Sunday, January 20, 2019

GREAT REVIEWS!

Hi folks,

The reviews are beginning to come in! Here's the ones on Amazon (US) for Adrenaline Junkie and they're all fives. There are others on Amazon UK and other sites and so far, those are all fives as well. I appreciate every single one of them! Thank you!

Blue skies,
Les



Ger Crotty
5.0 out of 5 starsSelf willed freedom
December 14, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Les Edgerton has a story to tell and it's not based on celebrity or fame. Instead it's fuelled by a self willed freedom, an Outlaw spirit and a whole lot of sex,drugs and some prison.
A rough childhood, adventures in the Navy,incarceration, hairdresser supremo, a whole lot women,drugs, mafia, prostitution, crazy killer women, family and maybe redemption ? What's not to like ?
All done with the technical grace and verve of a master storyteller

Janey Mack
5.0 out of 5 starsBOLD, BADASS AND BRAVE
January 16, 2019
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
A memoir that reads like a thriller. Brutally honest--heartbreakingly so at times, Les Ederton's unflinching story of self is a potent cocktail of adrenaline, self-actualization and humor.
A joy to read, and an honor to know the man himself.

PrintBoy
5.0 out of 5 starsA Fascinating Life!
January 19, 2019
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Part time capsule, part confessional, this gripping memoir explores a fascinating life with unflinching honesty. Even those shocked by some of the deeds portrayed will be moved by the redemptive nature of the story.

Jack Getze
5.0 out of 5 starsFascinating Autobiography
November 23, 2018
Format: Paperback
Author, ex-criminal, and former prison inmate, Les Edgerton knows what makes all of us tick, and how, with not much of a shove, any one of us could end up behind bars. One of the most fascinating autobiographies you will ever read: from professional thief and pimp to award-winning author and teacher.” —Jack Getze, author of the award-winning Austin Carr Mysteries

Joseph Trigoboff
5.0 out of 5 starsA great work by a great author
January 5, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Les Edgerton’a memoir, “Adrenaline Junkie” is well-written, but what it is most of all is exciting. A terrific writer, who is also a teacher, Les has much to teach all of us, like myself, who live dull, predictable lives. A superbly written book, with all the excitement most of us could ask for. I can’t wait to read his next book. This one read like a James M. Cain Jim Thompson novel, and what’s even better is that all of it’s true.
To conclude: Brit Ekland? Brit Ekland?...Brit Ekland!!

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsGritty, witty and real.
December 13, 2018
Format: Paperback
Ever get tired of living in the real world of everyday life with its endless grind and tedium? Ever want to just say the h... with it and cut loose? Les Edgerton has lived the life most guys just fantasize about. In a painfully honest book, Les lays it all bare, the good, the bad and the ugly of a rampant, hedonistic lifestyle. mercifully redeemed in the end by the love of a good woman.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

427 - Adrenaline Junkie by Les Edgerton

427 - Adrenaline Junkie by Les Edgerton: So this is the second time we're reviewing a memoir, which is always an odd proposition, because you're essentially agreeing to review someone's life. I think this turned out pretty nice, and we'll be interviewing Les in the coming weeks as well. Check it out and come back next week for another book - An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

MY "NEW" DAUGHTER!

Hi folks,

Just got some pictures of my "new" daughter Maria. She, her husband Joe and her daughter Nikole (my "new" granddaughter!) came down from South Bend to our home in Ft Wayne, and all my other kids were there as well--Britney, Sienna and Mike--along with their spouses and Mike's girlfriend
Victoria (who's like a daughter). It was a wonderful, wonderful day!

Here are some photos from that day.

Joe, Maria and Nikole

Me and all my kids--Britney, Sienna, (me) Mike and Maria

Mike and Victoria

Me and Mary

My grandson Logan (Sienna's son), Sienna, Britney, Mike, Maria and Nikole.

Sienna's boyfriend, Jamie (cut in half, alas!) Britney and her husband Ray.

Here's the story of how Maria came to find me:

A Thanksgiving Miracle

A woman who had been adopted 51 years ago was suffering from some physical problems and decided to submit a DNA sample to Ancestry.com in hopes of discovering who her birth parents were for the possibility of getting some of her health history for her and her daughter.

Maria’s search turned up my name and she Googled it and found out my memoir, Adrenaline Junkie, had just been released. She obtained a copy of it and read:

(From Adrenaline Junkie)

About a week later, a detective dropped by the apartment while Sherry was at work and told me I would probably walk on my charges, get probation like my lawyer’d said. He said I’d beat them. Then, he dropped a bomb on me. He said that even though I had a good chance of walking, they were going to go after Sherry and would make sure she got sentenced and did time at the Indiana Women’s Prison. He told me some things about her past that convinced me the judge probably would give her at least six months in the joint. The detective said the only way I could save her ass was to plead guilty and if I did that, they’d drop the charges completely on Sherry. He also spent a lot of time telling me what would happen to her down at the Women’s Prison in Indianapolis. Things other inmates would do to her with broomsticks, stuff like that.

