Omotoso (Nigeria)
Four Pairs of Shoes ~ Gerald Heys (England, Czech Republic)
Jelly Babies ~ JJ Toner (Ireland)
Noir Nano: Four 60-word stories ~ Bianca Bellova (Czech Republic)

Ten Questions for Scott Wolven ~ Cortright McMeel (U.S.)

Black Becomes Blacker: The Darkening of Noir ~ J. Madison Davis (U.S.)
Why Noir Now ~ Alan Ward Thomas (U.S., Czech Republic)

Noir Forum
Noir Nation invited writers, editors, and consumers of crime fiction to
address the following question: Must crime fiction have a moral point? These
are their responses.

Don’t Preach Anywhere Near Me ~ Melodie Campbell (Canada)
Crime Must Have Consequences ~ Wendy A. Reynolds (U.S.)
Awareness of Values Does Not Mean You Have to Play Nice ~ Ann Littlewood (U.S.)
It is Not Easy to Know What is Good and Right ~ Ann Cleeves (UK)
Noir heroes don’t uphold moral codes, they are their victims ~ Linton Robinson (U.S.)
Noir is not about morality but about personal codes ~ Joe Trigoboff (U.S.)

Graphic Novel
Fired on Deadline ~ Jon Danko, Writer (U.S.) and Danda, Illustrator (Czech Republic)

Get a copy today! You'll be glad you did.

Blue skies,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grace Elliot - blog.: Welcome! Author Bob Stewart, (aka Thomas A Katt.)

Bob Stewart is a good friend of mine who has a new book out that I'd like to help publicize. I was privileged to read this when it was in manuscript stage and it was clear instantly that this was going to be both a highly original book as well as an interesting and entertaining read. You gotta read this book!

Grace Elliot - blog.: Welcome! Author Bob Stewart, (aka Thomas A Katt.): Today, I honoured to have author Bob Stewart, visiting my blog. Bob and I got chatting over a topic of great mutual interest - cats! As it h...

Friday, August 26, 2011


Hi folks,

You might want to look at this link before reading what I have to say about it.

While there, check out the videos provided, especially the one titled “Booktrack Interview with James Frey.”

Booktrack is the new technology that provides sound tracks for e-books. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea, one that will enhance the reading experience vastly. But… is there a downside?

Well… perhaps. Okay. Yes.

One factor the proponents of it (James Frey, for one, is pioneering its use), don’t mention is that it changes what has always been, to use Marshall McLuhan’s terms, a cool media into a hot one. For those who are perhaps somewhat removed from the sophomore communication classes on McLuhan’s theories we sat through at ol’ State U., he divided media into two basic categories—“hot” and “cool” media.

In basic terms, a hot media is one that is low in audience participation because more than one sense is involved. Examples are movies and television where more than one sense is involved, i.e., sight and sound. Sensory experience trumps intellectual.

Cool media are media where audience participation is much higher. Examples are books and radio, where only one sense is involved—sight in written material, and sound in radio broadcasts. Intellectual experience trumps sensual.

The fewer senses involved, the higher the degree of audience participation. The participant in a cool media, like a novel, has to bring something to the table to be able to enjoy the experience. That “something” is imagination. The same for radio. We hear the broadcast, but rely on our imaginations to furnish the context. We see the words in a novel, but rely on our imaginations to furnish the context.

Basically, the cooler the media, the more the mind and intelligence of the participant are engaged.

A reader is much more engaged in the experience than a movie-goer, who basically sits in his or her seat and lets the sound track and visuals furnish most of the experience. In other words, a cool media requires mental and intellectual participation; a hot media, much, much less. Everything is done for you in a movie and the participant basically sits there and lets the media take over much of the brain’s functions. Reading a book, on the other hand, requires the reader to engage intellectually in the experience. i.e. to think, to bring the imagination to the table. The more senses employed, the less the participant has to do and he/she basically becomes a passive subject. The fewer senses employed, the more the participant has to become active to enjoy the experience. The receiver must fill in the missing information. Indeed, that’s a factor in determining good writing from poor writing—the more the writer fills in for the reader, the lower the quality of the material. As Hemingway pointed out, good writing is like an iceberg. Nine-tenths of the iceberg is below the surface and invisible; only one tenth is invisible. A quality novel requires effort on behalf of the reader—a good book is a participatory exercise where both the author and the reader need to do some work.

