Thursday, October 25, 2012

MIRROR, MIRROR just went live on Amazon!

Hi folks,

My YA thriller, MIRROR, MIRROR just went live and for sale on Amazon! Not sure when the paperback version will be available but the ebook is available. I'm really excited! Hope you folks glom onto a copy and like it.

Order here:

Thank you for your support!

Blue skies,

P.S. Wrote this one for my little girls, Britney and Sienna.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hi folks,

I'm really... I mean... REALLY jazzed! Jon Bassoff, my publisher at New Pulp Press has just sent me the cover for my nihilistic novel, THE RAPIST, and it's just gorgeous! Take a look and see what you think. (Just click on it to enlarge it.)

The publication date is March 20, 2013, but it may be offered early in a pre-pub sale. I'll keep you informed.

This novel is the best work I've ever done and I'm extremely proud of it. I cannot wait to have a copy in my hot little hand! It'll come out as a paperback and an ebook.

Please keep it in mind next spring when it's available!

Blue skies,

P.S. Here are some of the other blurbs that will appear in the novel. Also, Cort McMeel is writing the forward for it. Cort was the initial champion for it and has a lot to do with it getting into the right hands and published.

Other blurbs:


1. Les Edgerton presents an utterly convincing anti-hero. The abnormal psychology is pitch-perfect. The Rapist ranks right up there with Camus' The Stranger and Simenon's Dirty Snow. An instant modern classic.
Allan Guthrie, author of Slammer and others. Publisher, Blasted Heath Books

2. So, I’m reading Les Edgerton’s The Rapist. The title has already made me uneasy.

Five pages in and I can hardly breathe.

Ten and I’m nauseous.

For the next 50, I’m a mixture of all of the above, but most of all, angry.

I feel like ringing my feminist friends and confessing: Sisters, I’m reading something you will kill me for reading.

I feel like ringing my ex colleagues - parole officers and psychologists who work with sex offenders in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow - and asking them if they think it’s helpful to publish an honest and explicit transcript which shows the cognitive distortions of a callous, grandiose, articulate sex offender; one which illustrates his inability to have a relationship with a woman and his complete lack of empathy?

I’m thinking I don’t know what I should be thinking.

Will it turn sex offenders on?

Should we listen to this guy?

Is it possible to separate the person from the offence, and to empathise with him as he waits to die?

I don’t ring anyone.

I read on.

And the breathlessness, nausea, anger and confusion increase all the way to the end, at which point all I know is that the book is genius.
Helen Fitzgerald, author, Dead Lovely, Bloody Women, The Devil’s Staircase, Donor and others.

3. Take a Nabokovian narrator trying to convince the reader of his innocence and filter it through An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and you've got The Rapist, a raw and frightening journey through the inner psyche of a damaged man.
Brian Lindenmuth, Publisher, Spinetingler Magazine and Snubnose Press

4. One never knows what to expect when reading a novel entitled “The Rapist,” yet, similar to “The Bitch” which precedes this, with Les Edgerton you know you're in for an interesting ride. Tackling a tough subject with great aplomb, Les Edgerton proves once again why he is one of the most exciting writers of this generation. The structure of this just astounded me. I've never read anything like it before. I've never been so engrossed in a novel as I was with this one. I had no idea Edgerton had this literary part of his writing. I don't know of any other writers that can go from crime fiction to literary so seamlessly. Edgerton should be very proud of this novel...
One of the bravest pieces of fiction you are likely to read this year, and also one of the best. This is a novel you'll want to read again and again, an outstanding read!
Luca Veste, author of the story collections Liverpool 5, and More Liverpool Five. He is also the editor of the story collection, Off the Record

5. The Rapist blends Camus and Jim Thompson in an existential crime novel that is as dark and intoxicating as strong Irish coffee. Les Edgerton pulls us into the corkscrew mind of Truman Ferris Pinter, a twisted man with skewed perception of the world, as his life spirals toward oblivion, like dirty dishwater down a plughole. It reminded me of Jim Thompson's Savage Night in its delirium.
Paul D Brazill, Author, 13 Shots Of Noir and others.