This stuff got to me. Sherry was pregnant with our child and this guy kept telling me our kid would be born in prison and end up in foster homes being abused. Stuff like that.

I decided to plead guilty. The deal was, I would cop to one count of second-degree burglary and they would drop all the other burglary counts, plus all the other charges, the armed and strong-arm robberies. I might still get probation, I was told, but even if I didn’t, the most I’d get would be a two to five-year sentence or maybe a one-to-ten on the burglary thing.

That was a laugh. They weren’t even considering probation. As soon as I pled guilty, I was let back out on my original bond for two weeks while they did the presentence investigation and when I went back, I ended up getting a two to five and sent over to the jail to await paperwork and transportation to Pendleton Reformatory.

During the two-week period of the presentence investigation, Sherry and I got married and I made arrangements for my sister Jo and her husband Jim to take Sherry in during her pregnancy in case I got sent up. They lived in Lakeville and had two kids of their own, but both of them had big hearts and didn’t even hesitate when I asked them to take her in. Sherry hadn’t wanted to get married, but I didn’t want our kid being born a bastard.

Once I in Pendleton, Sherry visited a couple of times and then I didn’t see her any more. Her letters stopped as well. Normal shit for cons. Then, I got a letter from a lawyer asking my consent for a divorce. I wouldn’t sign it, and then my sister wrote me a letter saying they had had to kick Sherry out. It seems she was eight months pregnant and one day my brother-in-law Jim was painting the living room and she walked up to him on the ladder and grabbed his johnson and told him she wanted to screw him. He was a righteous dude and told her to get fucked and also to pack her shit and leave their house, which she did. Jo apologized over and over for having to kick her out, but I thought she showed remarkable forbearance, as did Jim, for what she’d done. I signed the divorce papers, but a few months later, I was served with some more papers asking if I’d  allow Sherry to put the baby (it was a girl) up for adoption. I refused to sign them, and wrote my sister to see if they would consider keeping the baby until I got out and could care for her. They immediately agreed—great sister!—but Sherry told all of us to get fucked and put the baby up for adoption anyway. It turned out they didn’t need my signature to do that, even though I was the legal father. You forfeit all such rights when you’re in prison. So our little girl was adopted and I’ve never seen or heard of her since.

When I got released a couple of years later, I went to a minister and told him my story. I wanted to know if he thought I should try to locate my daughter and get her back. He advised me to leave things the way they were. “She’s in a good home now,” he said. “Parents who love her and who she thinks of as her mom and dad. You can’t take care of her at this time, so leave her alone. She’s better off.” I saw he was right and did as he suggested. Many times since then I have wondered if I did the right thing. I also wonder if she’ll ever try to look me up. I hope her life turned out all right. I hope if she ever does look me up she’ll understand why I didn’t try to find her.
(End of excerpt)

She found my email address and mailed me this:

Hi, I recently did my Ancestry DNA and apparently we are closely related. I was adopted at birth. I have no biological family information, including medical history. I don’t know if you have or are willing to give me any information on who I am, but if you are I would appreciate it. Thank you. Signed, Maria

We emailed back and forth and soon established that she was my daughter. Then, she said something that meant the world to me:

I was so overjoyed to read in your book that you wanted me and that you tried everything to keep me. That it was in there, without your ever knowing if I would read it, means that it was how you really felt and that means more than if I had been told that my birth parents named me this or did this or that.

Maria

Since then, we’ve met in person, Maria has met her two sisters and her brother and we got to meet my granddaughter Nikole when they all came to visit yesterday.

I don’t know if I’ll ever make much from Adrenaline Junkie but I’ve already realized a miracle worth everything from its existence.

And that's our story. Kind of amazing, I think. What's also interesting is that Maria and I look alike and maybe more than any of my other kids!

Anyway, it's made this holiday season a very, very special one.

Blue skies,
Les



Monday, December 24, 2018

CLASS MEMBER HAS BOOK PUBLISHED

Hi folks,

One of our class members from out our online novel-writing class has just had her novel published to rave reviews and is selling like crazy!




We're all super excited to see this novel in print--we've all watched it grow and develop over many months in class. This is a truly exciting book! It's based on a true story of one of the airmen on the plane that dropped the atom bomb on Japan.

I heartily recommend this book not only for yourself but for Christmas gifts.