Some argue that the emergence of hot media is the main factor involved in the “dumbing down of America.” We sit and absorb movies and television and our brains just aren’t engaged much. When we read something, our brains are awakened and engaged or else we don’t get much from the experience. Those who believe that movies and television destroy intellectual activity (I’m in that camp) point out that attention spans and comprehension levels have fallen drastically with the advent of movies and TV and in a direct correlation to their rate of popularity. It’s a solid and fairly scientific argument.

The more society tends toward hot media over cool, the less the intellect is accessed and falls further into disuse.

Hot media are low in audience participation due to their high resolution or definition. Cool media are high in audience participation due to their low definition (the receiver must fill in the missing information).
Which brings us back to… Booktrack.

While whatever I say here will have little or no effect upon the future of soundtracks in books—the genie is out of the bottle and nothing will stuff it back—I’ll at least have the satisfaction of delivering a bit of a warning for some not to embrace it without thought about the consequences.

Booktrack is simply a move toward removing the intellectual factor from the act of reading and making the reading experience “easier.”

It’s instructive to watch the video titled “Booktrack Interview with James Frey” (available at the link provided above), and listen to Brooke Geahan’s remarks as he describes the experience he had, where the “reading itself disappears and he’s transported into the movie” (badly paraphrased, but you’ll see what I mean.). Sounds much like the experience movie-goers have of suspending thought processes during a well-made movie with high production values. Pleasurable experience, for sure… but at what expense? It appears to me that sensory pleasure overrides intellectual pleasure.

Booktrack is absolutely going to become a player in the world of e-books—I don’t see anything holding the tsunami back. But—what will this new world of books going to do to our minds, to our intellectual abilities?

I’m curious as to your thoughts on this… I’m anticipating a lively debate. Probably mirroring the older one over books vs movies… With excellent points on both sides…

Blue skies,

P.S. Before anyone thinks I'm against movies, not so! I go to lots and lots of movies and enjoy many of them. I do read far more books than I view movies however.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Criminal-E: Brian Lindenmuth interview: Snubnose Press

Criminal-E: Brian Lindenmuth interview: Snubnose Press: Brian Lindenmuth is the editor of Snubnose press and the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler Magazine. In addition to Spinetingler his work h...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Hi folks,

Here's another review from my friend Carl Brush on Anthony Neil Smith's novel, CHOKE ON YOUR LIES.

    Common civilian question to writers: “Where do you get your ideas?” Sort of like asking “Where do you get your next breath.” However, I’m on the verge of asking Anthony Neil Smith where he comes up with these protagonists and their sidekicks. Choke on your Lies features a guy who is just as incompetent as Billy Lafitte (see Writer Working on Hogdoggin’ and Yellow Medicine, August 15 and 17), but 180 degrees different.
Where Lafitte likes to punch, kick, shoot, fuck anything in his way, Mick Thooft is afraid to even approach his obstacles. He’d  rather pretend he doesn’t really want to go where he’s headed or try to find a way around, or just give up. How can a writer expect a weak character like that to carry a whole book? Give him Octavia Vanderplaats, 350 pounds of brilliance and an unparalleled mixture of cruelty and love. Octavia likes to control people, but she is to our normal idea of a “control freak” what Al Capone is to a shoplifter. She not only steers peoples’ behavior her own way, she consumes them. If the Stockholm syndrome is named after a city, she’d need a nation to label the syndrome that she visits on folks under her spell. The only thing she and Mick seem to have in common is their Dutch names. But you know how those high school friendships can hang on over the years.
    So when Mick’s wife tries to destroy him via divorce, Octavia wants to “punish the bitch” while Mick yearns for understanding, even reconciliation. Even while they uncover more and more of “Frannie’s” salacity and cruelty, he resists bringing down the hammer. In the meantime, Octavia, plows ahead without him, then drags him along after the deed is done. It’s a fascinating dynamic, having the protagonist trying to slow the action while his sidekick keeps the pedal the metal on every page.
    Another thing. I have a prejudice against novels of academia. They’re mostly full of pompous know-nothings with latte’s instead of blood in their veins. Even my favorite, Robertson Davies, suffers from the syndrome. I don’t doubt that Smith intended the Yeats-quoting Thooft (nothing against Yeats, the juice and soul of 20th century poetry. Love him. But not the way Mick misuses him.) as a satire of that set of pretentious idiots. I thank Smith for that and for another docnoir triumph. I’m not sure whether to thank him for the relatively neat, wrapped up ending. I’m still waiting for the return of Billy Lafitte.

