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Les Edgerton Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Death of Tarpons (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Just Like That (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
12 Mad Men (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bomb! (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Monday's Meal (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mirror, Mirror (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Lagniappe (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Les Edgerton is an award-winning and bestselling American author of screenplays, novels, nonfiction books, and short stories. The subjects that he writes on are just as varied as the genres as he has written black comedy, sports novels, thrillers, literary fiction and books on the craft of writing. Edgerton was born in Odessa, Texas but was brought up in South Bend, Indiana and Freeport, Texas. He had quite the checkered life as he joined the US Navy as a teenager where he served for four years and went to prison for two years. It was after he left the military that he turned to crime and was later convicted for second-degree burglary and sentenced to between two to five in Pendleton Reformatory. After two years in prison, he got out and went to college at Indiana University from where he graduated with a bachelor’s before he went back to Vermont College for his MFA in writing. His novels have won several prestigious awards including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for short stories, a Derringer Award, O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize among many others. Together with his wife and children, he has been living for more than two decades in Ft. Wayne Indiana.

Many years ago, Les Edgerton was offered a job at the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. He would teach students for several years in the program since he was a good teacher and it was something that he enjoyed. During this time, he also taught at other universities including New York Writers’ Workshop, Writer’s Digest Online Classes, UCLA Writers’ Program, Trine University, University of Toledo, Phoenix College and St Francis University. While he loved teaching, he was forced to quit given the flawed philosophy and models of teaching that were imposed on teachers. According to Edgerton, most universities saw their students as customers and this made it almost impossible to provide constructive criticism to students. The universities did not look kindly at teachers pissing off their students and this ultimately proved too big of a stumbling block and he decided to quit. Once he quit, he set up his own online classes which he has run for more than a decade with many of his students going on to become bestselling authors and well-respected teachers.

Les Edgerton’s writing journey was not as arduous as those of many of his contemporaries as “Monday’s Meal” the first work he queried was accepted for publishing on the first try. The novel included short stories he had written when he was ten and twelve years old and hence, he asserts that getting published is all about knowing the right people and processes rather than the quality of the work. The reason for this assertion is that he had written publishable material as a preteen but what held him back was not knowing about agents and marketing to get his works published. Edgerton would, later on, sign with Jimmy Vines, who got his work submitted to auction. The race came down to between Random House and St. Martin with RH offering $45,000 and SM offering $50,000. In the end, he decided to go with Random House. He quit his odd jobs and was determined to make it as a professional author only for Random House to be bought out by Berlesmann who jettisoned his novel. While his agent promised that he would get his next novel sold for six figures, nothing came of it since Jimmy got pushed out of the company. He finally published it through a small independent publisher and while he did not make much from it, it gave him the confidence to finally publish his debut novel “The Death of Tarpons” in 1996.

Les Edgerton’s “The Death of Tarpons” tells the story of Corey, a middle-aged widower and grandfather in poor health who is heading back home to Freeport, Texas. His trip becomes more than a poignant journey as he reminisces on his childhood, when he had been abused by an obsessively religious and emotionally fragile mother and beaten by a violent and frustrated father. The only person he could turn to was his grandfather until he was diagnosed with cancer. Meanwhile, his father becomes increasingly detached while his mother’s mental health goes downhill fast just like his grandfather’s health. He has no one to share his troubles with as his best friend is also living in a dysfunctional and violent household. But the biggest tragedy is when his father decides that he should go live with relatives and he now faces the prospect of losing both his grandfather and best friend. Corey is determined to win over his father’s love by crafting a special present for him but he fails miserably and his good intentions go up in flames in the presence of violence. Heeding the words of his grandfather, he finally acknowledges that it is perhaps time he became his own man.

“Just Like That” is the story of Bud and his friend Jake that begins six months after Jake is paroled. He learns that Donna his girlfriend wants nothing to do with him and had even procured an abortion. Jake tries to take his own life but the Norelco shaver cord he was using breaks off and he believes that it is not yet his time. Calling up his friend Bud, they head out south to find any place warm enough for some fun. They rob a convenience store for upkeep money and eventually end up in Lake Charles, Louisiana and then New Orleans. Along the way are interesting happenings including when a convict stabs another with a meat cleaver in the belly. There is also a deadly encounter with some Kentuckian rednecks that Bud shoots at. Jake’s ongoing romance with Donna is a constant storyline that follows them all across the states. Other watercooler moments include Jake’s affair with a random woman, multiple robberies and burglaries and attending his father’s funeral with a whore. Jake gets shot and is caught by the police while burglarizing a shop in Indiana. He is taken back to Pendleton and it is not long before he gets into a huge fight with an inmate who he ends up killing. But then he undergoes a transformation and starts thinking about his life. Could he manage to turn it around?

Les Edgerton’s “Mirror Mirror” is a chilling young adult novel that will forever change its readers’ perspectives on mirrors. The lead character of the novel is a typical American teen named Elizabeth Mary Downing. When she looks into the mirror what she sees is something identical to herself except that the image has blue eyes, yet her eyes are brown. The mirror image tells her that she can enter into the new world of any mirror by a process referred to as trans-starence. She is fearful of the mirror but curiosity soon overtakes fear and she walks into the mirror to trade places with Liz. But that is only the beginning of a nightmare as Liz begins wreaking havoc on what had previously been a peaceful uneventful life. All attempts by Elizabeth to get Liz to let her take back her life are rebuffed in a story that is as humorous as it is suspense. Just when it seems like she will never convince the stubborn Liz she is successful only to learn that she needs to return to the mirror before her life can go back to normal. Part of herself may have to remain in the mirror forever.

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