6. Les Edgerton’s book The Rapist is Albert Camus’ The Stranger retold as if by the lovechild of Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Bukowski. Yes, it’s disturbing, yet layered and provocative, with its combination of mysticism and perversion. I particularly like the cat and mouse relationship between the protagonist Truman and the prison warden—it’s reminiscent of The Shawshank Redemption. This tale, with its many twists and turns, is definitely not for the faint of heart—but then, the title should have made that clear.
Scott Evans, Editor, Blue Moon Literary and Art Review, Author, First Folio

7. William Faulkner on steroids or Hannibal Lecter on meth; neither as literate or frightening as Les Edgerton in his ground-breaking novel, The Rapist. This intellectual tour-de-force rips open the mind of a delusional psychopath taking the reader on a raw journey that challenges Dante’s Inferno. And the last line of the book is the penultimate example of a sociopath’s naked ego.
R.C. Stewart, author of The Blackness of Darkness, No Remorse and others.

8. A deathdream swan dive from the existential stratosphere plummeting into the personal hell of a tormented, broken psyche, The Rapist introduces us to a gentle and philosophical misanthrope named Truman Pinter, at once reminiscent of Albert Camus and Patricia Highsmith, even John Gardner’s Grendel and the journal of Carl Panzram. Les Edgerton melds introspection and visceral, human brutality in this death row narrative from a masterful storyteller, whose dissection of a psychopath will haunt you long after the final page.
Thomas Pluck, Well-known commentator on the noir scene, many short stories published in magazines such as the Utne Reader, Editor of the anthology, THE PROTECTOR.

9. The Rapist is a disturbing look into the twisted mind of a narcissistic psychopath on death row. A vulgar odyssey reminiscent of Nabokov’s Lolita, although far more depraved, Les Edgerton has crafted a dark and brilliant story that leaves you as equally unsettled as it does in complete awe.
Julia Madeleine, author of No One To Hear You Scream and The Truth About Scarlet Rose

10. When Les Edgerton asked me to read an ARC of “The Rapist” he warned me with that title it may not be my thing and he was okay with whatever I decided. I knew of his writing books like Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go and Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing  but never had looked at any of his fiction. I was prepared for something graphic but he refused to talk about the plot or storyline. No hints.

I was ready to be offended. I’m a strong advocate for women’s equality and won’t tolerate or put my name near anything that belittles woman.  With a title of “The Rapist” it had two and a half strikes before I read the first line because rape is all about a man having power over a woman.

From the first pages the words and voice made me think of American literature masters like Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe I was forced to read in high school. The difference was in school I still muttered about reading dead masters and times, but grew to love the descriptions, plots and characters that transported me to another moment in history. In “The Rapist” I read greedily to see where the book was going, totally engrossed in the story. The honesty and freshness of the words from the main character kept me glued to the page to see what happened to the man caught in the worst circumstances and an act of degradation to woman. That is about all I want to say about the plot. I understand Les’s reasons for not explaining the details. You need fresh eyes to appreciate it but that isn’t to say I won’t go back and reread it like other writing masters savoring it. It is one of those books that each time you read it, you find another kernel of truth, a pearl of wisdom. It has that many facets wrapped in rich layers of dialogue, characterization and setting that pounded with each of the rapist’s heartbeat. I was hooked from the first page.
Wendy Gager, author of A Case of Infatuation, A Case of Accidental Intersection, and A Case of Hometown Blues.

11. Les Edgerton’s masterly The Rapist is a deeply disturbing journey into the murky recesses of the mind of psychopathic death row inmate Truman Ferris Pinter. An intellectual, erudite, philosophical misanthrope, Truman draws the reader inexorably into his fractured web. There are times when one nods one’s head in agreement with his well-reasoned arguments, only to shrink back in horror at the realisation. Sympathy for The Devil, indeed, in this dark vision of a black heart that is both astoundingly honest and ultimately terrifying.
Lesley Ann Sharrock former publisher/editor Moondance Media, author of 7th Magpie.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Trailer for Noir at the Bar, Vol 2 Anthology

Hi folks,

Scott Phillips, the co-editor (with Jed Ayres) of the just-released Noir at The Bar Vol 2 anthology, just sent out this video trailer. I'm very proud to be included in a truly stellar cast of noir writers.

