Friday, December 24, 2021



Hi folks,


Just got a wonderful Christmas present! Just signed contracts for two more of my novels to be published in Italian by Elliot Edizones! Editor Loretta Santini has chosen THE DEATH OF TARPONS and THE BITCH to be published next. The first novel she chose, HARD TIMES, is doing really well in sales and we expect even more with these next two as my work becomes more and more known. This will make four of my novels translated into Italian. Bookseller Mauro Falciani is responsible for all four being taken, beginning with THE RAPIST from Odoya Publishing.


What is so gratifying about Elliot is that when they take an author on, they take all of his work on as well. They create a true home for the writer. And, what’s really huge about Elliot is that my books end up in bookstores all over the country. A true publisher! This is the key to substantial sales and a national readership.


Loretta hasn’t announced the release dates of each but as soon as she does, I’ll post it.


This just caps off a great year in foreign publishing and sales for me. My craft book, HOOKED, was signed earlier by Japanese publisher Filmart-Sha Co., Ltd. for a very nice advance. They’ll be coming out with a first-run of 2,500 copies.


All-in-all, this has been a terrific year for me. To top it all off, my son Mike and his fiancé Vic have given Mary and me the best present of all—their cute-as-all-hell son Lewis Bud Edgerton.


Merry Christmas to everyone!


Blue skies,


And, here's my present to each of you!

Thursday, November 25, 2021


 Hi folks,

My son Mike and his fiance Victoria just had their baby! A boy they've named Lewis Bud Edgerton, arrived at 7:15 ayem today (I predicted 7:31 last night). weighing in at 9 lbs, 1 oz. Doc said he had the biggest feet he'd ever seen, Here's some pics of the family!

 Two of my three grandkids are holiday babies. Lewis is, or course, a Thanksgiving baby and Logan was a Fourth of July baby. Nicole wasn't born on a holiday so her birthday is its own holiday!

Everybody's doing great and Mary and I are just as proud as we could be!

Blue skies,


Thursday, November 18, 2021


 Hi folks,

Here's my editor, Loretta Santini of Italian publisher Elliot launching the Italian version of HARD TIMES. Today, it's on the shelves of all the bookstores in Italy! ALL OF 'EM! This is the secret of sales. Every one of my books that have been released to bookstores have sold out their print runs! I'M PUMPED!!!!

Here's the introduction Joe Lansdale so very graciously provided for this version:




        Les Edgerton is one of our best and most underrated writers, and that’s a sad moniker to throw at anyone. Underrated.

To know you’re doing fine work, and not obscure or abstract work, to wake up and go at it every day, hammer and tongs, with the understanding that you may not be reaching the wider audience you would like or deserve, that’s got to put a kink in your mindset from time to time.

        But Les seems to be made of stronger stuff, or has the ability to de-kink the kink and keep moving forward, writing one amazing book after another.

When he writes he takes his soul and winds it up and lets it loose and it sails across the literary skies with grace and truth, and damn if just about everyone seems to be looking in the wrong direction.

        I once told him, and meant it, that when he writes crime, he my favorite crime writer, though after one of his novels, I have to come up for air for a while before I leap into his next. His books can be that intense.

        Thing about Les, though, he’s not just a crime writer. He writes other things. And when he writes crime, he’s not just a crime writer. I like his kind of bonkers approach to fiction, as he both tells the daily truth, and tells the metaphorical truth as well.

A storm isn’t merely a storm, an arithmetic award torn in two is more than a piece of paper or a momentary disappointment in the life of his main character in Hard Times.

 It is the symbol for all she is, and you might say all she will be. The award is ripped in half by an envious boy. This leads to the main character taping it back together and tucking it away. Wounded dreams, deferred, taped up and stored in wishful reserve. That one scene tells you who Amelia is. How she sees life. How she handles it. Any happiness she might have comes with Scotch tape and disappointment.

        I have read a lot of Les’s work, and I have liked it all, but this, hands down, pinky-swear, is his finest novel to date. It takes place where I live—East Texas—and though I might have a quarrel here and there with how the location is presented, and a wish for a quotation mark, its minor. How it feels is presented with accuracy. How Amelia feels is unquestioned. He is inside of that character, and I don’t care if he’s an older man writing about a younger girl, a young woman, he remembers youth, and his radar is hot and high and he has picked up the human condition vibrating in the air. He knows people, and seems to best know people who exist on the edge, supported by hot smoke and a doubtful prayer.

