Thursday, April 19, 2012

Need Help Finding Your Voice? Well... You're in Luck

As some of you know, Les Edgerton has been my mentor, coach and friend for a few years now and it's because of him that I've secured an agent and am looking forward to the sale of my first novel (currently in re-writes). Les is a gifted novelist in his own right--crime fiction, noir, literary fiction, non-fiction, short stories... and craft books.
No, I'm not talking about books that teach you how to make handbags out of  old magazines or how to crochet little hats for those unsightly rolls of extra toilet paper in your bathroom.
I'm talking about books on the craft of WRITING.
And it's a craft Les knows very, very well.
I have a confession: I have read very few writing craft books. Oh, I own more than my fair share... Burroway, Lamott, Bickman. I bought them all because I thought that maybe, just maybe, one of them could impart on me some sort of mystical knowledge on the dos & don'ts of writing a breakout novel.
I said I bought them... I never said I actually read them. I tried--I really did--but the majority of them were so dry I was coughing up dust bunnies every time I turned the page. Don't get me wrong, I know oodles of people that  swear by Burroway and Bickman and I'm more than positive that they have plenty to offer in terms of mechanics.
That's not where I needed help. No... my problem was (and still is on occasion) trusting my own voice to tell the story. For the longest time I fought the me that was coming through on the page. I'm a woman--I shouldn't be writing about fist fights and GSWs. I should be couching my scenes in flowery prose, right? Wrong... because it wasn't me, and when your writing isn't authentic, the worst thing in the world will happen--your reader will become confused. And then they'll become distrustful. And then they'll think you're a dirty, rotten liar and never read another word you write again.
Rule #1
If you want your reader to trust you--you have to trust yourself. Les told me that, and he was right.
People have always asked me, "Who do you write like?" It's an honest question... and one I hate beyond any other, because it forces me to put myself in a box. If forces me to conform and, well--I'm not a conformist.
And neither is Les Edgerton.
That's what I found so refreshing about his craft books. He tells you it's okay to trust yourself, that sounding like you--simple, unknown, unpublished YOU--is not only okay, it's the only way to write. He tells you to let go, ignore the critics and embrace your own style, to find your own path.
And not only does Les tell you... he shows you how.
One of his best craft books, FINDING YOUR VOICE, has just released on e-book through Amazon, and for only $5--how cool is that? Here's the link, check it out--you'll be glad you did!
Check it out here at:

And check out his blog for all his latest and greatest:

don't forget--got a plot problem? send it to me at


  1. I love Les' craft books! And I have a funny story about Finding Your Voice in particular. When I brought it home, my then-13-year-old daughter sat right down with it and read it straight through. In the book, Les recommends penning a letter to your inner "Critic Nag Dude." My daughter took the advice literally. She personified said critic nag as her eighth-grade English teacher and proceeded to write him an absolutely poisonous--and very personal--epistle. I had to intercept that one pronto to make sure it didn't actually make its way to school.

    Anyway, Les' book ignited BOTH our writing endeavors.

    Thanks for sharing, Maegan! :)

  2. By the way, it was okay with me that my daughter made off with Finding Your Voice, since I was completely engrossed in Hooked at the time. Also HIGHLY recommended for any aspiring novelist!