 From Carl Brush's website
This is just another brilliant novel from "DocNoir." Enjoy!
Blue skies,

Monday, August 22, 2011


Hi folks,
I am utterly taken aback by the reviews folks have been posting on the Amazon site for my new novel, JUST LIKE THAT. My heartfelt thanks to those who've taken the time to write and review it. I'm on my way to your houses with a case of Harp and a bottle of Jack to properly thank you...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing Read, August 21, 2011
This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)
This book riveted me to my seat. Mr. Edgerton is a writer who really captures not only the details of the inner workings of a criminal mind; but the whole world of prisons and a crime spree road trip across parts of urban and rural America. My husband is really the crime fiction buff in the family, and I'm more of the Keruoac "On the Road" fan. But Mr. Edgerton's writing really had a powerful prose style that makes the reading experience a "literary" one...albeit with more violence and bloodshed than "On the Road." But I must admit I could not stop turning the pages of JUST LIKE THAT. I'm glad this was recommeded to me and I plan on reading more of this author's original and exciting work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Read!, August 18, 2011
This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)
I read Just Like That a week ago, but still don't feel I can adequately articulate how the novel moved me. As a female who mostly reads women authors with female leads, I felt a tad strange about my immediate fascination for Jake. This con was unlike anyone I knew personally or read about in other novels, and the idea of rash criminal behavior without provocation sent a chill through me. Still, night after night I broke promises to myself to read only three or four chapters. With a story that seemed surreal in its unfamiliar setting, lingo baffling as hell, yet as much fun as learning a foreign language, and testosterone practically seeping through my Kindle, I couldn't believe how easily I'd been hooked. Les did what all writers hope to do; kept this reader thinking about events and characters from the book for days. God knows I never want to find myself inside a place so dreary and dangerous, however I'm suddenly Jonesin' to read about modern day life inside a female prison.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Edgerton slams another one home with Just Like That., August 16, 2011
Karen L. Wells "Karen L. Wells" (Boca Raton, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)

Take a walk--no--take a run on the wild side with Les Edgerton and buckle up before you start reading his high-octane novel, Just Like That. Be sure to allow enough time to finish it in one sitting--it's a can not put down novel based mostly on Edgerton's own life experiences (85%) --it is gusty, gritty and authentic. One wonders while reading what 85% of the novel is real and true? Just Like That gives the reader a lot to think about days after finishing the book. Tell a friend.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, August 15, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)
Wow, I just love the way Les writes! The title "Just Like That" is brilliant and will resonate with you on every page and upon completion of the book. The story is very raw with absolute clarity told through the criminal mind. I now look and see some folks in a completely different way. The book title "Just Like That" just became my new favorite colloquialism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Les is on the loose, and don't lock him up, August 14, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)
We start with a picaresque tale of a couple of ex-cons hitting the road and end with the un-picaresque tale of buddies back in the pen. For visceral excitement, JUST LIKE THAT is nothing short of Elmore Leonard. For True Crime Fiction--well there's nothing to compare it to. You'll not only get involved on an elemental level with the real-life con characters and their real-life criminal action, but you'll learn why everything you've seen on the small or the big screen about criminals, courts, and penitentiaries is as about as genuine as a politician's smile. An exciting read and a handbook to the inside conveyed in first-rate writing. Spell that w-i-n-n-e-r.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read and watch out - Les is going for it on this one., August 14, 2011
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This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)
The great thing about Just Like That is the language. The feel. Les Edgerton is a master of words. Like Albert Camus, he describes a killing in short, simple language that carries a blow to the mind. This is a creation of visual travel. Read Just Like That and you may wonder if you wake up to the sound of bars locking shut. Read on. Go Go Go!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A writer at the top of his game, August 9, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Just Like That (Kindle Edition)
Ex-felon Les Edgerton knows the internal workings of the criminal mind, and with lean muscular prose he has written a book about it. While there are many qualities that make this book worth reading -- certainly the writing itself, which is excellent throughout, and the plot which moves with the kick of a 45 cal. bullet, -- what I most appreciated was its effort in coming to terms with the most perplexing of evils, those spur of the moment just-like-that crimes not motivated by necessity or reason but by some primal source that gives the lie to the perfectibility of mankind.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011


UPDATE: The class has been filled and thanks for the wonderful responses. I've begun a list for the next class for those who didn't make this one and there's a few spots left for it but not many. I appreciate your responses very much!
Hi folks,

I’m opening up a private online creative writing class (on novel writing) that begins next week to those who are interested. To be able to devote the proper time to each student, the class will be limited to ten people. We have five openings at the present time. Those interested, please email me at for information on both the class and enrollment procedures.