        This is a dark and grimy story about a young girl growing up, making mistakes, and having to survive under tough conditions and enough disappointment Job might ask for room at the Devil’s table. Even the things that go well for Amelia come with that aforementioned Scotch tape and disappointment.

        I never had to deal with the things Amelia has to deal with, but I did deal with being poor, if not being dunked down at the bottom of abject poverty. My family was close to the bone all of the time, and as my father once said, if it cost a quarter to shit, we’d have to throw up. We thought of ourselves as broke, instead of poor, but what we have here is a different mindset. Amelia’s life is down deep in the greasy bucket of existence. A large bucket with slick sides and no easy way to climb out, jump out, and there’s no one to boost her up or to lower down a rope and say, “Take this. I’m pulling your ass out of there, sister.”

        And if there was a rope for Amelia, there’s a good chance it would fray and break.

        Amelia is in for it. Life is chasing her with an axe, so to speak. Still, she’s after that American Dream.

        I believe in it, by the way. I’m a product of it. But it’s a dream that some are better able to grasp. It’s a dream that isn’t constantly snatched away from some. But for others, it’s too far away to reach.

        But like Gatsby reaching out for the Green Light from his position on the pier, she never stops reaching. Or at least thinking about reaching.

        Let me add, I like how this novel feels, how it is written, how the characters are presented, even more than the plot. Which, is indeed engaging, but this is not a novel of stick figures chasing to the last page. It’s got meat on its bones and blood under its hide.

But the color of sweat and despair, the sounds of tragedy and unexpected comedy, the taste of hope covered in shit, will fill a readers head before one truly understands what it all means. Or before one understands that this is a quintessential American novel, in the way Wise Blood is, in the way Gatsby is. It seems simple, but buddy, it means bloody business.

        I wish I had written this.

        A writer can’t offer another writer greater praise.

        Truth is, though, only one writer could have written such a marvelous and constantly surprising book.

        Les Edgerton.

        And long may he write.




Joe R. Lansdale

Nacogdoches, Texas

Big Bear Manor


Thank you, Joe. I can die now and feel fulfilled. And, thank you Mauro Falciani for asking Joe for this.

Just two East Texas boys...

Blue skies,


Friday, October 29, 2021


 Hi folks,

Here's the cover for the Italian edition of HARD TIMES, by Elliot Press, which launches on November 24.

Many, many thanks to Mauro Falciani of Florence, Italy, who championed Hard Times to editor Loretta Santini of Elliot Publishing. This is the second of my books Mauro has recommended to Italian publishers (also THE RAPIST) which have resulted in being published in Italian.

Also, huge thanks to Joe Lansdale, who gave us a wonderful introduction to this version.

Blue skies,


Monday, October 4, 2021


 Hi folks,

Was just sent this article with a mention of Hooked in the San Francisco Chronicle! I'm jazzed!

Scenes from the life of a writer trying to write scenes

Barbara Lane October 4, 2021


The horror genre sometimes gets little literary praise, but nobody writes plot and dialogue like best-selling horror master Stephen King.

I met my friend Erin for lunch on Clement Street recently. As neither of us was ready yet, COVID-wise, to go inside to eat, we picked up sandwiches at Cafe Bunn Mi and sat down on a bench in front of the Richmond branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

I have a long and happy history with that library. I lived a block away for 25 years, and my son grew up in the children’s section. First it was on my lap as an enthusiastic attendee of the aptly named Lap Sit program, at which the librarian read stories. Later, along with countless other Richmond District children, he graduated to choosing his own books and sitting on the carpet to read, and finally to the perfectly kid-sized chairs. I loved that having a child gave me access to that little piece of heaven.

Erin is a writer and, like me, reads voraciously. She’s published nonfiction, writes a terrific newsletter and is working on a novel, so, as it always does, our talk turned to writing. Specifically, dropping into scene.

I read more than almost anyone I know, and it wasn’t until recently when I started writing (I should say struggling to write) fiction that I learned about scene. For those of you who don’t know, a scene is a section of your novel where a character or characters engage in action or dialogue. You can think of it as a story within the story, with a beginning, middle and an end. 