Blue skies,
Les

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A TRUE THANKSGIVING MIRACLE


Hi folks,

A THANKSGIVING MIRACLE

            I’m not much for organized religion. I don’t believe in karma and all that. I believe there is a God, but not the God that is proclaimed from most pulpits. The God I believe in is a hands-off kind of being who only steps in when all is truly lost for mankind and not for individuals. He doesn’t help anyone win football games and He doesn’t save people from famines, pestilence and war. He gives people a guide and if they choose not to follow that guide, well, there are consequences clearly delineated. From what I know, God is interested in the individual’s soul and not their earthly bodies.
            All that said, I just witnessed a Thanksgiving miracle.
            I received an email from a woman who said she had discovered she was my daughter from a DNA test she’d submitted to Ancestry.com.
            It was a communication I’d expected for fifty some years.
            I wrote about it in the memoir that was just published on the nineteenth of this month. Adrenaline Junkie.
            A book it turns out she had read just after discovering I was her birth father.
            Here’s the first message she sent me:
           
Hi, I recently did my ancestry DNA and apparently we are closely related. I was adopted at birth. I have no biological family information, including medical history. I don't know if you have or are willing to give me any information on who I am, but if you are I would appreciate it. Thank you.
Signed, Maria

To which I replied:

Nov 21, 2018
Hi Maria,
How old are you and when were you adopted? I have a daughter and was married to her mother and unfortunately was in a place where I couldn't stop it, but she put our daughter up for adoption. That would have been in 1967 or 1968. I've often wondered what happened to that little girl. If it's possible it was you, I would absolutely love to meet you!

Blue skies,
Les Edgerton
Here's a place with my photo and some info about me. Nowadays, I live in Ft. Wayne, IN.
www.lesedgertononwriting.blogspot.com/

And she came back with:

Maria
Nov 21, 2018
Well, that would match. I was born in 1967. Wow, a lot to take in, going from no history to this in a matter of minutes. I would very much like to meet you. Let me know some times that would be convenient. I was adopted as an infant and given no information. I am so overjoyed right now.

I replied, sending her my contact info and the little information I had about her mother. She sent me the following email:

It should take us about 2 hours, to get there, I hope that is okay, which would be about 1730 hours. My husband, Joe, is a finish carpenter, though he can do most any type of general contractor work. My daughter, Nikole, is a supervisor with Forte Residential and Home Health Care Services, working with families with disabilities. She is a certified behavioral technician, having passed her boards for that this year. She graduated from college in Nebraska in 2013, completing her BA in 3 1/2 years, while working 3 jobs, (I am a little proud). She recently took the job with Forte after working for several years with Meridian as a behavioral clinician. She was very good at her job, however she was given several of the worst cases of child abuse/neglect in St Joseph County to handle during that time, and needed a change for her own mental health. I am a Public Service officer, certified in mental first aid, assisting individuals in crisis, group crisis intervention, and suicide prevention. Fortunately, I've only had two seriously suicidal people recently and one who was homicidal/suicidal, and all three ended well. I also train all new hires. In 2013, I had a several tumors removed, one of which was over 5 lbs, and apparently was not breathing for a little while during the surgery. During that same time, I had to be cut open in the doctor's office to relive some bleeding that was pooling and apparently could kill me. The doctor had to cut me open in her office, without benefit or anesthesia, or even Listerine, (I asked), I didn't yell at all, not wanting to scare the other patients, but my poor husband passed out. Apparently, I was squeezing his hands too hard. He is a very wonderful man. We spent a lot of 2011-2013 in and out of hospitals, (everything is good now), and it was very hard on him, so he goes a little overboard on the protective side sometimes, but I figure he earned it. He is very excited to meet you. The tumors and cancer were what started my quest in earnest, as I had no medical history. We had my daughter checked and she was at risk for some of the same things I had, which we dealt with immediately, so she won't have to go through the years of pain, but I wanted to try to find out everything I could to help ensure her health. I didn't dare hope I would actually find a close family member, let alone birth father. I had applied for my birth certificate, as soon as it became possible on July 15, but still have not received it. I had no information to go on, it was a closed adoption, didn't list even a city of birth, my birth certificate was actually issued April of 1968, my birthday being Oct 8, 1967. My dad offered to help, but I wouldn't have put him in that position, he always worked so hard to protect me, I wouldn't knowingly create another issue for him. Finally knowing that I have family and that family wanted me and wants to meet me, is wonderful to hear and over whelming. I am very excited to meet you and hope that I do not disappoint. I am overjoyed to hear I have more siblings, too!!

See you Monday!

Maria

Some more tidbits…

Maria, I was "downstate" when you were born, but I'm pretty sure it was in Memorial. When Sherry put you up for adoption (against my will), she'd given you a name but didn't tell me. But you had a legitimate birth and a legitimate mother and father. That was very important to me and why I insisted she marry me, so that you wouldn't be illegitimate. I don't understand why none of this info was made available to you. You weren't some illegitimate baby at all. I wish I could tell you more about Sherry but I was only with her for a few months. She was a very small blonde and worked in the office of an insurance company and I don't recall the name, alas.