Please be warned--there is adult content that might not be appropriate for children.

Check it out at

Also, here's a podcast review of the anthology.

Blue skies,

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Hi folks,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit, but I’ve been out of it since Bouchercon and have gotten dozens and dozens of emails since and thought it might make more sense if I just told you guys what’s been going on.

First, I’ve been through a week of what feels like a Dickens' or Russian novel, but I’m emerging fairly well.

For starters, I went to Bouchercon last week, anticipating a magical time. Well… as it turned out, it wasn’t. It’s kind of forced me to face my own mortality.

I arrived on Thursday, checked into the airport Marriott which is about 15 miles away from the convention center at the Renaissance Marriott. Jumped back in my rental and headed for the convention. This trip was a really big deal for me. It represented an opportunity to reconnect with mystery/suspense/thriller/noir writers I’m friends with and meet new writers whom I’ve admired from afar. My wife and I kind of mortgaged our Christmas and other things to pay for it and I planned to make some hay! Maybe even hook up with a publisher or three to look at some of my work. You know—what us writer-types do when we go to professional conferences. We saw it as an investment in our future.

What do they say? Man plans… and God laughs?

True that.

I got to the hotel and that’s when the troubles began. MapQuest didn’t alert me that navigating downtown Cleveland is a nightmare. I finally got to a downtown Marriott and parked a block away at their underground garage. I have fairly severe COPD and it about wore me out to hike from the garage to the hotel… only to run into old friend Hallie Ephron who told me the convention was at another Marriott—the Renaissance—which happened to be two blocks further away. For you young whippersnappers, that’s a piece of cake, but it took me the good part of half an hour to hike it, having to stop several times to catch my breath and hold a mirror up to see if my breath still showed…

Finally, I made it to the host hotel and went directly to…

The Bar.

Where else? It’s where the action of writer’s conferences is always at. First, I had to register, which entailed a walk of what seemed half a mile down the hall to the opposite end. Finally, that done, I hiked back to the bar and ordered some meds… a Jack and water. Instantly revived!

Where I was soon embroiled in conversation with a writer who wanted to lecture me about The Differences Between Plot-Based and Character-Based Fiction. Precisely why I always go to the bar and don’t attend a lot of panels which are often about things like: The Differences Between Plot-Based and… you get it. After I extricated myself from this guy, I started to see old friends and was introduced to new ones and everything was cool again. Made friends with the bartenders who were great. This one bartender even bought me a drink. That’s when you know you’ve arrived.

Spent a largely pleasurable evening chatting with other writers. Don’t ask me their names. I have to check my own nametag to remember my own. My wife usually goes with me to serve as my memory, due to my Halfzeimer’s. Well, I remember some—Eric Beetner, my old friend Jed Ayres, Johnny Shaw (whose new book I just finished and it was one of the best reads I’ve had in a long while), Tom Pluck, Josh Stallings, Christa Faust, Dominic Martell and a bunch of other terrific writers. As the cartoon guy says, the whole evening was “Happy, happy, joy, joy.”

Finally left to go to the parking garage three blocks away and got discombobulated (lost, homey), and it took over an hour to find my car. Wondering what the city of Cleveland had done to their oxygen supply. Finally made it back to my motel, after encountering a detour on the way and eventually figuring out how to find my digs.