Those interested in auditing the class—which would allow the auditing person to receive and view everything the rest of the class does, but not be able to participate actively, solely as an observer. The fee is substantially less for auditors than participating students. Basically, auditors will sit in on the class as an observer. There will be a very limited number of auditors and I will qualify those who are interested. Some in class are uncomfortable with very many observing their work and our exchanges as, to be honest, many of our comments are brutally frank. Students know and welcome this, but to someone not directly participating they can see it another way. There won’t be any interaction at all with auditors—they’ll be there simply to use the knowledge they might pick up for their own writing or even their own teaching through their observations.

Pertinent info:

This class will be conducted in the same way I conduct university classes, most recently for Phoenix College, i.e., in a workshop format. What that means is each week participants will send a designated number of pages to both me and the other members of the class. When I receive each person’s work, I’ll provide comments/criticism/suggestions to improve for each student on their work and then send it back to them and the others in class. Each person in class does the same for each other—reading and providing comments on each other’s work and sending that back to the class and me. It’s exactly like being in an “on-ground” workshop. I’ve found over a lifetime of teaching classes—beginning with the UCLA Writer’s Program—that this is the single best method of learning. There is a synergy at work with this model. Many writing classes consist of the student sending work in and the instructor commenting. That’s okay, in a limited way, but when you have ten others plus the instructor or workshop leader commenting, the value of the class increases almost exponentially. Students, very often, offer wisdom that the instructor by him- or herself doesn't have or doesn't offer for various reasons, including time.

I believe in road maps when embarking on the lengthy journey a novel entails; therefore, I ask each student to submit a 15-20 word outline of their proposed novel. I don’t have the space here to explain how that works, but I send a handout on how to create such an outline before the class begins, and it serves to keep the writer focused on their novel throughout its creation and also helps the workshop leader and her classmates see instantly if the writer is focused or meandering. I’m a firm believer in beginning a novel in the proper place and once that is achieved, the remainder of the novel becomes infinitely easier to create. We’ll spend the most time on a writer’s novel beginning than any other part of their novel.

This class will be composed of students who’ve previously taken classes with me along with newcomers. To be able to serve each level of student fairly, students who are well along into their novel and have taken previous classes, will be able to submit up to ten pages per week. New students who haven’t taken my class, will be allowed to submit up to five pages per week, and, once they’ve achieved a proper beginning, will then be able to send ten pages. Please know that this may sound like favoritism, but it’s not at all. The beginning of a novel is the single most crucial part of writing a novel, imo, and I spend more time on that than anything else. I’ve learned over many years, that a great many writers have a poor understanding of a novel’s structure and it’s crucial that a sound knowledge of novel structure (particularly beginnings) be achieved before devoting much time to the rest of the novel. I’ll spend as much or more time on the newer student’s five pages than I will on the more experienced writer’s ten pages. Please feel free to query those in class who’ve been with me before as to their opinion and I feel certain they’ll agree with me. I’ll be happy to furnish names and email addresses for those writers should you wish to ask their opinion.

Each week, I also send at least one handout to the class on some element of writing, as well as other pertinent info that’s useful. Along with the handout on outlining, I'll send a handout on proper formatting in the first batch. Every writer should know how to present material professionally no matter where they are in their craft.