Blue skies,
Les

I was so overjoyed to read in your book that you wanted me and that you tried everything to keep me. That it was in there, without your ever knowing if I would read it, means that it was how you really felt and that means more than if I had been told that my birth parents named me this or did this or that.

Maria

            Well, we met in person when Maria and her husband Joe came down and spent Monday evening with us. I can’t begin to describe the feelings I experienced during that time. Maria looks like me (poor girl!) and it turns out we share a lot of genetic traits. She’s already corresponding with her new sisters, Britney and Sienna, and they’ve all made plans to meet and are all excited to have a new sister(s). Mike is also anxious to meet his new sister.

She’s just an amazing person and I’m so blessed to have been able to meet her and begin a relationship with her. The timing of this is just incredible. Adrenaline Junkie had just come out a day before she found out I was her father and I’d written about her in it and it meant the world to her to find out she was truly wanted. She told me she’d always had a feeling of being unwanted all her life and it meant so much to her to find out her birth father had really wanted her.

So that’s it. I have a new daughter and my life has been immeasurably enlarged and blessed. As happens so often, true life is much more interesting than fiction! If I never make a dollar from my memoir, I’ve already earned a treasure from its existence.

Blue skies,
Les

P.S. If you’re interested, a full account of Maria’s birth situation is in my memoir.

ORDER HERE

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Elizabeth White invites me to her blog

Hi folks,

I was invited by Elizabeth White to be a guest on her writer's blog and here's the post. Hope you enjoy the read!



What We Say Ain’t Always What We Mean… By Les Edgerton
It’s an honor to welcome Les Edgerton back to the site. There are a lot of people out there writing noir, but Les is the real deal. His life experiences give his writing a verisimilitude you can’t learn from a book or earn via an MFA (though he has one of those). Over the years, Les has shared with readers anecdotes from his fascinating life. Now, in large part as a journey of introspection and the desire to figure out how he arrived at this point in his life, Les has finally put pen to paper and memorialized his amazing life story, Adrenaline Junkie (Down & Out Books), for posterity. Despite having lived a life packed with more action than most ever dream of, Les is here today to explain that, at least in the world of writing, “action” doesn’t necessarily mean what you might think it does.




A MAJOR FLAW IN TEACHING CREATIVE WRITING (FICTION) EFFECTIVELY LIES IN OUR TERMINOLOGY: What we say ain’t always what we mean…
I read a lot of blogs from other writers, agents, editors and other professionals in the writing game, and I read a lot of letters from writers responding to those posts. Alas, again and again, I see some general misconceptions about writing techniques and story structure that I’d like to address.
I see the same misconceptions from my students in my online classes and from clients I work with.
The misconceptions seem to arrive from misunderstanding the definitions of the terms we employ in describing fiction writing and fiction techniques.
I’ve come to believe that much of the misunderstandings writers have stem from the fact that many of our terms are lay terms, and while the definitions assigned certain terms have their root in “lay” or “dictionary” definitions, there are significant differences when applied to writing, and it is these differences that cause a certain amount of confusion.
That sounds like a lot of goobly-gook, doesn’t it? Sorry! I’ll try to explain better.
A good example of what I’m talking about that I’ve seen a lot written about lately refers to the term “action” in fiction. A nonwriter usually thinks of action in reference to drama—books, movies, plays, and television—as some kind of physical activity. Many times, the word evokes images of melodrama—bombings, kidnappings, shootings, stabbings, beatings, rapes… violent physical action, in other words. Lots of noise, screams, smoke, and fury. Writers need to think differently and understand that action in fiction means something much more than in real life.
I just read a letter on another blog from a beginning writer who complained that she began her novel with action—in her case, an armed robbery involving her protagonist—and then couldn’t figure out why this didn’t hook the agent she’d sent it to. She said he turned her manuscript down because while the robbery hooked him in the very beginning, it turned out to be mostly unrelated to the story that followed. This poor writer had done what a lot of writers seem to do. She thought that when teachers, agents and editors said they wanted to be “hooked” immediately on the first page, they were looking for something along the lines of that lay definition of action. A gun going off or whatever.
Not.
The term “action” when applied to fiction means something vastly broader and more encompassing of other activities than the stuff listed above. While it can include those kinds of activities, literary action also encompasses many other things. Dialog is action, for instance. A character driving down the road and seeing a dead plover is also action. A character reading a newspaper on the subway is action. Anything a character is doing is action.
This one misunderstood term is to blame for many of the mistakes made in creating a manuscript, especially when trying to follow the advice of the pros.

For the rest of this article, go to here  

Blue skies,
Les