Got up the next day (Friday) and headed back to the convention center. Good day. Met lots of cool writers, saw old friends, generally had a great time. Ate some fried calamari. Some of the best I’ve ever eaten. I’ll come back to that in a bit…

That evening was our Noir @ the Bar reading at the Wonderbar. It was only two blocks away but I couldn’t walk it so some really nice folks—Lee Thompson and Sabrina Ogden were kind enough to go with me and share a cab. You know, humor the old dude… I think a guy I desperately wanted to meet as I’m a huge admirer of his work was there—Duane Swierczynskybut if he was, alas, I didn’t get to meet him. The reading went well even though the mics were terrible. I had a guy come up to me afterward and introduce himself as a publisher and he bought four of my books (thank you!) and we’d kind of made plans to meet up the next day but as it turned out that was not to be. Sir, if you happen to read this, please give me a shout!

From the reading, we went back to the Renaissance and that’s when things began to go hinky. A boatload of us were gathered in the lobby just off the bar and things began hitting me. I remember asking someone if they could find me a room I could crash in that night as I didn’t think I could make it back to my hotel. I’d begun breaking out into cold sweats and feeling faint. I didn’t want to come across as a wuss, so I just slouched down in a chair and eventually passed out (not from drinking, from illness). I woke up at 3 ayem and the place was deserted. I honestly thought I might be dying. Not to be melodramatic, but that’s the way I felt. I didn’t see any way around it, so forced myself up and down to the parking garage and found my car and drove back to my hotel. Somehow…

Woke up at six ayem and turned over and my stomach began cramping big-time and I began the first of about eight ralphings. Calimari. Felt like I was dying. Food poisoning, I assumed. There was no way I could return to the convention. I called and asked for a late checkout and then spent two hours between the porcelain goddess and packing and finally piled in my car and began the three-and-a-half hour drive back to Ft. Wayne. Pure hell all the way.

Got there, found out I’d had a hemorrhoid burst and about a cup of blood lost. Went to bed and got up the next morning and there was more bright red blood. Either a second ‘roid or the last gasps of the first one. Mary took me to the ER and we got there at 11:30 and they took a bunch of tests as they thought maybe it wasn’t food poisoning but gallbladder—in fact, I’d emailed novelist John Gilstrap to tell him why I’d left so abruptly and he suggested it might not be food poisoning but gallbladder—John, looks like you might be right—awaiting test results. Sat in the ER room until 7:30 that night and they finally released us. They talked about doing something called a “hemorrhoidectomy” and then decided against it for the time being. Ended up the next several days traipsing from doctor’s offices to hospitals to labs, et al. Tested for pancreas, lumbar (another story), gall bladder and other things. Oh, forgot—on the way home from Cleveland got a severe sore throat and cough and mentioned it at the ER but there was so many other things they forgot it. Gave me a breathing treatment for my COPD and put me on two different inhalers and all kinds of other crap. Two days later, went to RediMed as I was coughing nonstop and they diagnosed acute bronchitis and possible pneumonia and gave me meds for that. And then, just as life was looking kind of gray… it went positively black. Mary took our only car in as the idiot light went on and the news was that the engine’s shot. They said all we could do is drive it till it dropped—nothing could be done. So, that’s where we are with the car. If it goes we don’t have money for a new engine or for a new used car, so just hope our shoe leather holds up.

That brings us to yesterday. My strength and energy were starting to return which was good as I had an engagement to speak to the Indiana Romance Writers in Indy. Rented a car, drove down, and had a really good visit with those delightful folks. Felt re-energized.

Anyway, that was my week, right out of Dickens or Tolstoy. Not looking for sympathy—well, maybe a little—but it’s just easier to post this here than to reply to all the individual emails that have been coming in. I appreciate each and every one of those, btw—it’s just going to be impossible to reply to them quickly so hope y’all understand. And I wanted those folks at Bouchercon who I was going to meet with know why I wasn’t able to.

The good news? And, yes there is some. My students in both my online creative writing class and the Skype class I co-teach with Jenny Milchman for the New York Writer’s Workshop. Every single one of them has been extremely understanding and gracious. They’ve allowed me an extra week to get it together and they’ll never know how much I appreciate that. It means the world to me and I won’t forget.