Be forewarned that this workshop isn’t for the faint of heart! Some have termed it “Bobby Knight bootcamp for writers.” In “real life” I’m not a mean person, but with writing I’m not going to hold hands nor hand out false praise. That’s what writing groups are for and they do it well. I expect each person to participate fully and comment on each other’s work just as they would want others to do the same for theirs. I don’t tolerate very well, those who keep making the same mistakes week after week. For example, the proper and professional format is explained at the beginning and each class there are always one or two who keep making the same, easily-fixed mistake. Here’s a common example: One of the format rules is that there is only one space between sentences in computer-generated material. Many older writers, in the typewriter days of yore, were taught to use two spaces. The kernaling in computers is different than typewriters and using two spaces is a sure sign of an amateur who hasn’t kept up with current usages and just another red flag a writer ought to avoid. I understand it’s a hard habit to overcome—I had to do the same myself—but there is an easy way to relearn this which we give, and even if it takes awhile to relearn this, a writer can at least do a final edit before sending work in and correct this. To not do so, indicates to me a writer who doesn’t respect either themselves or their fellow writers or the teacher. Frankly, I don’t want to waste time with this type of writer. I’m not speaking of the writer who makes occasional mistakes, but of the one who continually keeps making the same mistake after it’s been pointed out.

Writing well isn’t easy. It’s hard. If someone has told you that writing is easy, they’ve lied to you. Typing is easy; writing is hard. Our aim in our class is to help writers create publishable work. By reputable publishers, not vanity presses.

If I haven’t scared you off, here are the particulars:

1. Fee is $300, payable in advance and nonrefundable. For those who can’t afford the full amount at one time, you may make three equal payments of $120, for total of $360. Auditor’s fee is $100.

2. Each week, you’ll send to the entire group and me, your pages. You’ll also receive work from your classmates to read and provide comments on. The comments aren’t intended to be scholarly or exhibit some high degree of technical knowledge. We just want to know what worked for you in the writing and what didn’t. If you can articulate why it did or didn’t, fine, but that’s not necessary.

3. To help make the class run smoothly, there will be deadlines each week. For instance, if the class begins on a Monday each week, you’ll send in your work by that day. Then, by Thursday, you’ll send in your comments on each other’s work. I’ll send my comments to each of you by Saturday night. Then, the next week begins on the following Monday.

4. Often, the class and I kind of hit a wall. It’s pretty intense. To account for that event, we may take a week hiatus and return the following week. In fact, you can pretty well count on that.

5. We don’t expect a student to be a professional writer at all. It’s a class, not an advanced degree program. Our aim is to help each writer become better at their craft as a result of the class, and to learn how to professionally submit material, and to hopefully end up creating work that is publishable legitimately.

6. While I would never say I would recommend students to agents or publishers, very often I do. The people who finish the class almost always have progressed to the point where their work is, indeed, publishable, and when that happens I’m eager to introduce them and their work to gatekeepers.

7. Beginning date of this class will be Monday, August 29. All enrollments must be completed and paid for by Thursday, August 25. Enrollment will be on a first-come basis and there are five spots remaining. There will be a limited number of auditors, subject to my approval.

8. Required reading will be my book, HOOKED, and Jack Bickham’s book, SCENES & STRUCTURE. Recommended reading will be Janet Burroway’s WRITING FICTION.

If anyone is interested and has more questions, please feel free to email me at

Thank you,


P.S. If this class goes well, I plan to follow with other classes. If anyone would like to join a list of interested writers for future classes, just let me know. I also coach individual writers during the creation of their novels and the fee for that service is $100 per hour. If interested, I will be happy to share how I work and also to put you in touch with clients for their feedback and opinion.


Hi folks,

Just interested in your views and opinions on e-books vs printed books. Is it one or the other in your view or do you see a place where both have merit? Does your opinion stem from a reader’s mindset or as a writer?

I’ve experienced a reversal in the past year. A year ago, I saw nothing I liked about e-books. Of course, that was before I purchased a Kindle. My opinion was that I loved “real” books—I loved the way they looked, the way they smelled, the way they felt in my hand. I had the idea that reading a book on an e-reader was most likely to be the same experience as when I read anything on the computer screen. I did it because I had to for some material, but never enjoyed it.

In fact, when I had a new book coming out, I had an entire set routine. I smelled it--wonderful smell! Especially when it’s your book! Then, I reread it even though I’d pretty well memorized it already from all the rewrites and edits and galleys and all of that. And then… I slept with it. Truth.

I knew I wouldn’t ever be able to capture that feel with an e-reader.

But… like a lot of things… I was wrong.

My first experience with an e-reader was when I downloaded the free Kindle version for my desktop. The first book I read on it pretty well confirmed my suspicions. It wasn’t a cool experience at all. It was exactly what I thought it would be. Like reading something from Wikipedia on my ‘puter.