A scene has a specific time and place and point of view. It unfolds moment by moment and usually involves conflict and emotional change. Ideally, it has a goal. 

Aha! That was what was wrong with my so-called novel. Too much expository writing. I was making the classic mistake of telling, not showing. 

Erin recommended two books that have helped her with scene: Les Edgerton’s “Hooked” and, even though it’s about screenwriting, Robert McKee’s “Story.” I’ve heard raves from other writers about Stephen King’s “On Writing.”

A note about Stephen King: I’m not a fan of horror, and for years I ignorantly dismissed King as a mainstream commercial writer not worthy of my erudite attention. Then I read “11/22/63,” his novel about a time traveler who attempts to get back to that fateful day and stop Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  

Masterful, this book taught me plenty. Nobody writes plot and dialogue like Stephen King. I ate crow big-time.  Since then, I’ve read lots of King, most recently his terrific short story collection “If It Bleeds.”  

Great literary scenes stick in the memory: the fence whitewashing scene in “Tom Sawyer”; Emma Bovary’s erotic carriage ride with the young clerk Leon; the tea party scene in “The Great Gatsby”; George telling Lenny the fantasy of their little ranch in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”; the horse-head-in-the-bed scene in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.”  

In contemporary fiction, Francis Spufford writes a stunning opening scene of devastation in his new novel “Light Perpetual,” when a Woolworth’s store in South London and everyone in it is destroyed by a German rocket. “Mayflies,” Andrew O’Hagan’s latest novel, is full of vivid scenes of young, small-town, working-class men on a wild adventure at an epic music festival in Manchester, putting the reader right in the middle of the madness.   

And in Mohsin Hamid’s “Exit West,” any number of conversations between protagonists Saeed and Nadia drop into scene, doing more than any expository writing could to evoke the harsh reality of their unnamed, war-torn city.  

Think of your favorite writer, and I have no doubt you can recall a memorable scene or two. A well-written scene makes a novel sing. 

After Erin left that day, I wandered into the recently reopened library and was hit immediately with that soft, comforting library smell of old books. I walked into the children’s section to find the kid-sized chair with a plaque bearing my son’s name that I’d “bought” to support the renovation of the building in 2009. And there it was, the same fern-green wood, a beaver painted on its back, at a small table with five little chair mates. I could easily see 3-year-old Harry sitting happily with a picture book.  

Wow, I thought. This would make a good scene.

·         Barbara Lane Barbara Lane can’t remember a time when she didn’t have her nose in a book. Her column appears every other Tuesday in Datebook. Email:


Monday, May 24, 2021

New review for Hard Times

 Hi folks,

Just got a new review on Amazon by one of the writers I respect the most. Thanks, Doc!

Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021
Verified Purchase

I've read and loved a lot of Les' books, but this one confounded
 my expectations. It reminds me a lot of Flannery O'Connor's 
stories, where the whole world goes to hell and *then* things
 get worse. I thought this was going to be a rural love story
 with the looming specter of violence. But when it goes off
 the rails, wow, it really goes off the rails. And explodes. And 
attacks like a pack of feral dogs.

Three cheers, Butch. What a wild ride.

Blue skies,

Thursday, February 25, 2021


 Hi folks,

Click on the link to listen to my interview with Suspense Magazine. Includes some anecdotes about the relationship I had with Charles Manson and his cellmate.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Blue skies,


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Tuesday, February 2, 2021


 Hi folks,

It's so gratifying to see all the terrific reviews HARD TIMES is garnering! Thanks to all! Here's the latest"

Here's another review I'd missed when it came out and Bronzeville's PR director sent me the link. She was pleased that they'd selected our cover for the lead in the article. Click on:

Blue skies,


P.S. Thursday night I'll be reading from HARD TIMES live via Zoom for my alma mater, Vermont College, at 8 pm EST. Click on this link to register to attend. Hope to see y'all there!

Friday, January 29, 2021


 Hi Folks,

You're invited to my reading of a portion of my new novel, HARD TIMES, for my alma mater, Vermont College. Hope to see you there!

Blue skies,

Friday, January 8, 2021