Anyway, the one thing I’ve learned in my journey is that life is cyclic. It’s not up forever and it’s not down forever. I’m pretty sure something really cool and good is going to happen soon. I mean… I’m not just whistling past the graveyard here am I?

Thanks for all of your well-wishes and thoughts. Here’s something remarkable. Stuff like this shows a person the true value of friends. A good friend of mine—Bob (I won’t embarrass you by giving your last name, Bob) has far worse things going on in his life than I do—his beloved wife is dying right now and may even be gone at this moment)—Bob has truly serious things on his plate, and yet, he took the time out to call me and voice his support for me. Now… who does that? Only a truly selfless person. Thanks, Bob. People like Bob keep reminding me of that great philosopher Red Green and what he always says:

Keep your stick on the ice. I’m pulling for ya. We’re all in this together.

Yes we are.

Blue skies,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bouchercon Reading from Snubnose Press Authors

Hi folks,

For those going to Bouchercon, please consider visiting our reading at Noir @ the Bar at the Wonderbar near the host hotel, on Friday night from 7-8 pm. It's all Snubnose Press authors... and our entourage... Otherwise, I'll be at the bar in the host hotel. Look me up!

Ryan Sayles is on the marquee but I understand he has a new commitment to go to for his new book.

Be there or be square!

Blue skies,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Publishers and some of the horses they rode in on...

Hi folks,

Just some things on my mind that keep me awake at night…

As I’ve been doing this writing and publishing thing for a long time, I’ve been fortunate enough to make some friends who have access to the powers-that-be in publishing. From those folks, I’ve learned things that aren’t taught in MFA programs or how-to books or at writing conventions. And much of what I learn disturbs me. Actually… it doesn’t disturb me—it flat-out pisses me off.

When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to be was a writer. I deemed it the most honorable of all professions. Good books—I was taught—were the source of knowledge and of truth. It was that truth thing that really attracted me. I was born into one of those dysfunctional families most of us writer-types seem to come from—one of those families in which truth was somewhat deficit from in our daily dealings with each other. For instance, I was abused in a variety of ways by a religious fanatic of a mother and by a father who abused me in another variety of ways. Not trying to make a victim’s case here—just laying out the way it was. It was about a year ago that I finally discovered that my father wasn’t going to show up in my DNA. After 68 years, I finally learned the truth about the man. It wasn’t that my mother suddenly felt the urge to confess. Nope. I learned the truth from having a DNA test done with myself and one of my sisters. Last I heard, my mother was still rewriting the story she laid on me…

Anyway, the truth has always been my standard. Why I became a writer. Why I had a personal agenda to always tell the truth in my fiction, no matter how it might make me look to others. A long time ago, I came upon a piece of wisdom that I’ve always believed—that the greatest of writers are those who are willing to go deep inside themselves and expose that part of us that most people try to keep hidden. That place where real truth resides.

I’m saying all this in preface to what’s keeping me up at night. For years, it seems, I’ve been more than a bit na├»ve. I’ve simply taken it on faith that publishers had the same impetus as I have—to search for truth and present it to the world. A noble thing, both for editors and publishers and writers.

And, I was wrong. Or, maybe I was right at one time but things have changed a lot in our culture.

A close friend of mine who is close to the decision-makers in publishing recently told me a couple of very disturbing things. It was concerning a book of mine, THE BITCH. I consider it the best thing I’ve ever written and I’ve been extremely gratified that a whole boatload of people I admire and respect—fellow writers—quality writers—have agreed with my own opinion and have been gracious enough to say so in public. I wanted desperately to see it in print, but alas, so far have been unable to attract a print publisher. It is in ebook form and I’m grateful for that. At least it’s out there for folks to read.

But, what’s disturbing me is that my aforementioned friend had earlier championed it among print publishers. What he told me is what keeps me up at night. Two instances.