If I would have gone by my experience with the desktop, I might not ever have gotten my Kindle. But, the fact is, more and more books I wanted to read were only available as e-books. Not to mention that other books I wanted to read that were also in print were infinitely cheaper and quicker to obtain as e-books, rather than the print version. To get the print copy, I had to either physically travel to a bookstore or else order off the Internet. Ordering copies took time—when I bought a book on my Kindle, I received it in mere seconds. Not only did I save on the cover price, I saved on the gas I would have used in going to the bookstore, the time I saved as well as the ease—and, not to mention, the bookstore might not have any available copies. Ordering off the Internet took time and cost me postage. Convenience-wise and price-wise, e-books have enormous advantages.

But, the biggest factor of all was that with the very first book I read on my Kindle I found that it felt even better in my mitts than a physical book did! I was shocked to discover that. It didn’t smell like a new print book, sure, but the fact is that new books don’t really have all that much of a smell anyway. It’s more of a delusion we feed ourselves, to be honest. And, to be honest, although book-sniffing is more socially acceptable than say, bicycle-seat sniffing, neither would be in most folks Top Ten sensory experiences to be savored...

What’s happened is that I thought I read a lot of books in my pre-Kindle days—I’d average three novels per week. That has doubled these days with my Kindle. I’m averaging almost a novel a day now. I take my Kindle everywhere—it’s actually easier to carry around than a novel. It’s certainly easier to carry around than a number of novels and that’s what I carry these days. As of this morning, I have almost 200 novels on my Kindle and I’m nowhere near its capacity. I can be at the doctor’s office or anywhere and I’m not stuck with just the novel I brought with me. There's another advantage my Kindle has--I can upload the manuscript I'm working on to it and work on that wherever I am. I also review books for fellow writers and when I'm waiting in the dentist's office and I get tired of reading the novel I'm on, I can pull up my friend's mss and read it. To have the material that's on my Kindle and available within seconds, I'd have to tote around a wheelbarrow of print versions. And, I've got a bad back so Kindles are better for my health...

I also read it in the bathtub. I throw that in because I read a post on a blog where someone made a joke that they couldn’t read their e-reader in the bathtub. Fortunately, I’m blessed with at least average coordination and have never dropped mine. I suppose if one had some kind of debilitating disease that rendered them unable to hold onto something that weighs a few ounces they should probably stick to print books, but I’m blessed in that I can walk and chew gum at the same time and a Kindle in the tub isn’t that insurmountable obstacle to have to overcome that some would claim. And, if I did have an accident and dropped it into the tub and ruined it—well, the truth is I’ve saved enough from buying e-books rather than the print version that I’ve already saved enough to have paid for half a dozen Kindles. And, if it did “drown” and I had to buy a new one… well, all the books I’d already bought would appear on my new version. If I dropped a print book, I’d just have a swollen, unreadable book…

The more I think about and consider the arguments against e-books in favor of print books, the more I see the same kinds of arguments Luddites always make. Actually, I’m old enough to remember when we changed from chiseled stone tablets to papyrus and the arguments today seem similar. I remember well when that happened. No longer did I have the pleasure of relaxing in the cave with a novel where the pages weighed ten pounds each. Now, those were novels for he-men! You couldn’t be a sissy and heft those things to peruse! And then, I’d just gotten used to papyrus—talk about the smell! now there was a smell you couldn’t get with paper—imagine sheepskin and a rainy day—if you dropped one of those puppies in the bathtub you really had a smell experience (you’ve smelled wet wool, right?)—and then the printing press came along and I had to change all over again and give up all the pleasures of papyrus and animal skins. It never ends! They just keep throwing all these dang changes at us!

I think that many folks today who are resisting e-books for the “smell” the “feel” and all that are kind of in the same camp as people were at any change in books. For those who are of that mindset, I do have some barrels of whale oil. If you’re still resisting electricity I can give you a great price…

Another thing to consider--those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Check out the historical clamor when electricity came along, especially in the New England whaling burgs... 

Maybe I'm fibbing a little when I say I "remember" stone tablets and papyrus and sheepskins--but I do remember when paperbacks came on the scene and there were thousands of literary Chicken Littles running around screaming that the skies were falling and so was "literature." Turned out about the same way as I see e-books turning out. More people published, more books available at lower prices for readers...

