Les Edgerton - book author
Les Edgerton is the author of books: Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go, Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing, Just Like That, The Rapist, The Bitch, The Perfect Crime, Mirror, Mirror, The Death of Tarpons, The Genuine Imitation Plastic Kidnapping, Bomb!
*The first and only fiction-writing book that focuses exclusively on beginnings--no other book on the market addresses story beginnings in a comprehensive manner
Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It's just that simple. Hooked provides readers with a detailed understanding of what a beginning must include (setup, backstory, the inciting incident, etc.); instruction on how to successfully develop the story problem; tips on how to correct common beginning mistakes; exclusive insider advice from agents, acquiring book editors, and literary journal editors; and much more.
Jake and his pal Bud's journey begins six months after he is released on parole and is occasioned when his girlfriend Donna dumps him and aborts their child. After an aborted suicide attempt where the Norelco shaver cord he used to hang himself broke, on an impulse-the source of the title; everything in Jake's life happens "just like that"-he calls up Bud, who lives by the same credo, and the two take off with no particular destination in mind. They're just going "south"--somewhere where it's warm. An hour before they leave, Jake on another impulse, holds up a convenience store to get some traveling money.
Ultimately, they end up in New Orleans and then Lake Charles, Louisiana and from there, back to Indiana.
Along the way are many "watercooler" moments, such as when an inmate sinks a meat cleaver into another inmate's blue-clad stomach, a physical encounter with two rednecks in Kentucky where Bud shoots one of the men, the bullet bouncing harmlessly off the man's thick skull, Jake's ongoing romance with Donna, the funeral of Jake's father which he attends with a whore, multiple burglaries, armed robberies, a brief affair with a black woman, and an adventure with a drunk Santa Claus. Near the end Jake takes another fall when he is caught burglarizing a bar back in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and gets shot in the leg and is returned to Pendleton where he kills the inmate he'd had a nasty encounter during his first stay in prison. In the process, Jake's philosophy of life undergoes a sea change and he comes up with this:
Portions of JUST LIKE THAT have previously appeared as short stories in the literary magazines High Plains Literary Review, Murdaland, and Flatmancrooked. The story that appeared in High Plains was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was selected for inclusion in Houghton-Mifflin's "Best American Mystery Stories, 2001."
As a note of possible interest, Cathy Johns, the P.R. Director and Assistant Warden of The Farm (the infamous Louisiana state prison at Angola) read this novel and told Edgerton that he'd captured the true spirit of the criminal mind better than anything she'd ever read.
You will never again pass a mirror without a slight chill... once you have read Mirror, Mirror. Elizabeth Mary Downing is a typical American teenager...almost. When she peers into a mirror, she sees someone else staring back--an image identical to herself in every detail save one--the mirror image has blue eyes. Elizabeth's eyes are brown! She is told by her mirror counterpart, "Liz," that she can enter any mirror she wants through "trans-starence” and when curiosity prevails over fear and she enters the mirror, trading places with Liz, the horror begins as Liz wreaks havoc with what was a normal life. Elizabeth's attempts to trick Liz into going back into the mirror reflect both suspense and humor and just when all hope seems lost, she succeeds... only to discover she has to return to the mirror to reverse events and get her life back to where it was. She succeeds… only she leaves part of herself forever in the mirror.
Fans of Tim Dorsey's character Serge A. Storms, and readers who enjoy Christopher Moore and Carl Hiassen will enjoy this story.