One concerns a publisher of crime novels who agreed with my friend that the book was, indeed “brilliant,” but passed on it saying “it had too many elements that could be considered politically incorrect. (italics mine). Excuse me… but what the fuck? A publisher who even considers if writing is or isn’t politically correct? This isn’t a publisher at all, in my opinion. This is a bookseller who wants to be seen as a publisher. Probably wears those jackets with leather patches on the sleeves and hangs out in writerly bars in Gotham City. But, a guy who proclaims himself a publisher and won’t publish something because it’s “politically incorrect?” Excuse me, but when I was in the joint we had a name for folks like this. The name was… punk. I understand all about protecting one’s livelihood, but we’re talking about a publisher, not a life insurance salesman. (Nothing against insurance salesmen!). This is what I always assumed publishing was all about. Putting out books that spoke the truth, no matter how inconvenient. And, truth is more often than not inconvenient.

This guy’s attitude just pisses me off. What really irritates me is that he isn’t exposed for the poser he is. Most writers aren’t aware of his attitude. I really wish I could name him and call him out, but the lawyers on my block tell me that isn’t a wise move.

The other person that keeps me tossing and turning is the guy who was the editor of a Legacy 6 publisher. Who told our mutual friend that he’d love to publish THE BITCH, but he couldn’t because his boss told him that if he signed any book that earned a dime less than $30,000 he’d be fired. Not chewed out or had his charge card suspended for a week or banished to the office without the window, but fired. So his “brave new imprint” that was going to publish “new, original and exciting talent” couldn’t for fear of loss of his corner office and he thereafter only considered brand names. Instead of finding that new or unknown talent he proclaimed to the world was his intent, his days consisted mostly of trying to snatch brand name writers away from other houses. The more I talked to others in the industry, the more I discovered that this was becoming a standard for an awful lot of publishers. This guy, like the first guy, showed his own level of courage. Which was tied to his wallet. I understand this in many trades and professions but always thought publishers and editors looked upon what they did as a “calling.” Turns out it’s about as much of a calling as wearing an animal costume down at the fast food restaurant for minimum wage. (Nothing against the folks who wear animal costumes—they’re very honest about doing it for the bread only.)

What these guys don’t realize is that this kind of attitude is what is going to be their downfall. They’re becoming punks in jailhouse vernacular. And, their fate will be the same. It’s their current mindset and publishing policies that will spell their eventual doom. For what’s happening is that there are publishers out there who do believe in truth and who do believe in writers who are courageous and who are themselves courageous in the books they publish.

Right now, they’re small. But, they’re growing. Publishers like Snubnose Press, New Pulp Press, Bare Knuckles Press, StoneGate Ink and several others. I’m sorry to omit listing them all and apologize for that omission. They’re growing and there’s a reason. They’re not afraid to publish something that might be controversial.

Print publishers think they’re losing sales due to the cheaper costs associated with ebooks. That’s a part of it, but another reason is that readers also want quality for their purchases and don’t find enough originality in the same old books they’ve had available before. There are just some new and exciting things out there and it’s the new guys on the block who are providing it.

Writing that appeals to everyone isn’t writing. It’s typing. If a book doesn’t piss off at least some readers, I maintain it isn’t worth much. It’s Pravda.

There. That’s my rant. I feel better now.

I hope you’ll consider buying a copy of THE BITCH. If it somehow becomes such a seller that a print publisher wants it, I’d love that, but I’ll also tell you that I won’t let it go to one of the kinds of publishers described above.

Here’s what some of those respected writers had to say about it:

THE BITCH is the kind of raw crime fiction that's right up my alley, like sandpaper for the brain. Edgerton has got the chops. Mad chops. Gonna make us all ashamed of our puny efforts one day.
--Anthony Neil Smith, bestselling author of Choke on Your Lies, Psychomatic, Hogdoggin’, Yellow Medicine, The Drummer, To the Devil, My Regards, Devil Red (Hap and Leonard) and others.

The Bitch is a vicious barnstormer of a novel, a noir rollercoaster that won't let you unbuckle until that final three-word smackdown. Les Edgerton is Eddie Bunker's pulpy cousin and Eugene Izzi's soul brother, and with a spiritual family like that, you can't go wrong. Pick it up immediately.
--Ray Banks, internationally bestselling author of Dead Money, Beast of Burden, The Big Blind. Saturday’s Child, Donkey Punch, No More Heroes and others.