I guess my own position is clear… I understand others have a different point-of-view and that’s fine. If everyone thought the same, we’d still be lighting our lanterns with whale oil. I’d be interested in hearing counter-arguments.

Blue skies,

P.S. For those who've moved into e-books, here's a couple you might want to check out:


Saturday, August 20, 2011


Hi folks,
I'm pumped. My new thriller, THE PERFECT CRIME, is now available and on sale. Here's  the Amazon link:

Also, if you haven't gotten my road novel, JUST LIKE THAT, here's the Amazon link for it:

Hope you'll like both and I'll be eternally grateful if you can provide a review for either or both. I can't begin to tell each of you how much I appreciate your support!

Blue skies,

Friday, August 19, 2011


Hi folks,

Things are heating up! My second novel from StoneGate Ink, THE PERFECT CRIME, goes live and will be available this weekend! Hope y'all will considering glomming onto a copy. As soon as it is available, I'll post links to Amazon and Nook. As with JUST LIKE THAT, it would help immensely if folks would provide reviews for it.

A bomb hooked to a banker’s back, a one-eyed busted-out former cop, hooker/biker bars on Airline Highway in New Orleans, drugs in the French Quarter, a 300-pound female bartender, an ex-con whose main goal in life is to have more expensive shoes than anyone else, a drug czar named Fidel Castro (a cousin of the more famous one in Cuba), money laundering schemes, and a criminal genius, who enjoys pulling his victim’s fingernails out with pliers and who did everything right in what should have been the perfect crime save for one tiny mistake—all assembled and put into motion by an author who was a real-life criminal and ex-con and was advised that if he didn’t publish this book but instead used it to create the perfect crime he’d make a lot more… This is what you get (and more) in Les Edgerton’s The Perfect Crime.


Hi folks,

I talked to my publishers of my forthcoming literary noir novel, THE RAPIST, about having a contest here for folks to vote on the four possible covers for that novel. Here’s what Eddie Vega, one of my two editors/publishers (along with Cort McMeel) had to say when I broached the idea to him.


Yes, by all means. You can actually put it up for a vote and chances are the final results will be consistent with the final selection. Why? Because the final cover will be use elements from all of the covers. So everyone wins. I am very partial to the image of No. 3, the lettering of No. 4 (but without the fingerprints), the placement of the author’s name at the top of the page used by No. 1 (though I would move the BKP logo to the left hand corner so it would not compete with the illustration).

In your blog, please do point out that we used the earlier suggestions made by your followers: the floating body, the light, and the turned hands. So they will know we do more than hear, we listen. Please, also include a call to “like” Noir Nation on Facebook. Prague is almost done the layout. We are less than two weeks away from glory.

Eddie Vega

They really do pay attention to what you guys have to say. Eddie really liked the suggestions you made awhile back when I posted the initial mockup of this cover.

What I’m going to do is if anyone makes a suggestion that they use on the final cover, we’ll send them a free copy when it comes out.

For those who may feel off-put by the title, please rest assured it’s probably not what you think. My wife Mary resisted reading it for a long, long time, thinking it was some gruesome and graphic account of a rape, but when she finally did read it, she told me she absolutely got drawn into the world completely and she said it was like “the protagonist (Truman Pinter) had entered her own mind and revealed her deepest thoughts better than anything she’d ever read.” To tell the truth, I was shocked and extremely pleased that she “got it.” I shouldn’t have been surprised—Mary’s very intelligent. The rape in it is fairly akin to the mother's death in Camus' The Stranger--it serves the same purpose. This book is the best thing I’ve ever written and I don’t think I’ll ever have the energy again that it took to write. Cort McMeel and Eddie Vega both feel it’s going to be a game-changer in literature. We’ll see…

Anyway, here are the four versions of the final cover and the end result will probably be at least a bit different than any of these, especially after Eddie reviews comments from y’all. The covers are all from the Prague firm of Butterflies and Hurricanes, who’ve been working on it for months. Bare Knuckles Press has spent a significant amount of time, money and other resources to come up with a distinctive, one-of-a-kind cover. I know I’m impressed!

In order, from top to bottom, they're numbers 1-4. Thanks for taking a look and providing comments!

Blue skies,