Thursday, September 11, 2014


Hi folks,

Just finished a fun interview with Fiona McVie that I'd like to share with you.



~ My interviews with many authors

Name Les Edgerton

Age 71

Fiona: Where are you from

 Born in Odessa, Texas and raised in Freeport, Texas, Algiers, Louisiana and South Bend, Indiana. We moved often.

Fiona: Tell us a little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc 

Had an abusive childhood—both parents. Lived a life of crime for many years. Among other things, was sent to prison in Pendleton for a couple of years for a 2-5 sentence, plea-bargained down from 82 counts of second-degree burglary (businesses), 2 counts of strong-armed robbery, one count of armed robbery, one count of possession with intent to sell. Was involved in a high-speed car chase with the cops (I outran them), a couple of shootouts with other outlaws, had several attempts at stabbings, been shot at by a girlfriend who also tried to run over me with her car. Appeared in porn movies, was a pimp, used and sold drugs, worked for an escort service, was homeless, was a gambler, a womanizer, and some other tricks and artifices of the ramblin’ life. Then went to college, got a B.A. from I.U. and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. Taught writing for UCLA, University of Toledo, St. Francis University, Phoenix College, Trine University as well as for Writer’s Digest and the New York Writer’s Workshop. Am married to my fifth wife and have three children, a son from this marriage and two daughters from a previous one. 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My newest novel, a black comedy crime caper titled THE GENUINE, IMITATION, PLASTIC KIDNAPPING is now available for preorder and will be released Sept. 30 from Down&Out Books.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing? 

Began immediately after reading my first book when I was five. I thought I could write a better book then. I couldn’t then, but I can now.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was five. That became my goal then and it’s never wavered for a second.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

When I read my first book.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. I write like myself.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I assume you mean my last novel? Well, it began as a short story titled “I Shoulda Seen a Credit Arranger” in the South Carolina Review, and when I decided to expand it into a novel, I wanted a title that clearly said it was a humorous novel, so came up with THE GENUINE, IMITATION, PLASTIC KIDNAPPING.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Nope. I agree with Samuel Goldwyn, who told a screenwriter that if he wanted to send a message to use Western Union—they did it better. I try to write stories that entertain.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Quite a bit. Not the kidnapping part—that’s one crime I never participated in—but the way the characters act and think is pretty much out of my own criminal days. It’s a life of some risks and danger and so like most folks who are in the life, we joke and diss about those things straights consider serious. None of it is serious…

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Just about all of my books are based on my own life.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

There have been many. The biggest influence was Camus’ THE STRANGER. Most perfect book ever written, imo.

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Never had a mentor, but if I had to choose, it would be parts of the thousands of writers I’ve read.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Robert B. Parker’s WILDERNESS.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

A boatload. I don’t want to leave anyone out so I won’t name them, but there are an awful lot of really great writers working these days. Probably more so than at any time in history.

Fiona: What are your current projects?

Selling my memoir, ADRENALINE JUNKIE and a new craft book, A WRITER’S WORKSHOP AT THE BIJOU, writing three new novels, prepping for a bunch of workshops and conferences I’ve been asked to present at. Helping keep the stock price of Jack Daniels sufficiently high for investors.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

I’ve never been big on being supported by family members so I’d have to say I’ve always been supported by my wits. There are a million ways to make money. I don’t need much—I’m comfortable with the rent paid and I’ve been comfortable as a homeless person. Especially in this country. Our dumpsters have better food than most third world countries have for their main repasts…

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Uh… yeah. It has been so far for many, many years and I expect it to continue.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope. That’s what the final rewrite is for—to make it as perfect as you’re able to.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Yeah. When I read my first book and saw the possibilities in writing. I saw a way to take advantage of my adrenaline jones and get paid for having cool experiences. Can’t get that selling life insurance…

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?


Bright and early the next morning, a woman teller counted out bills, put them in an envelope and handed it to me. I thanked her, stuck the envelope in my pocket and left.
I was walking down the bank steps when two men came up, one a beefy mountain of a man and the other slight and smarmy. They came up beside me, took me by the elbows and hustled me down the steps. All three of us walked to the alley beside the bank and went on back to a pair of dumpsters.
The big guy spun me around and pinned an armlock on me. The little guy snatched the envelop from my pocket, tore it open and counted the money. "Damn," he said, "Where's the other five?"
I frowned. "It's in the mail? You buy that?"
The little guy placed the wad of bills in his jacket pocket and nodded to his large partner who gripped me tighter. "Wise guy, huh?" the little guy said.
"Well, you wouldn't know it by my SATs. You know what? You look familiar. I got it! Your mom."
"My mom?" the little goon said.
"Yeah," I said. "Your mom. We been dating. Whenever I have an extra twenty. I just love it when she takes out her false teeth. You know . . ." I went on. "I might end up your stepfather. Think she'd grow a mustache for me?"
The little guy hauled off and socked me in the gut. I collapsed and struggled to right myself and get my breath back.
"Yeah," I said, wheezing my words out. "You hit about like your mom. I can see you're related. I suppose you wanna give me a blowjob now?"
"You fuck," the little guy screamed, and hit me again. As I folded in half like a WWII Japanese foot soldier unexpectedly finding himself in the same room as the Emperor, the little guy grabbed my hand and brought it around and secured it between his arm and chest. He bent four of my fingers back until they cracked. Audibly. Almost as loud as the scream I gave out, feeling like a complete bitch when I did, but couldn't help it.

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Nope. The biggest problem I have is that I won’t live long enough to write all the books I have rattling around in my brainpan.

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My all-time favorite is Albert Camus and what I love about him is how he lowers the volume when most other writers would raise it. He wrote books for grownups and folks who don’t move their lips when they read.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No. Don’t have to, but I love traveling.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Of my books? Well, the publishers do.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

There really aren’t any hard things about writing. Writing’s like breathing.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learn something with each new book. Actually, I learn more from other writers and their work and then just apply what I’ve learned to my own work.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes. I’ll echo what Jim Harrison advised—“To read the whole of Western literature for the past 2,000 years… and then, if you live long enough, the same 2,000 years of Eastern literature. For, if you don’t know what passed for good in the past, how can you know what passes for good today?” Harrison nailed the secret of learning to write well—read, read, and then read some more. And then write. All the rest is just noise.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

Just a sincere thank-you. And remember—Christmas is just around the corner and an Edgerton novel makes the perfect gift…

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Actually, I do. It was a collection of short stories by Guy de Maupassant. Never did the Hardy Boys or Run, Spot, Run thing.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Reading. When I’m not writing, I’m almost always reading.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Don’t watch much TV and haven’t been to a movie theater in probably ten years. There are three things though, that I never miss on TV. Notre Dame football, Indiana University basketball, and San Francisco Giants baseball. Sometimes I watch the show all outlaws watch—Antiques Roadshow…

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music 

Favorite foods are Oysters Bienville and Oysters Rockefeller and Marlboros. Favorite color is black (is that a color?). Favorite music is jazz and country. Old-jazz—no fusion, no electronic stuff--and old C&W like Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings.

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Been an outlaw. Oh, wait! I did that. Well, you can do both at the same time, y’know... I’ve also always wanted to be a stunt man in porno movies. It pays great, has short hours, and they never see your face. The only drawback is you have to like large animals...

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

Thank you so much, Fiona—you ask great questions!

Blue skies,

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