Les Edgerton doesn’t pussyfoot around. He writes about real people drowning in desperation in THE BITCH. He’s got a story to tell you so get ready; it’s coming at you fast. Get ready…              Linwood Barclay, international bestselling author of Never Look Away, Clouded Vision, The Last Resort, Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, No Time for Goodbye, The Accident and others.

Les Edgerton’s brilliantly hardboiled THE BITCH is the tense and hard hitting story of Jake Bishop, a reformed ex-con whose dark past drags him back into a life of crime like an umbilical cord tied tight around his neck. Paul D. Brazill, author of 13 Shots of Noir.

I liked THE BITCH so much that I wanted to publish it. But we lost out and Bare Knuckles Press got a hell of a book. The Bitch is a dark crime fiction story that never once pulls a punch or ducks behind some bullshit like “happy endings” or “closure.” The Bitch isn't afraid to stay dark until the very end. —Brian Lindenmuth, editor/publisher of Snubnose Press and Spinetingler Magazine.

From its opening sentence to its last, THE BITCH is an engrossing journey into some very dark places. Les Edgerton writes like a poet with a mean streak, and his prose goes down easy and smooth like good liquor as it carves up your insides. —Henry Perez, author of Mourn the Living and Killing Red.

Imagine, if you will, Les Edgerton, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler sipping straight whiskey while swapping lies in the back booth of the Linebacker bar as the “noir” legends welcome Edgerton into the brotherhood of broken dreams. With THE BITCH, Edgerton earns his way into this special literary brotherhood. No, The Bitch isn’t a wild woman, but prison slang for “ha-BITCH-ual criminal.” This is a taut tale of double-cross, death, diamonds and destruction as Jake Bishop fights to protect all he holds dear—his freedom, his pregnant wife, and his teen-age brother -- by holding The Bitch at bay when trapped into one last job. Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe could learn a thing or two from this hairdresser.—Bob Stewart, author of Remorse (Pinnacle) a True Crime Book of the Month selection, Hidden Evil, and others.

Les Edgerton. I just read his newest hard-boiled effort, THE BITCH, and I realized I didn't once breathe through the entire thing. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it is one of the most fun, dangerous, if not pyromanic literary performances of the past year (word up is that parts of it are taken from Les's own life. Holy crap, this guy shouldn't be alive!). Like Les's previous bestselling nonfiction effort on writing, HOOKED, this novel is a sure bet.—Vincent Zandri author of The Remains, The Innocent, Moonlight Falls and The Concrete Pearl.

THE BITCH is superb. Edgerton’s hard, pitch-perfect prose and relentless plot provide a one-two knockout punch of crime novel perfection...the real bitch of THE BITCH is that I tried to buy this priceless work and publish it under a new imprint and I couldn't afford the damn thing. Now it’s gold in someone else's pocket.—Cortright McMeel, author of Short (St. Martin’s Press), founding editor and publisher of Murdaland Magazine: Crime Fiction for the 21st Century and  Noir Nation: International Journal of Crime Fiction.

Every crime novelist remembers how his breath was literally taken away when he first started to read the early novels of Elmore Leonard. Les Edgerton has used the time he served in prison well. Years from now many future crime writers will also remember discovering him. His first crime novel, -but not his first published book THE BITCH is a realistic crime noir kind of novel that reminds me of Unknown Man 89, La Brava, Stick, and The Killer Inside Me (Jim Thompson). —Joseph Trigoboff, author of The Bone Orchard and The Shooting Gallery.

These guys’ opinions mean something to me. The guy who’s afraid to publish a book that may be “politically incorrect?” Not so much…

Thanks for listening to my rant! I’d be interested in other writer’s stories about their publishing experiences. Now I can maybe get some sleep tonight and rest up for the forthcoming Bouchercon.

Blue skies,

To order: